Statistics – College of Arts and Sciences Major Guide for 2013-2014

What is Statistics – College of Arts and Sciences?

Statistics is the science of learning from data and making wise decisions based on the analysis of that data. Statistics is central to improving products and service in any industry, essential for the proper running of government, and a must in health, medical and drug related companies and valuable in understanding web site activity. As a result, statistics is a key core component of modern educational curricula at all levels.

Career Opportunities in Statistics – College of Arts and Sciences

Are you a future statistician?

  • Do you like mathematics and computing?
  • Do you want to use your quantitative skills to solve practical problems?
  • Do you like to collaborate with others in team efforts?
  • Do you like the challenge of constantly learning new things and tackling new problems?If so, you may be a future statistician.

Statisticians apply their tools in diverse fields: actuarial science, agriculture, animal health, astronomy, biostatistics, business, chemistry, clinical trials, computer science, consulting, ecology, economics, education, engineering, epidemiology, finance, forestry, genetics, geography, government, insurance, law, manufacturing, marketing, national security, pharmacology, physics, psychology, public health, quality improvement, reliability, risk assessment, sociology, space science, sports, statistical computing, surveys, web analytics, writing, and more.

Students who major in Statistics have lots of options for graduate school, especially if they have a minor in a functional areas such as biology, business, engineering, or psychology. For instance, if they have a minor in business, they could pursue a masters in business analytics at the University of Tennessee or a masters in marketing research or a quantitative MBA at other schools. A minor in a functional area is a real plus in today’s job market. In addition, the statistics or math and statistics major can always pursue a masters in statistics, in actuarial sciences, or in other quantitative fields.

Salary Trends in Statistics – College of Arts and Sciences

The trend in salaries for undergraduate statistics majors has depended greatly on what courses one has had. For instance, over the years statistics majors that have done well in the capstone course (Stat 471) and had a course in applied time series or forecasting have gotten higher beginning salary offers. Double majors in statistics and math or majors in statistics with a minor in business have im­proved job options and salary as well. The median beginning beginning salary has been around $50,000.

High School Preparation

The best high school preparation is good math aptitude as evidenced by performance in algebra, pre-calculus, calculus, and even high school statistics. Equally important, good writing and speaking skills enhance the opportunity for success.

How to Major in Statistics – College of Arts and Sciences

  •  Complete the first two math prerequisites.
  • Take your first statistics course, Stat 201 or 251.
  • In your sophomore year, see the undergraduate advi­sor in statistics.
  • Declare your major in the Statistics, Operations, and Management Science Department (201 Stokely Management Center).
  • Get advised by the undergraduate advisor in statistics.

Requirements for Statistics – College of Arts and Sciences

The major consists of 30 hours including:

  • Statistics 201 or 251;
  • Statistics 320, 340, 471;
  • Two courses selected from Statistics 474, 475, 477, Mathematics 423, 424, 425;
  • Mathematics 141-142 and 241-251, or upper-division Mathematics;
  • Two technical electives to be selected from upper-division courses in Mathematics, Computer Science, Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, Psychology, Sociology, or other disciplines with the approval of the student’s advisor in the Department of Statistics, Operations, and Management Science.

Students who completed Mathematics 123-125 should see an advisor to select courses to complete this requirement.

Special Programs, Co-ops, and Internships

Occasionally, there are internships for undergraduate majors during the summer or with local firms. In addition, undergraduates who have finished their junior year sometimes get the opportunity to be a teaching assistant in the summer.

Highlights of Statistics – College of Arts and Sciences

On two occasions over the last ten years, a team of two statistics majors have won or tied for first in the national undergraduate data analysis contest for the American Statistical Association.

Ready for the World logoReady for the World

“Ready for the World” is part of a long-range plan to transform the UTK campus into a culture of diversity that best prepares students for working and competing in the 21st century.  Thus students are encouraged to actively participate in the diverse cultural programs offered on campus.  Some of these events include the guest lecture series, cultural nights at the International House, and international film screenings.  Visit the Center for International Education web site ( or the Ready for the World web site ( for more information on upcoming cultural programs and activities.  Learn more about UT’s Ready for the World initiative to help students gain the international and intercultural knowledge they need to succeed in today’s world.

Students are also encouraged to develop a global perspective within their academic program through study abroad.  Studying abroad options do exist for mathematics and statistics majors! Possibilities include (but are not limited to) studying abstract algebra in Fiji, Galois theory in Hungary, linear programming in Malaysia, advanced stochastic processes in South Africa, or Bayesian inference in London. In addition to taking major-related courses abroad, many math or statistics majors have elected to fulfill their language requirement and/or general education courses overseas.

Consult an academic advisor early in your academic career about the best time for you to study abroad as well as what courses you may need to take. For more information about program options, the application process, and how to finance study abroad, please visit the Programs Abroad Office website.

Academic Plan and Milestones

Following an academic plan will help students stay on track to graduate in four years. Beginning with first-time, first-year, full-time, degree-seeking students entering in the Fall 2013 semester, UT has implemented Universal Tracking (uTrack), an academic monitoring system designed to help students stay on track for timely graduation. In order to remain on track, students must complete the minimum requirements for each tracking semester, known as milestones. Milestones may include successful completion of specified courses and/or attainment of a minimum GPA.

To see a sample academic plan and milestones for this major, please visit the undergraduate catalog.

For More Information

Dr. Ken Gilbert,
Department Head
Dr. William Seaver,
Chairman of the undergraduate curriculum committee and undergraduate advisor
phone: (865) 974-2556



The information on this page should be considered general information only. For more specific information on this and other programs refer to the UT catalog or contact the department and/or college directly.