The Department of Statistics was established at the Botswana Campus of the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland (UBLS) in 1972. It was established with the main objective to disseminate statistical skills that was required to meet the acute demand for professionally trained manpower with statistical background. In the initial years the academic programmes catered at two levels, (i) a certificate course and (ii) a four-year degree programme wherein Statistics was one of the two majors. The first two years of the degree programme were offered at the Botswana Campus and the final two years at the Roma campus of UBLS.
Following the withdrawal of Lesotho from tri-partite UBLS to form the National University of Lesotho in 1975, Botswana and Swaziland formed the bilateral University of Botswana and Swaziland (UBS) and the University College of Botswana started offering all the four years of the Degree programme in Statistics and a two year Diploma programme, in addition to the Certificate Programme, while the Swaziland Campus offered only the first two years of the Degree programme in addition to the Diploma Programme.
In the initial years the Statistics Department played the role as a service Department in the Faculty of Social Sciences, towards imparting applied statistical skills to the students of social sciences in the analysis and interpretation of data relevant to those disciplines. However the growing years evolved a necessity to provide specialized courses in Statistics, to keep abreast of the developments taking place in the outside world. This culminated in establishing single major degree programme in Statistics during 1980-81, in addition to the other programmes that existed then.
The University of Botswana was formed in 1982, with Swaziland campus becoming the University of Swaziland, independently offering its own Degree programmes.
Towing in line with the general policy of the University to semesterize all programmes with effect from the academic year 2002-2003, the Department carefully planned its course structures to suit the needs of this new system. The exercise began as early as 1999 and utmost care was taken to structure each programme and design each course, encompassing the identification of course objectives, learning objectives, course contents and evaluation techniques, keeping in view the manpower requirements in Botswana in particular and the outside world in general and not compromising on the international standards that are necessary for such programmes and courses. Under this system the student has ample opportunity and flexibility to plan their course of study according to his taste and capability, within the general framework.