Frequently Asked Questions

Admission


  Statistics Major or Honours Program

I am a current student at SFU. How can I get into the Statistics major or honours program?

Students who wish to transfer from another academic program at SFU to the Statistics major or honours program will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Such students must normally satisfy the following two criteria (which apply only to courses taken at SFU):

  1. B- or higher in each of STAT 270 and STAT 285. Only grades based on the first attempt at each course will be considered (i.e., repeated courses will not be considered).
  2. A GPA of at least 2.25 for the STAT major (and at least 3.0 for the STAT honours) in all STAT, MATH, MACM, and CMPT courses.

If you believe you have met the requirements or if you would like to discuss the requirements, please consult the Statistics Advisor.

I would like to get into the Statistics major, but I did not achieve the minimum B- in STAT 270/STAT 285. Should I retake the course?

We do not recommend that you use up one of your course repeats for this purpose (unless you earned a D or F). Courses that have been repeated are not factored into the admission criteria for a Statistics major. Please also be advised that students are limited to five repeats during the course of their degree.

If you fell short of the required B- in STAT 270/STAT 285, you may want to consider pursuing a Statistics minor instead. If you would like to discuss admission to the Statistics major on an exceptional basis (i.e., without the required B- in STAT 270/285), please meet with Rachel Altman (rachelm@sfu.ca). Her drop-in advising times can be found here.

I am a high school student or potential transfer student from a different post-secondary institution (not including FIC). How can I get into the Statistics major or honours program?

Students can apply directly to the Statistics major from high school or as a transfer student from another post-secondary institution (not including FIC). Instructions for how to apply can be found on the Admissions site. For any questions relating to direct admission, please see the Ask Admissions page.

Students who would like to pursue an honours degree in Statistics should apply initially to the Statistics major. Once at SFU, they can consult with the Statistics Advisor about admission into the honours program.

I am an FIC student, planning to transfer to SFU. How can I get into the Statistics major or honours program?

Students of Fraser International College are unable to transfer directly into the Statistics program at SFU. Once at SFU, prospective Statistics students must must normally satisfy the following two criteria (which apply only to courses taken at SFU):

  1. B- or higher in each of STAT 270 and STAT 285. Only grades based on the first attempt at each course will be considered (i.e., repeated courses will not be considered).
  2. A GPA of at least 2.25 for the STAT major (and at least 3.0 for the STAT honours) in all STAT, MATH, MACM, and CMPT courses.

I have completed an undergraduate degree and am interested in completing a second degree in Statistics. How do I apply?

If you are interested in applying for a second undergraduate degree in Statistics, we recommend that you first consult with the Statistics Advisor. Also, please see the "Second Degree Students" section below for further details about completing a second degree in Statistics.   

For those who completed their first degree at SFU:

You can simply apply for reactivation by completing the form on this page. Choose "Science" as the faculty when completing the form. If approved by the faculty, you will initially be labelled a "non-degree seeking student". You will then need to meet the admission criteria of the Statistics major or honours program (as determined by the Statistics Advisor on a case-by-case basis).

For those who completed their original degree elsewhere:

Follow the instructions on this page under the section labelled "University graduate (degree holder)". You will need to apply initially as a "non-degree student" in the Faculty of Science. You will then need to meet the admission criteria of the Statistics major or honours program (as determined by the Statistics Advisor on a case-by-case basis). 

  Statistics Minor Program

What are the requirements to declare a minor in Statistics?

To declare a minor in Statistics, students must meet the following two criteria:

  1. Completion of the lower division requirements for the Statistics minor
  2. At least a C+ in any STAT course taken at SFU (excluding STAT 100/STAT 180)

How can I declare a minor in Statistics?

You can request to be put into the Statistics minor by emailing the Statistics Advisor (statadv@sfu.ca). Alternatively, you can request this in person through a booked or drop-in appointment with the Statistics Advisor.

Course Enrolment


Can I take STAT 100?

STAT 100 is available to any student at SFU, except those who have completed, or are currently enrolled in, an upper division STAT course. Students who have taken only a lower division STAT course (STAT 180, 201, 203, 205, 240, 270, 285), or who have taken BUEC 232 or BUEC 333, may take STAT 100 for further credit.

I would like to enrol in a course for which I am missing a prerequisite. What should I do?

