In this virtual open house, Michigan Tech University Online Enrollment Advisors and Student Success Advisors provide an overview of the online Master's in Applied Statistics program including the program structure, learning outcomes, potential career paths and the online experience. The session also features two students sharing their experience in the MTU MSAS program.
- Terry Stepney, Moderator
- Vinay Patel, Enrollment Advisor
- Milana Tarbuk, Student Success Advisor
- Jae Hyun Lee, Student, M.S. Applied Statistics
- Mary Lonz, Student, M.S. Applied Statistics
Recorded July 23, 2020.
Full Transcript:Terry Stepney
Hello, everyone, and welcome. I really want to thank you for joining us for today's information session about the online Master of Science in Applied Statistics program at Michigan Tech. Before we get started, I would like to cover a few housekeeping items with you.
Just so you know, you are in broadcast only mode, which means you can hear us, but we cannot hear you. Please feel free, though, to type any questions in the Q & A box in the bottom of your screen at any point throughout the presentation. And we have reserved time toward the end to answer your questions. Want to cover our speakers for today's webinar.
My name is Terry Stepney. I'll be your moderator today. I'm join by Vinay Patel, an admissions counselor for the program, who I'm sure some of you may have already spoken with. Vinay can help answer your questions about the admissions process, and also assist you in getting all of your application materials submitted to the selection committee. I'm also joined by Milana Tarbuk, a student success advisor with MTU. In Milana's role, she works with students from the time they're accepted, all the way through graduation, helping them with whatever you might need for a really rewarding experience as a Michigan Tech student.
We have some special guests today. Joining us are Mary Lonz and Jae Hyun Lee, both are students in the Applied Statistics program. And they're going to have a lot of great information to share with you, so we're really excited to have them on the panel.
Here's a quick look at our agenda for today. We'll start with an overview of MTU, and then, go into the role of a statistician. Then we'll transition into talking a bit more about our program here at MTU. What it's like to be an online student, we'll hear from Mary and Jae, and finally, we'll tell you about the admissions process itself. At this point, I'll turn it over to Vinay to tell us a bit more about Michigan Tech and provide you some details about the Master's in Applied Statistics.Vinay Patel
Yeah, sure. Thank you, Terry.
So, from my perspective here, a little bit about just Michigan Tech.
Michigan Tech is a public university. We were founded in 1885. We are located in the upper peninsula of Michigan. The nice thing, though, for anybody that knows something about our program here, the program is 100% online. So you never really have to visit the campus ever, even though you are more than welcome to stop by the campus, if you're ever in the area or if you would like to attend any of the lecture series by our graduate students as well as attend us for graduation. Program- wise, we have over 120 programs at the undergraduate level, 70 graduate degree programs.
They all ranged in the different STEM fields, including electrical engineering, civil engineering as well as the statistics program. We are ranked in the top 25 in the nation for STEM universities in the country by Forbes Magazine as well as recently, we were ranked number 12 in the Forbes ranking as well for highest mid- career salaries. From my standpoint, the biggest ranking that I always look at from a school perspective is, am I going to get a return on my investment? Especially at the graduate level, that is a big attrition fact of, does this make sense for me to do this?
And we do come in number 18 in the country according to best colleges for that. So, big question on the docket here, why earn a master's degree in statistics? What is the importance of this? What does that look like? The big thing is just the opportunity there behind it.
We want to make sure that the degrees that we offer out there, are going to actually have some type of return on there. And so, from an appointment standpoint, statistics is going to be growing 34% over the next 10 years. And that's according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. It's the number one in best business jobs, number two in the 100 best jobs, number two in the best STEM jobs. So great rankings when it comes to, what actually a statistician does. Well, some of the other rankings out there are, for a Master's degree, number two best Master's degree to go after.
Number one is the cousin of statistics, which is biostatistics. So, the number one and number two Master's degree to go after right now is in statistics, as well as just the ability to see the growth market, and the opportunity to see how accelerated statistics is becoming in the market place.
