Placement in Statistics

General Information:  Students enter Amherst with varying degrees of preparation in statistics.  It is not always easy to decide which course is most appropriate. Students who study statistics during their first year at Amherst typically take one of our introductory statistics courses, STAT 111, 135, or 136, or for students with some statistics preparation, STAT 230, Intermediate Statistics. Students with experience in both statistics and some computer science could consider STAT 231. See course descriptions for more information.

There are a lot of ways to complete a major in statistics over the course of your college career.  Below are some sample pathways.  You should construct your own path in consultation with a professor in the department, taking into account your prior preparation, interests, and other commitments:

To determine what statistics course is appropriate for you, please read on in the Statistics Placement Section.


 Statistics Placement

The Statistics Placement for most incoming students will be STAT 135 - Introduction to Statistics via Modeling, but the Statistics Placement may be adjusted based on a student's experience with statistics and/or their Mathematics Placement:

  • No experience with statistics and a Mathematics Placement of MATH 105, 111i, or 111 with no prior calculus coursework?
    • STAT 111 - Introduction to Statistics
  • No experience with statistics, and a MATH 111 placement with some prior calculus coursework (such as a Calc AB course or AB AP 2 or 3) or a Mathematics Placement of MATH 121 or higher?
    • STAT 135 - Introduction to Statistics via Modeling
  • AP Statistics score of 3 or 4 (regardless of Mathematics Placement)?
    • STAT 135 - Introduction to Statistics via Modeling
  • AP Statistics score of 5 (regardless of Mathematics Placement)?
    • Placed out of introductory statistics (STAT 111, 135, and 136); may take STAT 230 - Intermediate Statistics or another 200-level statistics course with an intro stats requirement
  • IB (HL) with the Statistics Option with a score of 6 or 7 (regardless of Mathematics Placement)?
    • Placed out of introductory statistics (STAT 111, 135, and 136); may take STAT 230 - Intermediate Statistics or another 200-level statistics course with an intro stats requirement

STAT 136 (Exploring Mental Health Inequities via Statistics) is an alternative to STAT 135. STAT 136 may be considered by students with a placement of STAT 135. Note that for Fall 2022, STAT 136 only has a few slots remaining, while STAT 135 (section 05 in particular) has many spots available for first-year students.

 
Additional Notes about Statistics Placement:
  1. A student can only take ONE of STAT 111, STAT 135 or STAT 136 for credit.
  2. Any student interested in majoring in Statistics and/or Mathematics should enroll in STAT 135 or 136 rather than STAT 111.
  3. Any student initially placing into STAT 111 but who completes MATH 105 and 106 or MATH 111 at Amherst College (or an equivalent course elsewhere) should enroll in STAT 135 instead. Placements may or may not be updated manually after the calculus course completion. If you have completed calculus, you should enroll in STAT 135, not STAT 111. If you have any questions, please contact the Statistics placement advisor.
  4. It is not expected that a student enrolled in STAT 111, STAT 135, STAT 136, or STAT 230 will have any prior experience with statistical software.
Preparation for Additional Courses:

Any student who completes STAT 111, PSYC 122, or who has placed out of introductory statistics (STAT 111, STAT 135, or STAT 136), and intends to pursue additional courses in statistics with an introductory statistics pre-requisite (such as STAT 230, STAT 231, and STAT 240) should:

  1. review the material in an "Introduction to Multiple Regression" chapter; this material is covered in STAT 135 and 136 and is assumed background in STAT 230 and statistical electives.
  2. contact the instructor of the course in which they hope to enroll before registering.

Please see this page for more details and additional related resources.

 
Amy S. Wagaman

Amy S. Wagaman

Professor of Statistics

Seeley Mudd 306

Questions about statistics placement? Contact Amy Wagaman, the Statistics Placement Advisor.