Please submit a Prerequisite Waiver request using this webform. Once your request has been processed, you will receive an email notification with the result (approved or not approved). 

I would like to enrol in a course that is in conflict with another course I am enrolled in. What should I do?

You will need to get permission from the instructors of both courses. Please email the instructors with your request. If they both approve, please ask them to send their approval to the Statistics Advisor (statadv@sfu.ca). Alternatively, you could ask both instructors to sign a Course Conflict form and submit the completed form in person or by email to the Statistics Advisor (statadv@sfu.ca).

How can I enrol in a course after the first week of classes?

To be added to a course in week 2 or 3, you will need to get permission from the course instructor. Please email the instructor with your late enrolment request and ask him/her to send his/her permission to the Statistics Advisor (statadv@sfu.ca).

I would like to attempt a STAT course for the third time, but the system won’t let me enrol. What should I do?

Consult with the Statistics Advisor. You will need to provide a rationale as well as an explanation of how you will ensure success in your third attempt.

What is the policy for course repeats? Can/should I repeat a course to improve my cGPA?

As indicated in the Academic Calendar, students are limited to a total of five course repeats. It is recommended that students not use course repeats to improve their cGPA. (By the time a student graduates, she/he will have at least 120 units, at which point the repeat of one course will have little impact on their overall cGPA.) Course repeats should be reserved for meeting program requirements (i.e., for completion of a required course or for meeting the minimum grade requirement in a prerequisite for a required course). Please see the Statistics Advisor if you are unsure about the need for a particular course repeat.

Statistics Major/Honours


What are the requirements for my program?

It depends on your “requirement term”. A requirement term is generally the semester in which you were admitted to a program. You can find your requirement term on your advising transcript.

The middle two numbers indicate the year. The last number indicates the semester (1=Spring, 4=Summer, 7=Fall). So, for example, 1187 is the semester code for Fall 2018.

To find the requirements for your requirement term, go to the Academic Calendar listing for the Statistics major (or Statistics honours, if applicable). In the URL, change the year and semester to match your requirement term. For your reference, the most recent changes to program requirements for the Statistics major/honours occurred in: 1131 (Spring 2013), 1171 (Spring 2017), 1177 (Fall 2017), and 1187 (Fall 2018).

Over time, some changes to program requirements were made to increase the flexibility of upper division requirements. It was decided that all students, regardless of their requirement term, should be able to take advantage of this greater flexibility. Please thus note that:

  • No student is required to complete a minor (or the alternative "12 upper division units using courses other than MATH, MACM, or STAT courses" requirement).
  • All students may following the newer (more flexible) "12 units in upper division STAT courses (excluding STAT 302, STAT 305, and STAT 403)" requirement, which replaces the "12 units in 400-level STAT courses (excluding STAT 403)" requirement.

Please note that following more flexible upper division requirements will likely affect the accuracy of your Academic Progress Report (APR). If/when in doubt, consult the Statistics Advisor.

Do I have to complete a minor?

Previously, students in the Statistics major and honours programs needed to complete a minor outside of Statistics. Completion of a minor is now optional for all Statistics students (see the question above about program requirements). However, we highly recommend that students complete a minor since

  1. You will need 44 upper division (UD) units to graduate, and the Statistics major requires 31 UD units, which leaves 13 UD units remaining. Minors at SFU typically require 14 or 15 UD units, so by completing a minor you can get an extra designation without much, if any, additional coursework (beyond what is required to graduate).
  2. A minor can strengthen your application for jobs, professional accreditation, or graduate school.

Please see this page for suggested minor options and consult Rachel Altman (rachelm@sfu.ca) for further information.

What should I take in my first semester as a Statistics major or honours student?

If you are starting in the Fall semester, it is recommended that you take MATH 150/151, CMPT 120, and STAT 180. In addition to these courses, you may want to take a lower division writing (W) course, a breadth (B) course, or a course required by a minor program. If you already have credit for MATH 151 and are a strong student, you might consider taking STAT 270 and MATH 152 instead of this course.

I am nearing completion of my program requirements. Can you please explain the graduation process?

Information about the graduation process can be found here. The first step is to complete a graduation check. To complete this step, please book an appointment with the Statistics Advisor on the online booking site.

