Applied Statistics, M.P.S. (A.S.) (Ithaca)

Field of Study

Program Description

The Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.) degree in Applied Statistics is for persons interested in professional careers in business, industry or government. The M.P.S. program has three main components:

  •  A two-semester core course covering a wide range of statistical  applications, computing, and consulting
  • An in-depth statistical analysis project
  • Elective coursework drawn from the resources of the Department of Statistical Science.

The program can be completed in one year by a well-prepared student with the equivalent of an undergraduate degree in statistics or applied mathematics. Students with less preparation can make up any missing prerequisites while at Cornell; in this case the program will take one to two years to complete.

The M.P.S. is intended for persons who want a short-term (one year) master's degree so as to go into business, industry, or government statistical work. The M.P.S. is not equivalent to an M.S. on several counts: the M.P.S. has a project (a large-scale data-analysis project) rather than a thesis or a qualifying exam (which would be the case for an M.S.). The mathematical probability/statistics component of the M.P.S. is less than it would be for an M.S. (which would be considered the first part of a Ph.D.).

Contact Information

Phone: 607 255-8066

301 Malott Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY  14853

Concentrations by Subject

  • applied statistics


2015-2016 $48,900

Application Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadlines:

M.P.S.: Fall, Feb. 1; Spring, Oct. 1 (Note: Only limited number of Spring term admissions are available. Applicants for Spring admission may also be a considered for the subsequent Fall term upon request.)

Requirements Summary:

In their transcripts applicants must show strength in the mathematical sciences. Applicants must also demonstrate strong motivation for advanced study in statistics. Submission of GRE general test scores is recommended.

  • all Graduate School Requirements, including the TOEFL Exam for Non-Native English Applicants
  • two letters of recommendation required, but four allowed
  • GRE general test for M.P.S..


In the broadest possible terms, the purpose of the graduate program in the Field of Statistics is to prepare its students for a career in Statistical Science, with coverage that is sufficiently deep in its coverage of core principles and methods and sufficiently broad in its coverage of application areas to prepare its students for future employment and success in a diverse array of environments. Specific program goals include the following:

  • Attract the best possible graduate students and provide those admitted to the program with the financial and research resources necessary for achieving their educational goals.
  • Provide advanced training through coursework and mentored research to help graduate students gain the skills and experience needed to successfully pursue a career as a statistician in academia, government or industry.
  • Prepare graduate students for future leadership in research and scholarship, challenging those students to reach the highest possible level of achievement.
  • Facilitate completion of graduate degrees in a timely manner.

The M.P.S. program consists of coursework and an applied project and assessment is conducted through course exams, assignments and performance on the project.


The MPS program in Applied Statistics is a two-semester program designed to prepare students for careers as statisticians in industry.  Incoming students are expected to have mastery of calculus, linear algebra, and basic statistics as well as some computer programming experience.  Statisticians are in great demand by industry and nearly all of the program’s graduates obtain employment in their chosen field.  A few of them decide instead to pursue a PhD in statistics or another field.

Expected Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the MPS degree, students will have

  1. Demonstrated mastery of basic statistical theory and methods;
  2. Developed proficiency in the use of statistical software;
  3. Achieved breadth and diversity of knowledge through elective courses;
  4. Demonstrated the ability to creatively use statistical methods to solve real-world problems.
  5. Demonstrated the ability to work in teams;
  6. Demonstrated a proficiency in oral and written communication skills appropriate for a career in industry.

Assessment of Learning Outcomes

The learning outcomes will be assessed by

  1. Completion of STSCI 5080 (Probability Models and Inference) or STSCI 4090 (Theory of Statistics) and STSCI 4030 (Linear Models and Matrices)
  2. Completion of STSCI 5010 (Applied Statistical Analysis), which teaches SAS, and STSCI 4030, which teaches R.
  3. Completion of a total of 30 credit hours of approved coursework.  Approved courses will be in statistics as well as courses with substantial statistics content in the areas of computer programming, bioinformatics, and financial engineering.
  4. Completion of the MPS project course, STSCI 5999. 
  5. Completion of the MPS project course, STSCI 5999.  In this course, teams of usually 4 students work under the direction of a faculty advisor and with a client in industry or (less commonly) in another department at Cornell.
  6. Completion of the required oral and written reports in STSCI 5999.
  7. Performance in these tasks will be assessed through grades in each of the classes listed above, and average elective grade for Outcome