Frequently Asked Questions

Prospective Students
Statistics Coursework
Project Requirement
Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement
Time Line
On Being a Student

Prospective Students

  1. Please see the entrance and degree requirements at the MS Statistics web site.
  2. Simply meeting the minimal entrance requirements does not guarantee acceptance.  When there are more qualified applicants than we have space available in the program we offer admission to those whom we consider the most promising applicants until all of the available space is filled.
  3. Please see the Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluation (GAPE) page for general information on admissions. Virtually all of your questions will be answered at one of the links from either this page or that page.
  4. The application process is on-line. See the "Applying to SJSU" sections of the GAPE page for prospective students.
  5. Bear in mind the various deadlines. The first deadline is associated with filling out the online application. There is a second (slightly later) deadline for submitting supporting documents such as transcripts and TOEFL scores (if required). In any case, please apply and submit all documents as early as possible.
  6. All documents such as transcripts and TOEFL scores need to be sent to the GAPE office. The only materials to be sent to the statistics graduate coordinator in the math department are the letters of recommendation.
  7. The Department of Mathematics and Statistics does not see your application until GAPE has reviewed your materials and determined that you have met the minimal SJSU standards. It is only after that that your application is forwarded to the department for a final decision regarding admittance to the program. If you have general questions about your application, you should contact the GAPE administrator responsible for the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.
  8. If you would like to visit the campus, please see the campus map. The Department of Mathematics and Statistics Office is located in room 308 of MacQuarrie Hall (Designated MQH and located in grid D2 on the map). A visitor would park on the second floor or above in the south parking garage (also located in grid D2 on the map), and parking permits may be purchased from the machines located at the end of each floor. Directions to campus may be found at the link from the campus map. Please contact the Department Office to set up an appointment with the Statistics Graduate Coordinator if you would like to have an in-person meeting.
  9. Possibilities for funding include the following:

Statistics Coursework

  1. See the course requirements at the degree page.
  2. Most students would take Math 163, 261A, and 267A during their first semester. Part time students would take Math 163 and Math 267A.
  3. Most students would take Math 164 and 261B during their second semester (after meeting the prerequisites).
  4. Most students would complete their project requirement after their first year.
  5. Most students would take Math 269 their last semester.
  6. See descriptions of the courses as well as their prerequisites in the SJSU Catalog.
  7. A student who has had a required course as part of their coursework prior to coming to SJSU may request that that course be waived by the Statistics Admissions Coordinator. If the waiver is approved, this does not mean that there are fewer courses to take as an MS student at SJSU. The student must still take 36 units of course work and will have the opportunity to select additional electives in place of any waived courses.
  8. Any course not found in the List of Electives must be approved for each student individually by the Statistics Advisor as an accepted elective prior to registration.
  9. See the Department's Tentative Schedule of Future Course Offerings [pdf] (but keep in mind that this is subject to change).
  10. Required courses are offered once per year. Elective courses are usually offered only once every two years.
  11. Each semester, register as early as possible. Some courses fill up quickly and you may not be able to take a course that you are interested in. At the other extreme, sometimes too many students wait to register and a class may have such low enrollment that it is cancelled before the semester begins. Registering early for all courses that you are interested in can prevent these unfortunate situations from occurring.
  12. Courses you took as an undergraduate may not be repeated for credit towards your master's degree.
  13. No more than 6-units of coursework may be taken through Open University or transferred from another institution. Coursework used for another degree may not be counted towards this degree.
  14. There is no credit by examination for any course in your program.

Project Requirement

The project requirement can be satisfied by Math 203: CAMCOS, Math 298: Research Project, or Math 298i: Internship.  There is no guarantee of future CAMCOS projects or the ability to participate in them. An internship should not be performed more than one year before the anticipated graduation date, though you may participate in a suitable CAMCOS project whenever one is available.

  • To participate in a specific CAMCOS Project, you will need to send your application to the CAMCOS Director. Available projects will be announced toward the end of the semester prior to the start of the project.
  • To obtain degree credit for an Internship, you will have to submit a completed internship approval form to the Statistics Project Coordinator prior to the beginning of the internship.
  • To obtain credit for a Research Project, you will have to identify a project and find a faculty member who is willing to supervise your proposed project. You will also have to submit a proposal the the Statistics Project Coordinator.

Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement

All students must meet the SJSU writing requirement. It is important that you do this as soon as possible (see the time line/links below). Some students will need to take a course to meet this requirement, and, if so, that course will not count towards the units required for the degree. Some students will complete this requirement by taking Math 100W, which requires that you first take the WST (Writing Skills Test). Some student will complete this requirement by taking CS 200W or ENGR 200W (which do not require taking the WST, but other departments may or may not have other prerequisites for taking such a course. In the past, the CS department has allowed any student to take CS 200W regardless of major).

Time Line

  1. If you were admitted conditionally and have met those requirements, you should apply to have your status changed [pdf] ASAP.
  2. Complete the GWAR.
  3. After you are about half way through the program or about ten months before your anticipated graduation date (i.e. during the first week of your second to last semester), whichever is later, you will need to file for candidacy [pdf] (again, this can only happen after completing the GWAR). See the pre-candidacy requirements and also read the section below that for more information. The candidacy form is a contract: if your candidacy has been approved and you decide not to take a class that you listed on the form, you must file a formal request for Course Substitution in Master's Degree Program [pdf] to replace it with another class. That's why it's not such a good idea to file your candidacy request until you've finished most of your coursework. Pay attention to the deadlines, though.
  4. After your candidacy form is approved, you should apply for graduation [pdf].
  5. Note carefully all university deadlines.

On Being a Student

  1. Please be familiar with SJSU's "Steps for Completing Your Master's Degree".
  2. Please be familiar with SJSU's general FAQ for Graduate Students.
  3. Please check MySJSU regularly for important messages, and make sure your current email address is accurate.
  4. Keep records; keep a copy of every form you turn in. Write down the name of anyone in the Department, GAPE, or the University who tells you something important. It doesn't hurt to let the person see you writing down his or her name. Make sure you record the date and time of the conversation and the gist of what was said.
  5. Seven-year rule: "No more than seven years may elapse between the time the candidate completes the first course in his/her program and the date the candidate actually completes (not registers for) the last item on the program and completes requirements for the degree." See 7-Year Rule for details.
  6. A student who, for personal reasons, has to miss more than 20% of a course (approximately 6 lectures) should file for course withdrawal. If a student anticipates that his would be their situation, they are encouraged to take a leave of absence for the semester in question. Note: A leave of absence cannot be taken in the first semester after admission to the University.
  7. A student who misses two or more consecutive semesters must re-apply to the University, adhering to the same rules and deadlines for application as all other prospective students. Note: the Seven-Year Rule applies to the original matriculation date.
  8. There is no such thing as "grade forgiveness" for courses in your master's program, so protect your GPA. You will be on probation and you won't be able to graduate if your GPA drops and remains below 3.0. Without academic renewal, it's hard to raise a low GPA due to failing a class.
  9. Don't compare how you feel on the inside to how other people look like on the outside. Graduate school is tough for everybody. Don't assume that everyone else is sailing along and you're the only one struggling; that's just not true. You don't know the agonies your fellow students are going through, and they don't know yours. And remember, if things get really tough, there's Counseling Services, and it's free.
  10. Don't overload yourself, especially your first semester and especially if you have other commitments such a work, teaching, or family commitments
  11. When in doubt, ask. Ask your fellow students, ask professors, ask the Statistics Graduate Coordinator.