Chicago PhD & Master's in Data Science or Statistics Graduate Programs

Statistics Graduate Programs come in many types. You could earn certificates, masters and doctoral degree programs. And you could study different areas of the field. Like a masters degree in data science and applied statistics. Earning a grad degree in statistics could help you refine your math skills. So, you’ll be ready to collect and analyze data.

Chicago  PhD & Masters in Data Science or Statistics Graduate Programs infographic written by Rana Waxman

Applied statistics grad programs use statistical methods to solve problems. Fields ranging from marketing to healthcare collect data. Knowing how to put this data to use can yield insights.
DID YOU KNOW? A Statistician is one of the top 5 fastest growing careers with a graduate degree in 2016. Learn more about Statistician salary and employment outlook.

All About Statistics Graduate Programs

Statistics grad programs cover both theory and practice. A branch of mathematics, statistics works with data in a number of ways. It uses techniques to collect, classify, and analyze number data. Then it interprets the numbers based on probability theory. This could lead to answers that help companies solve problems. Or boost efficiency. Or understand their customers. And data is everywhere. It comes from Internet search, social media, smartphones, and more.
Data Science, Data Analysis and More Pros in this field often work with big data and data analysis software. They may work in related roles like data analyst, or data scientist. As you can see, there’s a close interplay of data science and statistics. Your graduate statistics program may reflect that.

Curriculum in Statistics Programs

Expect to study the science of statistics. Courses may explore the relationships among data. How? By using probability theory. This makes it possible to predict future outcomes. You could also take courses like:
  • Regression analysis
  • Math statistics
  • Stochastic processes
  • Monte Carlo method
  • Bayesian statistics
  • Sampling theory
  • Algorithms
  • Statistical techniques (e.g. surveys)
Courses vary and may differ from those listed above. Contact individual schools for a full course list.

Applied Statistics Grad Programs

Applied statistics grad programs focus on solving problem. (Rather than pure stat theory.) You may learn to use statistics in a specific context. Like in business and marketing. Or biostatistics and health informatics. Applied Statistics courses could include some of the following.
  • Data mining
  • Predictive analytics
  • Statistical software
  • Statistical theory and methods
  • Design of experiments

Data Science Grad Programs

Statistics is also a tool of Data Science. Data science is a broad term. It uses scientific methods, like math and statistics, to capture info. Data scientists use their smarts to analyze complex data sets. Their findings help solve real world problems. Masters in data science other grad programs often include a few key areas. They include statistics, programming and product knowledge. Coursework might include topics such as hypothesis testing. Or survey sampling. Or Bayesian analysis. You may study programming tools such as SQL, R and SAS. And you may dive into machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Data Analytics Grad Programs

These grad programs tend to focus on the study of raw data. The goal? To find patterns and draw conclusions. This happens with a specific goal in mind. For instance, to help a business make better decisions. You might learn to make predictions across a range of industries. Your courses might explore topics such as data mining. Or visualization and modeling.
DID YOU KNOW? When surveyed, 48% of statisticians said they had a masters degree, 20% a doctorate degree.

Masters in Statistics Degrees

Masters in statistics degrees may be available as Master of Arts (MA). or a Master of Science (MS). Or a Master of Professional Studies. Most programs have about 30 to 42 credits. They include core coursework, exam(s), and a practicum. Often, there’s a capstone. Some programs have a thesis instead of a capstone project. The time it takes to earn your degree depends on a few factors. Like whether you study full time or part time. A master’s in statistics might take anywhere from two to five years to earn. (Need a little more flexibility? Consider an online master of statistics program.) Admissions Applicants to a masters program in statistics must hold a bachelor’s degree. This should be from a regionally accredited school. Be aware of prerequisites. You may need to take certain courses before heading to grad school. These could include:
  • Calculus courses
  • Linear algebra
  • Intro statistics courses
  • Probability courses
Some programs need you to know at least one programming language. Like Python. And often, you need GPA of at least 3.0. Other admissions material could include letters of reference. And a current resume. Many programs need GRE Scores. Contact individual programs for full details. And be aware of application deadlines!

Master of Arts in Statistics

A master of arts (MA) in statistics program tends to teach practical statistics knowledge. That includes multiple statistics and math courses. Such as:
  • Probability
  • Linear algebra
  • Applied multivariate analysis
  • Data analysis
In some schools, students also take a lab component. This covers methods, software and theory used to apply statistics. Also, MA students might be able to take some doctoral level courses. This could be useful for those who intend to continue in a PhD program.

MS in Statistics

An MS in statistics program explores key topics like statistical methods and SAS/R. You may also be able to choose an emphasis or specialization. Like:
  • Bioinformatics
  • Business analytics
  • Applied statistics
Most MS statistics programs include exams. These evaluate students’ grasp of the course material. Also, some programs include consulting work. And often, a final project.

