Department of Statistics Unitmark
Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Undergraduate Advising


  • Academic Advisors
  • Faculty Advisors
  • FAQ
  • Academic Advising Center


In the Statistics & Data Science Department our approach to advising is one in which we support and guide students as they develop their personal, academic, and professional goals. Advising involves more than just choosing classes and we have created a structure that supports not only your undergraduate career, but your post-graduation goals as well.

Students are encouraged and expected to meet with their academic advisor at least once a semester in order to ensure you are progressing through your academic career appropriately. We are a resource that is solely meant to help you throughout your undergraduate experience in a variety of different ways. Make sure to utilize that amazing resource!

Click on any of the icons above to find information on your academic advisor, faculty advisor(s), the Academic Advising Center, and very helpful FAQs!

Nielsen image

Samantha Nielsen

Advises: Primary Majors in
Statistics & Machine Learning LAST NAMES: A-I, and
all students majoring in Economics & Statistics


I'm excited to work with you. We will work together as you navigate CMU, this major, and your academic/career goals. We will make sure your plan to achieve those goals align with your personal interests, values and abilities.

Feel free to reach out with any questions you have about your major, research/internship opportunities, resources, CMU, etc.

Schedule an Appointment

Mitchel image

Amanda Mitchell

Advises: Primary Majors in
Statistics & Machine Learning LAST NAMES: J-Z


I look forward to meeting you and supporting you as you navigate CMU and the STATML major. I’m here to help with schedule planning, graduation progress, internship and career discussions, finding your place on campus, and whatever else you’d like to chat about!

Don’t hesitate to reach out via email with any questions.

Schedule an Appointment

Clune image

Glenn Clune

Advises: All Additional Majors (STATML, ECOSTA, and Statistics),
Primary Majors in Statistics Core, Stat-Math Stat-Neuro, and the Statistics Minor


I am looking forward to meeting all of you and supporting you while you work your way through our program!

I am excited to create an individualized plan for your success, and to cheer you on to graduation! If you have any questions, please feel free to email me for any clarification or assistance.

Schedule an Appointment

Your faculty advisors are a resource to address your questions surrounding jobs/internships, graduate school, and selecting specific classes for the type of career you are wanting to pursue. Your faculty advisor should be who you contact once you have spoken with other resources on campus (such as Career and Professional Development Center, CPDC), and are here to help you with specific questions regarding life after CMU in the Statistics field.

For example, you should contact CPDC for help with how to find an internship, and how to apply, but you would contact your faculty advisor if you are trying to choose between multiple offers to discuss your interests and how they align with each position.

Faculty Advisors for Core Statistics

Peter Freeman

View Profile


Faculty Advisors for
Statistics & Machine Learning

Ryan Tibshirani

Tibshirani image

View Profile

Ann Lee

View Profile


Faculty Advisors for Economics & Statistics

Rebecca Nugent

View Profile

Edward Kennedy

View Profile


Faculty Advisor for the
Statistics & Neuroscience Track

Valerie Ventura

View Profile

Faculty Advisor for the
Mathematical Statistics Track

Jing Lei

View Profile

Frequently Asked Questions

Please read the following Frequently Asked Questions prior to contacting the department.

When can I declare my Statistics major?

The earliest you can declare your major is after mid-semester break during your second semester of your first year at CMU; you are required to declare your major by mid-semester break of the second semester in your Sophomore year.

How do I declare?

In order to declare, you first need to speak with your advisor in the Academic Advising Center (AAC) to discuss your interests and academic aspirations and how they relate to Statistics. Once you have had that discussion, your AAC advisor will provide you with a declaration form that you will need to fill out prior to scheduling a meeting with the Statistics Advisor. Once you have completed this form you will make an appointment with the advisor in Statistics to go over your interests, degree requirements, course selection, and career aspirations. It is in this meeting that you will officially become a member of the STAT community!

How many courses do I need to take?

You must be in at least 36 units (full time) each semester. Anything below 36 units is considered part-time. Dropping below full-time may affect financial aid eligibility, housing, loan repayment status, and Visa status.
A normal course load consists of 5 courses(45 units), but this will vary depending on how many units each course is. 45 units each semester will keep you on pace for graduation in 4 years. Keep in mind that this is just an average, and fluctuation of units (below 45, and above 45) is common and expected.
Undergraduate students who wish to drop below full-time during the semester must fill out the Petition to drop below full-time. This form should be turned into your academic advisor. From there, the Associate Dean will have to approve the request. It is best to meet with your academic advisor when you first begin thinking about dropping below full-time.

How do I choose courses to make sure I stay on track?

