Information for Prospective SSRC Students
The SSRC is looking for talented students who want to study for an M.S. or Ph.D. at UC Santa Cruz! Grad students in the SSRC work closely with faculty and other students, as well as with local industry. Since we're only 40 minutes from Silicon Valley,
local industry includes just about every major storage company—our collaborators include NetApp, IBM, Hewlett Packard Laboratories, LSI Logic, Symantec, Data Domain, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and many other companies and research organizations. Because of our industry ties and location, many students spend internships in industry or government laboratories, and our graduates typically have multiple job offers, whether from industry, government, or academia.
Over the past eight years, the SSRC has supported all of its full-time Ph.D. students, providing both full tuition support and a stipend. This is usually done through a combination of research grants, internal and external fellowships, and teaching assistantships (the Computer Science Department requires all Ph.D. students to TA for at least one quarter). Nearly all Ph.D. students who have passed their qualifying exam are supported as graduate student researchers (on research funding) or via fellowship, allowing them to focus on their research. We have also supported many full-time M.S. students, typically as graduate student researchers or teaching assistants.
As described above, many students spend summer internships in the research groups of local companies or at national laboratories. Other students spend their summers at the SSRC working on their research, with full funding from SSRC research funds.
Learning more about the SSRC
There are many exciting projects in the SSRC, including metadata management, archival storage, file systems for storage class memories, secure file systems, and petascale file systems. You can usually judge the current activity level of a project by looking at the publication dates of recent papers. However, lack of recent publications may simply mean the project is looking for more students—like you.
We encourage prospective students to check out our web site and ask current faculty and students about any projects that they find interesting.
How to apply
Students interested in the SSRC should apply to one of the departments in the Baskin School of Engineering at UC Santa Cruz. While many of our students are enrolled in the Computer Science Department, we also welcome students from departments such as Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering. Each department has different course requirements; please check the individual department Web sites for more information.
While good GRE scores and grades are important in deciding on graduate admissions, our group relies heavily on letters of recommendation and your statement of purpose. We're interested in hearing what your professors and others have to say about you, and in what you have to say about yourself. We have found that letters from active researchers in computer systems tend to be most helpful; a letter from a person we know is more useful than from a person we don't know. Letters from faculty who've observed you in computer systems classes, particularly those involving projects, are also good.
Your statement of purpose should clearly explain why you want to go to grad school, focusing on research areas you find interesting. Of course, we expect that your interests will evolve over time, so don't feel that you have to do research on exactly what you discuss in your statement. Keep in mind, too, that we're looking for good writing skills (spelling, grammar, organization) as well as strong content in your statement.
In addition to the relevant departmental pages, you should also browse the Web pages for graduate applicants to UC Santa Cruz. Specific pages to check out include:
- Application FAQs [Graduate Division]
- Application requirements [Graduate Division]
- Application deadlines [Graduate Division]