Statistics Major | Department of Statistics (2024)

The Statistics Major consists of 4 lower division math courses, 1 lower division statistics course, and 9 upper division courses. To satisfy the requirements of the major, all courses must be taken for a letter grade. A minimum 2.0 overall GPA is required in all 9 upper division major courses in order to be in good standing in the major.

The Statistics Major is currently in the College of Letters & Science, so Statistics students must fulfill in addition to major requirements. However, the Statistics major and minor will soon be transferring into the newly established College of Computing, Data Science, and Society (CDSS). FAQs about what that means for currently declared and prospective Statistics students are posted here.

Students are encouraged to join the Stat 001 Ed Discussionfor departmental updates and announcements! Additionally, the Statistics Major Map can help students plan out their time at Berkeley.

What does the move of the Statistics Major and Minor to the newly established College of Computing, Data Science and Society (CDSS) mean for me?

Please refer to FAQs: Undergraduate Students in Computer Science, Data Science, and Statistics. The interview with CDSS Associate Dean of Students, Prof. Deborah Nolan,may also answer some of your questions.

Is the Statistics Major a High Demand Major?

While the Statistics major was initially placed on the High Demand Major (HDM) list in Fall 2022 when first-year admits who would begin Berkeley in Fall 2023 were applying, the major was taken off the HDM list in May 2023 after the prerequisites were changed to be less restrictive. The HDM policies do not apply to the Statistics major so it is possible for all undergraduates to declare the Statistics major, even if admitted to UC Berkeley as a different major. Prerequisites must still be met and all college (currently L&S) requirements,policies and deadlines still apply.

How do I know if any transfer courses I have taken can be used for the major or minor?

Prerequisite Math Courses

See FAQs on Declare the Major or Declare the Minor page.

Upper Division Statistics Courses

The Statistics Department Head Undergraduate Faculty Advisor can evaluate upper division non-UC Berkeley coursework for equivalency. Submit an Evaluation of Non-UC Berkeley Course request form along with supporting material, such as a course description, syllabus, and textbook information. The Head Undergraduate Faculty Advisor can also approve use of upper division transfer courses to fulfill any upper division major requirements (15x-level and cluster courses). Three-unit courses that last a trimester or quarter are not equivalent to any Berkeley course.

How many courses can I take elsewhere to substitute for Statistics Major Requirements?

Statistics majors can substitute up to 3 upper division courses, with at most 2 fulfilling Statistics upper division courses (Stat 133, 134, 135, and the 15x-level electives). In other words, you may not satisfy more than 2 Statistics courses but you could satisfy all 3 applied cluster courses through transfer coursework. Prior approval must be granted by the Head Undergraduate Faculty Advisor.

How do I choose an Applied Cluster?

The applied cluster is a chance to learn about areas in which Statistics can be applied, and to learn specialized techniques not taught in the Statistics Department. You need to design your own Applied Cluster. Your cluster may consist of courses from more than one department, but your choices should reflect a theme, so that you study some area of application in breadth and depth. Picking your own applied cluster is a valuable exercise that gives you a chance to explore and refine your interests and to develop a coherent course of study.

Clusters consisting of at least 2 courses from the same department and on the Approved Applied Cluster list are automatically approved. Clusters consisting of courses from 3 different departments must be approved by our Head Undergraduate Faculty Advisor.

Cluster courses not explicitly listed on the Approved Cluster Course list should meet the following criteria:


  1. Courses must be upper division courses and at least 3 units.
  2. Courses in the biological and physical sciences, Chemistry and Engineering are often acceptable.
  3. Courses in social sciences must be quantitative.
  4. Courses with statistics prerequisites are often acceptable.
  5. Courses that are similar to courses offered in the Statistics department are not acceptable.
  6. Courses that primarily teach how to use a particular software package are not acceptable. Courses that focus on the use of spreadsheet software (e.g. UGBA 104) are not acceptable.
  7. Courses should be taken in the “home” department. For instance, economics classes should be taken in the economics or business department.
  8. Seminars and Special topics courses require approval by the Head Undergraduate Faculty Advisor.

