Contiguous Bachelor’s/Master’s Pathway

The Department of Statistics offers a Statistical Science Bachelor’s/Master's pathway. Undergraduate students with majors in computer science, economics, mathematics, and physics can apply to the pathway in order to earn a B.S. degree in their own major together with an M.S. degree in Statistical Science. Depending on the student’s progress, the B.S./M.S. pathway can be completed in five years.

Admission process to the contiguous pathway

Students must declare their interest in pursuing the B.S./M.S. contiguous pathway no later than their ninth quarter of study at UCSC, and more typically at the end of the sixth or seventh quarter of enrollment. All students who apply to the pathway will be admitted into it, provided they satisfy the requirements. However, approval of an undergraduate student into a five-year bachelor’s/master’s path does not automatically guarantee admission into the one-year master’s program. Students apply for admission into the M.S. program during their senior year using the same procedure and timeline as all other applicants to the program, and they will be considered for the M.S. program along with regular applicants. In addition to all other criteria used to evaluate M.S. applicants, students in the pathway will not be admitted into the M.S. program unless they achieve a grade of at least A- in both STAT 131 and STAT 132. This will be made clear to students admitted into the pathway, as early as possible.

Description of Requirements

Basic requirements: Students pursuing the contiguous pathway are expected to have a strong quantitative background. At the time they apply to the pathways they will be expected to have completed the following coursework:

To be admitted into the contiguous pathway, students must have completed this series of courses with an average GPA of 3.0 or above.

Advanced requirements: During their junior year (or before, if appropriate), students in the pathway will be expected to take two courses:

  • Calculus-based probability: STAT 131
  • Introduction to statistical inference: STAT 132

Students must obtain a grade no lower than A- in both courses to remain eligible for the pathway. A grade of A- or higher in STAT 131 will waive the M.S. requirement of taking STAT 203 (Introduction to Probability Theory). Instead of STAT 203, students in the pathway will need to take an additional elective course to satisfy the credit requirements for the M.S. program (see sample plan below). 

Students who pass STAT 131 and STAT 132 with a grade of C or higher but lower than A-, although not eligible to continue in the contiguous pathway to the MS, will still have the opportunity to complete a minor in statistics.

Senior year coursework: Students apply for admission into the M.S. program during their senior year using the same procedure and timeline as all other applicants to the program. In addition, during the senior year, students in the pathway will be required to take three graduate-level courses: 

  • Introduction to Statistical Data Analysis: STAT 204
  • Applied Bayesian Statistics: STAT 206
  • Intermediate Bayesian Statistical Modeling: STAT 207

Note that all three courses satisfy requirements for the Statistical Science M.S. program and therefore cannot be counted as part of the minimum 40 credits of upper division courses required by the undergraduate major.

Students who are accepted into the M.S. program but fail any of the three senior-year graduate courses will revert to the regular two-year M.S. timeline and will be allowed to retake them.

M.S. year coursework and capstone: Students will complete the remaining required courses (STAT 200, STAT 280B, STAT 205 and STAT 208) and electives (three, one of them in lieu of 203) for the M.S. program, as well as their capstone project, during their fifth year in the program. A student enrolled in the 4+1 contiguous program will complete a total of 45 credits in classroom courses, just like students in the standard M.S. program, with 15 of those credits having been completed as part of their undergraduate degree. 

If for any reason a student cannot complete the M.S. requirements during their fifth year, they will revert to the standard M.S. timeline. 

Sample Upper-Division and M.S. Coursework By Year

STAT 131 and STAT 132 are requirements to qualify for the program, but do not satisfy any M.S. requirement (except, in the case of STAT 131, waiving the requirement of taking STAT 203). An M.S. elective is required in lieu of STAT 203.

  Fall Winter  Spring
Jr  STAT 131 STAT 132   
Sr. STAT 204 STAT 206 STAT 207 
M.S. Year STAT 200
(3 credits)
STAT 205 STAT 208
M.S. elective M.S. elective STAT 296
(10 credits) 
M.S. elective STAT 296
(2 credits)