Co-operative Education and Work Experience

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Co-operative Education and Work Experience

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In a Co-operative Education Program academic study is integrated with related and supervised work experience in co-operating employer organizations. For the graduate level Co-operative Education Option, students work for one eight-month segment.

Graduate Co-operative Program

A Co-operative Education Option is available for MSc students in Statistics. The Program is intended to help prepare interested and qualified students for careers in statistics and involves 8 months of work placement supervised by practising professionals. Faculty advisers also visit students at their place of work and provide advice on technical reports required of all students in the Program.

There is NOT a citizenship status requirement.

For further information or to apply to the Statistics graduate cooperative program, please contact the Science Coop office, part of the UBC Co-operative Education Program or contact the Departmental Graduate Program Advisor.

Graduate Co-operative Education in Statistics

The University of British Columbia offers a Masters of Science degree in Statistics with a Co-operative Education Option. Masters of Science students have a strong undergraduate background in statistics, mathematics and computing, typically with a bachelor's degree in one of these areas.

During the first year of the Masters program, before the co-op placement, students will have developed the following:

  • through project work and the practicum consulting course (STAT 550) and possibly through teaching undergraduate courses: communication skills: e.g., explaining or reporting statistical results to non-statisticians;

  • through course work and the consulting course: a broad base of knowledge of modern statistical methods, including computing; ability to choose appropriate analyses when presented with a real problem and to understand the implications of these analyses (assumptions, shortcomings, interpretation of results);

  • through course work, projects, Department seminars, and the consulting course: ability to learn new statistical techniques from textbooks and journal articles, modifying the techniques, if necessary.

The co-op experience will further strengthen these skills by providing the student with hands-on experience in a non-university environment.

Employer Information

Masters students are available for co-op placement for the eight month period from May (at the end of their first year in graduate studies) until the end of December. The placements are arranged through the Cooperative Education Office, by mutual consent of the student and the employing organization. Each student is assigned a faculty mentor (a UBC faculty member). The role of the faculty advisor is to visit co-op students at the work place, if feasible, and to provide feedback on technical reports required of all students in the program. Reports that contain confidential material can be evaluated by the employing organization. No thesis or project is required of students in the Co-op option. However, students may wish to pursue an interesting problem that has arisen during the co-op placement. With approval of the employing organization and the Department of Statistics, this pursuit could develop into a project or thesis.

Employers wishing to hire a co-operative education Masters student can do so by:

Requirements and Sample Programs

Co-op placements are for the eight month period from May (at the end of the first year in graduate studies) until the end of December. Students must apply by October 6th of the first year. However, since course planning is important, students interested in the program should let the Graduate Advisor know at the start of the MSc program. Students holding teaching assistantships must notify the Department of their co-op plans several months before placement (e.g. in September of the first year).

When the work placement is made, the student is assigned a faculty mentor (a UBC faculty member). The role of the faculty advisor is to visit co-op students at the work place, if feasible, and to provide feedback on technical reports required of all students in the program. No thesis or project is required of students in the Co-op option. However, students may also wish to pursue an interesting problem that has arisen during the co-op placement. With approval of the employing organization and the Department of Statistics, this pursuit could develop into a project or thesis.

The student must satisfy the Faculty of Graduate Studies requirements of completing 6 credits at 400 level or above and 24 credits at 500 level or above. A one semester course is worth 3 credits. The Co-operative Work Placement courses (STAT 598 and 599) can not be counted towards these academic credits. Students in the Co-op option are required to make a formal departmental seminar presentation of their Co-op work (or part of the work) or a presentation of their Co-op work experience.

The student should have completed most of the following courses either before entering the program or during the first year of the program: an advanced probability course approved by the grad advisor, STAT 560 and 561 (mathematical statistics), and part of the applied statistics sequence. In addition, the student must complete the consulting course STAT 550.

For admissions criteria and application procedures, see the criteria for the MSc program.

Here is a  sample program.

For a student without an advance probability course approved by the grad advisor and Stat 560/561: The two STAT 5XX (1.5 credits) in Year 1 Term 2 could still be taken in any of the other study terms. Six credits of the STAT 5XX courses could be replaced by 4XX courses. Some STAT 5XX courses can be taken in another department, in consultation with the Graduate Advisor.

Year Term 1 Term 2 Summer
1 STAT 547C (3)
STAT 560 (3)
STAT 5XX (3)
STAT 550 (3)
STAT 561 (3)
STAT 5XX (3) STAT 5XX (2x 1.5)
Work Term 1 
2 Work Term 2  STAT 5XX (3)
STAT 5XX (3)
STAT 5XX (3)