MS Data Science

The MS Data Science is a joint professional program between the Statistics and Computer Sciences Departments at UW-Madison and is administered by the Statistics Department.

Graduates seek employment as data analysts and data scientists or pursue further education in data science, statistics, computer science, or related quantitative and computational fields.

The full curriculum and listing of policies can be found in the 2022/2023 Guide. Questions can be directed to the program coordinator via email.

Please note that we are a different program from the Data Science Master’s Degree which is administered by UW Extended Campus.

Program Information

Students in this program will take coursework that totals to 30 credits in:

  • Statistical theories and methodologies
  • Computer systems and algorithms
  • Machine learning
  • Electives from Statistics, Computer Sciences, and other partner departments

The full curriculum and listing of policies can be found in the 2022/2023 Guide.

  • Demonstrates understanding of theories, methodologies, and computation as tools to solve complex problems in data science.
  • Selects or adapts appropriate data science approaches and uses or develops best practices in data-driven applications.
  • Synthesizes information, organizes insights, and evaluates impact pertaining to questions for studies involving empirical data.
  • Communicates data science concepts and results clearly.
  • Adheres to principles of ethical and professional conduct in data science.

The MS Data Science program has a special tuition rate of $1,600 per credit plus fees.  Additional information regarding tuition and fees can be found on the Office of the Bursar’s website.

Students are welcome to apply for hourly positions and assistantships on campus to help offset their costs.  While students in the program are allowed to accept teaching, project, and/or research assistantships they will only receive the stipend pay and not the tuition remission.  This is a policy at UW-Madison for programs designated as “professional programs.” If there are teaching assistantship positions available in the Statistics department, information will be sent to students admitted to the MS Data Science program.  Other hourly and assistantship positions can be found on the Student Jobs board.

Additional information and resources can be found in the 2022/2023 Guide.

The Statistics department offers a limited number of selective scholarships to highly qualified applicants as a part of their recommendation of admission.  Students may receive a scholarship of up to 25% of tuition fees (excluding additional fees) over the duration of their time in the program in the form of fee deferrals.  Potential scholarships for students entering the program with pre-approved credits would be prorated based on the number of credits needed to complete the program. All students will be considered for the scholarship. However, students that feel that providing additional information about how the scholarship might impact their ability to attend UW-Madison are encouraged to provide that information in their Statement of Purpose on the application.


Before applying, we recommend reading the Graduate School’s Frequently Asked Questions webpage.

You may begin the Graduate School Online Application when you are ready. Please note that there is an application fee.

For Fall 2023 and beyond the application deadline is March 15. We do not accept spring or summer applicants.  Admission for Fall 2022 is closed.

We do not require GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) scores for our program

Please see the Graduate School’s Requirements for Admission page for additional information regarding English proficiency tests, acceptable undergraduate degrees, transcript requirements, etc.

A listing of the prerequisite coursework expected of all applicants can be found in the 2022/2023 Guide Admission page for MS Data Science.

Students who have already begun graduate school (i.e. have completed at least one course as a graduate student) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and wish to switch in to the MS Data Science program must follow these instructions to apply.  Please note that changing of programs in to MS Data Science is not common and candidates must demonstrate an extraordinary need, especially if they are already in a similar program such as MS Statistics: Statistics & Data Science, MS Information, etc.

Since the MS Data Science is a professional program students cannot be concurrently enrolled in the MS Data Science and another graduate program, this includes PhD programs.

Application Materials

Fill out the change or add program form online.  Candidates who would discontinue their existing program will submit a change program form.  Candidates who will complete their existing program before starting the MS Data Science will submit an add a program form.

Submit the following as PDF files via email, to

  • Cover letter including
    • Name
    • Term you are applying to (e.g. Fall 2023)
    • Term you started your original graduate program (e.g. Fall 2022) and indicate if you plan to discontinue this program if admitted or complete your existing program and the planned semester of completion
    • Contact information (email and mailing address)
    • A statement that addresses your extraordinary need to change to the MS Data Science program
  • Statement of purpose
  • Resume or CV
  • UW-Madison transcript

You must also have your current graduate program send a PDF copy of your original graduate school application to

The deadline for Fall 2023 is March 15, 2023. We do not consider applications in spring or summer terms.

Questions can be addressed to the program coordinator at