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Do you have an analytical mind? Does solving the mystery of seemingly random numbers information into contextual data sound interesting to you? If so, you should get a statistics degree and embark on a career that uses the strength of your mathematical aptitudes. Now, you might be asking “is a degree in statistics worth it?” because it doesn’t sound like the most exciting of roles. The answer to that question is, yes.

A degree in statistics is very much worth earning due to the fact it’s a role that is always in demand. Statistics are used in many areas of the economy which means that you’ll be able to find employment in a field that interests you and have the opportunity to apply your skills on a daily basis. It’s a good time to get started on a bachelor’s degree in statistics. Job growth in the field means demand will outstrip supply of qualified individuals for some time, and graduates are well-positioned to gain entry into their chosen area of employment.

Methodology: Ranking the Best Undergraduate Statistics Programs

To rank the best statistics programs in America, Bachelor’s Degree Center editors focused their research on accredited, trusted institutions so students could feel confident their degree would pay off. Programs are ranked according to their tuition cost, reputation, and potential salary.

1. Lehigh University

Lehigh University offers a BS in Statistics that offers degree candidates an academic emphasis in actuarial science. Lehigh University’s best undergraduate statistics programs explore the principles in data collection design, which allows for the formation and interpretation of valid conclusions. These best statistics programs from Lehigh include core classes in the theory of probability, statistical computing, mathematical statistics, and linear models in statistics, plus a statistic capstone project, to name a few.

Lehigh University (Lehigh) was established in 1865 as a research school. Lehigh University’s motto is Man, the servant, and the interpreter of nature. Lehigh University is home to approximately 6,850 students.

What We Like: Alumni from Lehigh University include National Medial of Science winners, Pulitzer Prize winners, and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient.

Degree: BS in Statistics

2. Carnegie Mellon University

The Department of Statistics at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) offers one of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s best statistics programs with its undergraduate degree in statistics. Carnegie Mellon University’s best undergraduate statistics programs offer several academic concentrations in State ML (Machine Learning), Econ State (Economics), Math Stat, and Stat Neuro. Classes for Carnegie Mellon University’s baccalaureate statistics degree include calculus, multivariate analysis, matrix algebra, statistical inference, and probability, to name a few. Many CMU statistical majors pursue graduate and doctoral level degrees once completing their undergraduate studies.

Carnegie Mellon University (Carnegie Mellon) was established as a technical school by Andrew Carnegie in 1900. Approximately 15,250 students attend classes offered by Carnegie Mellon University’s seven colleges/schools.

What We Like: Carnegie Mellon University combined the Mellon Institute with Carnegie Technical School in the late 1960s.

Degree: BS in Statistics

3. University of Washington

The University of Washington’s Statistics Department offers a BS degree in Statistics that requires degree candidates to finish 180 semester units. The best undergraduate statistics programs offered by the University of Washington requires a minimum of 65 credits from the statistics curriculum. Specific core classes for the University of Washington’s best statistics programs include linear algebra, mathematical reasoning, differential equations, probability theory, and applied statistics, to name a few. Students may apply for transfer credit directly with the Statistics Department.

The University of Washington is a sea-grant and space-grant higher learning institution that was established in 1861. About 47,850 students attend classes offered by the University of Washington on its three campuses and through the school’s distance learning platform.

What We Like: The University of Washington was established about a quarter-century prior to becoming a state.

Degree: BS in Statistics

4. Purdue University

The Department of Statistics at Purdue University offers a baccalaureate degree in statistics that explores the computation study of chance & data. Purdue University’s best undergraduate statistics programs also offer degree candidates an opportunity to study abroad. These best statistics programs provide two academic tracks – applied statistics and mathematical statistics. Students can also apply to Purdue University’s honors program for statistics majors. Classes for this undergraduate degree include numerical methods, intro to the analysis of algorithms, statistical theory, data mining/machine learning, relationship database systems, and large scale data analytics, to name a few.

