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Statistical Science

This guide highlights key information and resources for Statistical Science research.

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R is a language and environment for statistical computing and graphics. It is a GNU project which is similar to the S language and environment which was developed at Bell Laboratories (formerly AT&T, now Lucent Technologies) by John Chambers and colleagues. R can be considered as a different implementation of S. There are some important differences, but much code written for S runs unaltered under R.

R is available as Free Software under the terms of the Free Software Foundation's GNU General Public License in source code form. It compiles and runs on a wide variety of UNIX platforms and similar systems (including FreeBSD and Linux), Windows and MacOS.


Python is a popular open-source, multi-purpose programming language. Python is free to download and use.  There are many resources online for those learning Python.


MATLAB is a proprietary multi-paradigm programming language and numeric computing environment developed by MathWorks. MATLAB allows matrix manipulations, plotting of functions and data, implementation of algorithms, creation of user interfaces, and interfacing with programs written in other languages.

Before you can download and install MATLAB, you must have a MathWorks account associated with the Duke license.  Having an account associated with the duke license will give you permission to download all Duke-licensed MathWorks products from

If you have a MathWorks account associated with the Duke license, you can download products.  If you have not associated your account with the Duke license, go to the first section.


IBM® SPSS® Statistics is a powerful statistical software platform. It offers a user-friendly interface and a robust set of features that lets your organization quickly extract actionable insights from your data. Advanced statistical procedures help ensure high accuracy and quality decision making. All facets of the analytics lifecycle are included, from data preparation and management to analysis and reporting.

SPSS software licenses are purchased annually by OIT and resold at a cost of $100 per computer per year to the Duke community.  No profit is made by OIT on the resale of licenses, and the price is adjusted as needed to recover the entire amount of the licensing purchased from IBM.  A license must be purchased for each computer on which SPSS is installed.  Licenses expire annually on July 31.


SAS provides a scalable, integrated software environment specially designed for data access, transformation and reporting. It includes a fourth-generation programming language; ready-to-use programs for data manipulation, information storage and retrieval, descriptive statistics and report writing; and a powerful macro facility that reduces programming time and maintenance headaches. 

Duke is licensed for the SAS Education Analytical Suite (EAS), and a list of all licensed products can be found here.


Stata is a complete, integrated statistical package that provides everything you need for data analysis, data management, and graphics.

Stata/SE is the general-purpose version of Stata for large datasets. If you need a different version of the software, you will need to purchase through the GradPlan.

Purchasing a Stata license will give you access to the latest version of Stata/SE for installation or renewal on a single computer.