The statistics minor is suited not only for those students who will perform their own research for their career but also those who need to remain current with the latest developments in research. Statistics is a toolbox required for most scientific studies, and in most scientific areas of the job market there is an increasing demand for students with a strong background in statistics and good quantitative skills. Statistics tell us how to collect numerical information in the form of data, evaluate it, and draw conclusions from it. Furthermore, statistics determines what information is relevant in a given problem and whether the conclusions drawn from a study are to be trusted.
The purpose of the statistics minor is to teach the fundamental concepts and the popular applications, so that students can apply the latter on their own and have a basic understanding of the more complicated applications encountered in academic papers.
Descriptive statistics deals with methods for organizing and summarizing data. When the data is a sample and the objective is to go beyond the sample to draw conclusions about the population we use inferential methods. For instance, inferential statistics tells us whether differences observed between two groups are likely to be real or due to randomness. Probability forms the bridge between the descriptive and inferential techniques and leads to a better understanding of how inferential procedures are developed. One of the most used concepts in statistical inference—the P-Value—is, in fact, a conditional probability.
This minor requires a total of 18 credits: 9 credits of required courses and 9 credits of elective courses. A minimum of 12 credits of minor coursework must be completed in addition to any courses (required courses or program electives) included in the major curriculum. Up to 6 credits of coursework, with an earned grade of “C” or better, taken at another accredited institution may be applied to the course requirements of the minor upon prior approval of the department chair.
Interested students should apply to the minor program early in their academic career, usually by the fifth semester of college work, but no later than the end of the drop/add period of the first semester of their last year of didactic work.
For more information on applying for and completing a minor, please see Minors in the Academics section of this catalog.