Purdue University (Purdue) is a land-grant, flagship school that was established in 1869. Purdue offers its approximately 44,100 students more than 200 graduate and undergraduate degree programs.

What We Like: Purdue University is honored to have among its alumni more than two dozen astronauts.

Degree: BS in Statistics

5. University of Michigan

The Statistics Department at the University of Michigan offers a bachelor’s degree in statistics that is recognized as one of Michigan’s best statistics programs. These best statistical programs from the University of Michigan focus on empirical research, computational statistics, statistical theory, applied statistics, and statistical techniques. Classes for the University of Michigan’s best undergraduate statistics programs include computation methods in statistics & data science, applied regression analysis, topics in biostatistics, Bayesian analysis, statistical principles for problem solving, applied quantitative research methods, and effective communication, among others.

The University of Michigan (UMich) is a space-grant and sea-grant school that was founded in 1817. The University of Michigan’s student enrollment is approximately 45,850.

What We Like: As the state’s oldest university, the University of Michigan was founded prior to the state achieving statehood.

Degree: BS in Statistics

6. University of Florida

The University of Florida offers two of Florida’s best undergraduate statistics programs with its BS degree and BA degree in Statistics. Students enrolled in UF’s best statistics programs are required to finish 120 semester units to graduate. The core curriculum for the University of Florida’s baccalaureate degree in statistics includes categorical data analysis, statistic theory, time series & forecasting, sample survey design, the design of experiments, honors calculus, analytic geometry, and regression analysis, to name a few.

The University of Florida (Florida) was established under the Morrill Act as a land-grant school in 1853. The University of Florida is a member school of the state’s university system with a student enrollment of about 56,600 students.

What We Like: The University of Florida is organized into sixteen colleges/schools and is among the top ten largest schools based on student attendance.

Degree: BA or BS in Statistics

7. University of Wisconsin

The Statistics Department at the University of Wisconsin Madison offers two of Wisconsin’s UF’s best statistics programs with its Bachelor Arts degree and its Bachelor of Science degree in statistics. Each of the University of Wisconsin’s best undergraduate statistics programs requires students to finish 120 semester units to graduate. The BA degree in statistics requires a more highly developed foreign language requirement. Classes for this baccalaureate degree program include analytic geometry, trigonometry, elementary matrix, and linear algebra, differential equations, data modeling, applied statistics for engineers, and applied regression analysis, to name a few.

The University of Wisconsin (U of W) is a sea-grant school that was established in 1848 and is also known as a public ivy league university. The student enrollment at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, is approximately 44,400.

What We Like: Scientists at the University of Wisconsin have been responsible for the discovery of vitamin A and vitamin B.

Degree: BS in Statistics

8. North Carolina State University

North Carolina State University’s Statistics Department offers a bachelor’s degree in statistics that is considered as one of North Carolina’s best undergraduate statistics programs. Students enrolled in North Carolina State’s best statistics programs must finish 120 semester units to graduate. Classes for this baccalaureate degree in statistics from NC State include statistical programming, regression analysis, experimental design, survey sampling, data management, and introduction to statistical computing & data management, to name a few. Students graduating from North Carolina’s statistics degree enter the workforce in the areas of data science, business analytics, statistical genetics, biostatistics, and theoretical statistics, to name a few.

North Carolina State University (NCSU) was established as a research and land grant higher learning institution in 1887 with a student enrollment of about 36,250. North Carolina State University is one of the three research schools in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area.

What We Like: North Carolina State University is also a space-grant and sea-grant university.

Degree: BS in Statistics

9. University of California, Santa Barbara

The University of California, Santa Barbara Department of Statistics & Applied Probability offers several of California’s best undergraduate statistics programs. Students have the opportunity to select from these best statistics programs from UC Santa Barbara – a BA or BS in Statistics & Data Science or a choice of BS degrees in Financial Mathematics & Statistics or a BS in Actuarial Science. Degree candidates are also afforded opportunities to participate in undergraduate research with a network of professionals and professors.