MS in Applied Statistics

An MS in applied statistics program teaches how to use stat in real life. You could learn the methodologies behind solving practical problems. Expect to study areas like probability theory and math statistics. In these courses, students might learn about statistical inference. Or variables and research design. You could even dive into applied data mining. Or procedures in SAS. You may be able to choose a concentration. Like:
  • Predictive analytics
  • Machine learning
  • Industrial analytics
  • Statistical theory
A practicum in statistical consulting often comes at the end of the program. This offers some real life context. You could even learn how to report your findings.

Master of Professional Studies in Data Science

This is a practice based program. It could help students learn data management. Plus, descriptive, prescriptive and predictive analytics. Students usually take courses in applied statistics. Other courses might examine data storage technologies. Or database management. And how to use analytics for decision making. Electives could comprise another third of a 30 credit MPS program. And a final capstone might offer the chance to design data science systems.

Master of Science in Applied Data Science

A masters in data science program could be another path. You’ll learn to apply math and statistics concepts to data. Courses span statistics topics. Like:
  • Hypothesis testing
  • Survey sampling
  • Neural networks
  • Programming
Students prepare to analyze large data sets. And, use these to solve real world problems.

Masters in Business Analytics

A master in business analytics program focuses on using data for one main reason. To help companies run better. You could learn to translate big data into a plan that solves today’s business problems. Courses include:
  • Statistical modeling
  • Computer programming
  • Business intelligence
  • Predictive analysis
Students might also learn to use data visualization tools. This helps convert numbers and texts into pictures or presentations. Other topics might include optimization methods and machine learning. Or even story telling. Why? Because turning data into a story works. It helps big ideas become plans everyone can grasp.

MS in Health Informatics

An MS in health informatics explores the broad area of health data. Health informatics courses cover where biomedical science and clinical practice meets analytics. You’ll explore how to use health information technology for many things. Like decision support. Or strategic planning. And outcomes assessment. As with other data science degree programs, you’ll learn to turn data into insights.

Statistics Graduate Certificates

graduate certificate in applied statistics program may be aimed at certain pros. Like engineers. And scientists. Also, others who want to apply statistics to their area of work. Certs often call for about 12 credits. So a full-time student could earn it in about one year. Courses vary between programs. But they usually include core courses in regression analysis and experimental design. Plus electives. Applicants may need to have a bachelors degree. Likely, from an accredited college or university. You may need to have taken courses in statistics and probability. In some schools, you can transfer credits from a grad cert to a related masters degree.

Graduate Certificate in Applied Demography

This is the scientific study of human populations. It focuses on demographic methods. Data collected in this manner can be used for decision making. For instance, you could study fertility, mortality and migration. This helps determine the effects of these trends. So, countries and cities can make choices about resources.

Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics

Statistics is not just for science careers. A grad cert in business analytics program could help business leaders make better choices. How? By using data. Topics span the area of business analytics. Think: business strategies. And prescriptive analytics. Not to mention, marketing analytics.

PhD Statistics Programs

PhD statistics programs award terminal research degrees. These could be in statistics or applied statistics. PhD students explore the breadth of the field. They may also focus on one area of statistics. This narrows their research. Which is helpful for writing that dissertation! Expect to take both required courses and electives. And do some credit hours of statistical consulting. Of course, research is a huge part of this program. Most statistics PhD programs include exams based on course content. And a dissertation project based on original thought or theory.

Doctor of Computer Science in Big Data Analytics

A Doctor of Computer Science is a terminal practice degree. A relevant masters degree may be required for admission. Candidates might take courses that blend theory, research and application. Core courses might present topics in database systems, computer science and information systems. Students might also take advanced courses in quantitative analysis, and business intelligence. The research component may provide a broad overview of the student’s area of emphasis. This puts the research into context and informs the student’s selection of a research topic. To earn the doctoral degree, students may have to defend a dissertation. This might be based on a review of literature, independent study and a proposal for further inquiry.

Explore Campus or Online Statistics Grad Programs

Statistics grad programs might be found in two formats. On campus and online. Online masters degree programs in statistics, data science and analytics might suit at-work professionals who can’t make it to class. Often, courses are recorded in a live classroom for grad students who prefer in-person learning. Recorded sessions are then uploaded to a course management system. There, students might log in from wherever and whenever. Respecting deadlines, of course! On campus programs are a more traditional route. They entail regular, scheduled class time at a university.

Take the Next Step

There are some great statistics grad programs to choose from. We have listed just a few examples of the types. Now it’s time for you to start your search. We suggest you use the filters on this page to find statistics degrees by level. Like master’s program in data science as well as PhD, and certificate. Also, program format – online or on campus. You can also look for statistics grad programs and schools in a specific city or state. Find a few that interest you? Use the contact form to request information and get started right away.
  • Northcentral University

  • Purdue University Global

  • Loyola University Chicago

  • Northwestern University School of Continuing Studies

  • University of Chicago