Statistics, Accelerated AB/AM

Master's Candidacy

To earn a master’s degree at Washington University, a student must complete all courses required by their department; maintain satisfactory academic progress; fulfill all academic and residence requirements; and file an Intent to Graduate. For a general layout of master’s degree general requirements in Arts & Sciences, including an explanation of Satisfactory Academic Progress, students should review the Master’s Degree Academic Information page of the Arts & Sciences Bulletin.

Program Requirements

  • Total Units Required: 36 units
  • Degree Length: Two additional semesters
    • Note: Students must be enrolled in 9 graduate credits each semester to retain full-time status. As students complete their course work, if enrolled in fewer than 9 graduate credits, they must enroll in a specific Arts & Sciences graduate course that will show 0 units but does count as full-time status. Students should connect with their department to ensure proper enrollment prior to Add/Drop.

Statistics, Accelerate AB/AM

General Information: The Office of Graduate Studies in Arts & Sciences has an accelerated AB/Master's program in which highly qualified undergraduate majors can earn both the AB and AM degrees with two additional semesters of work (usually a total of five years). The department offers an AM degree in statistics. 

This program is only for Washington University undergraduates who, if they participate, must do so in the academic year immediately following graduation (no deferments). According to the Office of Graduate Studies in Arts & Sciences, eligibility requires having completed the AB degree from Arts & Sciences (which would rule out, for example, a second major whose degree is from the McKelvey School of Engineering).

The application deadline (subject to change by the Office of Graduate Studies in Arts & Sciences) is the March 15 before beginning the AM program in the fall semester following the completion of the Washington University AB degree. Note that the application is made through the department, which forwards it to the Office of Graduate Studies in Arts & Sciences. Since relevant people in the department might not be available much during the summer months, it is best for students to complete the application by the end of the semester's classes.

General requirements: There are 36 units of course work required and an optional thesis; 3 units may be for thesis research. The minimum residence requirement is one full academic year of graduate study. A GPA of B (3.0) or better must be maintained in the graduate courses.

Optional thesis requirements: To be eligible for the thesis option, a student must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher in the first 18 units of courses satisfying the program requirements.

Required Courses

The program allows participants to count up to 15 units of 400-/500-level course work earned during the four years of undergraduate study (with grades of B or better) toward the AM course requirements. (The point of the 15-unit limit is to avoid having majors push so much specialized work into the AB years that they limit their opportunities to do the exploration outside of the major that an undergraduate should do.) Counting these 15 units makes it possible to finish the master's requirements in one additional year, but the program is still fast-paced and requires a lot of intense work and careful planning.

Careful course selection throughout the undergraduate program is required. Usually, the department will not recommend that the Office of Graduate Studies, Arts & Sciences, admit a major to this program unless the 15 applicable units of 400-/500-level work will be completed by the time of graduation. In addition, the department expects applicants to have backgrounds comparable to students admitted to the regular master's programs.

The student must take (or have taken) the following six required courses in statistics or their equivalents:

One of the following two sequences:

SDS 5010
SDS 5020
and Mathematical Statistics
or SDS 5061
SDS 5062
Theory of Statistics I
and Theory of Statistics II
Total Units6


SDS 5071Advanced Linear Models I3
or SDS 5130 Linear Statistical Models
SDS 5210Statistical Computation3
SDS 5310Bayesian Statistics3
SDS 591Practical Training in Statistics0
Total Units9

If an equivalent course has been taken and proficiency in the course material has been demonstrated, other 500-level and above electives may be substituted in consultation with the advisor. Additional 500-level or higher electives will be chosen by the student in consultation with their advisor to make up the 36 units. Typically, at most three electives shall be chosen from outside the Department of Statistics and Data Science.

Information about fundamental courses and eligible electives is available on the Master's Degree Program Structure page of the Department of Statistics and Data Science website.

Applying to the Program

The Department of Statistics and Data Science asks that interested majors apply to the program by the end of the fall semester of the senior year. If accepted, they must begin the program in the fall semester immediately after graduation: no deferred admissions are allowed by the Office of Graduate Studies, Arts & Sciences.

Students should fill out the application form found on the Department of Statistics and Data Science website and make an appointment to meet with the Administrative Assistant for the department's graduate programs, Mary Ann Stenner, in Cupples I, Room 100. She will clarify the rest of the procedure for students, which includes submitting the application for department consideration and getting the required signatures from the Chair of the Graduate Committee. If the department approves the application, Ms. Stenner will submit it to the Office of Graduate Studies, Arts & Sciences, which will make the final decision.

International Students

For students in the United States on a visa as undergraduates, staying on to complete an AM creates a change in visa status, which will involve reapplication paperwork. Interested students should check on the details with an international student advisor at the Office for International Students and Scholars.

Contact Info

Contact:José E. Figueroa-López