The Comprehensive Evaluation in Statistics

Every statistics major needs to successfully complete the comprehensive evaluation in statistics. For most students, the evaluation involves an extension of the capstone project from Stat 495. For students pursuing a thesis in statistics, see instructions below on completing the evaluation.

About the Evaluation

In the fall of their senior year, all Statistics majors will enroll in the capstone course STAT 495, and complete a capstone project under faculty supervision. An extension of the capstone project completed individually by the student (in the spring semester of senior year) or a preliminary version of the thesis (for thesis students) will serve as the basis for a comprehensive evaluation of each student's achievement in the major. Each student's project will be assessed by the Statistics faculty in the Department to determine if the student has successfully completed the comprehensive evaluation. (Those for whom the second semester of the junior year occurs in the fall should enroll in STAT 495 in that semester in order to complete the extension of the capstone project and satisfy the comprehensive evaluation).

Departmental policy on the comprehensive evaluation in statistics is provided here.

The letter sent to majors regarding the comprehensive evaluation for 2017-2018 can be found here:

We've created some videos that describe how to use the R Markdown template for the comprehensive project submission: here and here.


The comprehensive evaluation submission must contain reproducible analysis. We strongly recommend our majors to use the provided comprehensive evaluation template, found here. Submissions will be coordinated through Github. Be aware that all necessary files for reproducible analysis are required for submission.  Example submission files for the main report (using the template) can be found here:


Timing and Deadlines

1. (Fall semester) The capstone project is undertaken in the Fall semester of senior year (see above for timing for E students). The project is graded as part of Stat 495. Students must propose an individual extension of the project as their comprehensive evaluation, or alternatively, be writing a thesis in statistics (after successfully qualifying as juniors with an approved proposal as outlined here).

2. (Fall semester) A proposal for the content of the extension is due to the Statistics faculty in the Department by 5:00 p.m. the Wednesday before Thanksgiving break begins. After feedback, a revised proposal may be requested, due no later than noon on the last day of classes in the Fall semester. These deadlines are not subject to extension. An example proposal can be found here:

3. (Interterm/spring semester) Students work on their extensions, creating their comprehensive evaluations to be submitted. Students are expected to correct any issues in the underlying project based on feedback from Stat 495.

4. (Interterm/spring semester) Prior to their first submission, students are expected to meet with at least two statistics faculty members (one being the Statistics Evaluation Advisor) in the department to review their work and prepare for the submission.

5. (Spring semester) The comprehensive evaluation is submitted to the Statistics faculty in the Department by 5:00 p.m. two Mondays before Spring Break begins (usually early March). This deadline is not subject to extension.  

6. (Spring semester) Based on their submission, students will be informed as to whether or not they have satisfied the comprehensive evaluation no later than the Friday of Spring Break. 

7. (Spring semester) In the event that a second attempt is required for a student to complete the comprehensive evaluation, the second submission is due by 5:00 p.m. on the Monday of the third week before the end of classes. This deadline is not subject to extension.  Students are strongly encouraged to meet again with two statistics faculty to prepare for their second submission, if required. 

For Thesis Students

Students pursuing a thesis in statistics do not submit a proposal for an extension of the capstone project from Stat 495. Instead, with the same deadline as above (5:00 p.m. two Mondays before Spring Break begins), thesis students submit to the Statistics faculty in the Department a preliminary version of their thesis, to serve as the basis of their comprehensive evaluation. Thesis students receive notification of completion of the evaluation at the same time as other students. In the event that a thesis student requires a second attempt, the second submission will be the official thesis submission and is due by 5:00 p.m. on the Monday of the fourth week before the end of classes. No deadline is subject to extension.