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 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 an emphasis track. Class size is generally small to moderate, with 12–40 students, so you'll have ample opportunities to interact with your instructors. 

Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science faculty 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.

Admission Requirements

Students interested in this major need to meet the requirements for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

 Information

Major(s)
Statistics
BS
Minor(s)
Statistics
Tracks
Statistical Computing and Data Science
Mathematical Statistics
Statistics in Business, Industry, Government, and Research
  Honors Courses
  Four-Year Graduation Plan
Admission Process

Careers and Outcomes

Iowa graduates has a 95 percent job/grad school placement rate within six months of graduation. 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.

Student Opportunities

In addition to more than 500 Student Organizations, Iowa students choose from more than 100 Study Abroad Programs and multiple Undergraduate Research Opportunities.

  Scholarships

The University of Iowa provides a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students through the Iowa Scholarship Portal. Scholarships are available to first-year, transfer, and currently enrolled students. For additional details on scholarships for your program of study, check directly with the department or college. 

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

Course Work

Course work for students in the statistics BS program 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.

All students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences who wish to earn a bachelor's degree must complete the GE CLAS Core requirements. 

See Statistics in the UI General Catalog to learn more about the statistics major or minor 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 BS and the MS at Iowa. Students in the joint program must complete all requirements for each degree and are granted the BS 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 5-Year Combined BS/MS in Statistics for more information about this program.