Engineering quad, University of Rochester.

The Master of Science (MS) in Data Science program at the University of Rochester is seeking motivated, qualified, and well-rounded applicants. A bachelor’s degree in a STEM field is preferred but not required. Prospective students should have undergraduate mathematics experience through basic calculus, but do not need college-level statistics or data analytics. Prospective students should also have some prior programming experience.

Admissions to the program are decided by the graduate admissions committee. Committee members consider many factors in their final decision including GPA, past coursework, academic transcripts, experiences related to data science, letters of recommendation, statements of purpose, resumes/CV and standardized test scores.

To find out if an MS in Data Science is right for you, visit our graduate overview page and learn about our program outcomes.

Prospective students interested in applying to our Advanced Certificate program should visit the Advanced Certificate web page to learn more.

Applications for Fall 2024 are now OPEN. We do not have Spring 2024 admissions for full time students.

Start Your Application

Application Requirements
  • Graduate Program Online Application
  • Academic Transcripts 
    • In English or with a certified English translation.
    • Unofficial transcripts or copies of in-process transcripts are acceptable.
  • Statement of Purpose
    • The Statement of Purpose should clearly describe your:
      1. Motivations for applying to the program.
      2. Preparation for graduate-level studies in data science.
      3. Study and research interests, future career plans, and other interests or aspects of your background that may aid the Admissions Committee in evaluating your aptitude and motivation for graduate study.
    • Most statements are one to three pages long. Succinct statements are appreciated.
  • Diversity Statement
    • The University of Rochester motto of Meliora – or “ever better” - deeply integrates critical core values into all that we do. These core values of equity, leadership, integrity, openness, respect and accountability define not only who we are, but also who we hope to become. Based on our motto please share something about your background, lived experiences, or viewpoint(s) that speaks to how you can contribute to your intended field of study, your community or the University of Rochester to make it “ever better”.
    • Uploaded statement should be no longer than 500 words.
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)
    • Most resumes are one or two pages long.
    • A targeted resume that is customized to specifically highlight the experience and skills you have that are relevant to our program and demonstrate your qualifications are appreciated.
  • Three (3) Letters of Recommendation
    • Applicants must include contact information (name, organization, title, phone, email) for each reference to submit an application. References will be notified directly, and prompted to upload their recommendation letters.
    • Applications can be submitted before recommendations letters have been uploaded, however all letters of recommendation must be received before the review deadline.
  • For non-native English speakers:
    • Official English language proficiency test scores are required. TOEFL, IELTS, and Duolingo scores are acceptable.
    • We strongly encourage non-native English speakers to submit an additional one page narrative essay describing their experience with the English language, including formal study in English, time spent in an English-speaking environment, challenges they overcame and/or their comfort level speaking and writing in English. 
  • Other Documents (optional)
    • TOEFL or IELTS score report should be uploaded if scores are self-reported.  If scores will be verified and it is close to the application deadline, you can also upload a score report as a backup for review.
    • GRE score reporting is optional. Applicants who wish to submit GRE scores may have them sent from Educational Testing Service (ETS) or self-report. For self-reported scores, we require a copy of the ETS score report for verification to be uploaded to the "Other Documents" section
    • You may also submit an additional narrative (up to one page) to explain low GPAs or unusual circumstances of your academic history.
    • Additional documents, such as certificates, should reflect relevance to the data science application.

For tips on applying to our program, see our FAQ page.

English Language Proficiency Examination

All non-native English speaking applicants are required to provide English language proficiency through the submission of official examination scores as part of their application, unless they qualify for a waiver. Scores more than two years old from the application deadline are not valid. Examination criteria are included below.

Verified scores are preferred however self reported scores with a copy of the score report may be submitted for application review.  Verified exam scores are required if an admission offer is accepted.

Accepted Exams

  • Duolingo (DET)
    • Applicants should have a minimum score of 120
    • DET scores must be sent directly from Duolingo. There is no cost to send scores. 
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) 
    • Applicants should have a minimum score of 7. 
    • Test results cannot be more than two-years old.
    • We will not accept results for the IELTS Indicator.
    • Please have the IELTS reported to University of Rochester, Graduate Studies AS&E (500 Joseph C. Wilson Blvd, Box 270401, Rochester, NY 14627-0401)
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) 
    • Applicants should have minimum scores of 620 (paper-based test), 260 (computer-based test), or 100 (Internet test)
    • Test results cannot be more than two-years old.
    • The University of Rochester will accept results from the in-person exam or the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition Test. We will not accept scores from the TOEFL ITP Plus Assessment. 
    • The Institution Code is 2928. You do not have to indicate a departmental code.

