Statistics Requirement Information

One of the degree requirements for the Master’s of Science in Social Work program at Columbia School of Social Work is a proficiency in statistics. You can fulfill that requirement in one of three ways:

Pass the waiver exam

We offer an online waiver exam three times during the Summer and again during Orientation Week. Exact dates TBD.

The best preparation for the exam is prior coursework or experience in which you learned about and applied various statistical terminology, procedures and tests.

The waiver exam covers:

  • Ratios, percentages, and proportions
  • Types of variables and measurement levels
  • Distribution shapes
  • Common statistical symbols
  • Computation of descriptive statistics
  • Correlation and coefficient of determination
  • Inferential test selection and data interpretations
  • Effect sizes and hypotheses

The exam is open-note; electronic communication devices (such as cell phones, iPads, etc.) cannot be used.

For a conceptual overview of statistics, you can review the textbook assigned for our introductory statistics course:
Pyrczak, F. (2014). Making sense of statistics (6th ed.). Glendale, CA: Pyrczak Publishing.

Note these two corrections in the text:
1) Section 24, second paragraph, first sentence. Although ANOVA can be used to test the difference between two means, ANOVA is never employed in this manner. ANOVA is not the best test for two means. Rather, you would use a t-test for this purpose.

2) Section 28. The formula that Pyrczak gives for Cohen’s d is atypical. More common is to divide the difference between the two means by the pooled variance of both groups. Thus, instead of dividing by the control group SD, you divide by the average of the treatment and control SD.

Pass our Introduction to Statistics course

The Introduction to Statistics course is 0-credit, takes five weeks, and is graded pass/fail. Students who fail the Spring section of statistics are able to retake the course in August.  The statistics course will be offered in the autumn term at various times and days as well.

Waiver by Previous Course Work

Effective fall 2020, students who have completed an approved Statistics course in their previous undergraduate or graduate studies, may apply for a waiver of the Introduction to Statistics requirement. Students must have received a grade of B or greater in an approved course taken within four years of one’s first semester of matriculation at Columbia School of Social Work.