MS in Data Science for Current PhD Students

The University offers an option for a small number of highly-qualified PhD students to earn an advanced certificate or a master of science (MS) degree in Data Science with a partial tuition scholarship.

An advanced certificate or master of science degree in data science can be a valuable complement to a PhD in a variety of disciplines, including:

  • Education
  • Humanities
  • Sciences
  • Medicine

Students gain skills in computational methods for data mining, machine learning, and statistical analysis that can strengthen their PhD research. A degree in data science can also expand the range of career opportunities open to PhD students.

PhDs remain full time in their main program of study and complete the data science degree as a part-time student by taking one or two courses per semester.


We strongly recommend that PhD students interested in data science reach out to our program coordinator to discuss their interest before applying. Some students will require one or two semesters of bridging courses before entering the MS program.

The deadline to apply to either the advanced certificate or MS program for fall matriculation is March 15.

We will waive all application fees for University of Rochester PhD applicants.  When you are ready to submit your application, contact our office to get the fee waived.

Admission to the data science program cannot be achieved unless a full application has been received, reviewed, and approved.


While a full-scholarship is not available in our program, a very competitive partial tuition discount of 50%-75% is common. The number of students who are admitted and receive tuition scholarships is limited. PhD students interested in earning an additional degree in data science should consult with their PhD advisors when applying to discuss if the department will help support the remaining difference of if the student will need to provide additional funds.

To apply for the tuition scholarship, the PhD candidate’s faculty advisor and department chair should be included as two of the three references required for the application. References should include the following:

  • A description of the PhD student’s plan of study and research, and why it would be valuable for the student to earn a degree in data science in conjunction with their PhD.
  • A description of the broader impact this degree would have on the faculty's department.
  • A statement explaining why no resources are available to the student or faculty advisor to pay MS tuition.