Fifth-year option for Rice undergraduates
This is a special opportunity for Rice students! With proper planning and coordination of your undergraduate major(s) and senior year courses, Rice undergraduates can earn the Professional Master's degree in Statistics (MStat) in a fifth year of study.
The MStat involves a fifth year of specialized study, which is integrated with the four undergraduate years leading to either the BA or the BS degree in the same or related areas of interest. The professional degree program is open to students who have shown academic excellence in their undergraduate studies. Students who major in statistics, other engineering, mathematics, mathematical economics, or other majors with appropriate statistics interest and coursework, are candidates for this degree.
Applications are due for Fall admission February 15 and for Spring admission, November 15 (check with the Department Coordinator for application system access code). With faculty approval, students can start taking required core courses for the MStat during their senior year at Rice. With the applicable track director and the MStat program director, a plan of graduate study will be developed and approved based on the student's particular focus area.
Course of Study
The fifth year MStat is a non-thesis Master's degree, and does not require an internship. Students are required to take 30 hours of approved coursework, with additional recommended career-enhancing enrichment courses. Depending on the student's selected specialization, the mix of required, track-specific and elective courses will be jointly determined by the student and the graduate advisor. Students meet with an advisor during the first year of the program to select an individualized plan of study, with periodic tune-ups as the program progresses.
The program normally takes three semesters of full-time course work, although very strong students may finish in two semesters; it is also possible to complete the program on a part-time basis. Here is a summary of the salient issues:
With proper planning and coordination of the undergraduate major(s) and senior year courses, a student may earn the Professional Master's degree in Statistics (MStat) in a fifth year of study.
Generally, the fifth year MStat is coordinated between the student and the undergraduate advisor and MStat Director prior to the student's graduation from the University.
The Department has at its discretion the ability to count certain courses for MStat credit which were taken while the student was an undergraduate, so long as these were taken in addition to an approved undergraduate degree plan, which is a minimum of 120 hours. Indeed, this ability to pursue MStat level courses while still an undergraduate is a key reason that the program can be completed in a single additional year.
In unusual circumstances, a student could complete the fifth year MStat degree in a single additional semester of study, but it is not possible to complete the fifth year MStat degree without at least one semester specifically in the MStat program.
for information on the undergraduate statistics major. For general university requirements regarding graduate degrees and the fifth year option, see General Announcements — Graduate Degrees
, including regulations on dual course credit
. For applicants with GPA greater than or equal to 3.0/4.0, the GRE requirement may be waived. Students are required to take 30 hours of approved coursework. In the fifth year MStat program, these requirements will have been met by the end of the student's fifth year at Rice.
These courses are normally completed by the end of the first 2 semesters
Probability (STAT 518)
Statistical Inference (STAT 519)
Statistical Computing and Graphics (STAT 605)
Regression and Linear Models (STAT 615)
Advanced Statistical Methods (STAT 616)
These courses are recommended for the specialization track that is to be developed between the MStat student and her or his advisor (Director of MStat Program). Courses include recommended core and elective courses. The current recommended core courses are listed below; recommended electives and courses for certain tracks such as Applied Statistics for Industry and Preparation for Ph.D. studies are developed separately. For a description of each specialization, click on the specialization title.
Computational Finance I - Market Models (STAT 686)
Applied Time Series and Forecasting (STAT 621)
Quantitative Financial Analytics (STAT 682)
Bioinformatics, Statistical Genetics, and Biostatistics
Generalized Linear Models & Categorical Analysis (STAT 545)
Biostatistics (STAT 553)
Probability in Bioinformatics and Genetics (STAT 623)
Probability and Statistics for Systems Biology (STAT 673)
Quantitative Environmental Decision Making (STAT 685)
Environmental Risk Assessment & Human Health (STAT 684)
Applied Statistics for Industry and Preparation for Ph.D. Studies in Statistics, Mathematical Economics, and Finance
Joint MStat/MBA Program
Master of Computational Science and Engineering (MCSE)
Electives are targeted in the subfield of interest. Students may be asked to take specific courses outside the department, depending on the incoming background of the student, career objectives and funding sources. The links above to curriculum planning for each specialization include suggested electives for each specialization.
Admission to the MStat program does not carry any commitment of financial aid, and the student is expected to be fully responsible for tuition and fees throughout the program. Tuition is based on hours taken; full-time tuition is based on registering for at least 9 hours. For more details, see application process
International students must pay careful attention to rules regarding full-time status and optional and practical training (if needed). The Office of International Students and Scholars
(OISS) is the source of information on these issues.