Exam Waivers

The English language proficiency examination requirement is automatically waived for citizens of the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Commonwealth Caribbean Nations
  • Ghana
  • Ireland
  • Kenya
  • Liberia
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • Uganda
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Virgin Islands

The requirement is waived for international students if a student has completed AT LEAST THREE YEARS of postsecondary study (bachelors or above) in one of the countries are listed above.  Be sure you indicate your expected graduation date from your current institution on your application. If the requirement does not waive automatically, contact

We reserve the right to require demonstration of English proficiency, even if you have received your degree from one of the above mentioned countries.

English language proficiency is not waived for students in English-speaking degree programs outside of those countries listed above. We recognize that many students in these programs have mastery in the English language, however the proficiency exams gives us the most consistent evaluation of reading, writing, listening and speaking abilities for applicants to our program.

Contact if you are unable to submit a English language proficiency examination.

Important Notes

  • Applicants may submit test scores from one or more exam types (e.g. one DET and one IELTS score).
  • Applicants may submit more than one exam result (e.g. results from two sittings of the TOEFL iBT).
  • We do not super-score or combine sub-scores from different test sittings.
  • We do not accept TOEFL My Best Score results. The admissions committee will evaluate sub-scores and totals from each individual test sitting.

Below minimum test scores do not exclude an applicant from receiving an offer. However, the admissions committee strongly considers English proficiency scores when evaluating application packages. Students need excellent command of the English language to succeed in our program.

English Essay

We strongly encourage applicants whose native language is not English (including those who have studied at English-speaking institutions within and outside the US) to upload a one page narrative essay written in English. Pursing an advanced degree takes enormous effort, particularly when the language and culture are not your own. Applicants should share information about their experience with the English language including formal study in English, time spent in an English-speaking environment, challenges they overcame, and/or their comfort level speaking and writing in English.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

GRE test scores are NOT an application requirement, however applicants can submit their scores for consideration. A good candidate has GRE quantitative scores in the 80th percentile, and above the 60th percentile in the verbal and analytical writing sections of the exam. 

Sending GRE Scores

Score reports may be sent from Education Testing Service (ETS) or may be self-reported.

  • Applicants who self-report must provide a PDF copy of their ETS score report to their application in the "Other Documents" section for review. 

If sending from ETS:

  • The University of Rochester Institution Code is 2928
  • The Department Code is 0499: Computer and Informational Sciences - Other.
For International Students

Please upload all application materials in English. If necessary, applicants can send materials in their original format, supplementing them with English translations.

Applicants with a three-year degree or Higher National Diploma (HND) a from a foreign institution must provide a WES evaluation certifying that their degree is equivalent to a US bachelor’s degree.  A WES evaluation is not required for students who are completing their fourth year of a four-year degree program.

International students must provide English language proficiency as indicated in the above section.  Additional English narrative essay is strongly encouraged.

For up-to-date information on visas and other immigration requirements, please visit the University International Services Office (ISO).

Application Deadlines and Fees

Applications for Fall 2024 are now OPEN. We do not have Spring 2024 admissions for full time students. Applications for Fall 2025 will be open in September 2024.

The application fee is $70. The fee may be waived for University of Rochester students, employees and alumni. The fee may also be waived for part-time applicants.  There is no application for the advanced certificate.

Applications must be submitted online and should be initiated several weeks ahead of deadlines to ensure that all materials, including test scores and letters of recommendation, are received on time.


  • January 5 (FIRST ROUND): Applicants who submit by January 5 receive review for Fall admission. Reviews do not begin until January so applicants can expect to receive a decision no earlier than February 15.
  • February 15 (SECOND ROUND): Applicants who submit by February 15 can expect to receive a decision by March 15.  There is no significant difference in acceptance rates between those who apply by January 5 to those who apply by February 15.
  • March 15 (current PhD and part-time MS and Advanced Certificate applicants ONLY): Only current PhD candidates from the University of Rochester and part-time applicants for the masters or advanced certificate programs can submit by March 15 for fall admission. Applicants in these categories can expect a decision by April 15.

Late applications (after February 15) from US citizens and permanent residents will be considered.  Please contact our office if submitting after February 15.

If you are offered admission to our MS program, a non-refundable deposit of $1500 is required by April 15 (or by the offer deadline) to hold your spot in our cohort. This deposit will be applied to your financial account to reduce the amount due on your first tuition payment. The fee may be waived for University of Rochester students, employees, alumni and part-time students. There is no deposit for the advanced certificate.

Spring Admissions:

  • Part-time students will be considered for spring enrollment. 
  • Full-time students from outside the University of Rochester are not eligible for spring admission. Current full-time students from the Simon Business School, Warner School of Education, School of Medicine and Dentistry, School of Nursing or another ASE graduate program interested in spring enrollment may be considered for spring enrollment.
  • Contact by November 1 to discuss spring intake.  Applications should be submitted by Thanksgiving weekend.  Applicants in these categories can expect a decision by December 15.
Contact Us

Admissions questions? Visit our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page or send an email to