Numerical information bombards today's world, challenging us to separate fact from fiction so that we can make informed decisions, and statisticians enjoy this challenge. They work in business, industry, government, and research, helping frame questions and determine what information is needed to answer them. They design experiments or surveys that generate relevant data, and then they analyze the data and communicate the results.

Statisticians have been instrumental in countless advances. For example, statisticians designed and analyzed the field trials that demonstrated the effectiveness of the polio vaccine; they used historical data to demonstrate racial bias in the use of the death penalty; and they designed and carried out clinical trials that showed drug treatment in HIV-positive pregnant women reduced the rate of infection in their babies.

Why Study at Iowa

Iowa’s statistics program is widely recognized in the United States. Its students, faculty, research, and career services have an excellent reputation.

The undergraduate statistics program is comprehensive. As a statistics major, you will acquire essential knowledge of statistical methods, applications, and theory, which you will be able to apply in a number of different fields. You also will build strength by completing one of three emphasis tracks:  statistics in business, industry, government, and research; statistical computing and data science; or mathematical statistics. Class size is generally small to moderate, with 12–40 students, so you'll have ample opportunities to interact with your instructors.
Faculty members in the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science are known worldwide for the quality of their research and teaching. Most statistics faculty contribute regularly to the premier journals in their field, and some serve as journal editors.

Course Work

Course work for students in the Bachelor of Science (BS) degree program in statistics includes:

  • Computer Science I: Fundamentals
  • Calculus I–II–III
  • Introduction to Linear Algebra
  • Introduction to Mathematical Statistics I–II
  • Statistical Methods and Computing
  • Applied Linear Regression
  • Experimental Design and Analysis

You'll also complete four courses in one of these tracks:

  • The Statistics in Business, Industry, Government, and Research Track emphasizes statistical applications and data analysis. It is good preparation for students interested in careers as applied statisticians.
  • The Statistical Computing and Data Science Track emphasizes statistical applications but requires additional course work in computer programming. It is good preparation for students with a strong interest in the computational aspects of applied statistics.
  • The Mathematical Statistics Track offers a solid foundation in statistical theory and applications and prepares students for graduate study.

See Statistics and Actuarial Science in the UI General Catalog to learn more about the statistics major and graduating with honors.

Five-Year Combined Bachelor's and Master's Degree

The joint Bachelor of Science/Master of Science in statistics is for eligible students who seek to complete both the B.S. and the M.S. at Iowa. Students in the joint program must complete all requirements for each degree and are granted the B.S. when they have met the undergraduate requirements. Generally, students apply for admission to the joint program during the spring semester of their third year as undergraduates and enter the program at the beginning of their fourth year, becoming both an undergraduate and graduate student at that time.

See for more information about this program.

Minor in Statistics

See Statistics & Actuarial Science in the UI General Catalog.

Admission Requirements

Statistics majors need to meet the requirements for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Admission Requirements Tabs

Student Opportunities

In addition to having more than 500 Student Organizations, Iowa students choose from multiple Study Abroad Programs and Undergraduate Research Opportunities.


Job placement rate for Iowa graduates range from 86-100 percent, depending on their area of study, and our Pomerantz Career Center offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs.

Statistics and probability are vital to many fields, so the demand for well-trained statisticians is strong. Statisticians work in medicine, engineering, law, public policy making, marketing, manufacturing, engineering, agriculture, varied social and natural sciences, and numerous other areas.

When you graduate, you'll be prepared to fill an entry-level position as a statistician or go on to graduate school. Your adviser will help you find internships as well as the best-fitting graduate programs.

To learn more about job opportunities, see Careers in Statistics on the American Statistical Association website.


The Office of Admissions and the Office of Student Financial Aid are great resources for students seeking scholarships.

Application Process

Application Process Tabs

Apply to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences designating statistics as your major.


Statistics (BS)
Statistical Computing and Data Science
Mathematical Statistics
Statistics in Business, Industry, Government, & Research
Honors Courses
Four-Year Graduation Plan