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Undergraduate Program


BA in Statistical Science

BS in Statistical Science
  Applied Statistics
  Probability and Statistics

BS in Actuarial Science

BS and MS in Actuarial Science

BS in Financial Mathematics
and Statistics

Minor in Statistical Science

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South HallFrequently Asked Questions

Q & A with a Peer Advisor



Q: Why would anyone ever want to major in statistics?


A: First of all, statistics is an integral part of any science, from engineering to sociology. A degree or a minor in statistics will equip you with tools that you will be able to use later on. It is not simply number-crunching; statistics is a creative and challenging science.

Second of all, for those who are mathematically inclined, statistics is a wonderful alternative to math or economics (and not too many students know about it).

And the big reason, of course, is salary. And actuaries, consistently rated as one of the top ten professions, can make $150,000+!!!


Q: What's the difference between the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and the Bachelor of Science (B.S.)?

A: The B.A. in statistical science is a general statistics degree intended for students interested in general training in statistics and the use of statistical methods in the social and decision sciences. It is suitable as a terminal baccalaureate degree, or as preparation for advanced training in business administration, management science, or operations research.

The B.S. in statistical science is a /specialized statistics/ degree intended for students interested in the use of statistical theory and methods in the biological, physical, and technological sciences. It is suitable as a terminal baccalaureate degree, or as preparation for advanced training in applied statistics, or probability and statistics. Students interested in applications of mathematics and statistics to risk management and insurance,should consider a separate specialized degree of BS in Actuarial Science.

The preparations for both majors are identical (lower-divison requirements). Upon completing all lower-division requirements, B.S. students must complete 52 upper-division units, while B.A. students must complete 40 upper-division units. B.S. students are required to choose an upper-division concentration and are required to take particular courses that pertain to that concentration. B.A. students, on the other hand, have the option to pursue a less-focused and more general approach to statistics, and correspondingly have more freedom to choose their classes. For both B.A. and B.S. students, the classes that may be chosen to fulfill both lower and upper-division requirements are described in detail in the undergraduate brochure

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Q: I want to get a B.S.. But what's a "concentration"?

A: All B.S. majors will be required to take PSTAT 120 A-B-C, PSTAT 122, and PSTAT 126. In addition, all B.S. majors will be required to choose one of the two concentrations: Applied Statistics or Probability and Statistics. Each concentration has a list of classes attributed to them, and the student must choose their classes accordingly to attain that degree. Applied Statistics is the right choice for students seeking a career in industry or advanced graduate studies in wide variety of fields. Some students, interested to pursue doctoral degree in the areas related to probability and statistics, might prefer the Probability and Statistics concentration for its flexibility; faculty advisor typically helps students to make a proper choice.

If you are interested in the B.S. program, come into the department (South Hall, 5607 A), and simply state that you are interested in the B.S. program and would like info on selecting an emphasis so that a program of study can be made for you.

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Q: I want to find out more about being an actuary.

A: Starting Fall 2010 UCSB offeres a Bachelor of Science (BS)degree in Actuarial Science. For more info on what an actuary is, or for information on the program itself, please visit program website.

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Q: I want to double major in statistics and something else.

A: With the approval of each department chairperson, up to 8 units of overlap may be applied simultaneously to both UPPER DIVISION majors.

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Q: What are the prerequisites for PSTAT 120A?

A: The prerequisite for PSTAT 120A will be MATHEMATICS 3A-B-C or equivalent

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Q: I got below a C in one of my required classes, do I still get credit towards my major/minor?

A: You must maintain a 2.0 (a C average) in your upper-division courses as well as all major courses. It is possible to receive a low (passing) grade and still be above a 2.0. Also, classes in a series (such as the 120 series) may require that you receive a C or better before continuing on to the next one. If your overall GPA or your UD GPA are below 2.0, or the class is a prerequisite for another class (where it is clearly specified that you must get a C or better), then you should repeat the class if possible. Otherwise, anything above an F will give you credit for that class, and you may continue on. (Leaving a low grade on your transcript is not recommended, especially if you are considering graduate school.)

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Q: Can I substitute a class that I have taken for one of my major requirements?

A: It is entirely possible if the class sufficiently covers the same material. It is permissible only by petition to the department chair and dean. You can pick up a petition in the Letters and Science office in Cheadle Hall. (For example, students who are changing majors from computer science to statistics often find that some of the computer classes that they have taken may satisfy the statistics' CS requirement.)

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Q: Who do I contact for more help?

A: The Undergraduate Program Advisor for the Statistics Department. You can visit the department (South Hall 5607H) Monday thru Friday 9-12, 1-4, or you can contact her by either of the following...

Phone: (805) 893-2129

E-Mail: undergradinfo@pstat.ucsb.edu

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Statistics & Applied Probability
University of California
Santa Barbara, California 93106-3110
(805) 893-2129
South Hall 5607A
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