The Upper Division Honors Program in the College of Arts and Sciences offers the opportunity for independent study including pre-graduate research activity. Flexibility and scope in the program of studies would be achieved using the courses STA 4930r (Selected Topics) and STA 4905r (Directed Individual Study).
In order to qualify for honors work, transfer students with junior standing must complete a minimum of one full semester at Florida State University with a 3.20 grade point average as well as have a 3.20 average on their transfer work. Exceptions to these criteria will be based on recommendations of the directing professor and the department chairman.
A written thesis, called an honors thesis, on a topic in applied or theoretical statistics will be required from an honors student. This thesis will generally be 15 to 20 pages in length. An applied thesis can involve an actual problem faced by a consulting client, or can be a statistical analysis. The content of this thesis need not be original research. The thesis must be submitted at least 3 weeks prior to the defense date which may be up to the last day of classes.
Completion of the program is recognized on the student's permanent record, in the commencement program, and by the issuance of a diploma-type certificate.
The Department and the FSU ACNS (Academic Computing and Network Services) provide students access to various statistical programs. These include SAS, SPSS, Minitab, Stata, R, and others.
For use by Statistics students and faculty, the Department maintains the Frank Wilcoxon Memorial Reading Room, containing the most essential books, periodicals and statistical tables, and a collection of reprints and mimeo reports. The Paul A. M. Dirac Science Library maintains a complete collection of books and journals related to statistics, mathematics, and associated areas.
Opportunities sometimes arise for undergraduates to participate in a significant way in special research projects. For example, one Statistics major helped plan an experiment and analyzed resulting data for a project of the Department of Biology, funded by the National Science Foundation, on the use of habitat management and biological control instead of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides to maintain the campus landscape. Besides valuable experience, the student received academic credit and financial compensation.
Another project was a survey conducted for the Tallahassee Democrat, a local newspaper, in order to determine public attitudes on newspapers and other communication media. The survey was executed as a joint project of the statistics course STA 4222 (Sample Surveys) and the Statistical Consulting Center. The interviewing was carried out by undergraduate Statistics majors and other interested students and was paid for by the Democrat.