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Master’s Degree in Data Science

from The University of Texas at Austin
  • $10,000
  • 10 courses
  • Fully Online
  • 1.5-3 years

Master's Overview

The Department of Statistics and Data Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin has partnered with the Department of Computer Science to offer a Master of Science in Data Science. This new online master's program embodies the defining principles of Data Science, combining the leaders from both fields, to present a curriculum designed from the ground up to offer a solid foundational knowledge in Statistical theory upon which to build a Computer Science application. Course curriculum incorporates ideas and methods such as simulation, data visualization, data mining, data analysis, large scale data-based inquiry for big data, and non-standard design methodologies, along with topics of machine learning, algorithmic techniques, and optimization, to tackle issues that come up with large-scale data such as memory and computational speed.

Our program is designed to prepare you for the fastest growing, highest demanded job prospect in recent history. Step into the world of data-driven models and multi-dimensional datasets. Find answers in the areas of bioinformatics, linguistics, industry, academia, government, and nonprofits to name just a few.

Our Master of Science in Data Science program will target enrollees who would like to build their technical competency and receive rigorous training in the field of data science. The ideal candidate will have some technical background but have a driving interest in both computational methods and statistical inference, who are excited to advance their career opportunities within industry, government, academia, and nonprofit organizations.

At The University of Texas at Austin, we say: “What starts here changes the world.” Be that change. Prepare yourself for a career in Data Science.

Learn More About the Master’s Degree in Data Science

  • #8
    Best-Value Public Colleges
    Kiplinger, 2018
  • #7
    U.S. Public Colleges
    Business First, 2019
  • #10
    Top Public Schools, National Universities
    U.S. News & World Report, 2020
  • #32
    Best Global Universities
    U.S. News & World Report, 2018



  • Tuition (30 credits at $333 each)
  • Additional fees per term

*Students may be eligible for federal financial aid subject to federal aid requirements.

Important dates & deadlines


  • Application Opens
    June 1, 2021
  • ApplyTexas Priority Application Deadline
    August 15, 2021
  • ApplyTexas Regular Application Deadline
    September 15, 2021

FALL 2022

  • Application Opens
    December 15, 2021
  • ApplyTexas Priority Application Deadline
    April 1, 2022
  • ApplyTexas Final Application Deadline
    May 1, 2022
*All application materials are due no later than the final deadline.

Prerequisite coursework

A typical MSDS applicant will:

  • Have a regionally accredited bachelor’s degree in: statistics, computer science, computer engineering, mathematics, electrical engineering, or similar.
  • Competitive applicants have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

An atypical MSDS candidate will:

  • Have a regionally accredited bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field (a field not listed above).
  • Need to use their CV and personal statement to convey:
    • Their passion for data science
    • Demonstrate their functional use of data science through work experience
    • Need to have certain coursework prior to enrolling in the program:
      • Math (Calculus and linear algebra)
        • Multivariable Calculus (eg. MATH 408D) and
        • Linear Algebra (eg. MATH 341 or equivalent)
      • Statistics (College level introduction to statistics)
        • Introduction to Statistics (eg. SDS 302, 304, 306 or equivalents)
        • Biostatistics (eg. SDS 328M or equivalents)
      • Some programming experience in at least one of:
        • R, Python, C++

      It is the responsibility of the applicant to be prepared for the program prior to starting and to convey that preparedness in their CV and personal statement.

Application requirements

All materials are due no later than the final application deadline. Please submit the “Request Info” form above to receive additional information on the MSDS program as a whole including detailed resources for your application materials and the admissions process.

Admissions take into consideration the following application materials:

  • Bachelor’s degree (see prerequisites)
  • CV/Resume
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Transcripts from all universities attended
  • Mathematics & Programming Preparation Form*
  • GRE scores - Currently Optional**
  • TOEFL or IELTS - Required for International Students***
  • Letter(s) of recommendation (optional)

Since it is a twofold process to apply to UT Austin’s MSDS program, we strongly recommend that applicants complete their application before the priority deadline to allow for their required materials to be received and processed by the final deadline.

*Applicants must provide relevant information regarding coursework taken in the subject areas of linear algebra, multivariate calculus, introductory statistics, and programming. The Mathematics & Programming Preparation Form can be found in the Application Materials section of the Admissions & Application tab of the MSDS website.

**GRE Score Requirement: As the world grapples with COVID-19, many students are facing challenges taking the GRE. Submitting GRE scores is optional for admittance consideration for all applicants through Fall 2022. Please keep in mind:

  • We encourage all applicants to submit your official GRE scores in an effort to bolster your application.
  • International applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their GRE scores with their application.
  • Please Note: It will take 3-5 business days for the GRE waiver to show up on your application.