The University of California, Santa Barbara was established under the Morrill Act as a school in 1909. The University of California Santa Barbara’s student enrollment is approximately 26,340 students, and the university is the 3rd oldest of the university system of California’s member schools.

What We Like: The school operates ten separate nationally-ranked research centers.

Degree: BS in Statistics and Data Science

10. University of Georgia

The Franklin College of Arts & Sciences Statistics Department at the University of Georgia (UGA) offers a Bachelor of Science degree (BS) in statistics that is considered among the best undergraduate statistics programs available in the marketplace. Classes for these best statistics programs from the University of Georgia include mathematical statistics, applied linear algebra, regression analysis, experimental design, and statistical programming, plus a statistical culminating capstone project. Degree candidates have the option of studying for a dual degree program that allows this BS degree to be paired with a graduate degree in educational psychology (quantitative methodology), statistics, or business analytics.

The University of Georgia (Georgia) is a land-grant, sea-gran, sun-grant, and space-grant institution of higher education that was established in 1785. The flagship campus in Georgia is home to approximately 38,910 students.

What We Like: The University of Georgia is recognized among the oldest of all higher learning institutions in the United States and in Georgia.

Degree: BS in Statistics

11. Wake Forest University

Wake Forest University Mathematics & Statistics Department (WFU) offers two of North Carolina’s best undergraduate statistics programs with its Bachelor of Arts degree (BA) and its Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Statistics. Coursework for these best statistics programs from Wake Forest University includes statistical inference, linear models, discrete mathematics, statistical models, and calculus with analytic geometry, to name a few. An honors degree is available to those enrolled in Wake Forest University’s baccalaureate degree program if students maintain a minimum of a 3.5 GPA in the major of statistics.

Wake Forest University (Wake Forest) is a private school that was established in 1834 as a labor institute. Wake Forest University’s campus in Winston – Salem is home to approximately 8,500 students.

What We Like: Wake Forest University was founded by Baptists but currently operates as a nonsectarian institution of higher education.

Degree: BS in Statistics

12. University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

The University of Minnesota offers two of Minnesota’s best statistics programs with its Bachelor of Arts degree (BA) program in Statistical Practice and its Bachelor of Science degree (BS) program in statistical science. Degree candidates in both best undergraduate statistics programs student the many ways to measure and control uncertainty principles. Note: however, that the Bachelor of Science degree in statistics from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities does not require degree candidates to complete a foreign language requirement.

The University of Minnesota (UM Twin Cities) is a multiple campus university that was established under the Morrill Act in 1851. Each of the campuses is located only a few miles from one another, with a total student enrollment of approximately 49,150 students.

What We Like: Renowned alumni of the University of Minnesota includes Vice Presidents Walter Mondale and Hubert Humphrey, and Bob Dylan.

Degree: BS in Statistical Science or BA in Statistical Practice

13. University of California, San Diego

The University of California, San Diego offers some of California’s best undergraduate statistics programs with its baccalaureate degree in Probability and Statistics. Students enrolled in these best statistics programs from the University of California San Diego often choose to pursue graduate statistical studies. Classes for this undergraduate statistics degree from the University of California at San Diego include linear algebra, honors calculus, engineering computation, and Java – at an accelerated pace, to name a few.

The University of California, San Diego was established in 1960 as a sea-grant and space-grant institution of higher education. This member school of the state’s university system is home to approximately 40,450 students.

What We Like: The University of California is a high research school with nearly twenty separate research facilities, including a supercomputer center and the brain and mind institute.

Degree: Probability and Statistics

14. California Polytechnic State University

California Polytechnic State University offers a BS in Statistics that is ranked among California’s best statistics programs. The coursework for Cal Poly’s best undergraduate statistics programs includes estimation & sampling theory, statistics I& II, linear algebra, the discipline of statistics, mathematical statistics, and applied linear models, and intro to probability & simulation, to name a few. Degree candidates must finish 180 semester units to graduate, of which 60 semester units of upper level statistical coursework.

