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American University’s Master of Science in Statistics is an excellent way to further your quantitative education, learn statistical methods, and gain professional skills for a broad variety of careers in government and industry, prepare for a doctoral program, or gain the expertise to advance your career. In this program, you will develop proficiency in the development, research, and analysis of quantitative tools to turn data and ideas into intelligent, informed actions. Incoming students can qualify for merit awards as Graduate Assistants or Research Assistantships to gain experience.

The Statistics MS program offers two tracks, to help you match your course of study to your intellectual and professional goals. The Theory and Methods concentration is the mainstream graduate Statistics program, easily recognizable by all potential employees, which offers complete preparation to professional job positions in diverse quantitative fields as well as entrance to PhD programs for those students who plan to pursue the next degree. The Biostatistics concentration is an interdisciplinary graduate program that offers a combination of solid Statistics, Biology, and Biostatistics knowledge and skills and prepares students for advanced quantitative positions in medical, biopharmaceutical and public health areas as well as PhD programs in related fields. Whichever track you follow, AU’s MS in Statistics is your key to success.

This program is designated as a STEM degree program.

Lesley Chapman

MS, StatisticsLesley Chapman.

MS in Statistics candidate Lesley Chapman is putting her statistical expertise to work for a worthy cause. As a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Cancer Institute, she is researching the genetic risk associated with pediatric cancer by using epidemiologic and statistical strategies.

Lesley says she received her first introduction to American University after attending an orientation session where she received a warm welcome and an impressive overview of the Masters in Statistics program. “Effective teaching approaches are something I appreciate as a part of any training experience, and American University offers just that. At AU, I have learned a number of foundational statistical concepts that I can directly apply to my research.”

Lesley was recently selected as an American Society of Human Genetics Human Genetics Scholar. Her long-term goal is to become an independent research investigator and conduct research to identify genetic risk associated with diseases such as cancer. She says that her mathematics and statistics coursework has been a key part of her training.

“I am developing machine learning-based methods to identify risk variants in patients with rare disease. My classes, such as Mathematical Statistics and Advanced Machine Learning, have helped inform statistical based approaches to study patient populations. The faculty here have also been a tremendous support in providing explanations on the ways in which concepts discussed in courses can be applied to address questions in other fields of research.”

Washington, DC
Career Outlook

Academic Rigor with a Degree of Flexibility

The Master of Science in Statistics offers rigorous training in statistics while offering you the flexibility to select the program that suits your goals and interests. The 21-credit core will provide a solid statistical foundation in regression, generalized linear models, statistical software, statistical machine learning, and mathematical statistics. You will then pursue either a 9-credit thesis option focusing on research or a 12-credit non-thesis option with additional survey sampling and consulting coursework. Choose the program that fits your academic and professional aspirations.

See admissions and curriculum requirements.

Knowledgeable Faculty Dedicated to Your Success

The MS in Statistics program prides itself on providing close mentorship and dedicated, individual attention to each student throughout the program. Our experienced faculty members have a wide range of research interests, including the development of statistical methods for evolutionary biology and environmental science, computational statistics, statistics of genocide, and many others areas of specialization. This broad field of expertise will offer you many research options.

Make a Difference in Your Career and the World

Consistently ranked as one of the best cities for job seekers, Washington, DC, is the ideal city in which to study statistics. With job opportunities in the federal government and the private sector, a master’s degree in statistics will open doors for you in the DC area. You can get a head start on your career with an internship at one of the area’s many federal agencies, NGOs, companies, and research institutions. The department’s ties to the National Science Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drug Administration, National Institutes of Health, and other institutions will provide you with research opportunities and connections for future employment. The capital area has a wide array of intellectual and professional opportunities that make DC a great place to learn, work, and live.

Your Success Is a Statistical Certainty

With positions available in incredibly diverse fields, you are sure to find a job that matches your skill set and your interests. Recent alumni are employed throughout the DC area and beyond in high-paid, rewarding careers with high-profile employers such as

  • Accenture
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Fannie Mae
  • Gitlab BV
  • NIH and the US Census Bureau
  • SAIC

DC and Maryland offer the highest concentration of jobs for statisticians in the US with annual mean wages around $110K, according to the Bureuau of Labor Statistics, which projects 35% employment growth from 2020 to 2030.

See more career information about AU statistics alumni from our annual survey.

Meet An Alum

At American University, Cindy Cook had an internship with the Securities and Exchange Commission and worked on developing an algorithm to optimally predict Cox models for nonlinear survival analysis data. She won the Mathias Student Research Conference Award in 2013 for the Best Oral Presentation in the Sciences by a Graduate Student. Her goal was to pursue a PhD upon graduation, which she did at Penn State before proceeding to a position as Senior Data Scientist at SAIC.

News & Notes

Two MS Data Science students, Chaytanya Kumar (President/Founder of AU's American Statistical Association student club, ASA) and Dhanush Kikkisetti (ASA member), were awarded AU funding to cover a significant portion of attending the annual Symposium on Data Science and Statistics (SDSS) in St. Louis, Missouri, in May. SDSS provides a unique platform for data scientists, computer scientists, and statisticians to exchange ideas, while faculty and industry professionals can network and share insights. Chaytanya and Dhanush encourage all STEM students to seek out conferences like this to attend and gain valuable experiences and insights into the current state of their respective fields.

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