We're excited that you will be taking a statistics course at Amherst! If you placed out of Introductory Statistics or took STAT 111 or are transitioning from PSYC 122 and are planning to take a 200-level applied course (such as STAT 230, STAT 231, STAT 240) from the Department, we strongly recommend that you:

1) review introductory content for multiple regression material from one of the resources listed below (under Content) – this topic is covered in STAT 135 and 136 and is assumed background for most statistics electives; and

2) find a time to meet with a member of the statistics faculty prior to undertaking additional statistics courses. If you have questions related to Statistics Placement, please contact the Statistics Placement Advisor, Professor Wagaman.

We also know some students may want to learn the software used in our statistics courses, so we include several resources for learning the software R below as well. (Note that prior experience with statistical software is NOT expected before taking STAT 111, STAT 135, or STAT 136, STAT 230, or MATH/STAT 360. Do note that COSC 111 or equivalent computing experience is required for taking STAT 231.)


Resources are divided into two broad categories: statistical content for regression and learning the software.


For a review of simple linear regression and exposure to multiple linear regression content, you might review the following:

  • The textbook Intro STATS (5th edition, by De Veaux, Velleman, and Bock) has chapters on Simple Linear Regression and Multiple Regression. The textbook is on reserve in the Science Library when classes are in session. Relevant chapters include Chapters 7-9, and 20. For students who want to review concepts of Confidence Intervals and Hypothesis Testing, you may find Chapters 13 and 15 worth reading.
  • OpenIntro Statistics Chapter 7 (An Introduction to Linear Regression) and Sections 8.1 - 8.3 on Multiple Regression are relevant too. Download the free PDF textbook
  • Modern Data Science with R (second edition) has an appendix that reviews Linear Regression. Download the full book (Appendix E includes the relevant sections).

Note that STAT 230 will review simple linear regression and spend quite a bit of time with multiple linear regression, so you would be expected to have some familiarity with simple linear regression and exposure to multiple linear regression, before taking the course, but you are not expected to have mastered those concepts before the class.


If you are new to the software R, the interface RStudio, and working with RMarkdown files, there are a variety of resources available if you want to learn a bit about the software before taking a statistics course. Even if you learn some about the software before the course begins, you should expect to spend the first few weeks of the class getting up to speed with the software in order to succeed in the course. 

R, RStudio, and RMarkdown at Amherst

Get started with R, RStudio, and RMarkdown. In particular, you might want to look at the first few Getting Started Videos (up through the sample homework video). Amherst runs an RStudio server at rstudio.amherst.edu, so you can easily login to the software via a web browser.

To learn more about R generally, you are encouraged to begin with this interactive Introductory R Tutorial. Watch for an email from your instructor if there are other materials you need to review before the semester begins.

Other useful resources