Keep in mind that there are many different paths that students can take, so there is no one "right way" to take all of your courses. To get an idea of what types of major classes you should be taking and when, please look at our Sample Programs available under each Statistics major in our undergraduate catalog.
For further guidance, or if you have any additional questions, please feel free to email or make an appointment with your academic advisor.

What’s the difference between a “W” and a “Drop"?

If you decide to drop a course before the add/drop period is over, you can do so yourself in SIO and the drop will not be shown on your transcript. If you wait until later on in the semester (i.e. after the drop deadline), and you need to drop a course, that is considered a withdrawal. Withdrawing from a course will require you to consult with your advisor, fill out a withdrawal form, and will result in a “W” on your transcript.

How do I drop a course?

There are three types of drops you can take advantage of throughout the semester. The earliest deadline is the drop deadline and if you are still above 36 units after the drop, you're able to do that yourself in SIO. The second deadline is the course withdrawal deadline. If you choose that option, you will need to work with your Academic Advisor on how to withdraw from a course. Keep in mind that this option results in a "W" on your transcripts. The latest deadline, and third option, is using a drop voucher. You have three drop vouchers to use throughout your entire time at CMU. You can only use one drop voucher in a semester, and you will need to work with your Academic Advisor in order to use a voucher. Dropping a course with a voucher removes the course from your transcript entirely. The deadline for drop vouchers is the last day of classes (prior to final exams).
If it is after the drop deadline, that would be considered a withdraw (see above), and you will need to complete and submit a Course Withdrawal Form. At any time, if you are dropping below full time (i.e. 36 units), this must be due to extenuating circumstances, and approved by not only the academic advisor, but the Assistant Dean of the AAC as well.

How do I add a course after the add/drop period?

If you want to add a course after the established add period at the beginning of each semester, you must first consult your academci advisor. After you have spoken with your advisor, you will need to fill out a Late Add form. Keep in mind you will need need approval from you academic advisor and the Assistant Dean as well.

I’ve been waitlisted! What do I do?!

Be patient. Being waitlisted does not mean you are in the class, and it does not mean you are guaranteed a spot eventually. Each department has a different procedure for handling waitlists. Click here to see who handles each department's waitlist. Keep in mind that whatever department the course is housed in, is who has control over the waitlist. E.g. 79-104 (Global Histories) is housed in the History department, so only that department can answer questions about getting off that waitlist.

I have a hold on my account, how do I remove it?

There are a number of reasons that you could have a hold on your account. The most common reasons being either your academic advisor placed a hold on your account for scheduling reasons, or you have an overdue balance on you account and the HUB placed a hold on your account until it is paid. There are many other reasons, so contacting your academic advisor would be a good idea to get a better understanding of the reason.

How do I overload/raise my max units?

Overloading is defined as taking more than the equivalent of five full-semester courses (9-12 units each); which usually results in registering for more than 50 units. In order to overload in any given semester, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a QPA of 3.25 (or higher) in the last completed semester and a current cumulative QPA of 3.00 (or higher) in at least 45 units taken for a grade.

    Eligibility does not automatically allow the student to register for more than 50 units. If you meet the above eligibility requirements you will need to do the following in order to overload: (1) Complete the "Petition to Carry an Overload" form, (2) meet with your primary academic advisor to discuss overloading, and (3) if permission is granted, your unit increased will be processed by you primary academic advisor.

    Can I transfer in a course?

    Yes, you can transfer in courses, but there are several things you need to know first. First, once a student enrolls at Carnegie Mellon University, s/he may take a maximum of five courses (approximately 45 CMU units) at another institution and transfer these back for credit towards their CMU degree.

    Second, you must take that course for a grade and earn at least a C. Keep in mind that departments might have stricter grade requirements.

    If you are trying to transfer in a course to count for a specific course here at CMU, before you take that course you need to get approval from the department where that course is housed here at CMU. For example, if you were trying to take a math course at a different institution and wanted it to count for a specific math course here, you would need to contact an advisor in the Math Department to see if it was equivalent or not.

    If you are just trying to transfer in a course as units towards graduation, and not a specific course, before you take the class you would need to contact your advisor in the Academic Advisory Center (AAC) to see if it would transfer to CMU as units.

As a declared Statistics major, your primary advisor will now be in the Statistics & Data Science Department. Your STAT & DS advisor will assist you with course registration and all other issues related to the major. Your AAC advisor will become your secondary advisor and will be able to assist you mostly with general education requirements as well as process any Transfer courses you may take.

Visit the AAC website for more detailed information on how they can help you as you move along in your undergraduate career!