You will need to apply to graduate on goSFU during the semester in which you expect to complete all program requirements. The early deadline to apply to graduate is generally at the end of Week 7. The final deadline typically falls towards the end of the final exam period. You will be able to track your graduation application status on goSFU.

Statistics Minor


My major requires STAT 302/STAT 305/BUEC 333. What are the implications for a minor in Statistics?

If your major requires one of STAT 302/STAT 305/BUEC 333:

  • You cannot also apply this course to the 15 upper division units required for a Statistics minor. (Upper division units can be applied only to one major/minor.)
  • You do not need to take another one of these courses (or STAT 350) for a Statistics minor.
  • You are allowed to take another one of these courses for further credit for your Statistics minor. However, because of the overlap between STAT 302, STAT 305, and BUEC 333, we recommend taking only one of these courses.

Can I use more than one of STAT 302/STAT 305/BUEC 333 towards my Statistics minor?

No.

Second Degree Students


How can I apply to the Statistics major or honours program as a second degree student?

Please see the “Admission” section above for details on how to apply as a second degree student.

What is required to complete a BSc in Statistics as a second degree?

Second degree students need to complete all required upper division courses for the Statistics major or honours. In addition, students must complete any lower division courses that are prerequisites for upper division required courses (if they do not have credit for these courses, or their equivalents, from their first degree). For questions about course equivalency, please email the transcript from your first degree and detailed course outlines to the Undergraduate Program Chair, Rachel Altman (rachelm@sfu.ca).

Co-op


Can I complete Co-op work terms as a student in the Statistics major/honours program?

Yes, the Co-op program at SFU is available to all students (including second degree students). Participation in Co-op is highly recommended for Statistics students.

Where do I direct questions about Co-op?

The Co-op Coordinators for Statistics are Natalie Erickson and Marion Gasbarro. Their contact information can be found here. Please also see the Co-op FAQ page.

What are the requirements to get approved into the Co-op program?

Please see the Statistics and Actuarial Science section on this page for the requirements for admission to the Co-op program. If you do not meet the listed requirements, we recommend that you discuss your situation with one of the Co-op Coordintators for Statistics, Natalie Erickson or Marion Gasbarro.

What kind of companies hire Statistics students for co-op positions?

Examples of recent organizations that have hired Statistics students include: Statistics Canada, Health Canada, Fraser Health, ICBC, RBC, Coast Capital Savings, and BC Cancer Research Centre.

Accreditation & Careers


Is accreditation available to Statistics students?

Yes!

Accreditation for Statisticians in Canada is administered by the Statistical Society of Canada (SSC). There are two types of accreditation in Canada: A.Stat. (Associate Statistician) and P.Stat. (Professional Statistician).

Most of the requirements for the A.Stat. (Associate Statistician) designation are embedded into the requirements for a Statistics major at SFU. When selecting upper division Statistics courses, students wishing to become accredited should choose STAT 450 (Statistical Theory) and at least one of STAT 410 (Statistical Analysis of Sample Surveys) and STAT 430 (Statistical Design and Analysis of Experiments). Please see here for the full list of SFU courses that can be used towards the A.Stat. designation. To meet the requirement of experience in “a non-statistics substantive area”, students should also complete a minor or a Co-op work term in a discipline where statistical methods can be applied (essentially any discipline other than Math).

For more information and to apply for A.Stat certification, see this page.

What is the benefit of receiving the A.Stat. designation?

A.Stat. accreditation is a credential you can list on your CV/resume as, according to the Statistical Society of Canada (SSC), an indication of “an advanced understanding of statistical theory and its application”.

What are career prospects for graduates of the Statistics program at SFU?

Career prospects are generally best for students who participate in the Co-op program at SFU. Participating in Co-op will give you work experience and opportunities not available in the classroom, will enable you to accumulate valuable experience in the practice of statistics, and will help you form important connections with people in the field. Many of our graduates have gone on to work for their co-op employers after graduation. Please see the “Co-op” section above for more details about the Co-op program.

Another way to improve career prospects is to complete a minor in a different subject area (please see this page for suggested minors).

Please take a look at the Career Services page about what you can do with a degree in Statistics.

If you would like to discuss career goals/prospects in statistics, please consult with Rachel Altman. Her drop-in times can be found here


For FAQs about the Actuarial Science program, please see here.