The Department of Statistics was founded in 1986. Previously, statisticians on campus held appointments in a variety of different schools at Northwestern, including Kellogg School of Management, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the School of Education and Social Policy. Following the appointment of Arnold Weber as President of Northwestern in 1985, the Department was formed from faculty who had been active in the interdepartmental graduate Program in Statistics and Probability led by Meyer Dwass. These origins have led to a department in which the faculty members have serious interdisciplinary research interests.
In March 2022, the Department of Statistics was renamed to the Department of Statistics and Data Science.
Today, the Department has 15 faculty members and offers an undergraduate major and minor in Statistics, an undergraduate major (starting Fall 2022) and minor in Data Science, a BA+MS in Statistics (starting Fall 2022), an MS in Statistics (starting Fall 2022), an Ad Hoc MS in Applied Statistics for Northwestern PhD Students, and a PhD in Statistics.