# Online Masters Degrees

#### bryangoodrich

##### Probably A Mammal
As some of you know, I've been looking at online programs. Really, it was just a curiosity, especially with regards GIS. Those programs aren't plentiful, and usually offered as part of a program in some other area like environmental science. Nevertheless, I came across others, and thought about maybe getting my statistics background built up in this way, as long as I can afford it. The alternative was to simply take courses locally by extension when I could afford them. The problem is that the good courses locally are at UCD, which doesn't cater to professionals (it's not a "commuter school" like CSUS). That makes it hard to take classes when they cut through the middle of the day. Online can prove to be a more fruitful option in this regard.

Here are the fruits of my labors.

University of Southern California (GIS)
$1,420 per credit (28 credit program)$39,760 total

Penn State (GIS)
$716 per credit (35 credit program)$25,060 total

Penn State (Applied Statistics)
$716 per credit (30 credit program)$21,480 total

Iowa State (Statistics)
Fee Schedule (34 credit program)

$619 per credit (34 credit program)$21,046 total

$649 per credit (31 credit program)$20,119 total

Of all the programs, Iowa state university seems to offer the most "real" (i.e., "on the ground") program. The others offer per-unit fees for taking distance courses, which to me resembles the same fees I'd pay if I were taking extension classes at any of my local universities (about the same costs, too), with the exception being that you actually earn a degree from these distance programs. They say that their degrees are just like being a student there, which may be true, but it doesn't seem to be the whole truth.

What do you guys think? To be honest, Iowa state looks the best, even if the most expensive (because of out-of-state fees).

#### trinker

##### ggplot2orBust
Just a sounding board as I don't know much about what you've posted above:

Have you give a PhD consideration? I believe (not a statistician) that a masters is not a pre requisite for a PhD. Many PhD stats programs actually give you a masters along the way (again this is a "so I heard..." stance). I believe you'd be OK without the masters first. What do others think?

Lazar made an offer (possibility) have you given that consideration?

#### bryangoodrich

##### Probably A Mammal
Yeah, but to get INTO a PhD you need to have a solid background in statistics: I don't. Sac State has a **** mathematics program and no stats department. While they are trying to grow, I was completely unimpressed with my statistics education. I probably learned more watching online videos that UCD had for its core (supposedly "equivalent") stats courses before they made them private. Not to mention, I haven't had a stats class since at least 2008 now, I'm a bit rusty! I'm confident I'll kill a masters program, but I'm in no place to jump into a PhD program.

As for Lazar's offer, I have yet to apply. I'll consider it, but there's a lot I have to think about with regards that program (it's not like American programs; different focus than I need right now; my gf probably don't want to go to Sydney; it's a long commitment). I should probably write him back already lol

#### bryangoodrich

##### Probably A Mammal
The Texas A&M University one is pretty good
2000-2400 per course (500-600 per credit?) (36 credit program)
$18,000 to$21,600 total

The RIT one could be good. Seems pretty comprehensive with 15 courses required!

#### bryangoodrich

##### Probably A Mammal
I change my mind. Screw A&M. Their emphasis on SAS makes me go GAG! Still leaving toward Iowa. Penn is a close second (has the GIS degree, too; Iowa does offer a GIS certificate, though).

#### Dason

Booo Iowa. Go Iowa State. Much better.

#### bryangoodrich

##### Probably A Mammal
And? $$\hspace{.1in}$$

Lots of Penn States classes are in Minitab, but they do have a new R course.
Yeah, I noticed that, too. I don't mind that as much as a dependence on SAS. I'd expect Minitab users to be more forgiving to R users lol

#### Dason

Can we really call Hawkeyes people? (I actually have a good friend that goes to Iowa *grumble grumble* but still... gotta keep up appearances) DOWN WITH IOWA. Go ISU!

#### Dason

If you do the Iowa State program, maybe Dason will be your instructor/TA !
Unlikely - I'm an RA and will continue with that at least for next school year as well. Although I'd like to go back to teaching eventually.

