Skip to Content

College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Statistics

Master of Applied Statistics

What is the MAS?

USC's Master of Applied Statistics degree is a distance program geared towards individuals who want to pursue a graduate degree in statistics but can't attend a full-time degree program, such as those currently working in business, industry, government or education. The program is designed to give you a basic understanding of statistical inference and the skills to apply it to your field of interest, whether it be business, industry, government or education. The program is completely available online.

What courses will I be taking?

Required courses are:

      STAT 700 - Applied Statistics I

      STAT 701 - Applied Statistic II      

      STAT 702 - Introduction to Statistical Theory I

      STAT 703 - Introduction to Statistical Theory II

      STAT 540 - Computing in Statistics (formerly STAT 517)

or the equivalent, as approved by the graduate director.  The remaining 5 courses are of your choosing, subject to approval; at least one of these must be at the 700 level.   Up to 3 courses may be outside the STAT designator and/or transferred from another institution with the Graduate Director's approval. As of Spring 2011 you are also required to pass Comprehensive exams over each core sequence (Applied = STAT 700-701; Theory = STAT 702-703).  Exams are offered in late May every year.  For all details and examples of past exams, look under information for current students.  The two parts to the exam may be taken together or separately, and may be re-taken as many times as needed if not passed on the first attempt.

Some electives that may be chosen based on your area of interest include, but are not limited to:

Industrial: STAT 506, STAT 706, STAT 525, STAT 761, STAT 750

Education: STAT 778, STAT 530, STAT 506, STAT 519

SAS Certification: STAT 540, STAT 541

Is it necessary to come to the Columbia Campus?

No. All classes may be viewed online while the Columbia class meets, asking questions by phone or live texting, or viewed later within 24 hours.  Classes may be viewed as many times as desired with pause, fast-forward, and rewind capabilities.  Students in the Columbia area may attend the live class in the studio.  Assignments are submitted online.  Exams (if time-limited) may be taken with an approved proctor near your location, usually without charge.

What mathematical skills are required?

The program emphasizes the statistical tools and consulting skills necessary for a successful statistical practitioner in the workplace. While some theory is introduced, the focus is on the application of statistics and how statistics can be used to improve the quality of an organization's processes. The successful applicant needs 2 semesters (through integration) of engineering-style calculus with grades of B or better.  Do not ask to have this requirement waived; you will not be successful in STAT 702-703 without this background, nor will you pass the comprehensive exam over STAT 702-703.

Can I try a couple of courses before I apply to the MAS program?

Yes. Go to the Graduate School Page and apply for Non-Degree (ND) status, which requires only a transcript with a baccaluareate degree posted.  If you later enter the MAS program, you will be able to transfer up to 6 credit hours of approved coursework taken in non-degree status into your MAS program of study. Note: there is a 6-year limit on courses before they are out-of-date and can not be counted toward a program of study without recertification.

Students interested in SAS Certification may take the ND approach in order to complete STAT 540 and 541, which prepare you to take the certification exams offered by the SAS Institute.

How do I apply for the MAS program?

If you are already in a graduate program at USC and seek concurrent enrollment with the MAS program, go to the Graduate School Page under “Prospective Students”, then choose "Apply and Update Application/Admission" on left side of page. Finally, choose "Request for Concurrent Enrollment in Second Program" and follow instructions. Your transcripts, letters of recommendation and test scores will already be on file with the Graduate School.  Both programs must approve your concurrent enrollment.

If you are not currently in a graduate program at USC, go to the Graduate School Page and start a new online application. You will be asked to submit (eventually) all previous undergraduate transcripts, statement of purpose and CV / resume, two letters of recommendation, and GRE or GMAT scores. Also, TFL scores for students who do not already have a degree from a U.S. institution.

What is the application deadline?

You can apply at any time. Most students will start in a Fall semester with the basic 2-semester application courses (STAT 700 and STAT 701), which run Fall/Spring every year. Also offered every Fall is the basic statistical computing course (STAT 540) that is useful throughout the program.  It is best to have your application materials submitted at least 6 weeks before classes begin.  We can tentatively admit you based on unofficial test scores and/or transcripts as long as the official ones arrive within 6 weeks after the semester begins.

What are the minimum requirements for admittance?

Bachelor's Degree with a GPA of at least 3.0

2 semesters of engineering-style calculus (through integration) with grades of B or better

GRE total (V+Q) 300.

What will it cost?

Tuition is on a per credit hour basis; most courses are three credit hours.   The current rate is about $500 per credit hour for SC residents, as shown on the Bursar's Fee Schedule.  Out-of-State students in Arkansas, Georgia, or Kentucky may apply to The Southern Regional Education Board's Academic Common Market in order to obtain a tuition credit which will bring tuition down to the in-state tuition rate.   Others pay the current out-of-state tuition, which is currently about $1100 per credit hour. 


Have more questions?

 Contact Don Edwards @