B.Sc. Majors in Statistics program requirement is for nine-credit "theme concentration" described below. Three examples of these "themes" are provided also.
Statistics is a "helper" discipline, with statistical analysis being applied in virtually all areas of human enquiry. Therefore, it is important that Statistics students be exposed to statistical ideas and applications in subject-area contexts. The themes requirement has been introduced to encourage this exposure.
A general principle at UBC is that when program requirements change, students already in the program have a choice of satisfying the old requirements or the new requirements. Thus if you started in the program prior to 2000-2001, then you have the choice of satisfying either the current requirements or the old ones (which were 6 credits of upper-level computer science and 3 additional credits of 400-level statistics rather than the 9 themed credits).
The requirement is that a student take 9 upper-level (300 or above) credits in a theme area, with at least most of these courses having clear statistical or probabilistic content. A student's choice of thematic courses must be approved by the Undergraduate Advisor.
Some examples of how the themes requirement might be met in a few disciplines (Computer Science, Economics, and Psychology) are given below. It should be stressed, however, that these are only examples, and that students are free to design other themes (again, subject to approval). For instance, a life-science theme, an operations research theme, or even a philosophy theme are a few other possibilities.
For many students, all 9 theme credits will be taken from the same department. This need not always be the case, however. For instance, a student may be able to design a broad social science or life science theme, with courses from more than one department. For the theme to be approved, however, there must be a clear link between the selected courses.
Students should think early about their theme choice, as the upper-level courses in the theme area will likely have lower-level (100 and/or 200) prerequisites. There may be some instances of courses with statistical content where the instructor would give permission to enroll to a Statistics student who does not have the official prerequisite.
In some cases students may want to extend their study in the theme area from 9 upper-level credits to 18 upper-level credits, in order to earn a Minor in the theme area. Currently, students in a B.Sc. program within the Faculty of Science can earn a Minor in Arts, a Minor in Commerce, or a Minor in another branch of Science. For more information about Minors, see the Faculty of Science section of the Calendar.
There are strong links between Computer Science and Statistics, and graduates with some training in both disciplines are likely to be viewed as having an attractive set of skills. Upper-level course with statistical relevance include courses on databases (CPSC 304 and 404), simulation (CPSC 405), and artificial intelligence (CPSC 312, 322, 422). To satisfy the theme requirement, at least 6 of the 9 credits should be chosen from courses in these areas, with possibly 3 of the credits chosen from other upper-level CPSC courses.
Currently student demand for CPSC courses far outstrips the supply. Therefore, the Department of Computer Science restricts enrollment to its 200 and above courses on the basis of overall average. Statistics students compete on an equal footing with any other students in the Faculty of Science for admission to CPSC courses. Thus a Computer Science theme is a good option for strong students in the Statistics program. For the latest information about Computer Science courses and enrollment restrictions in effect, refer to that department's undergraduate web site at http://www.cs.ubc.ca/ugrad/
In addition to first-year Computer Science (which is required in the Statistics program), upper-level CPSC courses have second year prerequisites. CPSC 211 is required for almost all 300 level courses, while CPSC 221 and/or CPSC 260 are needed for some upper level courses.
Statistical tools play a large role in many economic analyses. Indeed, the subfield of Economics known as Econometrics deals with the application of statistical methods in Economics. Ideally, the Econometrics courses ECON 425 and 426 should be included in an Economics theme, though it is appreciated that timetabling can make their inclusion difficult. Other relevant courses which expose students to the mathematical side of Economics are ECON 320, 420 and 421.
Note that while ECON 325 has statistical content, it covers Stat 200/302 material, and so cannot be used as a themes course. ECON 326 and STAT 306 both cover regression. In fact, they are paired courses (see the Faculty of Science pairing lists in the Calendar), and so credit cannot be obtained for both of them. Students choosing an Economics theme may substitute ECON 326 for STAT 306 if they choose. However, since STAT 306 is a required course in the Statistics program, 9 further theme credits would still be required.
Students pursuing an Economics theme will need an introductory Economics course, either ECON 100 (6 credits) or ECON 310 and 311 (3 credits each). In the latter case, it may be possible for three credits (but not all six) to count as theme credits. Also note that some upper level courses have further prerequisites. For instance, ECON 420 has Microeconomics prerequisites.
The design of experiments and the analysis of experimental data are important parts of Psychology. Psychology courses with statistical content or relevance at the 300-level include PSYC 359 (Advanced Research Methods and Behavioural Sciences), PSYC 303 (Tests and Measurements I), and PSYC 323 (Tests and Measurements II). Currently, 359 is offered every year, 303 is offered almost every year, and 323 is offered occasionally. At the 400-level, PSYC 414 (Research Methods in Developmental Psychology) is a highly relevant course. PSYC 465 (Computers in Psychology) is another possibility, although space in this course may be restricted. In most circumstances, a theme in psychology should include at least six credits from the courses listed above.
Note that while PSYC 218 and PSYC 366 also have statistical content, both are credit excluded with STAT 200. Therefore, Statistics students cannot obtain credit for either of these two courses.
Students pursuing a Psychology theme may wish to take PSYC 100 or one or more 200-level Psychology courses prior to or concurrently with those courses noted above. It is recommended that students consult with the instructor of the psychology course with statistical relevance as to whether a prerequisite course would be advised. courses. Also see the statement on prerequisites at the beginning of the Psychology course list in the Calendar.