Carnegie Mellon University

Statistics & Data Science Dietrich Honors Thesis Requirements


Eligibility is determined by Dietrich College. Students who are eligible will be notified prior to their senior year.

Dietrich Requirements

  • Students must have a major in Dietrich College, either as a primary or an additional major; or be in the BHA program.
  • Cumulative QPA through the end of the junior year of at least 3.25 overall, and 3.50 in the Dietrich College major associated with the proposed project.
  • Departmental sponsorship in the form of an agreement by a faculty member to serve as advisor for the 2-semester/18 unit Honors project (graduate students may not serve as advisors; adjunct faculty may do so, but only in collaboration with a regular faculty member), and approval by the department head.

Stat & DS Requirements Overview

The below guidelines apply to any Statistics & Data Science students who are doing an honors thesis that has been approved through the Stat & DS department (i.e. Stat & DS sign the thesis paperwork). If you are a Stat & DS student who is doing a Dietrich senior honors thesis through a different department (i.e. a different department than Stat & DS is signing off on it) then these guidelines do not apply to you.

In order to be approved for a thesis with the Stat & DS department the project needs to have a significant statistical component. This will be discussed and confirmed during the proposal approval phase of applying. 

Senior Year - Fall Semester

Progress Paper

The Dietrich College senior honors thesis is a year-long project. As such, after the fall semester of a student’s senior year a progress report will be due to Undergraduate Program Director, Peter Freeman, for review.


  • Minimum length - 5 pages of text (not including graphs/figures/results)
  • This paper should build substantially on the proposal, and lay out what work has been done up to this point, as well as an action plan for the spring semester. 
  • Must be sent to Undergraduate Program Director, Peter Freeman, by the last day of classes for the fall semester (typically the first week of December).

Senior Year - Spring Semester

Final Thesis

In alignment with a typical advanced data analysis (ADA) project in the field of Statistics the minimum required length of the final thesis must be a minimum of 15 written pages, no more than 18 single-spaced pages, 12-point font. This does *not* include figures.

  • Figures can be embedded within the text (so long as the overall text length requirement is met) but can also be provided as appendices after the main body of the text.
  • Reports should be written in IMRaD format (Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion), where the "Introduction" can be a Background and Significance section followed by a Data section.
  • All theses are due to the Undergraduate Program Director, Peter Freeman, and Department Head, Rebecca Nugent, at the end of the 12th week of class in spring semester (roughly the first week of April).