So, what does a statistician actually do? So, statisticians, in a very brief summary of it, is looking for patterns, basically to... this graph, I don't know why this is clicking away.
But either way, so scientists are basically just looking for patterns to describe human behavior. So, if you think about the approach, it's kind of taking the scientific method of defining a behavior and then, going through the process of trying to, basically, put data behind it to explain why that is happening. Where does this come in place? You'll see this in the government. I have actually several students in the past who worked as a... poli- sci majors and things like that, that have a really strong background in mathematics, that are building now, election models for their different political parties, and things like that.
Technology, medicine, in this day and age with everything going on with COVID right now, medicines treatment, where there's pharmaceutical sites, vaccines development, things like that, statistics is going to play a huge role in that. Actually, just spoke to a student yesterday who works at DraftKing. So, if anybody doesn't know, DraftKing is a huge sports fantasy website. And statistics and fantasy sports pretty much just go really well together. And then, the other big category here, that I see a lot of times is economics as well.
So, I have a lot of students who actually work as data analysts, risk analysis, and things like that, and banking industry that go into this program as well.
So, statisticians at work, what are they doing? So, I alluded to this a little bit earlier. It's going through the scientific method. So, we're going to basically explore data to tell us what we need informationally. We're going to have to test our hypothesis based on what we observed. Make a prediction based on what the data is telling us with as many unbiased opinions and opinions, we can do. And then, try to draw actionable conclusions. So how do we do this at Michigan Tech?
We have several classes that will help out with student understanding this process. First and foremost, there is going to be courses in predictive modeling, for example. There is a statistical data mining class, statistical computing class, which goes into the software side of things. And there's a experimental design course as well.
So big thing with this is, from a Michigan Tech perspective is that, it's not only going to be about the numbers. Being able to actually communicate your ideas and concepts, to your peers, your coworkers, your boss, or anybody else from that standpoint, is going to be just as important as knowing how to do the job itself. So, Michigan Tech's approach to that is going to be working in group projects. Jae and Mary will, for sure if they get to it, can talk in more details about that. So, it's nice to see that you do get to get that approach in there.
So according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, verbal communications is the most important skill for candidates to have right now. Verbal communication came in at 4.63 out of 5, whereas just having the technical knowledge was around a 4.0 actually. So, career pathways for our graduates.
One of the big questions I always get is, what are students who graduate from Michigan Tech in this program, whether it's on campus or online, what are they doing? So, examples of that are, we have students at the Mayo Clinic, BioStats Solutions, which is a biostatistical consulting company, which is really nice, AA Network which is a IT company, Epic Systems as well, which is a healthcare software company. If anybody doesn't know Epic Systems, I would say, look it up. It's kind of crazy what they do sometimes. And as well as we actually have a recent graduate who earned their PhD in Statistics, who's actually working with the Milwaukee Brewers.
MLB has ticket sales that are dwindling, before even COVID happened, and basically, the Milwaukee Brewers hired our PhD student here to give a overview of trying to help with the fan experience of going to the ballpark versus just watching the game on TV. So, some of the job titles that you see some Michigan Tech graduates is, Statistical Programmer, Business Intelligence Developer, and Analyst.
So, for Michigan Tech's program though, how do we accomplish this? What do we do? It's 10 courses total in the program. It's 30 credit hours. The best feature, I think, for this program that sets us apart, a lot of times, is the accelerated format in the program. You get to take two courses per semester, but you never take two courses at the same time. So, what that means is you'll take one course for seven weeks and another course for seven weeks, and then, you do get a week off in there. So, for example, in the fall semester that week off usually falls during Thanksgiving. It's nice because in that format, you get to finish up the program in five semesters.
