Statistics Degrees Online: 10 Best Values 2024

Reviewed by: Melissa Anderson
Reading level: Grade 9
Reading time: 10 minutes, 21 seconds
Original publication date: January 2016
Updates: 4

Key Takeaways:

  • Our #1 ranking school for the best value online statistics degree programs is Oklahoma State University, followed by the University of Houston.
  • The article emphasizes flexible online learning options, essential for working professionals, with costs below $21,000 annually.
  • The demand for statisticians is projected to grow 33% by 2029, highlighting the favorable job market for graduates.

This article profiles 10 best value colleges or universities for online statistics degree programs.

Featured Programs

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a favorable job outlook for statisticians. In fact, the overall employment should grow 33 percent through 2029. Businesses need workers to analyze the increasing volume of data within the organization. As that need grows, qualified individuals will be hired. Colleges and universities anticipate employment growth and provide opportunities to earn statistics degrees online. We researched schools offering online stats degree programs to find the best value.

Online Statistics Degree: 10 Best Values Methodology

We looked at approximately 50 colleges and universities listed by the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) College Navigator that offered online stats degree programs. We narrowed our original pool of schools to locate the 10 best value programs. We applied the following criteria to narrow our list:

  • Accreditation (both regional and national)
  • At least one master’s in statistics online or closely related discipline offered
  • Institution or program rankings with at least one major publication like U.S. News and World Report
  • Graduate tuition and fees less than $21,000 per year

We then listed the top 10 best value online degree in statistics programs according to raw affordability.

Below is our list of the 10 best values for statistics degrees online.

  • Michigan Technological University
  • University of South Carolina
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Louisville
  • Colorado State University
  • North Carolina State University
  • University of Kansas
  • University of Idaho
  • University of Houston
  • Oklahoma State University

#10 – Michigan Technological University

Online Master’s in Applied Statistics

Houghton, Michigan

Website
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $20,759

Michigan Tech offers a uniquely designed program that is highly flexible. With no GRE or GMAT required, applicants may transition seamlessly from work to school. With online courses, the program is even more flexible for working students seeking an online degree in statistics. The accelerated format is ideal for busy students. Four focus areas allow students to tailor their degree toward an interest area. Focus areas include:

  • Advanced Statistical Methods
  • Communication and Leadership
  • Programming and Technology
  • Real-World Problem-Solving

In addition to being fully accredited, MTU is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 153rd best national university.

Pros:

  • Challenging curriculum
  • Learning centers provide academic support

Cons:

  • Intense workload can cause stress
  • TAs teach a lot of the classes

#9 – University of South Carolina

Online Master’s in Applied Statistics

Columbia, South Carolina

Website
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,137

The University of South Carolina offers one of the top statistics degrees online for graduate students. The classes are available entirely online. There are opportunities for part-time study. They even have a non-degree-seeking “trial period” for indecisive students. Coursework for the online statistics degree covers both statistical theory and computing. There are concentrations available in:

  • Educational Statistics
  • Industrial Statistics
  • SAS Certification

Also, of note, the institution ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report and is fully accredited. Rankings with U.S. News include #118 in best national universities and #178 in best value schools.

Pros:

  • Student networking opportunities
  • Career guidance is available

Cons:

  • Limited financial aid availability
  • Competitive admissions process

#8 – University of Kentucky

Online Master of Applied Statistics

Lexington, Kentucky

Website
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,404

The University of Kentucky offers an accredited and affordable online stats degree. It is designed for graduate students seeking advanced skills in statistics. Using the latest “lightboard technology,” students earn their online degree in statistics at UK. Courses are delivered online and there are weekly “chats with professors”. This allows students to interact with their instructors. Courses cover topics like:

  • Computational Theory and Data Visualization
  • Regression Modeling
  • Foundations of Probability and Inference

The University of Kentucky is fully accredited and ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. These rankings include #133 in best national universities and #169 in best value schools.

Pros:

  • Highly ranked graduate programs
  • The word “online” does not appear on diplomas or transcripts from online programs

Cons:

  • Large class sizes
  • 4 year graduation rate is lower than the national average

#7 – University of Louisville

Online Master’s in Biostatistics

Louisville, Kentucky

Website
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,196

The online master’s in biostatistics at the University of Louisville is worth consideration. It is designed for professionals with a bachelor’s degree who aspire to advance their career or carve out a new one in biostatistics, data science, or statistics. Listed among the top online statistics programs on our list for affordability and value, UL’s program is also fully accredited. Courses are delivered online, adding to the program’s flexibility. These courses cover topics like:

  • Categorical Data Analysis
  • Clinical Trials
  • Mathematical Statistics
  • Public Health in the U.S.
  • Survival Analysis

Pros:

  • Offers credit for life experience
  • Student debt upon graduation is lower than the national average

Cons:

