Practicum Partners

Thank you for your interest in becoming a Data Science Practicum Project Partner. We very much look forward to working with you.

The Data Institute and MSDS program staff are dedicated to providing you with all the essential information and assistance needed to guide you through the practicum project program, covering every aspect from initiation to completion

To begin the process, we kindly request that you complete the Practicum Project Pitch Intake Form, if you have not done so already. This form will help us gather essential details about your project proposal. 

Upon receiving your practicum project pitch, there are a few additional documents we may need from you:

  1. Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)
    If you require an NDA: Our team will create digital copies of our shared NDAs and facilitate the digital signing process using DocuSign
    • USF: We are able to provide an NDA. Our NDA has been used by hundreds of companies in the past so it may help expedite internal processes for all parties 
      USF NDA Sample
    • Company: If you are required to use an NDA from your company, please send it to as soon as possible, so that the USF legal team can review it.
  2. International Student Worker CPT Application
    • Working with international students requires one additional item: a letter for the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) application.  We will provide this letter to you.  View sample content of this letter.
  • When do interviews occur?
    If you would like to interview students, we will help schedule these interviews in mid-September until Early October.
  • Number of interviews
    Due to our engagement with approximately 90 students and over 50 organizations, we kindly request that each company limits their interview events to a maximum of 1 per student. If you require 2 interviews, please be sure they occur on the same day, so that we can move students to other organizations in the event they are not selected. This allows us to maintain the October start date for all students. Thank you for your cooperation.
  • Interview topics
    Most organizations only conduct behavioral interviews. If you are going to conduct technical interviews, please let the students know the content of the technical interview so they can concentrate their efforts on the skills you are most interested in assessing.

We recommend you work with your HR and legal teams to determine the best process for student worker hiring and onboarding. That said, we have found that:

  • Direct Hire
    The recommended approach is for the company to hire students for roles such as interns, consultants, or contractors. In these instances, the company is responsible for generating employment contracts and facilitating standard onboarding procedures. Students will undergo HR training, receive necessary equipment like computers, and be granted various forms of access. The classification of employment can vary: part-time worker, intern, consultant, contract worker, or student worker, among others.
  • Third-Party Hire
    An alternative (less preferable) route involves categorizing students as contractors via a third-party vendor. In this situation, the employment letter and/or contract would be established with the vendor.
  • Additional Information
    For your reference, you may also wish to consult the: Student Internship Program Guide, State of California.

For paying Practicum Project Partners, please review contract and payment information below. 

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) / Contract

We will send you a detailed contract for your legal review and signature. 

Payment Submission

  • Check
    In the remittance or memo field, please put Data Institute. Checks can be mailed to the following address:
    • University of San Francisco
      Accounting Business and Services
      2130 Fulton Street
      San Francisco, CA 94117-1080
  • ACH/Wire Transfer
    If your organization has a form for us to complete for ACH/wire details, please send that to and our colleagues in Accounting & Business Services will provide this information to you. Once the ACH or wire is initiated, please let the Data Institute know the date initiated so we can easily track your payment.
  • Credit Card
    Make a payment via credit card. Select "Membership," then enter the invoice amount and select add to basket, then checkout to complete the transaction. Once payment is submitted, please let the Data Institute know the transaction number so we can easily track your payment.

We kindly request that you ensure payment is made by Dec 31 to avoid any delays or complications. If there are any concerns or issues regarding the payment process or the specified timeline, please reach out to us at

We appreciate your attention to and understanding of the significance of these documents and processes in facilitating a seamless collaboration. If you have any questions or require further clarification, please do not hesitate to contact us at

We look forward to working with you.