The Statistics and Data Science major within the Department of Applied Mathematics believes that the question is not whether mathematics will be applied, it is only when and where, and offers courses that focus on providing students with the cross-disciplinary statistical and analytical tools and problem-solving strategies required to solve real world problems.

The Department teaches thousands of students and has a major research presence in computational and physical/biological mathematics and the statistical sciences.

The Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mathematics is offered through the College of Engineering and Applied Science. The undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree in Statistics and Data Science is offered through the College of Arts and Sciences.

I feel lucky to have gotten the opportunity to broaden not only my mathematical, but also my interpersonal vocabulary while working in LISA (the Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis). This program, and class, was my first introduction to bridging the gap between the mathematical sphere and the chaotic, evolving, outer world​."

— Camryn Schultz, Applied Mathematics Senior

The Department of Applied Mathematics at CU Boulder is one of the leading departments of applied mathematics in the world, ranking #14 in the newest US & News World Report Rankings.

In addition, the department has a number of excellent and award-winning faculty, including four Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics fellows, two American Mathematical Society fellows, two American Physical Society fellows, two Guggenheim Fellows, an American Statistical Association Fellow and a Professor of Distinction from the University of Colorado.

The Department of Applied Mathematics is nationally recognized in several areas of research, focusing broadly in five categories:

  • Computational Mathematics
  • Dynamical Systems and Mathematical Biosciences
  • Nonlinear Phenomena
  • Physical Applied Mathematics
  • Statistics and Applied Probability

The department is also home to the Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis (LISA), a statistical collaboration laboratory with a goal to increase the quantity and quality of statistics and data science applied to advance high-impact research at CU Boulder and expert decision making in the community.

I​ ​think​ ​LISA​ ​was​ ​a​ ​fantastic​ ​introduction​ ​to​ ​thinking​ ​about​ ​statistics​ ​beyond​ ​nice​ ​textbook problems.​ ​It​ ​was​ ​interesting​ ​to​ ​practice​ ​communicating​ ​statistics​ ​to​ ​domain​ ​experts​ ​who​ ​were outside​ ​of​ ​their​ ​area​ ​of​ ​expertise.​"

— Melanie Nun​, Mathematics Senior

For the undergraduate students pursuing a degree in statistics and data science, there are a number of research opportunities beyond just class work:

  • The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) offers students a chance to work alongside a faculty sponsor on original research. Learn to write proposals, conduct research, pursue creative work, analyze data, and present the results. For more information, call UROP at 303-492-2596 or visit the UROP website.

  • Every year, the Department of Applied Mathematics participates in the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications's "Mathematical Contest in Modeling." This contest gives thousands of students around the world an opportunity to create a model of a real world problem on their own, and can provide real-world experience that can be applied to future careers.

  • If you’re contemplating postgraduate education, either in professional or graduate school, you are encouraged to participate in the departmental honors program. It provides opportunities for individualized and intensive work, including valuable experience in conducting psychological research.

  • The experience of studying abroad can prove invaluable for you as a statistics and data science major. The university offers more than 100 programs throughout the world. These programs offer credit that counts as if you had taken the courses here, in some cases  also fulfilling major and core requirements. You may spend a few weeks to a full academic year abroad, depending on the program you select. Prior language study or other prerequisites are necessary for some programs, so early planning for study abroad is essential. Further information about study abroad is available from Education Abroad, 303-492-7741 or on the education abroad website.

Mathematics is applied to almost every discipline of science, technology, and industry. New areas of application are discovered constantly, and older techniques applied to new and emerging fields. Industry relies on the application of mathematics and computation for the design and optimization of everything from aircraft and automobiles to communication systems and supply chains. 

Innovations in applied mathematics have become essential tools in the biological sciences, information technology, finance and investment, and computer-generated special effects. Because of that, employees with statistical and applied mathematics training are highly sought after by state and federal government, the military, financial services, software publishers, and insurance companies. Academic fields as diverse as ecology and evolutionary biology, financial management, neuroscience, astronomy and computer animation also rely on statistics and applied mathematical and computational modeling techniques.

Courses in the Statistics and Data Science major are designed to provide students with skills in traditional statistical methods, cutting edge data analysis and statistical learning techniques and essential professional skills. These skills are in high demand in the job market and prepare students for desirable careers in statistics and data science. Since statisticians and data scientists are often involved in interdisciplinary work, the BA degree requires in-depth knowledge of an area of science, engineering, social science or humanities that uses statistics to solve important problems.

Career Services offers free services for all CU Boulder degree-seeking students, and alumni up to one year after graduation, to help students discover who they are, what they want to do, and how to get there. They are the bridge between academics and the world of work by discussing major and career exploration, internship or job searching, and graduate school preparation. 

According to Payscale Human Capital:

  • The median salary for someone with a bachelor’s degree in statistics and 0 to 4 years of experience is $70,000.
  • The median salary for someone with a bachelor’s degree in statistics and 10-plus years is $126,000.
  • The median salary for someone with a bachelor’s degree in big data analytics is $84,440.

APPM Payscale

The estimated median salaries, as reported on Tableau, for Applied Mathematics graduates for 1 to 5, 6 to 10, and over 11 years out from school.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for statisticians is forecasted to raise by 33% over the next ten years, which is much faster than average. Likewise, the demand for database administrators is forecasted to increase by 11%—also faster than average.