We go year- round in this program. We don't take the summers off and things like that. We do want to see you get in and get out of the program as quickly as possible. So, it's a 20-month program in that standpoint. And start dates- wise, once again, if the goal is to ultimately get you in and out, we can't just have you start the program one time in the year. We do have multiple start dates in a year that happen. So, our upcoming start date is for the fall semester, which will be August 27th as well as after that will be our spring semester, which is usually in January, and then, our summer semester, which is usually in May.
And as I mentioned before, this program is 100% online and designed for people that are working professionals. And once again, Mary and Jae will talk about how that correlates with what they're doing and how that works.
Curriculum- wise, I alluded to some of the classes that we do offer in the program, such as the data mining, the statistical methods class and things like that. But the technicals of Applied Statistics is both the traditional and the modern sense will be taught in the program. We do teach two of the more popular statistics software packages in there, which R and SAS. We have seen other softwares coming up, with Python, S plus, and things like that as well. But the more popular one that we see a lot of times are R and SAS. The big thing with the program itself is having the underlying math background to get into the program, which we'll talk about when we go into some of the admissions requirements.
But nice part of our statistics program is that it is housed in our math department. So, you do get a really good approach from a mathematical standpoint into statistics. Additional skill sets that are required for a statistician that we help with is, just how do deal with messy data. Data is going to be messy. There's no way to put it other than that. The way that data is being collected in this day and age, it's almost, think of it as a currency, that's just unknown. And it's nice to know that you can deal with the messiness and get some type of conclusion out of it.
Next thing is going to be, how to report your findings of a physical analysis. Mary and Jae can talk a little bit about that as well. But the goal of the program is for you to be able to have that verbal communication and being able to talk to your finding as well. And then, that goes into that third bullet there, of the technical results to non- technical colleagues. This day and age, you work with many different departments. We don't just work in our own silos any more. So, you have to be able to present your findings to people who have that technical background as well as the non- technical background.Terry Stepney
Great. Thank you, Vinay. That was a ton of great experience, so I really appreciate it. Now, Milana will provide some information about the online student experience at Michigan Tech. Milana...Milana Tarbuk
Yes, thank you. So as online experience goes, so you're going to get this virtual learning environment, and it's going to facilitate your learning while you're interacting with faculty, with other students and then also with me.
The great part of this is that you truly get to complete the program in the comfort of your own home. If you're traveling, if you're at work, it's totally on your schedule.
We're never going to have any set login times, so you're never going to be missing anything. There's going to be live lectures that are recorded. You could always go back to them at your own time. Of course, there's just going to be due dates. Those are very important to hit. But other than that, you can log in, in the morning, in the evening, whatever fits your schedule best. As you're learning... a lot of you are probably already working in the field or in a similar field, so you get to right away learning these skills, learn new content, and be able to connect it to exactly what you're doing in your day to day already.
It's pretty awesome when you see that connection. Grad school is learning it, and let's apply it right away. So, it really gets you thinking in a different mindset. You're going to get that one- on- one attention from your faculty members, and you're going to get constant communication with me. So as far as faculty, they'll have business hours.
They are there to interact with you. I know a lot of the worry is, how do you connect these relationships? But reach out to your professors. I will be reaching out to you at least three times a session. We also keep our classrooms pretty small, in a way where you really get that experience to reach out to one another as well. You're going to be with the same students all the way throughout, so it's awesome when you see those relationships be built. And you guys create your own groups and study groups, and really get to do it together because you guys understand it best.
You're the one going through it. Also, we use Canvas. So, it's really designed for the best online learning format. It's really easy to navigate, really organized.
I think our classes are very interactive, so you're really going to get that true great feeling that you're in this class, and you're really getting the most out of it. And then, you're also going to have access to any of the needed softwares and resources. At the beginning, we'll put you in an orientation class, where you get to download all of that and have it handy, and then, going forward you really have everything you need, right at your fingertips. But the main part is, definitely, you're not going to feel alone. We're huge on support here, your faculty as well as me. So, we'll be together all the way until graduation.
