Find answers to common questions about the Master of Science in Data Science program.
About the application
Whom do I contact with questions about the online application?
Please contact the admission office at firstname.lastname@example.org with technical application-related questions?
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 after the application deadline.
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.
Are admission decisions released on a rolling basis?
No, we review all submitted applications after the application deadline, and will release all admission decisions once determined. Decisions are typically released between the beginning of March to mid-March at the latest.
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.
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, and the Darden School of Business. Learn more about our MD/MSDS dual degree, MBA/MSDS dual degree, and potential PhD/MSDS degree.
Is a three-year undergraduate degree acceptable?
Is an interview required?
About test scores and GPA
What is the average GPA for admitted students? The average TOEFL?
We do not make this information publicly available.
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 are graduating this year or have graduated within the last four calendar years. For example, if you wish to apply for the cohort beginning in Summer 2020, this requirement will be waived if you graduated from UVA in one of the following calendar years: 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, or 2020 (by May 2020).
If I have relevant work experience, can the GRE/GMAT/MCAT requirement be waived?
Applicants with 5 years or more of relevant work experience that involved use of quantitative skills, such as mathematical or statistical methods, may receive a GRE/GMAT/MCAT waiver. An additional statement summarizing the applicant’s relevant quantitative/technical work experience will be required through the online application.
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 entirely from an institution (or institutions) 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.
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.
Is the program offered in an evening/weekend or distance format?
Yes, it is also offered as an online program that can be completed in under 3 years.
Are there admission office hours?
Yes, please visit here.
Is financial support (scholarships, assistantships, fellowships) 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 there an application fee?
Yes, a non-refundable application fee of $85.00 is required prior to submission of the application. Applicants who believe they may qualify for an application fee waiver should first review the Application Fee Waiver Information and then submit an Application Fee Waiver Request Form. You cannot be granted a fee waiver after payment of the application fee. An application will not be considered submitted until the fee is paid.
Is an admission tuition deposit required?
Yes, a non-refundable $400 admission tuition deposit will be required if an offer of admission is accepted. This deposit will be applied towards tuition.
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.
About campus safety
Charlottesville is a beautiful small city (population 40,000) nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in central Virginia. It is frequently at the top of popular rankings for the “best places to live.” The presence of the University of Virginia’s vibrant community of students, faculty and staff is one of the primary reasons that this area thrives.
The safety and well-being of our students is among our highest priorities at the University of Virginia. We are committed to assisting all members of our community in providing for their own safety and security. Our safety program includes:
- The University Police Department (UPD), a professional police department that provides the same level of service offered by a municipal police department along with other services unique to an academic institution. UPD participates in a mutual aid agreement with other local departments and a cooperative patrol agreement with the City of Charlottesville.
- Ambassadors Program, a service that provides extra eyes and ears on the streets and assistance including walking escorts in neighborhoods frequented by students
- University Transit Service (UTS) bus system that has an annual ridership greater than 3 million
- SafeRide shuttle program during hours when UTS buses are not operating
- Yellow Cab Charge-a-Ride program available with student ID
- Educational seminars, bystander training, and self-defense classes
- More than 500 blue light emergency phones
- Lighted pathways and ongoing inspection of buildings and the Grounds
- Security cameras strategically placed around the Grounds
- Card key system for access to residence halls at all times and other buildings during designated hours
- UVaAlerts emergency notification system, sirens and public address system
- Fire alarm and suppression systems
- Security and General Safety Committee, an advisory group made up of students, faculty, staff, and parents
Federal law requires the University to publish an Annual Fire Safety and Security Report. The report includes information on crime prevention, fire safety, University Police law enforcement authority, crime reporting policies, and statistics about crimes that occurred during the previous three years on Grounds or in designated areas near the Grounds as well as in other locations specified by law. The document is available on the University's Clery Act website. You may request a hard copy of the report from the University Police Department headquarters at 2304 Ivy Road by calling (434) 924-7166 or writing to email@example.com.