***TOEFL or IELTS: The minimum scores considered acceptable for admission by the Graduate School are:

  • TOEFL: 79 on the Internet-based test (iBT)
  • IELTS: An overall band of 6.5 on the Academic Examination


This is a 30 hour program (3 credit hours per course). There are 3 core required courses and 7 additional required courses for a total of 10 courses. The core requirement will be satisfied with three foundational courses which will provide students with a broad, foundational understanding of the field and will also establish the basis for some of the prescribed electives. They include:

Learn More About the Master’s Degree in Data Science


  • No applicant will be automatically admitted to the program. All applications will be reviewed by a faculty committee to make certain those admitted have the ability to succeed in the program.
  • There is no minimum GRE test score, however applicants admitted to the DS graduate program usually have high quantitative and verbal GRE scores and a math background that includes study through some discrete math. If you feel that your test scores are not valid indicators of your ability, you should explain your concerns in your statement of purpose.
  • GIAC MyStatus: This is the status check site for the Graduate International Admissions Center (GIAC). GIAC verifies application information, test scores, residency and admissions GPA calculations/equivalencies. If you have questions about the information your MyStatus page, please contact GIAC.
  • All other application materials are due 7 days after the application deadline. This includes the application fee, transcripts, applicable and optional scores, CV, personal statement, and letters of recommendation* being turned in no later than 7 days after the deadlines to allow GIAC to process your information and set up the MyStatus account.
  • Yes, you may apply for more than 1 program at UT Austin but you must fill out two separate applications and upload documents for each program.
  • For GRE and TOEFL scores, the Educational Testing Service (ETS) institution code for UT-Austin is 6882. It is not necessary to use a department code. There is no institutional code for the IELTS examination. For IELTS scores, have an official paper score report sent to the Graduate and International Admissions Center.
  • Yes, the TOEFL or the IELTS is required for international applicants. The minimum TOEFL score considered acceptable for admission by the graduate school is a 79 on the Internet-based test (iBT). For the IELTS, a student must have an overall band of 6.5 on the Academic Examination. International applicants who are from a country where English is the only official language are exempt from this requirement. Additionally, applicants are exempt from the requirement if they possess a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. institution or an institution in a country where English is the only official language. The requirement is not waived for applicants who have earned a master’s – but not a bachelor’s – degree from a similar institution.
  • A foreign credential evaluation is not required. If a transcript is written in a language other than English, a complete and official English translation must be uploaded together with the original transcript.
  • Through the ApplyTexas system, you will be given the opportunity to submit three recommenders and provide contact information. The system will send an email to your recommenders directing them to a website where they may upload their letters. In addition, the MyStatus page of ApplyTexas offers a self-service feature you can use to resend the request email to your recommenders, if necessary. Use it to supply an alternate email address if your recommender’s spam filter blocks the original request or has removed the link. You can also add a new recommender or revise your right-to-view status from “retained” to “waived.”
  • The curriculum will consist of ten courses total or 30 hours. Students will take a combination of foundational coursework and elective options. Through completion of the foundational coursework, students will gain a broad understanding of the field. As courses continue to be added to the program, students will also have significant elective flexibility to pursue a course of study best tailored to their professional aspirations.
  • Master of Science in Data Science (MSDS).
  • Yes, your diploma will read exactly as that of an on-campus graduate.
  • 30 credit hours, which equals 10 courses.
  • The program can be completed in 1.5-3 years and the curriculum is highly flexible.
  • Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout the course of the program. If a student drops below 3.0, he or she will have one semester to bring up the GPA. If the student fails to do this, they will be dismissed from the program.
  • A student may take up to five courses each semester. The online master’s courses are of comparable rigor to the traditional courses. For working professionals we recommend taking one to two courses per long semester.
  • Yes, you can start taking classes in either semester.
  • The program will follow the timeline of the traditional semester. The university calendar can be found here
  • Interaction between instructors and/or TA’s will be available through email, online discussion boards, and virtual office hours.
  • Unfortunately, learners residing in one or more of the following countries or regions will not be able to register for this program: Iran, Cuba and the Crimea region of Ukraine. While edX has sought licenses from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer our courses to learners in these countries and regions, the licenses we have received are not broad enough to allow us to offer this program in all locations. edX truly regrets that U.S. sanctions prevent us from offering all of our courses to everyone, no matter where they live.