Great. Thank you, Milana. I really appreciate that. Now, it's time for our Q & A session. First, I'll pose a few questions to Mary and Jae, and then, we'll open it up to you in the audience to ask any questions that you have about the program. Remember, at the bottom of the screen, there's a Q & A box, so please type your questions into there, as we proceed. We'll do our very best to get to as many questions as we can.Terry Stepney
So Mary and Jae, what made you choose Michigan Tech? Mary, I'll go to you first.Mary Lonz
Okay. Well, I chose Michigan Tech because I'm a high school teacher and I was looking for a program in statistics, because I teach math. My brother had gone to Michigan Tech for undergrad. And I grew up in Michigan, so I was aware of Michigan Tech's STEM reputation, and I knew that they were a solid school in mathematical fields. And I was looking for a 100% online experience because I live in very rural Ohio.
And so, that pretty much pulled me... and then, there was the frosting on the cupcake of no thesis and no GRE. So my choice was made.Terry Stepney
Nice, nice. Jae, how about you?Jae Hyun Lee
For me, the two important factors that I had to consider when applying for a graduate program is one, being online because my work schedule's very heavy. So, if it was an actual live session, I would not be able to invest the time needed. And two, also as Mary said, the frosting on the ice cake was that there's no entrance exam required for the program. But as I was searching, for me personally was deciding to attend a graduate program was almost like a last-minute decision for me.
As I was considering my next steps in my career, at some point, I just realized, if I wanted to do something that I wanted to do, just having a Bachelor’s degree is not going to cut it. And this was essentially, early to mid-last summer. So, I went into a mold, where I just started researching different programs, like crazy. And when I came across MTU, I guess the name, applied statistics, kind of hit me, because I figured if it's applied, there'd be less theory, which I personally prefer.
And in reading more on the program and the curriculum itself, I realized that there's a lot of practical classes with a lot of potential hands on activity and projects and topics that would really give me the exposure that I would need to succeed post- graduation.Terry Stepney
Great. That sounds great from both of you. Okay, I'll go to the next question here.
And so, your experience as a student, tell us about your experience of being a student at MTU. Mary, what about you?Mary Lonz
It's actually been fantastic. It's a incredibly interesting program. I have a Bachelor's in Statistics, and I have not had a class yet that was fluffy for me, that I was like, oh, I already know this already. That it's been really in depth and really interesting. The support that Milana talked about is fantastic, through the whole application process and then going through my courses, I've never felt like I was all on my own in being an island in rural Ohio.
And the other student also have been really supportive, that we have a little support group going on. And it's not nearly as isolated as I thought it would be.Terry Stepney
Got it. Jae, what about you?Jae Hyun Lee
My experience, there's a lot going on personally with my work, and sometimes, I forget what's due and when, and so, it's really helpful that whenever Milana comes and checks on me, every few times a quarter, most of the times I say I have everything in control, but the fact that I have the ability to lean and rely on someone for any kind of additional help I would need is really great. I really appreciate that there's a resource, like Milana, available to us.
And while for me, this program, it does take up a fair amount of time in my personal life, and having to balance it out with the amount of work that I usually do on a regular basis, it's definitely challenging but at the same time I feel it's rewarding. Because I feel that even though some of the stuff from the first couple of classes, I've learned during my undergrad program, because I also majored in statistics, oftentimes, it feels like a review, but at the same time, it's a experience I feel like, oh, I learned this before but I forgot or that rather, in this program, did I really learn something like this in the past.
So, definitely, raised my level of curiosity, and really challenged me to really be able to invest the time that's needed to succeed in this program. But overall, I'm really enjoying this experience. It's really teaching me the things that I wanted to learn and I'm really looking forward to the rest of the program.Terry Stepney
Great. Thank you, Jae. So, you both have spoken to this a little bit. You both have spoken on why you pursued this particular degree in this field.