California Polytechnic (Cal Poly) was established in 1901 and is now a space-grant university. More than 21,150 students attend classes on the school’s main 1,200+ acre campus vying for nearly 100 academic degrees offered by Cal Poly’s six colleges/schools.

What We Like: California Polytechnic State University’s first classes were held in 1903 with only twenty students.

Degree: BS in Statistics

15. Baylor University

The Statistical Science Department at Baylor University offers a BS degree – a Bachelor of Science degree in Statistics that offers an academic concentration in actuarial science. Baylor University’s best undergraduate statistics programs also include a minor and a graduate degree program. Classes for these best statistics programs include statistical reasoning, introduction to computing for the mathematical and statistical sciences, probability & statistics, regression analysis, and Bayesian data analysis, to name a few. Degree candidates must also complete a culminating capstone project in statistics as well as participate in ongoing research, with the supervision of a faculty member at Baylor University.

Baylor University (Baylor) is a private higher learning institution that was established before Texas reached statehood in 1845. Baylor’s Waco campus is home to about 19,260 students.

What We Like: Baylor University holds the distinction of being the longest-running (continuously) school in the Lone Star State.

Degree: BS in Statistics

16. Case Western Reserve University

Case Western Reserve University offers two of Ohio’s best undergraduate statistics programs. Case Western Reserve University’s best statistics programs with its Bachelor of Arts degree (BA) program in statistics and its Bachelor of Science degree (BS) in statistics. Core classes for these undergraduate degrees in statistics from Case Western include differential equations, calculus for science & engineering, data analysis & linear models, linear algebra, and theoretical statistics I & II.

Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) is the combination of two existing schools that was created in 1967. The Cleveland campus that is Case Western Reserve University covers more than 525 acres and is home to approximately 11,750 students.

What We Like: Case Western Reserve University’s programs are often partnered with nearby education, cultural and medical facilities like the museum of art, the Cleveland Clinic, and the music institute, among others.

Degree: BA or BS in Statistics

17. University of California, Davis

The University of California, Davis offers two of California’s best undergraduate statistics programs with its Bachelor of Science degree program (BS) in Statistics. Students enrolled in UC Davis’ best statistics programs have the option of four academic tracks, the general track, the computational statistics track, the statistical data science track, and the applied statistics track. The University of California Davis offers degree candidates student abroad opportunities in Hong Kong or Berlin, plus a number of virtual internships worldwide.

UC Davis was established under the Morrill Act in 1905. UC Davis is one of the member schools that comprise the state’s university system. The University of California Davis’s campus is home to approximately 21,450 students.

What We Like: The University of California at Davis is home to the country’s largest academic veterinarian program.

Degree: BS in Statistics

18. College of the Holy Cross

The College of the Holy Cross’s Mathematics & Computer Science Department offers one of New England’s best statistics programs with its baccalaureate degree program in mathematics that offers an academic minor in statistics. The best undergraduate statistics programs from Holy Cross College allows students to explore the methods of drawing insight from large amounts of data. Advanced coursework for the minor includes categorical data analysis and linear modeling. The statistics minor is a great degree that augments degrees in economics, psychology, biology, math, computer science, or sociology.

The College of the Holy Cross was first founded as a boy’s school in 1843. As a Jesuit institution of higher education, the College of the Holy Cross is home to approximately 3,150 students.

What We Like: The College of the Holy Cross holds the distinction of being the oldest of all Catholic higher learning institutions in New England.

Degree: BS in Statistics

19. Penn State

The Eberly Science College at Pennsylvania State University offers a BS in Statistics that is among the nation’s best undergraduate statistics programs. Penn State’s best statistics programs offer students several academic tracks in actuarial statistics, biostatistics, or applied statistics. Statisticians find rewarding careers across sectors in manufacturing, public health, labor, and education, to name a few industries. Degree candidates are required to finish 124 semester credits, of which 80 – 95 credits must be from the statistics curriculum. Classes for this degree include analysis of variance, regression analysis, matrices, vector analysis, and probability theory, among others.

