Statistics Advising Guide (2021  2022)
Statistics is the science of collecting, analyzing, and summarizing data. Data is everywhere. When you turn on your mobile phone, take a survey, or purchase groceries you are generating data. As the availability of data grows, so does the need for qualified people to gather, process, and use the data.
 Majors receive an in depth exposure to the theory, application and tools needed to be successful inside and outside of the classroom.
 The interdisciplinary approach taken by the department allows each student to tailor their statistics degree to their own interests.
 A student graduating from Gustavus with a degree in statistics will have the knowledge and technical skills to find employment in a field of their choosing.
Statistics Major
A grade of C or higher is required in the 11 courses listed below as well as the successful completion of the cognate requirement.
 MCS122 Calculus II
 MCS142 Intro to Statistics
 MCS150 Discrete Mathematics
 MCS177 Computer Science I
 MCS221 Linear Algebra
 MCS222 Multivariate Calculus
 MCS241 Applied Statistical Methods–Modern
 MCS242 Applied Statistical Methods–Traditional
 MCS341 Probability Theory and Mathematical Statistics I
 MCS342 Probability Theory and Mathematical Statistics II
 One of the following courses:
 MCS358 Mathematical Model Building
 MCS354 Advanced Topics in Statistics
 An approved capstone experience (approval form)
 Cognate Requirement: A major in Mathematics or a major or minor in an applied discipline approved by the MCS Department. Examples include Biology, Chemistry, Economics, Environmental Studies, Geography, Geology, Health Fitness, Management, Neuroscience, Physics, Political Science, Psychological Science, and Sociology.
Statistics Minor
 One of the following courses in calculus :
 A previous course in calculus (passing the AP calculus exam with a 4 or 5)
 MCS119 Calculus with PreCalculus Review Part B
 MCS121 Calculus I
 One of the following courses in statistics:
 Passing the AP statistics exam with a 4 or 5
 MCS140 Elementary Statistics
 MCS142 Introduction to Statistics
 PSY224 Statistics and Research Methods I
 E/M125 Statistics for Economics and Management
 All three of the following courses.
 MCS177 Computer Science I
 MCS241 Applied Statistical Methods–Modern
 MCS242 Applied Statistical Methods–Traditional
 A course in research methods in another discipline:
 BIO202 Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior
 E/M355 Marketing Research
 E/M388 Econometrics
 ENV399 Senior Seminar
 GEG242 Research Methods in Geography
 GEO392/393 Research in Geology
 HES220 Research and Statistics in Health and Exercise Science
 NUR202 Research in the Health Sciences
 POL200 Analyzing Politics
 PSY225 Statistics and Research Methods II
 PSY385 Neuroscience Capstone
 S/A247 Methods of Social Research
Suggestions
 Potential majors are encouraged to complete the Core courses (MCS122, MCS150, MCS221, MCS222, MCS177, MCS142) by the end of their sophomore year. All of these courses are offered every semester.
 MCS241 and MCS242 can be taken in any order. However, we encourage students, especially those interested in a Statistics minor, to take MCS242 before MCS241.
 Students who are contemplating graduate study in Statistics are strongly encouraged to doublemajor in Mathematics.
 Students interested in a career in actuarial science should have a strong background in mathematics, statistics, and economics. A double major In Statistics and Economics or a major / minor combination is recommended. Students should plan on taking at least the first actuary exam offered by the Society of Actuaries before graduation.
Sample Plans
All students should ideally lay out a schedule of their own showing what courses they plan to take, and when they plan to take them. The schedule may not accurately forecast the future, but it is helpful none the less. A printable sample plan can be found on the Statistics Major Form
Starting with Calculus I
Fall  J Term  Spring  

1st Year  MCS121  MCS122 MCS142 

2nd Year 
MCS222 
MCS221 MCS150 

3rd Year 
MCS242 
MCS241 Cognate minor 

4th Year 
MCS341 
*MCS358 
MCS342 
Starting with Calculus II
Fall  J Term  Spring  

1st Year  MCS122 
MCS222 MCS142 

2nd Year 
MCS150 
MCS221  
3rd Year 
MCS242 
MCS241 Cognate minor 

4th Year 
MCS341 
*MCS358  MCS342 Elective Cognate minor 
Statistics Course Descriptions
MCS140 Elementary Statistics Survey of uses of statistics, organization of data, observation and measurement, averages, variability, association, probability, randomness, sampling distributions, estimation, tests of hypotheses, and introduction to design. Students with a calculus background who want statistics should take MCS142. Prerequisite: Course in higher algebra or consent of instructor. MATHL, Fall and Spring Semesters.
MCS142 Introduction to Statistics Gathering, organizing and describing data, probability, random variables, sampling distributions, estimation, hypothesis testing, linear regression, and analysis of variance. Treatment is more mathematical than MCS140, but the emphasis is still on applications. Introduction to the use of computerized statistical packages. Students who have already taken a statistics course may not earn credit for MCS142. MATHL, Fall and Spring semesters.
MCS 241 Applied Statistical Methods–Modern This is an intermediate course in the organization and analysis of data. The focus is on modern statistical methods for analyzing univariate and multivariate data. Topics include nonparametric statistical analysis, randomization tests, simulation, and bootstrapping. In addition, students will learn to use a statistical software package. Prerequisite: MCS140, MCS142, E/M125, or PSY224. Spring semesters.
MCS242 Applied Statistical Methods–Traditional This is an intermediate course in the collection, organization, and analysis of data. The focus is the application of statistical methods to practical problems involving real data from many disciplines. Topics to be covered include regression analysis, experimental design, analysis of variance, and logistic regression. In addition, students will learn to use a statistical software package. Prerequisite: MCS140, MCS142, E/M125, or permission of instructor. WRITD. Fall semesters.
MCS341 Probability Theory and Mathematical Statistics I The probability model, random variables, conditional probability and independence, probability functions, density functions, expectation, some important discrete and continuous distributions, the central limit theorem. Prerequisite: MCS222; a previous or concurrent course in statistics is recommended. Fall semesters..
MCS342 Probability Theory and Mathematical Statistics II Normal, chisquare, t, and F distributions. Principles of statistical estimation and hypothesis testing. Nonparametric methods. Regression, correlation, and analysis of variance. Prerequisites: MCS341 and a previous course in statistics. Spring semesters.
MCS354 Advanced Topics in Statistics An investigation into a branch of statistics not covered elsewhere in the curriculum. The topic will change from year to year, depending on the interests of instructors and students. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Spring semester of odd years.
MCS358 Mathematical Model Building An introductory study of the formulation of mathematical models to represent, predict, and control realworld situations, especially in the social and biological sciences. The course will use ideas from calculus, linear algebra, and probability theory to describe processes that change in time in some regular manner, which may be deterministic or stochastic. Typical topics are Markov and Poisson processes, discrete and continuous equations of growth, and computer simulation. In addition, students will work on their own mathematical modeling projects. Prerequisites: MCS177, MCS122, MCS221, and MCS142 or MCS341. Juniors and Seniors only. January Interim, even years.