So actually, I want to pick up with the very next question however, on how you're making the work- life balance going, in terms of pursuing the degree.
You've touched on it a little bit, but maybe a little more depth on how to balancing out family, work, school demands. Tell us a little bit about what's that like, because I know, perhaps, some folks in the audience are thinking about, how do I fit my educational goals into my broader life? Mary, maybe if you could comment on that first.Mary Lonz
Okay. I don't know if you'd say that my work life, personal life is balanced. A little background, I'm a single mom and I work two jobs. And so, I've already got a lot on my plate, and that was part of the reason of choosing this degree program, is I want less on my plate. And what I've found is that I take whatever time I can possibly put to schoolwork, I do.
Like at lunch when I'm teaching, I'm sitting in my room and I'm working on the program. I get early, I do it before school and before my other job. This summer, fortunately, I guess, with COVID, my daughter and I usually travel and we haven't. And she's been a little disappointed because I have had to take some time that I usually spend with her. She's eight. And I've just made it really clear to her that mommies almost done, and she's actually really cute.
She's turn into a little positive speaker, and she's like, we've got a goal and you can do it. But I think also as far as my daughter, I think it's good because I'm modeling to her that if you have a goal, they you are going to have to work at it. And part of being a grownup is that you have to just work towards what you want, that it's not going to get handed to you.
But I'm not balanced, I just work whenever I can.Terry Stepney
That makes perfect sense, yeah. But everybody needs a support group, support team behind them, keeping you motivated and excited and focused. So that's really wonderful that you have that in your daughter and-Mary Lonz
Oh, absolutely. And we're both looking forward to when I can go to bed when she does, instead of staying up late to work. And that's the benefit of it being such a short program, is that I can say, okay, oh my God, I've been doing this for almost a year of this never having a break, but then I'm like, but I have less than a year left. So next summer, even if we're still quarantined, I can play with her more.
That it will be the light of the end of the tunnel is really close.Terry Stepney
Absolutely, that's wonderful. Thank you for sharing that and some of those details. Jae, what about you? How are you fitting this educational journey into your broader life?Jae Hyun Lee
Well first of all, unlike Mary, I don't have a family or anything that would take up additional part of time, so I guess, I'm luckier in that sense. But for me, as I said earlier, most of the time, work is very heavy for me, and I do spend quite a bit of my day with work. So, it's usually late evenings and most of my weekend, I am focusing on school work.
And there're times definitely, it's very challenging because some days, if I have to work to late, that means it's a big sacrifice for school work. And that extra time, I'll need to make it up, most likely in the weekend. And so, my mentality with this is like, I've made this investment, so I'm going to do whatever it takes to get it done. And this program, it does take up quite a bit of time, it takes quite a bit of investment.
So, it's really been putting me on top of my toes, so I can really balance my time wisely. Because just like Mary, whenever I'm not working, I am usually, I guess... I am just hitting my books, hitting the homework assignments, reading the online lectures, and watching videos.Terry Stepney
Mm- hmm( affirmative). Great-Jae Hyun Lee
And I feel is that-Terry Stepney
Oh, go ahead, Jae.Jae Hyun Lee
Oh. I feel like the more I just with this program, the more time commitment that I feel needs to be made. So, it is definitely challenging, but I'm looking forward to that challenge. Not only is it going to help me with the balance between work and school, it will definitely help me... oh, what's the right word? For helping me more with time management. And as we get older, time management is going to get really more important, and I feel like this may be kind of a first step for me to dealing with that in the future.Terry Stepney
Thank you, Jae. That was great. And really from the both of you.
