Graduate Certificate in Applied Statistics

The Graduate Certificate Program in Applied Statistics (GCAS) is primarily designed to provide a companion credential for students in other graduate programs (including Mathematics) who have demonstrated expertise in methods and techniques for the quantitative analysis and modeling of data.

Graduate programs that share a common interest in the application of statistical methods to the analysis of data and the solutions of problems include: Psychology, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Economics, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Engineering and Technology Management, Environmental Sciences and Resources, Mechanical Engineering, Political Sciences, Sociology, Urban Studies, Systems Science.  However, the GCAS program equally serves those who want to pursue just the graduate certificate. 


Program Prerequisites

Prospective students must have a basic preparation in mathematics and statistics and in a particular disciplinary field that would allow for advanced work in statistical methods as well as applications in one or more content areas. This preparation must be demonstrated by the completion of calculus-based courses in probability and distribution theory. A background in basic statistical methodology is assumed. Prerequisites for the GCAS are: 3 terms of calculus (MTH 251-253), linear algebra (MTH 261), and a statistical methods course (STAT 452/552). As the sequence STAT 551,552 is a prerequisite, it is not applicable toward program requirements.

In addition to program prerequisites, applicants must meet the university's minimum admission requirements including English language proficiency.

Application Deadline

This program currently offers rolling admissions for fall, winter, and spring terms. The application closes 2 weeks before the term starts.

For students new to PSU or not currently admitted to a graduate program at PSU

Please refer to the Application Instructions if you are not currently admitted to another graduate program at PSU.

For current graduate students at PSU

If you wish to add the certificate to your current degree program, please submit a GO-19 Request for Change of Major form and unofficial transcripts (showing you've met the program prerequisites) to the graduate program administrator in the Mathematics + Statistics Department. Currently, forms are accepted by email to

Cost and Funding

Refer to the University Student Finance web page for tuition and financial aid information.  

Graduate certificate programs are ineligible for a graduate teaching assistantship.

Program Goals, Objectives

Many graduate programs include a research methods component that requires the student to acquire some exposure to statistical methods as the basis for the design of experiments and analysis of data. The Graduate Certificate in Applied Statistics (GCAS) goes well beyond those requirements -- the student develops both a depth of understanding of methods and a breadth of application across disciplines. It is expected that a student who earns this certificate would be capable of performing sophisticated statistical analysis and modeling for problems within his or her particular discipline. They would also be expected to be able to access and understand consultation with professional statisticians and provide consultation in the application of statistical methods for research purposes and in the solution of practical problems. The goal of the GCAS program is a coordinated plan for which students will be assured of exposure to statistical techniques needed in most applications.

Course Requirements

This Graduate Certificate credential may be completed with a minimum of 24 credit hours of statistical graduate coursework with no comprehensive exam, while the MS in Statistics requires more extensive coursework and examinations. The certificate requires the successful completion of course work distributed as three components.

Applied statistics core sequence (9 credits)

The goal of this sequence is to introduce students to fundamentals of applied statistics.  The three-term core course sequence:
STAT 564 Applied Regression Analysis (3 credits) 
STAT 565 Experimental Design: Theory and Methods I (3 credits)
STAT 566 Experimental Design: Theory and Methods II (3 credits)

Statistical consulting (3 credits)

STAT 570 Statistical Consulting (3 credits) provides experience in dealing with real statistical problems.  Please note that this course is only offered during spring term.

Additional applied statistics courses (minimum 12 credits)

The objective is developing a breadth of knowledge in the application of statistical methods within the discipline and in related areas. A minimum of 12 additional hours chosen from the list of theory and interdisciplinary courses below. Please note that 510/610 courses and STAT 551, 552 are not acceptable toward the certificate.

Theory Courses
Course Number Course Title
Mth 667 Stochastic Processes and Probability Theory I
Mth 668 Stochastic Processes and Probability Theory II
Mth 669 Stochastic Processes and Probability Theory III
Stat 561 Mathematical Statistics I
Stat 562 Mathematical Statistics II
Stat 563 Mathematical Statistics III
Stat 661 Advanced Mathematical Statistics I
Stat 662 Advanced Mathematical Statistics II
Stat 663 Advanced Mathematical Statistics III
Stat 664 Theory of Linear Models I
Stat 665 Theory of Linear Models II
Stat 666 Theory of Linear Models III
Stat 671 Statistical Learning I
Stat 672 Statistical Learning II
Stat 673 Statistical Learning III
Additional Applied Statistics Interdisciplinary Courses
Course Number Course Title
CE 566 / ESM 566 Environmental Data Analysis
CS 545 Machine Learning
Ec 572 Time Series Analysis and Forecasts
Ec 575 Applied Advanced Econometrics
ME 588 Design of Industrial Experiments
PA 551 Analytic Methods in Public Administration I
PA 552 Analytic Methods in Public Administration II
Psy 523 Structural Equation Modeling
Psy 524 Research Design in Applied Psychology
Soc 593 Quantitative Methods
Soc 597 Applied Survey Research
Stat 567 Applied Probability I
Stat 568 Applied Probability II
Stat 571 Applied Multivariate Statistical Analysis
Stat 572 Bayesian Statistics
Stat 573 Computer Intensive Methods in Statistics
Stat 576 Sampling Theory and Methods
Stat 577 Categorical Data Analysis
Stat 578 Survival Analysis
Stat 580 Nonparametric Methods
USP 532 Data Collection


Students are encouraged to meet with their adviser at the beginning of their program and consult with them regularly throughout their program. Please contact the GCAS program adviser during the term prior to the term of anticipated graduation to confirm that all program requirements have been completed. Instructions for applying to graduate as well as graduate deadlines can be found on the Graduate School web site.


A student must have a minimum 3.00 GPA on the courses applied to the program of study, as well as a minimum 3.00 GPA in all graduate-level courses taken at PSU. Although grades of C+, C, and C- are below the graduate standard, they may be counted as credit toward a graduate certificate with the specific written approval of the department if taken at PSU after the term of formal admission to the graduate program.

Graduate Policies and Procedures

Students are responsible for knowing University-level graduate policies and procedures for obtaining the degree. These policies and procedures are in Graduate Studies section of the University Bulletin. Several of the most frequently asked about University-level graduate policies and procedures can also be found on the Graduate School web site.