  • TAs teach many classes
  • Graduation rate is lower than the national average

#6 – Colorado State University

Online Master’s in Applied Statistics

Fort Collins, Colorado

Website
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,871

One of our list’s top online statistics programs is the master’s in Applied Statistics at Colorado State University. The program offers the training to become a highly sought-after expert in statistics and raw data translation. The program uses an asynchronous learning program. It provides recorded lectures, reading assignments, downloadable notes, and interactive discussion boards. Online degree statistics students meet requirements in just one year, including one summer term. The program offers two specializations that allow students to tailor their degree in:

  • Data Science
  • Statistical Science

Pros:

  • Has been called the “Harvard of the West”
  • Highly rated online programming

Cons:

  • Faculty apathy has been reported

#5 – North Carolina State University

Online Master’s in Statistics

Raleigh, North Carolina

Website
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,673

The online statistics degree program at NCSU prepares graduates for careers as statisticians. The program is designed for working professionals looking to further their study or move into a new phase in their professional life. The statistics degree online program requires the completion of 30 semester hours. This includes coursework in:

  • Fundamentals of Linear Models and Regression
  • Statistical Practice
  • Statistical Programming

Recent graduates work at various organizations like:

  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • The SAS Institute

According to U.S. News and World Report, NC State ranks #80 in best national universities.

Pros:

  • Accepts dual and AP credits
  • Offers a few highly-ranked graduate programs

Cons:

  • High student-to-faculty ratio
  • Acceptance rate is lower than the national average

#4 – University of Kansas

Online Master’s in Applied Statistics

Lawrence, Kansas

Website
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,045

The KU Edwards Campus at the University of Kansas offers an online stats degree. It is designed for graduate students seeking advanced skills and a promising career trajectory. The program also offers three areas of emphasis that allow students to tailor their degree toward their interests and goals. Emphasis areas include:

  • Analytics
  • Data Science
  • Statistics

Admission requirements require:

  • A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0
  • An earned bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university

In addition to offering a quality online degree statistics program, KU ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, KU’s rankings include #124 in best national universities and #112 in best value schools.

Pros:

  • Ranked by US News and World Report as a top public school
  • Large selection of online academic programming

Cons:

  • High student-to-faculty ratio
  • Graduation rate is lower than the national average

#3 – University of Idaho

Online Master’s in Statistical Science

Moscow, Idaho

Website
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,876

The University of Idaho offers an accredited and affordable online statistics degree. It is designed for graduate students seeking advanced statistics skills. U of I’s program prepares students through the completion of coursework, a thesis, or an internship. Students may elect to complete a thesis or follow the non-thesis track, which requires an internship. Courses are delivered online and cover topics like:

  • Computer Intensive Statistics
  • Experimental Design
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Sample Survey Methods

The University of Idaho ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 170th-best national university and 37th-best value school.

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Pros:

  • Strong sense of community
  • Accepts CLEP, dual, AP, and life experience credits

Cons:

  • Lack of diversity
  • TAs teach many classes

#2 – University of Houston

Online Master’s in Statistics and Data Science

Houston, Texas

Website
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,372

University of Houston’s online statistics programs include the MS in statistics and data science hybrid degree. While not fully a statistics degree online program, many classes are delivered in a flexible online format. Required courses cover topics like:

  • Applied Statistics and Multivariate Analysis
  • Deep Learning and Artificial Neural Networks
  • Linear Models and Experiments Design
  • Probability Models
  • Statistical Computing

What makes the UH online degree statistics program unique is the summer internship program that allows students to explore interests in the field. Also, of note, UH ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. Rankings include #176 in best national universities and #106 in best value schools.

Pros:

  • Diverse student body
  • Online program flexibility

Cons:

  • Some lack of communication with advisors have been reported
  • A lack of student support has been reported

#1 – Oklahoma State University

Online Master’s in Applied Statistics

Stillwater, Oklahoma

Website
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,460

The affordable online statistics degree at Oklahoma State University is a graduate program. It requires 32 credits of online study. For less than $8,500 per year, students may partake in the online statistics programs like the master’s in applied statistics. Core courses cover topics like:

  • Analytics
  • Experimental Data Analysis
  • Mathematical Statistics
  • Statistical Programming with SAS and R

All classes are delivered online and taught by OSU’s esteemed and experienced faculty. Admission requirements are standard; however, the GRE is required with no minimum score. Oklahoma State ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, rankings include #187 in best national universities and #150 in best value schools.

Pros:

  • Offers credit for life experience
  • Solid student support services

Cons:

  • TAs teach many courses
  • High student-to-faculty ratio

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Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do after earning a statistics degree online?

The statistician’s role in any industry or organization is to analyze data and apply statistical techniques. They help solve real-world challenges faced in business, healthcare, and other industries. With a statistics degree online, you will be able to pursue employment in a wide number of fields.

Statisticians work in various industries. We broke down the top industries employing statisticians and listed them below.

