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M.S. Program

Master of Sciences Degree

Advising
The vice chair for graduate studies is the chief graduate advisor and heads a committee of faculty advisors who may serve as academic advisors. The research interests of the members of this committee span most of the major areas of statistics. During their first quarter in the program students are required to meet with an academic advisor who assists them in planning a reasonable course of study. In addition, the academic advisor is responsible for monitoring the student’s degree progress and approving the study list each quarter. After the student identifies a thesis topic, the chair of the thesis committee becomes the student’s academic advisor.
Continuing students should meet with either the vice chair for graduate studies or their academic advisor at least once each quarter. Each year a committee consisting of all regular departmental faculty meet to evaluate the progress of all enrolled M.S. degree students. This committee decides if students are making satisfactory progress, and if not offers specific recommendations to correct the situation. For students who have begun thesis work, the determination of satisfactory progress is typically delegated to the academic advisor. Students who are found to be consistently performing unsatisfactorily may be recommended for termination by a vote of this committee.

Areas of Study
The strengths of current and prospective faculty dictate the specific fields of emphasis in the department: computational and computer-intensive statistics; applied multivariate analysis; bioinformatics; social statistics; computer vision; pattern recognition; machine learning; experimental design and environmental statistics. (Note: when graduating, transcripts and diplomas will not show the area of study).

Course Requirements
Forty-four units of coursework are required for the M.S. degree, of which at least 32 units must be graduate courses, while the remaining 12 units may be approved upper division courses. With consent of either the vice chair for graduate studies or their academic advisor, students may take up to 20 units of the required 44 units in other departments provided that these courses are in professional or scientific fields closely related to research in statistics. All courses must be passed with the grade of B or better and students must maintain an overall grade-point average of 3.0 or better. Students may enroll in Statistics 596 any number of times and may apply up to two four-unit 596 courses toward the 44-unit requirement for the M.S. degree, provided a B- or better (not the grade of S) is received in these courses. Students are required to enroll in Statistics 290 each quarter, and are strongly encouraged to take the 9 core courses (Statistics 200ABC, 201ABC, and 202ABC) in their first year.
Students with gaps in their previous training are allowed to take undergraduate courses offered by the department with the approval of their academic advisor. However, most Statistics 100-level classes may not be applied toward course requirements for a graduate degree in the department. Students who need a basic refresher course are encouraged to take Statistic 100abc.
All courses must be passed with the grade of B- or better and maintain overall GPA of 3.0 to count towards their degree.

Teaching Experience
Not required. In order for a student to serve as a teaching assistant in Statistics, they must also have taken or are currently taking Statistics 495A, 495B and 495C.


Thesis Plan
This plan is for terminal master’s degree students only. Students must find a thesis advisor, who approves the topic and form of the thesis. Students must nominate a thesis committee consisting of the advisor and at least two other faculty members who are eligible to serve on thesis committees, and the committee must be appointed by the Graduate Division. The final thesis must be approved by the thesis committee. More information on the thesis process can be found at www.gdnet.ucla.edu.

Time-to-Degree
Students are expected to complete the requirements for the M.S. degree in six quarters of full-time study. In order for a student to complete their degree, they must submit an electronic version of the final thesis to support@stat.ucla.edu.
A committee, consisting of all regular faculty, meets each year and discusses ALL M.S. students. They make the judgment if a student is making satisfactory progress or not, and they make specific recommendations for individual students. Students who are not making satisfactory progress are in danger of losing financial support. Usually, for senior students, the “satisfactory” judgment is delegated to the M.S. advisor, but there is a possibility to discuss problem cases. The same committee also votes to make termination decisions for students who are too far off-target. Given the Graduate Handbook text, this means the regular faculty serves as the graduate studies committee.

Termination of Graduate Study and Appeal of Termination — University Policy
A student who fails to meet the above requirements may be recommended for termination of graduate study. A graduate student may be disqualified from continuing in the graduate program for a variety of reasons. The most common is failure to maintain the minimum cumulative grade point average (3.00) required by the Academic Senate to remain in good standing (some programs require a higher grade point average). Other examples include failure of examinations, lack of timely progress toward the degree and poor performance in core courses. Probationary students (those with cumulative grade point averages below 3.00) are subject to immediate dismissal upon the recommendation of their department. University guidelines governing termination of graduate students, including the appeal procedure, are outlined in Standards and Procedures for Graduate Study at UCLA.

Special Departmental or Program Policy
A student who does not complete all the requirements for the M.S. within seven quarters of full-time study is subject to a recommendation for termination. The Graduate Vice Chair decides in each case whether termination is warranted. A student may appeal a recommendation for termination to the Graduate Studies Committee, which makes the final decision on this matter.

Faculty Research Interest
See the faculty directory listing for current members and their interests at http://directory.stat.ucla.edu/