MS Data Science

Image of MS Data Science flyerThe 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.

Additional information regarding this program will become available on June 1 when the full curriculum and program details are published in the 2022-2023 UW-Madison Guide.

Program Information

Students in this program will take coursework in:

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


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 2022 only the application deadline is July 15, 2022. We do not accept spring or summer applicants.  For Fall 2023 and beyond the application deadline will be March 15.

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.

Applicants to the MS Data Science program should have completed the following courses equivalent to the UW-Madison courses listed below.

Calculus and Mathematical Foundation (complete all below)

  • MATH 221 Calculus & Analytic Geometry 1
  • MATH 222 Calculus & Analytic Geometry 2
  • MATH 340 Elementary Matrix & Linear Algebra

Programming Foundation (complete one from list below)

  • COMP SCI 220 Data Science Programming 1
  • COMP SCI 300 Programming 1
  • COMP SCI 320 Data Science Programming 2

Recommended previous coursework or significant experience in R

  • STAT 303, 304, and 305  R for Statistics I, II, and III
  • STAT 433 Data Science with R

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 2022)
    • Term you started your original graduate program (e.g. Fall 2021) 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 2022 is July 15, 2022.  Any application submitted after this date or incomplete, as of the deadline, will not be considered.

Questions can be addressed to the program coordinator at

Contact Information

Questions regarding the Master of Science in Data Science program? Contact the program coordinator via email.