How and when can I apply?
  • Please refer to the Admissions page for application deadlines and requirements. To apply for this program use this link.
  • Once in the application, on the Program Selector page, please use the drop down menus to select the correct program, as follows:
    • Degree Type: Master of Data Science
    • Program Interest: Data Science Online (MDS)
Is the GRE required to apply for this program?  What about the TOEFL?
  • No, the GRE exam is not required to apply to the Master of Data Science program.  If an applicant has already taken the GRE they may elect to include their scores when submitting the application for review.

    For international applicants, scores from the TOEFL or IELTS exam are required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language.

What majors are eligible for this program?
  • Any undergraduate major is eligible to apply to this program; however, it is expected that most students admitted to the program will have an undergraduate degree in a field that provides a good mathematical foundation, for example Computer Science, Mathematics, Engineering, Physical Sciences, Quantitative Social Sciences, Computational Life Sciences or Computational Health Sciences. However, uses for Data Science can also be found in many other fields, and applications will be considered provided prerequisites are met.
What prerequisites or prior knowledge do I need to have to apply?
  • Successful applicants must hold a bachelor's degree or the equivalent from an accredited institution in the United States or from a recognized university-level academic institution abroad and at least a B average (3.0 GPA), or its equivalent.

    We expect that incoming students will have completed an introductory programming course, multivariate calculus, and linear algebra. Students without this background, will need to explore this content on their own.  Please feel free to contact our office with any questions, or to receive a list of recommended resources.

Are there any residency requirements to apply? 
  • At the present time, UC San Diego is unable to accept new applications for admissions to online or distance education programs from students who reside in the following states:  Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.  

  • Please contact our office at omds@ucsd.edu if you have questions about this.  We continue to expand the states in which we are authorized, so this list is subject to change.

Is the program available to international students?
  • International students are eligible to apply to this program.  However, as a fully online degree, students are not eligible for F-1 visa status for study within the United States.  In addition, graduating students will not be eligible for employment authorization in the United States through Curricular Practical Training (CPT), Optional Practical Training (OPT) or STEM OPT, because they were not in a valid F-1 visa status during their program of study. 
  • The lack of a visa requirement may open this degree to those who have family and business obligations in their home countries, or those who do not meet the financial support requirements for study under a U.S. visa. The online format enables such students to earn a master's degree from a highly regarded U.S. institution with global recognition from the convenience of their home country. Note, however, that students from countries or locations sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) may be ineligible. Please contact UC San Diego's International Students and Programs Office for any questions. 
  • International students interested in study within the U.S. should consider UC San Diego's on-campus Master of Science in Data Science, which would require an F-1 visa and have OPT eligibility.

I previously completed UC San Diego’s Data Science MicroMasters program via edX.  Are these courses transferable to the Master of Data Science program?
  • While the edX Data Science MicroMasters program comprises a subset of the foundational courses in the MDS program, the courses are not exactly the same.  Thus, we are not accepting the edX Data Science MicroMaster courses as transfer credit toward the MDS degree.  We still encourage previous MicroMasters students to apply to the MDS program, especially if you would benefit from a refresher on some of the concepts you have already covered. 
How many courses are required to graduate?  How many courses can you take per quarter?
  • The MDS program requires 10 quarter-length courses at 4 units each, for a total of 40 units. Of these, three courses, totaling 12 units, are elective units. 
    The normative time to degree completion is 18 months; however, this can vary depending on the pace at which a student is progressing in the program.  Typically, a student will take two courses per quarter for five quarters, without summer coursework. 
Do UC San Diego faculty teach the courses in this program?
  • Tenure-track faculty from the department of Computer Science & Engineering and the Halicioglu Data Science Institute will serve as the primary instructors for the MDS program. These faculty are experts in data science, all of whom hold a PhD in their respective fields.
Is the program fully online?
  • Yes, this is a fully-online program offered with a mostly asynchronous delivery in order to accommodate students in different time zones and with varying work schedules. 

Is this program fully accredited?
  • Yes!  The MDS program has undergone extensive review and has been approved by the Academic Senate of the University of California, San Diego campus, the system wide Coordinating Committee on Graduate Affairs (CCGA) and the University of California Office of the President (UCOP).  Accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) - WASC Senior College & University Commission was granted in January 2022. 
  • Students should feel confident that this degree program carries the academic rigor, support, and prestige expected of a University of California graduate degree.
Will the degree say "online"?
  • No, the title of the degree awarded to students in this program is Master of Data Science. 
What kind of laptop. software, or equipment is needed for this program?
  • More specifics on the technology requirements will be provided to admitted students; but generally, a student will need:
    • A laptop or desktop computer with a webcam and microphone (built-in or external)
    • Access to reliable, fast internet; and an up-to-date web browser
    • Primary hard drive for storing large datasets
How much does this program cost?
  • The MDS program tuition for AY23-24 is $715 per unit, and is anticipated to be $750 per unit beginning in AY24-25.  
  • Total costs for the program vary depending on the course load, the number of quarters a student takes to complete the degree, and whether the student maintains their own health insurance coverage.   More information is available here: UCSD Self-Support Program Fees.  

  • Tuition and fees are subject to change in accordance with university policy.
  • The cost of this program is the same for in-state, out-of-state, or international students.
Do you have financial aid available?
  • Applicants will be considered for merit-based scholarships upon acceptance into the program.  These scholarships range in value, but may cover up to one-third of the tuition.  Students are encouraged to apply for admission early for the best opportunity of available funds.
  • Additionally, UC San Diego graduate students may apply for need-based aid by completing a Free Application for Federal student Aid (FAFSA). Need-based aid is administered through the Financial Aid Office.  Please visit the Financial Aid website for eligibility requirements and more information.