You have different life experiences, but you're finding way to fit this educational journey into your life, making it work because you both have a big goal ahead of you, of moving through the program and graduating. So, kudos to you both for really making it work. And Mary, like you said, the light at the end of the tunnel, and you can see it. So now with that in mind, tell us about your career plans after you graduate from the program.Mary Lonz
Well, for me because I'm a high school teacher, I have tons and tons of options. If I stay in teaching, which I am not leaning towards, then I can teach higher levels of classes, like college classes in the high school. And it definitely makes me more marketable as a teacher. But probably what I'll do, is I will use this degree to pivot into a more lucrative field.
I'm looking at maybe being a statistician or possibly data science, data analyst. I would love to be a biostatistician, but I think that would take more education, and this is it.Terry Stepney
Yeah, I understand that. Great. Well, thank you for framing that up for us. And turning to you, Jae, what are you thinking, once you graduate from this program?Jae Hyun Lee
My first ideal role would be in biostats as well. But I know that biostats is a really rich field and could be very difficult. And the standards of biostat is actually rising. I think that more places are actually setting PhD as requirements, so I'm not sure how that's going to go. But other than that, my back- up option would be more toward advance and marketing analytics. Right now, I'm in the commercial analytics field, where I just do a lot of data extraction, manipulation providing insights to the business unit I support at work.
But I want to expand that role, so that I could leverage some of these statistical techniques, some techniques modeling, and really be able to bring some level of predictive component into my regular work.Terry Stepney
Great. Great. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you both for answering those questions and sharing a bit about your lives and your experience as students and how you're making it work and your plans for the future, once you finish up with this endeavor. So again, really just thank you for your participation today as panelist. And with that we'll turn to the audience, the participants here.
We've got a few questions in the chat. So I'll read them off and feel free to continue to ask questions, and we'll get to as many as we can. But the first question is, how does the Applied... Excuse me. How does the Master's program translate to data scientist positions in the market? Mary, I think you commented on this. So for either of you, any idea on translating the program to that type of role?Mary Lonz
Well, when I have been looking at job postings, a lot of the data science positions are looking for things like data mining and machine learning and artificial intelligence and SAS and R and Python. And I know that we have a class coming up in data mining, and we certainly have tons of experience in R now, and we have some experience in SAS.
But I can't speak to what the rest of the course load is, because I don't know. I probably was told at some point but didn't retain.Terry Stepney
Great. Yeah. Great. Jae, any comment on that? Or... the question?Jae Hyun Lee
To be honest, I don't have much knowledge of the data scientist field. I haven't really looked much into it. But yeah, as Mary said, heavy programming is really going to be key. So whether you develop your R skills, SAS skills... I don't if we're going to be using Python in any of our future classes. That may be a question for some of you guys here, but whatever programming skills you decide to pursue, it's going to be a real key component in the data scientist role.
Especially because, I think, data scientist role focuses a lot on modern techniques, which is probably covered in the later half of the program. So those are going to be very crucial if you pursuing a position in data science.Terry Stepney
Great. Thank you. Thank you, Jae. Going on to the next question here... I know Vinay will cover a bit about the admissions requirements as we get into it. But the question is, " Is anybody who will be able to comment on the experience of a student with a non- statistics background?Jae Hyun Lee
Yeah, so... Okay, you want to go ahead?Mary Lonz
I was just going to say, I got my degree in statistic 20 years ago, and I remember very little. So I often feel like a student with a non- statistics background. I would say it's probably just going to be that many more hours that you're going to have to fit into your schedule to really learn distributions and stuff like that, that a statistics degree person would already have.Terry Stepney
Great. Thank you, Mary. Jae, anything-Jae Hyun Lee
So, there's actually... I see another question that came in like, how do student communicate and such? So, I kind of wanted to tie these two together. So, in the beginning where we have access to campus, the only level of meet level of, individual campus, but maybe like two to three classes, then some of us form study groups on server. And Mary and I are on the same group.
