Admission to the UW Master of Science in Data Science program is competitive. To be successful in the program, students need a solid background in mathematics, computer programming and communication.

Application Dates and Deadlines

A new cohort of the Master of Science in Data Science program begins each fall. Applications open on September 10, 2018, for the fall 2019 cohort. The application deadline is January 18, 2019, and applicants will be notified of a decision by March 29.

Admission Requirements

Note: The Master of Science in Data Science program no longer requires GRE scores to apply.

Bachelor’s degree

You need a four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States or its equivalent from a foreign institution.


A grade point average of at least 3.2 (on a 4.0 scale) for the last 60 graded semester credits or the last 90 graded quarter credits of your undergraduate degree is preferred. However, we will consider applicants with a GPA between 3.0 and 3.2.

Prerequisite coursework

All prerequisite coursework must be completed before you apply. MOOC or other ungraded coursework cannot be used to fulfill this requirement.

If you took math or programming  at a Washington state community college, please see UW's course equivalency guide.

  •  Mathematics: At a minimum, you should have completed a three-class calculus sequence and a linear algebra course, equivalent to UW's MATH 124/125/126 and MATH 308. 
  • Computer Programming: At a minimum, you should have completed a two-course introductory sequence in programming, equivalent to UW's CSE 142/143, or be able to demonstrate equivalent proficiency.
  • Alternatively, you may demonstrate programming skills through practical experience, such as through work, Kaggle competitions or other projects. If you believe you have satisfied the programming requirement this way, please provide a link in your application to a GitHub repository demonstrating your coding experience or a recommendation from a technical colleague describing your coding contributions to a work project.

English proficiency

All applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency. For more information, see the International Students page.  

Application Materials

UW Graduate School online application and fee

You will be prompted to upload your transcripts. resume or curriculum vitae and essays to the online application. The application fee is nonrefundable. 

Unofficial transcripts

Download unofficial transcripts from every college or  university where you have earned a degree or scan printed copies. Please make your transcripts are legible.

Resume or curriculum vitae

Make sure to include your latest positions and skills. 


Three essays are required to apply, and one is optional. The optional essay allows you to tell us more about yourself or explain an area of potential concern. If you are a reapplicant, we strongly recommend that you provide a response to the optional essay question.

Essay 1 (250 words maximum)

What do you hope to accomplish in the short- and long-term future? How will a Master of Science in Data Science help you get there? Why is the UW Master of Science in Data Science program the best fit for you?

Essay 2 (500 words maximum)

The UW Master of Science in Data Science program places a premium on creativity and strong communication skills. In addition to excellent quantitative abilities, good data scientists must be able to visualize and narrate their findings in a way that makes them meaningful to a non-technical audience.

Show us an example of data visualization and explain why you think it is great. It could be a static or interactive map, graphic, chart or piece of data journalism. Why did you choose this example? How would you improve it?

You can select from one of the examples below or you can feel free to select your own example to write about in your response. If you choose your own example, please upload one document that includes your essay response as well as a URL link to the data visualization. Examples must be in English.

Essay 3 (250 words maximum)

The UW Master of Science in Data Science program aims to produce leaders in data science. Provide an example of your leadership and describe what you learned about yourself in the process.

Optional Essay (250 words maximum)

Provide additional information that you would like to bring to the attention of the admissions committee. This may include gaps in employment history, academic performance issues, choice of recommenders, socioeconomic disadvantages or any other relevant information. If you are a reapplicant, explain how your candidacy has strengthened since your last application.


Two recommendations are required; three are preferred. Consider asking current or recent employers, colleagues or teachers. Make sure they can speak in detail about your programming, mathematical and communication skills and your ability to learn new things or bring together different approaches.

You'll need the email addresses of your references for the Graduate School application. They'll each be sent an email directing them to a secure website where they'll submit their recommendations.

Proof of English proficiency 

If English is not your native language, you’ll need to provide proof of English language proficiency

Application Steps

  1. Start your online application to the UW Graduate School. 
  2. Select "Data Science Interdisciplinary Group (MS in Data Science)" as the program name.
  3. Upload all required documents. Do not mail any materials to the department.
  4. Pay the application fee and submit your application.

You can check on the status of your application at any time by logging into the application page. Applications will be reviewed by the Interdisciplinary Data Science Group, and you'll be notified of a decision by the end of March.