One requirement of the MS Statistics degree at SJSU is the completion of one of the following four options:
- a CAMCOS project (Math 203)
- a research project (Math 298)
- an internship (Math 288i)
- a written exam on the material from Math 163, Math 164, and Math 261A. Students who choose to take the exam will be required to also take an extra elective course to make up the units required for the degree.
CAMCOS projectTogether with a faculty advisor, a small group of students works on a research problem posed by an industry sponsor for the duration of a semester. See examples of past CAMCOS projects and a list of previous industry sponsors on the CAMCOS website.
Research projectTogether with a faculty advisor the student identifies a topic of study or an area of research. Under the guidance of the faculty advisor the student will then spend (at least) one semester working on the project and produce a formal paper to summarize results. Potential projects can include the investigation of theoretical problems, simulation studies, large scale or complex data analysis problems or an intense study of a topic not covered in class. Since faculty members can only supervise a limited number of these projects, research project opportunities are quite limited and always subject to availability of a faculty advisor.
Approved internshipTo satisfy the program requirement through an internship, the student needs to identify an internship of at least 150 hours that is appropriate for the program (i.e., the work to be performed needs to be relevant to an advanced statistics degree). A written report and an oral presentation is required from all interns. The internship must be supervised by a statistical supervisor at the company.
Written ExamThe three-hour written exam will cover material from Math 163, Math 164 and Math 261A in roughly equal proportions. The exam will be closed book and closed notes, but a sheet of formulas will be provided. The exam will be given in August (around the beginning of the fall semester).
- CAMCOS projects are announced (per e-mail) towards the end of the semester before the semester in which the project will take place. Participation in CAMCOS is via application only. To apply please download the application form and send your completed application to the CAMCOS director (Dr. Simic). Applications are usually due in December (for spring) and in May (for fall). If you are selected for a project, the project faculty supervisor will provide you with an add code for Math 203.
- Internship: If you have identified a suitable internship, fill out the internship approval form and send it to the project coordinator for signature. You need to identify a supervisor/mentor at the company at which you will intern. The mentor must have a degree (MS or MA or higher) in statistics or a closely related field. If your supervisor does not have an advanced degree in statistics you need to submit evidence of his or her qualifications as a statistical supervisor. A description of the work you plan to perform during your internship needs to be submitted together with the form. The work should be relevant to an advanced statistics degree. The completed internship approval form (signed by your internship supervisor) is due a week before the last day to add a class in the semester in which you plan to take the internship. The internship student is required to sign the participation guidelines form prior to registering for the internship course. The company with which you wish to intern must have a signed university-organization-agreement (UOA) on file with SJSU. You can see the list of organizations that currently have active agreements here. If there currently is no agreement, you need to ask your employer to fill out this form. Tell the Internship coordinator once the company has submitted their form. International students on F1 visa need to obtain CPT (curricular practical training) permission before they receive work authorization on their visa. This process may take several weeks. Plan ahead accordingly. Once your internship has been approved, the participation guidelines form signed, and there is a university-organization-agreement in place then you will receive an add code for Math 288i from the statistics internship coordinator.
- Research project: Contact SJSU statistics faculty members directly to inquire about availability of potential research projects. You can make suggestions for topics you would like to study but the exact scope of your project should be a joint decision between you and your faculty mentor and is subject to approval by the MS stats project coordinator and the graduate curriculum committee. If your project is approved, your faculty mentor will provide you with an add code for Math 298.
Searching for Internships (and Jobs...)
It is up to the student to identify an appropriate internship. There are several resources and strategies that can help you with your search.
- Mailing List
The project coordinator keeps a mailing list for students actively searching for internships and jobs. To sign up for the mailing list, send a request to the project coordinator at any time. To remove yourself from the list also send an e-mail with a removal request. The mailing list will be used to periodically send out announcements about open internship positions and jobs in the Bay Area. Some of them are directly targeted at SJSU MS Stats students.
Join groups of statisticians (such as meetup groups in statistics or data science or the Bay Area chapter of the ASA). Attend their meetings to meet prospective employers and other statisticians. Attend job fairs to find both jobs and/or internships. The SJSU Career center organizes job fairs several times each year. Talk to your relatives and friends. Ask fellow students for references of companies they have interned with.
Attend "Internship Reports Days" where students who have completed internships tell you about what they did and how they found their positions. Look at some examples of such reports. Some of the reports contain contact information for the company HR managers.
- Search Online
Use keywords such as "statistics, statistician, data analyst, data scientist, data mining, quantitative analyst, bioinformatics, etc." on job-search websites such as
- Know what you want - and go for it
If you already know what company or what industry you want to work for identify employers of that type in your area and go directly to their company websites. Search for HR, open positions, internships etc. Companies who advertise open jobs in the area in which you are looking for an internship may also be amenable to hiring interns in the same area.
- Be prepared
Have an updated version of your resume and a cover letter that you can individualize to every application at the ready. Ask at least one (better two or three..) friends to read your resume and cover letter. Make absolutely sure that your application packet contains no grammatical or spelling errors. The SJSU Career Center offers sessions that help you to write effective cover letters and resumes. Keep your linkedin account up to date.
- Keep records When you are ready to start sending out applications, keep a record of every application you send out. Most students do that with a spreadsheet. Note at least the date, company name, and position name. If you have communicated with a recruiter or somebody at the company, write down the name of every person you talked to. Save a copy of the job description you applied for as well as the version of resume you sent out and the cover letter.