Below you will find details about the Prerequisites and Requirements for the Masters in Data Science degree.
Applicants to the Master of Science in Data Science (MSDS) program must earn an undergraduate degree prior to the start of the summer term in which the program starts. Applicants with a three-year or four-year undergraduate degree from an accredited institution are eligible to apply.
A specific undergraduate major or program of study is not required. Students come from a variety of undergraduate backgrounds, including economics, statistics, engineering, computer science, math, hospitality management, and history, to name a few.
A common knowledge base is essential, however. Students must complete each of the following prerequisites prior to the start of the summer term in which the program starts.
- Single Variable Calculus (similar to UVA MATH 1210-1220, MATH 1310-1320, or APMA 1090-1110)
- Linear Algebra or Matrix Algebra (similar to UVA MATH 3350, MATH 3351, or APMA 3080)
- Introductory Statistics (similar to UVA STAT 2020, STAT 2120, APMA 3110, or APMA 3120)
- Introductory Programming (similar to UVA CS 1110, CS 1111, CS 1112, or CS 1113)
- A problem-solving mindset
- Working knowledge of discrete mathematical and statistical concepts
- High-level of quantitative ability
- Effective communication skills
- Proficient at programming (Python or R language)
For more detailed information on the prerequisites and how they may be fulfilled, please see the Prerequisites Key Topics. Further questions about the prerequisites may be sent to Patti Edson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The application form must be completed online. The following materials must accompany the application in order for it to be considered complete:
- Statement of Purpose
This should explain how the MSDS program fits into your short- and long-term educational and career goals. (500 word limit.)
Applicants must upload unofficial transcripts of their entire post-secondary academic record to the online application, including all undergraduate- and graduate-level coursework.
Transcripts that are not stated in English must be accompanied by a translation into English. Please note that transcripts from international institutions — records of all courses, seminars, and examinations, including grades, scores, grading scales, and confirmation of degree conferral — must be in English. If the records are not available in English, original records must be accompanied by certified English translations. All translations must be literal and complete versions of the original records.
Please do not request and mail official transcripts as part of the application process. Unofficial transcripts are sufficient for the faculty’s review of your application. Official undergraduate transcripts are required only after acceptance of an offer from the program.
An admitted student who accepts an offer of admission will be required to submit proof of degree conferral before the start of the program and by the deadline determined by the School. Degree conferral is defined as official certification and confirmation of the date of degree completion from the undergraduate institution's Student Records or Registrar office, and is typically signified by receipt of a diploma or degree certificate and/or an official final transcript. For example, a current UVA undergraduate who does not receive their undergraduate degree in May at latest (confirmed by a final official transcript), will not be permitted to start the residential MSDS program in July; UVA confers degrees at the end of each academic term (fall, spring, summer).
Official transcripts and/or degree certificates are only required once an applicant accepts an offer of admission from the School of Data Science. When sending official transcripts, our preferred method of receipt is electronically (email@example.com).
Official transcripts and/or degree certificates may be sent by mail, mailing addresses below:
For US Postal:
School of Data Science Admissions
PO Box 401109
Charlottesville, VA 22904
School of Data Science Admissions
1001 Emmet Street North
Charlottesville, VA 22903
- Test Scores
All unofficial test scores must be reported on the online application by the application deadline. Applicants are advised to account for test scoring processing time (e.g., 10 business days) when determining when to take any test.
Applicants must report either GRE or GMAT or MCAT scores in the application system (including the percentiles). Official scores are required only after acceptance of an offer from the program.
For official scores, GRE scores should be sent via ETS to institution code 5820 (no department code needed); GMAT scores should be sent via GMAC to the University of Virginia (institution), Data Science (program); Official MCAT scores will be verified through the AAMC. Test scores are considered valid if taken within five years from the application deadline.
University of Virginia graduates are exempt from taking the GRE standardized test.
Language Tests for International Applicants
International applicants must self-report TOEFL or IELTS scores in the application system. Official scores are required only after acceptance of an offer from the program. 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 IELTS score requirement is 7.0 in each section.
For official scores, TOEFL scores should be sent via ETS to institution code B875 (no department code needed). 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.
TOEFL or IELTS scores are considered valid if taken within two years from the application deadline.
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 automatically be waived for an applicant who submits evidence of these circumstances.
- Letters of Recommendation
Two letters of recommendation should be submitted electronically through the online system. Once you have saved the contact information for a particular reference within the online application, that individual will receive instructions via email for submitting a letter of recommendation on your behalf. It is preferable (but not required) for at least one letter to be from an individual with substantial knowledge of your academic accomplishments.
- Résumé or Curriculum Vitae
A résumé or curriculum vitae helps us get to know an applicant beyond their formal academic coursework. There is no preference for students with or without professional work experience. 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.
- Recommended Supplementary Materials
International applicants who have not obtained an undergraduate degree entirely from an institution (or institutions) in which English is the primary language of instruction, are highly encouraged to submit the following supplementary materials that will help the School better understand your educational background and capabilities.
World Education Services (WES) and Education Credential Evaluators (ECE) are accredited academic credential verification services that will provide a course-by-course translation report. The credential verification service will send a report directly to the School of Data Science after they have completed their evaluation.
Duolingo English Test
Applicants may also submit the Duolingo English Test, which combines an English proficiency test with a brief video interview. Duolingo's technology and format allows applicants to complete the test at any time or place, as long as they have Web access. The interview portion of this test is not scored, but multiple-choice answer portion of the test is scored. The School of Data Science will consider the scores and interview portion in conjunction with TOEFL/IELTS scores.
InitialView provides live, unscripted video interviews that may be submitted by candidates to colleges for consideration with other application materials. Interview times must be reserved in advance. (There is no "scoring" associated with these interviews.)
- Application Fee
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.
For questions about the online application or the admission process, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.