And people sometimes talk about some of the experiences they have. Some of us came from a stats background, like myself and Mary, but there's several others that don't. And they definitely do say that it's a bit more of a time commitment, but it's not something that would be unmanageable or anything like that. We're all there to help each other out, especially in our little group chat. And even right there, we're still looking to have more people join us, but haven't had too much luck with that. But with the people we do have, we always talk about, not only the specific course material, but just random topics, and sometimes people to bring up that, people feel like there a little bit more behind because they didn't come with the initial.
But over time, as people develop these statistical skills, it becomes a more really much even playing field. And I've always been able to follow along with the class, and that's going to set you up to do well in the long run.Terry Stepney
Awesome.Jae Hyun Lee
I totally agree.Terry Stepney
Great. Great. Thank you both for answering that one. We got another question in. This is kind of prep for the program, but here, I'll read it off. I don't calculus is a standard prerequisite for the Master's in Applied Statistics program, how extensive is the use of calculus in your classes, and did you do any calculus or math refreshers to prepare for the program?Mary Lonz
We use derivatives and integrals a lot, but I didn't prepare at all.Jae Hyun Lee
Yeah. He said yeah.Terry Stepney
So yeah. They just threw it at you, and you dealt with it. Right?Mary Lonz
Right. There's calculus and there's calculus. When I took multivariate calculus, I had to calculate the surface area of a sphere with triple integrals, and that was kind of beastly. It's not like that. It's a lot of simple derivatives. I know that at one point, we were all trying to remember the chain rule, but there are online tools as far as plugging in an equation and finding a derivative.
But for the most part I would say, if you don't have a calculus class in your background, this is going to be a lot harder.Jae Hyun Lee
Yes, I agree. In addition to calculus, there's definitely a good component of linear algebra involved as well.Mary Lonz
Yes, absolutely.Jae Hyun Lee
So the calculus and linear algebra are a definite must. In the classes that uses calculus and linear algebra, there are... in the first couple of classes, there definitely are little bit of review, but definitely, if you don't have that experience, you will need to do a little bit more outside learning on your own.Terry Stepney
Yeah, I think the professors are really good, if you contact them and ask them a question. But I think if you contact them and asked them something like, how do I do a derivative? They might be annoyed.Terry Stepney
Thank you both for answering that question. I think that's really good information for our audience to hear on what they might need in order to go into this type of degree program. I actually don't see any new questions in the chat box. But if something comes to mind, feel free to... until we conclude that box is open to and available to ask any questions. So we'll move on from that point. But these last few questions in the information that Mary and Jae shared, lead right into the next section here.
Because I'm going to have Vinay come back, and we'll turn it over to you to tell us more about the admission process, and the prep that someone would need to enter the program.Terry Stepney
So Vinay, if you're still with us...Vinay Patel
Yeah. Perfect. So first and foremost, this sounds silly, but make complete sense, you cannot join a Master's program without having a Bachelor's degree from a accredited institution. So, make sure you have completed that. We actually do take students who are in their last semester of their program or something like that. So, it's not that you have to have completed your Bachelor's degree completely to get into the program. So, for example, if you know you're going to be graduating in December of 2020 and you want to join this program in January, you are more than welcome to apply to the program.
But you do need to have your Bachelor's degree, of course, completed before you can start the program. As Jae and Mary alluded to this, this is a strong requirement in this program, it's whether you have it or you don't have it. There's no negotiation on that standpoint, you have to have a math background. So, we do require at least two semesters, if not three semesters, of calculus to do well in this program. They mentioned the Linear Algebra, that's of course, going to be required to get into this program. And then a Intro to Stats class. They completely answered that question, for you guys, why that's necessary.
Because you're not going to be successful in this program, if you don't have that background... to do well in this program. The nice thing about Michigan Tech is, we do offer provisional acceptances for students who are missing maybe some of those classes. So, let's say, for example, you took a Calculus One, Two, and Three, but you never actually took a Linear Algebra class or a Stats class for whatever reason. You can actually apply to Michigan Tech as long as your GPA is above a 3.0, and then have the expectation that you are going to be completing these courses by the time that you are looking to start the program.
