Statistics Major Information

Major Advising

Please consult the Statistics Department Advising page

Major Requirements

Requirements for the Statistics degree are available here in three formats: a curriculum sheet, a flowchart, and the official Cal Poly Catalog description.

Curriculum sheet

A curriculum sheet lists the major, support, general education and elective courses required to earn your statistics degree. You can use this in conjunction with your Degree Progress Report on the Cal Poly Portal to keep track of your degree requirements. You are entitled to graduate on any version of the catalog requirements starting from the "active" catalog when you became a Statistics major.

Paper copies of previous curriculum sheets are available outside the Statistics Department office (25-107D).


A flowchart gives you an idea of what courses to take on a quarter-by-quarter basis. The flowchart presents one possible path to a Statistics degree; others would be equally valid. You should talk to your major advisor regularly to select courses. See the Statistics Department Advising page for a list of department major advisors.

If you are on an earlier catalog, work directly with your major advisor to select classes.

Approved Support Electives

All Statistics majors take 8 units of approved electives outside the major. Every student will select a pair of courses in consultation with a major advisor. The major advisor must approve the student's selections. Students should meet with a major advisor before taking any possible approved electives. Critically, approved electives must belong to the same general field (e.g., two from life sciences, or two from mathematics).

The document below shows courses that are commonly approved, grouped by general field. A meeting with your major advisor is still required to approve these electives, even if they are on the list. If you are interested in any elective courses not listed here, discuss this with your major advisor when you meet to choose your electives.

Senior Project

All Statistics majors must complete a senior project (STAT 461-462). The Statistics Department holds an information session at the beginning of each academic year; attendance is required for all seniors. Please consult the Senior Project Guidelines below for a list of specific requirements. The Library also has new guidelines concerning electronic submission of senior projects; see the link below.

Change of Major

The university has established the following general requirements for major change:

  • Students must complete at least one quarter at Cal Poly before entering into a change of major agreement.
  • Students must be able to complete degree requirements in the new major within the published unit maximum for that major. For Statistics, this means that a student must be able to complete the degree within 204 total units.

Additional university guidelines are described in the catalog.

The minimum course requirements for changing into the Statistics major are:

  • Completion of STAT 301-302 or equivalent* with at least a C in each course
  • Completion of MATH 141-142 with at least a C in each course

*Equivalent sequences include STAT 251-252 and STAT 217/218/312-313.

Students are welcome to begin the major-change process before completing the above requirements; however, we strongly encourage students to complete at least one statistics course before requesting a change of major.

Students interested in changing majors into Statistics should make an appointment to meet with the department chair, Prof. Allan Rossman. At this initial meeting, you need to bring with you a one-page, typewritten statement explaining

  • why you selected your current major and why you think it might not be the right major for you;
  • how you learned about Statistics; and
  • why you believe Statistics is the right choice for you.

If the department chair determines that a major change is both appropriate and feasible, the chair will initiate an Individualized Change of Major Agreement (ICMA). The department chair will work with each individual student to determine whether the aforementioned course requirements are sufficient, or whether additional course/GPA requirements are appropriate.

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