Alpha Seminar: A Course for New Graduate Students in Statistics

Christopher R. Bilder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The accumulation of technical knowledge is the central focus of graduate programs in statistics. However, student success does not depend solely on acquiring such knowledge. Rather, students must also understand the rigors of graduate study to complete their degree. And, they need to understand the statistics profession to prepare for a career after graduation. The purpose of the one-credit hour Alpha Seminar course at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is to educate graduate students in these nontechnical areas. Students are required to enroll in Alpha Seminar during their first semester of study. In addition to advisement on courses and graduation requirements, Alpha Seminar features topics on career paths, ethics, professional accreditation, internships, and professional societies. Alumni also meet with the class to discuss how to be successful in the program and in a future career. This article discusses course topics, examines assignments, and provides evaluations from student cohorts. The corresponding course website is available

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)286-291
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Statistician
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2022


  • Career
  • Curriculum
  • Education
  • Ethics
  • Internships
  • Professionalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Mathematics(all)
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty


Dive into the research topics of 'Alpha Seminar: A Course for New Graduate Students in Statistics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this