Find answers to common questions about the Master of Science in Data Science program.
Is there a preference for students who have just finished their undergraduate degrees or those who have work experience?
There is no preference. Each year, we expect to have students who have just finished their degrees and students who have been working professionals and are returning to school.
Is financial support available?
The Master of Science in Data Science is a professional program, similar to a JD or an MBA. As such, we do not have fellowships or assistantships, but many students are able to secure loans. Please see Student Financial Services for more information.
Is a three-year undergraduate degree acceptable?
Do you admit students transferring from other graduate programs?
Students in other programs are welcome to apply but are considered the same as other applicants. In particular, work from other programs cannot be applied to the MSDS program.
We do, however, offer dual degrees with the University of Virginia School of Medicine, the Darden School of Business, and the University of Virginia School of Nursing, as well as other schools and departments. Learn more about our MD/MSDS dual degree, MBA/MSDS dual degree, and PhD/MSDS degree.
Can you provide an informal or unofficial evaluation of my credentials to let me know my chances of being admitted?
No. We are only able to evaluate completed and submitted applications.
What is the minimum required GRE score? What is the average GRE score?
There is no predetermined minimum required GRE score.
We do not make average GRE scores available, but in the past, admitted students typically had scores of at least 80th percentile on the quantitative section and 60th percentile on the verbal section. Please keep in mind that the GRE is only one part of the application.
Do you accept the GMAT or MCAT in place of the GRE? How do I submit my GMAT or MCAT score?
We do. You must self-report either your GRE, or GMAT, or MCAT scores on the application.
Official scores are required to be sent only after acceptance of an offer made by the program. If you wish to have your official GMAT scores sent, request that GMAC send an official score report to UVA, searching “University of Virginia” and then selecting “Data Science” as the program. Official MCAT scores will be verified through the AAMC.
Can the GRE be waived if I have a graduate degree?
Not generally, but we can use an old GMAT/GRE score even if ETS will no longer issue a report, provided you have a copy of the score report.
Is the GRE/GMAT/MCAT requirement waived for University of Virginia alumni?
Yes, if you have graduated within the last three calendar years prior to the start of the program. For example, if you wish to apply for the cohort beginning in summer 2018 and graduating in spring 2019, this requirement will be waived if you graduated from UVA in one of the following calendar years: 2015, 2016, 2017.
What is the average GPA for admitted students? The average TOEFL?
We do not make this information publicly available.
Do I have to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores?
The TOEFL/IELTS is not required of applicants who have or will have obtained an undergraduate degree from an institution in which English is the primary language of instruction. The TOEFL/IELTS requirement will be waived automatically for an applicant who submits an application with evidence of these circumstances. All other international applicants must self-report either a TOEFL or IELTS score on the application (either type of IELTS exam is fine).
The Data Science Institute does not require official test scores at the time of your application submission but will require that you send official scores if you matriculate as a student.
- If you wish to have your official test scores sent, then TOEFL scores should be submitted via ETS using institution code B875 (no department code needed).
- Official IELTS scores should be submitted electronically by the IELTS test center. No paper Test Report Forms will be accepted. No institution code or department code is needed. Please contact the test center directly where you took the IELTS test and request that your test scores be sent electronically using the IELTS system. All IELTS test centers worldwide are able to send scores electronically to our institution.
Are there minimum TOEFL and IELTS scores?
Yes. The minimum internet-based (iBT) TOEFL score requirement is 90 (including sectional minimums of 22 in speaking, 22 in writing, 23 in reading, and 23 in listening).
The minimum paper-based TOEFL score requirement is 600. Applicants may submit scores from the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) instead of TOEFL scores. The minimum IELTS score requirement is 7.0 total and in each section (either type of IELTS exam is fine).
The admission committee will not consider applications with scores that do not meet the minimum requirements. The TOEFL/IELTS must be taken within the last two years to be considered valid. Only valid scores will be considered by the admission committee.
How do you select students for your program?
We apply a holistic approach to our admissions process, considering all application materials submitted by an applicant.
Whom do I contact with questions about the online application?
Please contact the admission office at firstname.lastname@example.org with application-related questions.
About the program
How many students are in the MSDS program?
Each cohort tends to be about 45 to 50 students each year.
Is the MSDS program a STEM program?
Yes. The Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code is 11.0802.
Can the program be started at times other than the summer?
No. Many of the program courses are integrated with each other, so it is important that students begin with the summer courses and complete the program in the prescribed order.
What are the dates and times of the summer courses?
Classes will begin in early July and meet daily for about four weeks until finishing in August. Each class will meet for approximately 90 minutes daily. There will be a full-day orientation meeting the day before courses begin.
I know that the program is 11 months, but I would like the option to stay for an extra semester or year. Is this possible?
Yes. You would need to complete the program requirements in the first year, and any courses taken in the extra semester(s) would have to be approved by the program academic advisor. Additional tuition and fees would apply.
Is the program offered in an evening/weekend or distance format?
Not at this time. The program is currently only available in a full-time format.
Does the program have relationships with employers?
Yes. The Data Science Institute has strong relationships with a number of employers. Some of these companies will be partners in the capstone projects course, with student teams working on projects provided by these companies.
In addition, potential employers make regular visits and presentations to MSDS students. The Data Science Institute also provides opportunities for students to talk with recruiters through technical talks, workshops, conferences and career treks. Learn more about the career services and opportunities that we offer.
What companies have hired your students? How many graduates got jobs?
Learn more about employment facts for MSDS students.