Pennsylvania State University (PSU) is a sun-grant, space-grant, sea-grant, and land-grant institution of higher learning that was established in 1855, which makes Pennsylvania State University one of two schools publicly-run with all designations.

What We Like: Pennsylvania State University operates nineteen campuses across the state that serve approximately 95,950 students.

Degree: BS in Statistics

20. University of South Florida

The University of South Florida offers a BA in Statistics that prepares students for rewarding careers in biostatistics, research, industrial sciences, and actuarial science. Students enrolled in USF’s best undergraduate statistics programs must finish 120 semester units to graduate, with 31 semester credits devoted to the statistics curriculum. Classes for these best statistics programs include engineering calculus, sample survey design, nonparametric statistical methods, computational methods for applied statistics, intro probability, mathematical statistics, and calculus I, II, & III.

The University of South Florida (USF) was established in 1956 as a space-grant university. With a student enrollment that exceeds 51,550 students, the University of South Florida is among the largest public universities in the nation.

What We Like: The University of South Florida maintains three campuses in Sarasota, Tampa, and Saint Petersburg.

Degree: BA in Statistics

21. University of Rochester

The University of Rochester offers a BA in Statistics, a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Mathematics & Statistics, and a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Statistics that is recognized among the Empire State’s best undergraduate statistics programs. These best statistics programs from the University of Rochester includes core coursework in classes like multidimensional Calculus, applied statistics, Bayesian Inference, linear models, data structures & algorithms, and introduction to probability, to name a few. The BA in statistics is the major often chosen to combine with a degree in economics, business, or computer science, among others.

The University of Rochester (Rochester) is a private university that was established in 1850. The university’s campus covers both suburban and urban acreage and is home to approximately 12,150 students.

What We Like: The University of Rochester’s must collection is among the largest collections in the country.

Degree: BA or BS in Statistics, BA in Mathematics & Statistics

22. Florida State University

Florida State University’s Statistics Department offers a baccalaureate degree in statistics that is recognized among the Sunshine State’s best undergraduate statistics programs. These best statistics programs include classes in statistics through examples, fundamental business statistics, statistical for biology, and computational methods in statistics, to name a few. Students must complete all coursework with a minimum grade of C-. Florida State University’s undergraduate statistics degree program offers internship opportunities across the nation, include Biogen in Cambridge, MA, the Institute for Health Metrics in Seattle, WA, and an Air Force Research Lab program, to name a few.

Florida State University (FSU) was established in 1851 and operates as a space-grant and sea-grant university. Florida State’s campus in the state’s capital is home to approximately 41,450 students.

What We Like: US News & World Report recognizes Florida State University among the top twenty public schools in their national school category.

Degree: BS in Statistics

23. Carleton College

Carleton College’s Math & Statistics Department offers a baccalaureate degree in statistics that is ranked among the state’s best undergraduate statistics programs. Students enrolled in Carleton College’s best statistics programs take classes in applied regression analysis, introduction to statistical inference, time series analysis, advanced statistical modeling, and intro to sampling techniques, among others. Within the Math & Statistics Department are course pattern to help students match study paths with career objectives that include high school teaching applied math, operations research, actuarial science, engineering, biological science, or social sciences.

Carleton College (CC) is a liberal arts higher learning institution that was founded in 1866. The college’s campus in Northfield is home to approximately 2,500 students, mostly studying liberal arts degree.

What We Like: Carleton College is recognized among the top school for undergraduate teaching in the nation.

Degree: BS in Statistics

24. Smith College

Smith College offers a baccalaureate degree in statistics that is recognized among the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ best statistics programs. Foundational classes for these best undergraduate statistics programs include multiple regression, introductory statistics, linear algebra, machine learning, distributed computing, and introduction to data science, among others. Additionally, each student enrolled in Smith College’s undergraduate degree in statistics will also complete a capstone experience to demonstrate real world applications of theoretical knowledge learned in the classroom and online.