#### bryangoodrich

##### Probably A Mammal
Why would you do that? You suck at teaching

#### bugman

##### Super Moderator
Hey Bryan,

I realise you are in the states, but as matter of comparison and maybe even consideration,
Maquarie University run a pretty good program and the fees are comaprable to the ones on your list. They do this online and its one I have been considering myself - actually in negociations with my employers about it. They have a biometry masters also, which is more math orientated. Just putting in out there...

#### mathmaniac55

##### New Member
Obviously all of these are amazing schools and within a budget that you are looking for but have you given online universities any thought at all? I know some people are a little weird about them and think they are all a scam but just throwing it out there it might be an option for you along with your budget. http://www.onlinemathdegrees.org is a great resource guide in order to find further information on the field, career opportunities, salaries and pricing as well. Just thought I would throw it out there as another option for you.

Here is another link that might be able to help you with different career opportunities with the degree http://www.westfield.ma.edu/math/careers/math.html . Obviously all the options that everyone has posted all are great, I just thought I could also give you another path you could take if it would be of interest for you.

Hope this helps a bit and best of luck!

#### bryangoodrich

##### Probably A Mammal
Well, these were all online programs. I just question the quality of a purely online school. The thing that I like about Iowa is that there is no difference between the in-class and online programs. Though, it makes me wonder about the quality of the online education when you don't have that on-campus participation or the logistics of in-class tests. Frankly, Iowa has me sold on their distance statistics masters. If I could afford it right now, I'd not hesitate to apply.

#### nickbowersox

##### New Member
I too am considering a Masters in Stats, and the fruits of my labor reveals the same schools that are listed above, with the addtn of the Univ of South Carolina. I was wondering if someone could help answer a few questions for me. In considering all of the schools offering a stats masters via distance learning (COLO STATE, TEXAS A&M, ROCH INST OF TECH, PENN STATE, UNIV OF SOUTH CAROLINA, IOWA STATE, AND UNIV OF IDAHO (THROUGH THE ENGINEERING OUTREACH OFFICE)).

1) What is the primary difference between a Masters of Applied Stats (MAS), Master of Science in Applied Stats, and a Master of Science in Stats. I know the difference is in the "theory", but, for example, is the Master of Applied Stats missing a class or two on theory, or are there "bits-n-pieces" of theory left out in every single class that comprises the program?

2) If I was to pursue a Master of Applied Stats, and then later on decided to go for PhD in Stats, am I likely to get admitted? Will I have to take more classes to make up the lost theory from the MAS vs the MS in Stats?

3) Does an MS in Stats focus on mostly theory or also how to interpret and apply stats to real-world scenarios? I ask because I have heard some employers prefer hiring graduates from programs like the Master of Applied Stats because in their experience, those students have been able to apply the stats to business problems much more easily than those who are taught lots of theory.

4) Does anyone have experience with the quality of online instruction at any of these schools?

Nick Bowersox

#### bryangoodrich

##### Probably A Mammal
The difference, I would say, is exemplified in the difference between a book like Kutner et al. Applied Linear Statistical Models (obviously applied) and theoretical books like Hogg and Craig or Casella and Berger. An applied program doesn't emphasize that you know how to do the mathematical proofs of more advanced topics. Also, whatever research is involved in the master program would have that obviously different focus. As for the PhD, that probably just depends on your background. A PhD program will want to know that you have the core theory in mathematical statistics, so if your applied program didn't provide that, then you'll probably have to make it up.

#### nickbowersox

##### New Member
The difference, I would say, is exemplified in the difference between a book like Kutner et al. Applied Linear Statistical Models (obviously applied) and theoretical books like Hogg and Craig or Casella and Berger. An applied program doesn't emphasize that you know how to do the mathematical proofs of more advanced topics. Also, whatever research is involved in the master program would have that obviously different focus. As for the PhD, that probably just depends on your background. A PhD program will want to know that you have the core theory in mathematical statistics, so if your applied program didn't provide that, then you'll probably have to make it up.
So, for example, the Penn State program (which requires an entire calc sequence) would provide the "core" theory since they offer the Prob Theory and Math. Stats classes, correct? All programs seem to have those 2 classes, so I am guessing that is what you are referring to as "core"?