Colleges and universities: Statisticians work in postsecondary education. Job activities include

  • The study of theoretical concepts
  • Research to resolve unexplained issues in statistics
  • Exploration of statistical theories to increase knowledge of the field

Most colleges and universities require a PhD in statistics to work as a professor.

Government: Statisticians working in government agencies often develop and analyze survey data. These might include:

  • Wage reports
  • Unemployment rates
  • Other figures that impact a wide population of people.

Healthcare: Statisticians in health care are often referred to as biostatisticians. This specialized group of statisticians works in:

  • Hospitals
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Public health agencies

They are often part of the group that creates studies to test the effectiveness of drugs to treat disease or medical conditions.

Research and development: Statisticians working in R&D design experiments used for product testing and development.

What is the job outlook for individuals with a statistics degree online?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the overall employment of statisticians is expected to grow 34 percent through 2026. This highly favorable job growth is much better than the average for all other occupations.

Approximately 12,600 new jobs are expected to be added to the discipline as industries continue to strive to make more informed business, healthcare, and policy decisions. The large increase in jobs will open up new areas for analysis, which will call on the expertise of statisticians.

In addition, statisticians will be needed in areas of research and development. Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing industries will likely hire many statisticians for their growing R&D. Growth in these industries is likely due to the aging population and the development of new treatments and medical technologies. Specifically, biostatisticians will be required to conduct extensive research on clinical trials. Biostatisticians are an integral part of a company’s ability to gain approval for their products from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

As the demand for jobs increases, individuals with high levels of mathematical and statistical knowledge will be needed. Job opportunities are expected to be highly favorable for candidates with specialized programming, data analysis, and quantitative study skills. Earning a statistics degree online will set you apart from the competition for jobs.

How much will I earn with a statistics degree online?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median annual pay for statisticians was $87,780 in May 2018. Industry and experience impact pay, but BLS reports a favorable salary for statisticians. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $55,000 per year, and the highest 10 percent of earners made more than $139,350.

Also, BLS’s most recent report examined the top industries, by earnings, in which statisticians were employed. According to the research, the federal government paid the highest wage for statisticians. Individuals working as statisticians for the government earned $106,670 in median annual wages. The next top-paying industry was research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences. This industry paid statisticians an average median wage of $96,290. Next, insurance carriers and related activities paid statisticians $81,660 on average. The healthcare and social assistance industry was the next top-paying industry where statisticians earned $79,370 per year. The fifth top industry was colleges, universities, and professional schools, which paid statisticians $73,360.

Most statisticians work full-time, and most of the top-paying careers require a master’s degree in mathematics, statistics, or a closely related discipline. Also, employers often view education as experience, so individuals with a statistics degree online master’s have a higher earnings potential than those with only a bachelor’s.

What are the admissions requirements for master’s-level statistics degree online programs?

Admission requirements vary among statistics degree online programs. However, typical requirements exist and can be found among the vast majority of master’s in statistics online programs. The first standard requirement is undergraduate work. Most programs on our list require at least a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. In most cases, academic performance will be showcased in the submission of official transcripts, and GPA requirements may be stipulated.

For many top-tier statistics degree online programs, undergraduate GPA should exceed 3.0. Top programs may ask for an undergraduate GPA of 3.5, while other programs will accept an undergraduate GPA of 2.75. In addition, some of the nation’s top programs may ask for a 3.5 GPA on the last two years of undergraduate work. GPA requirements vary by program, so it is important to review admission criteria of your intended school prior to completing your undergraduate work.

In some cases, GRE or GMAT scores are required for admission. Top-ranked programs may ask for qualifying scores, while others may waive the graduate exam if the undergraduate GPA is above a certain level, such as 3.5 or 3.0. Not all programs ask for the GRE or GMAT. If you want to avoid the testing requirement, look for institutions that do not require graduate testing for admission.

How long does it take to earn a statistics degree online?

To earn a statistics degree online, you should expect to spend at least two years in school. However, program length depends on enrollment, as well as other factors.

The typical master’s in statistics online degree program requires two years on average, though some programs may require less time. Enrollment status impacts completion time. For instance, if you enroll as a part-time student, you can expect to spend more time completing your degree. But if you enroll as a full-time student, your completion time can be cut shorter. Part-time statistics degree online programs may take two to four years to complete, while full-time programs take 12-18 months.

One caveat for part-time programs is the longer completion time. However, part-time programs offer flexibility and convenience, which is especially important for working students who want to finish a degree at their own pace. Part-time programs allow you to take one or two classes per term and move at a slower pace toward degree completion. On the flip side, full-time programs provide a quick pace that leads to a degree in a shorter amount of time. Once you have your degree, you will be eligible to negotiate with your employer for advancement and higher earnings.

Sources:
College Navigator

By CVO Staff
February 2021

Related:

This concludes our list of the 10 best values for statistics degree online programs.