Smith College (SC) is a private women’s school that was established in 1871. Smith College’s campus in small-town Northampton includes a botanical garden and a museum of art. About 3,000 students attend classes at Smith College.

What We Like: Smith College is a member school of the Seven Sisters Colleges and the Five College Consortium in the Pioneer Valley.

Degree: BS in Statistics

25. Southern Methodist University

Southern Methodist University offers a BS in Statistics that requires students to complete 42 semester credits in coursework from the statistics curriculum. Southern Methodist’s best undergraduate statistics programs include these core classes – Managerial Statistics, Statistical Computing, Consolidated Calculus, Statistical Methods for Engineers & Applied Scientists, and applied statistics: regression, to name a few. Students graduate from Southern Methodist University’s best statistics programs prepared for careers in research, statistical science, or data science, among many other options.

Southern Methodist University (SMU) was established in 1911 and operates additional facilities in Taos, NM, and Plano, Texas. Southern Methodist’s student enrollment is approximately 12,350 students across all campuses.

What We Like: Southern Methodist University’s game design graduate degree program has been ranked the finest by the Princeton Review for two consecutive years.

Degree: BS in Statistics

Is Statistics a Good Career?

A career in statistics is a very good career. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, in of itself a job that uses statisticians, reports that the median salary for mathematicians and statisticians was $92,030 for 2019. It’s estimated that demand will grow 33% between 2019 and 2029. That rate is much higher than the average job growth for the economy as a whole over that time period. Based on this information alone, a career in statistics is a very good one indeed. Growth in the field is being driven by the need for workers who can analyze the amount of data that’s being collected through digital sources such as the internet and smartphone apps.

When looking at statistics as a career, you’ll find that there are a number of options for employment that include private and public roles. Local, state and federal governments hire statisticians to handle taxes and population data while private employers have job positions that reach across a broad spectrum of industries and fields. Some careers in statistics include:

  • Database administrator
  • Economist
  • Financial analyst
  • Cost estimator
  • Market researcher
  • Actuary
  • Operations research analyst

Can I Get a Job with a Bachelor’s in Statistics?

Yes, you can find jobs with a degree in statistics at the bachelor’s level. You might hear that statistics jobs require a master’s degree in order to succeed, but the fact is, you need to gain experience in order to put your skills to the test. An internship can help you put what you’ve learned into use and help you find employment later, but the fact is, you can find employment with a bachelor’s in statistics.

Statistics is one of those areas of employment that require people with a high-level of thought process, the ability to interpret data with little room for interpretation, and higher mathematical skills than the average. Those who get a bachelor’s in statistics are typically employed in entry-level positions for statisticians. That’s not to say that the pay is entry level, but the salaries will reflect the fact that the statistician has little-to-no real world experience applying their skills.

Someone who has a bachelor’s in statistics shouldn’t be put off or feel insulted at the fact that they go to school for a bachelor’s and are considered entry level upon graduation. Statistics is a field that pays better once you gain experience and mastery of your skills. And there is always the option to return to school to earn graduate certificates or complete a master’s degree in order to boost your own skill sets and increase interest from employers.

Should I Get a Specialized Statistics Degree?

Areas of specialization in statistics give you the opportunity to build upon a particular strength you possess. You might find that you’re well-suited to determining risk in the financial industry or you’re good at data mining. Specialized statistics degrees are offered at the master’s degree level and allow you to refine your skills into a specific area of employment. However, there is always the risk, albeit small, of pigeonholing yourself and limiting your career choices if you go into a less-desirable area of specialization. The more you explore your options for entering a specialized area of statistics, the better your decision making process becomes.

Take the time to explore areas of specialization during your undergraduate studies. Learning about the different specializations helps you determine if it’s something that interests you or isn’t what you thought it would be. When you know the area of statistics that you prefer to focus on, you can more easily position yourself for a career in that area. You might find that you want to stay a generalized statistician and keep your employment opportunities wide open. Alternatively, you might find that specialization appeals to you and you know that, even though you face a narrower field of employment, you can always find a job because the odds are in your favor.

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