Mathematics and Statistics Department

MS - Statistics

The Master of Science in Statistics prepares students to become practicing statisticians in business, government and industry fields. It features theoretical and applied coursework in statistics and advanced statistical techniques, and its skills-based coursework emphasizes writing and communication skills and provides students with practical project experience. The program was developed in concert with industry and is designed to dovetail into professional career opportunities.

Persons with bachelor's degrees in engineering, the sciences, economics, business, the social sciences or other fields that use statistics are encouraged to apply. Those with bachelor's degrees in mathematics or statistics are welcome to apply for the program in order to advance their technical and theoretical skills.

Information about the MS, Statistics is available on the Department of Mathematics & Statistics website at

Admissions Requirements

University Admissions

Applicants must submit a complete graduate application by applying through the CSU Cal State Apply system at and meet all the university admission requirements. See the GAPE Graduate Admissions website and this Catalog for general information about graduate admissions at SJSU.

Applicants from countries in which the native language is not English must achieve a minimum English-language proficiency test score as indicated on the Graduate Program Test Requirements webpage at GAPE. For TOEFL Requirements, see the Policies and Procedures section, Graduate and Post-Baccalaureate Information in this Catalog.

Requirements for Admission to Classified Standing

To enter this program with classified standing, an applicant must meet the minimum requirements for admission to the Graduate Division. Applicants must also have completed the following SJSU courses or their equivalents each with a grade of "B" or better (this coursework is not counted toward the MS degree):

  1. A calculus series through multiple integration and partial differentiation (equivalent to the SJSU courses MATH 30, 31 and 32);
  2. Linear algebra equivalent to MATH 129A; and
  3. Introductory calculus-based probability and statistics equivalent to MATH 161A.

In addition, applicants must also submit scores from the general GRE test. Applicants must have two letters of recommendation submitted on their behalf.

Requirements for Admission to Conditionally Classified Standing

An applicant who meets the minimum requirements for admission to the Graduate Division but does not yet satisfy the mathematics and statistics coursework program requirements stated above may be admitted as Conditionally Classified. The student must complete additional coursework to make up the deficiency before beginning the program. The units earned from this additional coursework may not be counted towards the total number of units required for the MS degree. The individual admission letter will explain required terms and conditions for attaining Classified standing.

Requirements for Admission to Candidacy

To be admitted to candidacy for the MS Statistics degree:

  1. A student must meet the candidacy requirements as stated in this catalog. The University requires that all graduate students complete the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) as a condition for advancement to candidacy. Please refer to the SJSU catalog section titled "Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement" for details. The GWAR requirement is fulfilled by passing CS 200W.
  2. Complete MATH 163 and 164, each with a grade of at least B.
  3. Complete at least 18 units towards the degree with at least a 3.0 average.
  4. Complete the Request for Candidacy and Graduate Degree Program form for the Master of Science degree. This form lists, among other things, all the coursework to be counted toward the master's degree. After the form has been signed by the Graduate Coordinator, it is forwarded to the Associate Dean for College of Graduate Studies for final approval. Any subsequent changes to the student's program require approval from College of Graduate Studies.

Requirements for Graduation

University Graduation Requirements

Students must complete all residency, curriculum, unit, GPA, and culminating experience requirements as outlined in the Graduation Requirements section of the Graduate Policies and Procedures.

MS- Statistics Graduation Requirements

Students in the MS Statistics program complete all courses in the program core, project experience or written exam, and culminating experience. Those choosing the Specialization in Machine Learning complete the electives MATH 251, 252, 253 and 267. All other students complete MATH 261B and 9 units of electives selected in consultation with, and approved by, the Statistics Coordinator. The electives should form a coherent set of courses associated with the student's career goals. They may include a maximum of 3 units of MATH 180 and a maximum of three units of MATH 203 or MATH 298. The maximum number of 100-level undergraduate units that can be applied toward the master's degree is 15.

Culminating Experience

Plan B (Project)

Students in the MS, Statistics enroll in the MATH 269 in their final semester. They complete the program culminating experience requirement by successfully completing the course and an oral examination related to their consulting project.

Course Requirements

Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement
At SJSU, students must pass the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR). For information on the GWAR, please see
Requirements of the Masters36
Core Courses18
CS 200W. Graduate Technical WritingGWAR3
MATH 163. Probability Theory3
MATH 164. Mathematical Statistics3
MATH 167R. Statistical Programming with R3
MATH 167PS. Introduction to Python Programming and SQL3
MATH 261A. Regression Theory and Methods3
Project Experience3
Complete one course from:
MATH 203. Applied Mathematics, Computation, and Statistics Projects3
MATH 288I. Internships3
MATH 298. Special Study3
Comprehensive written exam on material from Math 163, Math 164, and Math 261A and one additional elective approved by the graduate advisor
Electives or Specialization12
Complete 12 units of Electives or the Specialization in Machine Learning
Students not pursuing a specialization take MATH 261B and 9 units of electives selected in consultation with the graduate advisor.9
MATH 261B. Design and Analysis of Experiments3
Specialization in Machine Learning
MATH 251. Classification3
MATH 252. Cluster Analysis3
MATH 253. Mathematical Methods for Data Visualization3
MATH 267. Computational Statistics3
Culminating Experience3
MATH 269. Statistical Consulting3

Total Units:36

Elective courses must be planned in consultation with the Graduate Advisor.

The maximum number of upper-division undergraduate units that can be applied toward the master's degree is 15.

Upon completion of the degree requirements, the student must have achieved minimum candidacy and SJSU Cumulative grade point averages of 3.0 in order to graduate.