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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Statistics

Statistics Major

Degree Requirements

There are two options under the B.S. in Statistics degree program: the General Major and the Major with Emphasis in Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics.  The Major with Emphasis in Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics is designed for students planning a career as an actuary.

Each of these options requires 120 approved credit hours as listed in the Undergraduate Bulletin.

Note that certain courses must be passed with a grade of at least C in the first two attempts.


Employment After Graduation

Statisticians are in great demand and work in various settings. Salaries and working conditions are excellent. Statisticians evaluate the safety and efficacy of new drugs for pharmaceutical companies. Insurance companies use statisticians to estimate the risks of life, health care, and casualty events. Conducting the Federal census and estimating the inflation rate are two of many tasks done by government statisticians. Industrial statisticians design experiments to improve manufacturing processes and to maintain quality. Market research firms use statisticians to improve the efficiency of their mass mailing campaigns. Statisticians develop credit scoring algorithms for financial service companies. Educational testing companies use statisticians to measure the validity of standardized test questions. And these are only some of the places statisticians work.

The University's Career Center provides job search assistance. You should visit the Career Center early in your next to last semester. The Department provides links to various job listings.



Upon becoming a statistics major, you will initially be advised by the Undergraduate Director, Prof. David Hitchcock, or by a First-year Advisor from the College of Arts and Sciences.  After this initial advisement, you will be assigned a faculty advisor. You will need to meet with your advisor during the advisement period in the Fall and Spring Semesters to discuss your current courses and to plan for future semesters. You will not be allowed to register for courses until you have been advised. Feel free to meet with your advisor at other times if you have questions or are having problems.

If you do not know who your advisor is, send an e-mail to the Undergraduate Director.


Senior Check

Early in your next to last semester, you should meet with your advisor to complete a major program card. This card lists the courses you have taken or will take to complete your major and cognate (or minor) requirements. After completing the major program card, call the College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Office (777-2505) to schedule a Senior Check Appointment. You will need to take the major program card to your Senior Check Appointment. The Senior Check verifies the remaining course requirements needed for graduation.


Statistics Faculty

The Department's 15 faculty members are well-known for teaching and research excellence. They have won University, state, and national teaching awards and six are Fellows of the American Statistical Association. We also have 7 adjunct faculty members whose primary appointment is in another department or institution. Click here to learn more about the faculty.


Double Majors and Minors

It is possible to major in statistics and and to have a second major or a minor in many other fields at USC. A second major or a minor replaces the cognate requirement for the B.S. in Statistics degree. Students considering a second major or a minor should make their advisor aware of this fact as soon as possible.

For double majors, all degree requirements for each major must be satisfied. (Only one of STAT 509 or STAT 515 may be used for major or minor credit.) There is a substantial overlap between Statistics general (pre-major) requirements and requirements for Mathematics majors, and so a double major may be most attractive in that areas.

A minor consists of 18 hours of advanced courses specified by the department or college offering the minor.

Consult the Undergraduate Bulletin or a faculty advisor for more details on minors and double majors.


Your E-Mail Address

The Undergraduate Director frequently distributes important information to statistics majors via e-mail. Please e-mail us your current e-mail address.


Student Organizations

Two student organizations, the Statistics Club and the S.C. Beta Chapter of Mu Sigma Rho, the national statistics honor society, provide social and professional interaction among students, faculty, and visiting statistics professionals.


Departmental Awards

The Department of Statistics honors statistics majors each year at the University's Awards Day. The Mu Sigma Rho Award recognizes a statistics major for outstanding academic achievement. The Stephen D. Durham Award recognizes outstanding academic performance by a senior statistics major. The Excellence in Academics Award is for the top performer among sophomore/junior level statistics majors. The John Spurrier Scholarship recognizes the outstanding first-year statistics major.  The Department's Undergraduate Advisory Committee selects the winners of these awards with input from the Department's faculty.


Undergraduate Bulletin

The Undergraduate Bulletin lists degree requirements, course descriptions, academic regulations, and other important information.