Once you have made your selection, you will need to list the cluster on your Statistics Application before you declare. You may change your cluster at any time as long as the courses are all approved.

Which courses should I take given my interests?

Master's Program in Statistics

Students who are considering a master's program in Statistics should consider a Math cluster. Take these courses before or while applying to graduate school (not after you have applied), so the grades are available when admissions decisions are made.

Strongly Recommended: Math 110 or H110, and Stat 151A or Stat 154

Helpful: Math 104

Useful depending on your interests: Math 118, 128A/B, 170, 172, 185/H185

PhD Program in Statistics

Take these courses before or while applying to graduate school (not after you have applied), so the grades are available when admissions decisions are made.

Essential: Math 104 or H104, Math 110 or H110

Helpful: Math 105

Useful depending on your interests: Math 118, 128A/B, 170, 172, 185/H185

Actuarial Career

Students preparing for actuarial careers might consider taking Stat 151A, either 150 or 152, and 153.

The Society of Actuaries allows Stat 135 or Stat 200B, and either Stat 153 or Stat 248 to be counted towards Validation by Educational Experience (VEE). Suggested VEE-approved courses for the applied cluster are Econ 101A, Econ 101B, UGBA 103, and UGBA 131.

Demog 110 and Demog C175 are also appropriate cluster courses for students interested in actuarial careers. However, these courses are not currently approved for VEE.

MBA Programs

Students interested in MBA programs are encouraged to take Business or Economics courses for their cluster, and to take Statistics 151A, 153 and either 152 or 155.

Can I take graduate courses to satisfy upper division Statistics requirements?

Yes, you may take graduate courses in statistics to satisfy your upper division requirements with Head Undergraduate Faculty Advisor approval. The Undergraduate Faculty Advisor should be contacted to confirm that your graduate course selections are appropriate. Taking any graduate course also requires the consent of the instructor to ensure that you have adequate preparation. Stat 200A-B, 201A-B, 278B, and other seminar courses may not be substituted for 15x-level courses. Graduate courses are not recommended for students who have yet to attempt upper division courses nor for those who have not excelled in upper division courses.

With the instructor's consent and approval from Undergraduate Faculty Advisor:

  • 200A, C205A or C205B may be substituted for 134
  • 200B, 210A or 210B may be substituted for 135
  • 204, C206A or C206B may be substituted for 150
  • 230A or 215A may be substituted for 151A
  • 232 may be substituted for 152 or 158
  • C239A (cross-listed with Pol Sci C236A) may be used in lieu of 157
  • 240 may be used in lieu of 157
  • C241A or C241B may be substituted for 154
  • 243 or 244 may be substituted for 133
  • C245A, B, C, E, or F may be substituted for 151B
  • 248 may be substituted for 153
  • 251 may be used in lieu of 157
  • C261 may be used in lieu of 157

Note that Stat 201A-B is not listed because it is generally restricted to Statistics MA students and is not recommended for undergraduates.

I want to double/triple major. How many courses can I overlap with my other major(s)?

Students with multiple majors may overlap all of the lower division prerequisites (Math 1A, 1B, 53, and 54; Stat 20 or Stat C8) but may only overlap up to 2 upper division courses total.

How do I graduate with Honors in the major?

To be eligible for honors you must have a 3.3 GPA or higher in the major, in upper division major courses, and overall. You must enroll in Statistics H195 and write a satisfactory thesis under the direction of a Statistics faculty member. You should approach a faculty member to be your advisor by the time you start your senior year. It helps to have an idea of what you would like to write your thesis about.

What do Statistics majors do after they graduate?

Statistics majors pursue many different careers. Some go to graduate programs in Statistics or other mathematical or scientific disciplines, some to MBA programs, some become actuaries or teachers, and others go into industry or government. Industries with high demand for statisticians include biotechnology, finance, genomics, marketing, pharmaceuticals, and research.

The Career Center publishes the results of an annual Senior Survey that lists what students have gone on to do after they graduate.

Statistics Major | Department of Statistics (2024)
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