So, for provisional acceptances, some of our students will apply for, for example again, the Spring 2021 start date. They will then anticipate that they're going to take that missing Linear Algebra class in the fall semester. Michigan Tech actually does offer Linear Algebra online in the fall semester. So, you knew you wanted to do that, you could do that as well. And then, roll right into our program, into that standpoint. This is a very case by cast situation. So please, please, please schedule an appointment with me, and we can talk in more details about that.
And so yes, Mary and Jae also alluded to there's no GRE or GMAT requirement in this program. People always ask me, why do we not require it. The simple answer is the GRE or GMAT really doesn't test to the math level that this program requires. So, there's no real reason for you to take that exam. There's no thesis option, so there's no major writing component at the end of this program as well. So, we don't really need to see a GRE score for you to be successful in this program. If you've taken the GRE, you're more than welcome to submit your scores or anything like that.
So, it's not something that you completely don't have to submit to us if you don't want to, but if you would like to, you can. But it's not going to be required. Application process- wise, it's very straightforward. First and foremost, like I said, please schedule an interview with me. Let's talk in more details to make sure that the program is a good fit for what you're looking for. After that, you will go online, complete an online application. There's no application fee. It's a very straightforward application. It takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete. It's very basic demographic information that you will put in there.
After that, you'll get access into basically a system that we have. It's called My Michigan Tech, which you'll use pretty much your entire time at Michigan Tech. But that's where you upload all your documents. Documents- wise, what we'll need from you is a copy of your unofficial transcripts. We don't need actual transcript to come from the school or anything like that. You can just send in whatever transcript you have laying around at the home or something like that. So, the unofficial transcripts are completely fine. Basically, after that, you'll put in a copy of your most current resume to show the committee what you've been doing since you graduated type of thing, or if you're still in school and so forth on.
Personal statement and statement of purpose, those are the two essays. They're really short, like three- fourths of a page, they're not super long at all. Statement of purposed, basically telling us why you want to do this program. Personal statement, basically telling us who you are. And actually, the committee recently made the decision that they're going to reduce the number of recommendations down to one, actually, just because of everything going on with COVID and students are looking at coworkers, faculty members, or somebody else to do a letter of recommendation. People are busier right now than they probably ever have been in their life with trying to balance working from home and things like that. So, they did make the decision of reducing that down to one letter of recommendation.
The expectation is that it possibly will go back up to two in the future, but for right now, they're happy with just reviewing your file with one letter of recommendation.Terry Stepney
Great. Thank you, Vinay, for covering all that great information. I did want to bring back Jae and Mary because a question did come into the chat that you guys might be able to answer. So, when it comes to R and SAS, how much instruction is given to operate these platforms, let alone learn to program/ use the platforms?Mary Lonz
A lot. Okay, as high school teacher, I had zero experience with R and SAS, prior to coming to this program. And our second class, our professor very much walked us through how to get started in R, how to get started in SAS. And then, subsequent classes every time we learned something new, we also learned how to do it in R.Terry Stepney
Great. Great. Thank you for that answer Mary. Hopefully, that gives some perspective on those programs in the program. I don't see any other additional questions in the chat. So with that in mind, that will actually conclude our Q& A session for today.
So, we'll wrap it up. And we really want to thank you for joining us today. If you do have any other questions, please don't hesitate to contact us, as Vinay said, scheduling an interview. As well, a on demand recording of this session will be emailed to you tomorrow. This recording can also be accessed using the same link that was sent to you earlier. So, with that, that does conclude today's webinar. Just a reminder, when the webinar does close, a pop- up window should appear, giving you the opportunity to schedule that appointment with Vinay to talk to you as he suggested, talk to you more about MTU and the Applied Statistic program, and how that could be the right choice for you, based on what you've heard today.
I know he's really excited to hear from each of you, but thank you again, and really have a great rest of your day.