ADMISSIONS

 Who should apply for the Data Science graduate programs?

Anyone interested in advancing their career or changing career paths by developing data science skills is encouraged to apply.

 What are the eligibility requirements for the Data Science graduate  programs?

Successful applicants for both the Master of Science in Data Science and Certification of Professional Achievement in Data Sciences programs should have:

  • an undergraduate degree
  • prior quantitative coursework (i.e., linear algebra, probability/statistics, etc.)
  • prior introductory to computer programming coursework (i.e., Python, Java, C+, etc.)

We often have prospective students ask about how they should meet the required quantitative or computer programming prerequisites if they have not previously completed formal credit-bearing coursework. Many applicants often ask about completing MOOC courses as a means of meeting the prerequisites. While these strategies are encouraged, keep in mind that the admissions process is competitive. Faculty reviewers will often place more weight on formal coursework (or work experience) over MOOCs.  That being said, MOOCs are routinely used to supplement learning and/or serve as a refresher course for many of our students.

Is an engineering undergraduate degree required?

Applicants are not required to have a degree in engineering; preparation in the field of data science is acceptable.

How long will it take for a full-time student to complete the Master’s program?

Since the Master of Science in Data Science is a 30-credit degree program, most full-time students complete the program in three semesters (12 credits in the fall, 12 credits in the spring, and 6 credits in the fall). Students must complete the program in five years. Please note that international students must be enrolled on a full-time basis, which is at least 12 credits per semester.

When does the fall semester start?

The fall semester starts in early September. Please refer to the University’s academic calendar for exact dates. http://registrar.columbia.edu/event/academic-calendar

Is work experience required?

While many of our students have work experience, it is not required.

What are the minimum GRE, GPA, and/or TOEFL scores required for admission?

There are no minimum test score or GPA requirements to apply for admission consideration. Applicant scores and grades will be evaluated in the context of other applicants. 

Average Scores for the Fall 2019 Data Science cohort: 

  • Average Undergraduate GPA: 3.76
  • Average GRE:  168 (Q), 158 (V), 3.8 (W)

Please note that the admissions committee reviews applications from a holistic perspective. Applicants can offset lower test scores with captivating personal statements, strong letters of recommendation, etc.

For more information regarding the standardized test requirements, please visit the Graduate Engineering FAQ page

Are international students eligible to apply to the Data Science Institute academic programs?

Master of Science:  Yes, individuals that require an F-1 student visa may apply to this full-time degree program.

Certification of Professional Achievement: T he Certification is  a part-time non-degree program. Individuals requiring an F-1 student visa sponsorship are not eligible to apply to this on-campus program, but would be eligible to apply to the online program.  For more information about the online Certification of Professional Achievement in Data Science program, please visit the CVN website.

Are students who have completed three-year degree programs eligible to apply?

Yes, students who have graduated from a three-year degree-granting program are eligible to apply to the M.S. in Data Science program.

May I apply to both the Master of Science and Certification of Professional Achievement programs?

No, applicants can apply to only one program in Columbia Engineering at a time. If applicants apply to more than one program per term their applications may be invalidated.

Are current Columbia students able to apply?

Columbia does not allow students to be enrolled  in more than one program at a time. We do however welcome applications from current Columbia students exploring the possibility of a transfer to our program. Columbia students may cross-register for data science courses, space permitting, and with faculty/advisor approval; note that such students will not be eligible to receive a Certification from Data Science program.

If I am denied admission, can I apply again?

Yes, you may apply again by submitting a new application and supplemental material. 

If I am denied admission, will I be told why?

 The review process is confidential and, therefore, we cannot offer additional information that is not in your letter.

How do I apply to the Data Science graduate programs?

For the on-campus programs, applications must be submitted via our online application system.

Please refer to the below links for further information. 

For the online program, applications must be submitted through Columbia Video Network (CVN).


550 West 120th Street, Northwest Corner Building, Suite 1401, New York, N.Y. 10027    212.854.5660
©2020 Columbia University