GRE or GMAT
This is a full-time, 12-month program. The program starts in early July and continues through the end of June in the following year.
There are no night classes. There is no part-time option at this time.
There is no online option at this time. At USF, you will interact frequently in person with both your instructors and the other students in your cohort.
Our 2018-2019 cohort will be approximately 80 students in size. In most classes, we run lectures in two or more sections to keep class sizes small. There are no teaching assistants leading class lectures or class discussions in our program.
The schedule of classes is typically Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., with three to four classes running simultaneously each module. (A “module” is approximately half a semester.) One to two days per week are devoted to practicum work. The practicum starts in mid-October.
Because students come from a variety of academic backgrounds, students take three five-week courses starting in early July to bring everyone's level of understanding up to a similar level. All students take the Exploratory Data Analysis course as well as two of the following: Computation for Analytics, Linear Algebra, and Probability or Statistics. The boot camp is a way for students to quickly decide whether they have the appropriate background and the proper motivation to succeed. Every year, a few students do not continue with the program after the end of boot camp.
The approximate tuition cost of the 35 unit program is $46,900 in the academic year 2017–2018.
Please see our Financing Your Education page for more information on Financial Aid.
The Master of Science in Data Science program awards a limited number of partial scholarships to our very best applicants. For the class of 2017–2018, the median fellowship (among students given fellowships) was $4,000 (range $2,000 – $10,000). You do not need to fill out a separate application to be considered for a fellowship; all applicants are considered.
No. Teaching assistantships and research assistantships are typically reserved for doctoral students at research-oriented institutions. The time that might ordinarily be allocated, in a doctoral program, to supporting a faculty member's research or to helping a professor teach a course is allocated to practicum projects in our program. Some practicum positions are are paid and some are unpaid, depending on the company.
No. Our curriculum is specifically designed for our MSDS students. Students take courses together as a cohort and all students must complete all 35 units of required coursework here at USF in order to graduate.
We are proud to run a program that, with high probability, significantly increases the earnings power of our graduates over the long run. Some students from past cohorts have already paid off all of their loans from cash bonuses or other forms of deferred compensation received. We are confident that the return on investment associated with this particular professional program is superior to the return on investment from many other forms of professional training (law, medicine, etc.). There is a shortage of data scientists in the job market right now, and that shortage is projected to get far worse before it gets better.
Tuition is due at the beginning of each semester. The university offers a payment plan for those who wish to make monthly payments.
Students are not permitted to work during the program with the exception of their practicum projects. We expect that 100 percent of your time is devoted to coursework and practicum work.
One of the major advantages of the MSDS program at the University of San Francisco is that students work on real projects with real companies for approximately 9 months out of their 12-month experience. Students in the 2017–2018 cohort work with companies from all industries, including Williams-Sonoma, Kiva, Mozilla, Eventbrite, Capital One, United Healthcare, Paypal, and Summit Public Schools, among others. Learn more about our practicums.
No. The program matches students with companies based on interest, skill set, and project.
The decision to provide compensation for practicum work is up to each individual company. Approximately 50 percent of projects are paid, and 50 percent are unpaid.
Ninety-eight percent of all graduates received an offer of employment within three months of graduation with a median base salary of $110,000. See our Careers page for more details on student outcomes.
Applicants must have high grades in prior coursework in probability and statistics, linear algebra, and computer programming (for example, Python, Java, C++, MATLAB, etc.). Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree. Typically, though not always, our applicants majored in mathematics, engineering, economics, statistics, or computer science.
Learn more on the How to Apply page.
You must have completed all required prerequisite courses before the start of the program. This is an accelerated master's program and there is no time to take extra courses. You may apply with courses in progress provided that they will be completed by the time the program begins.
Yes, in some cases. You can take these as a visiting student prior to applying for the MSDS program, if you do not require a student visa to study in the U.S. USF is not able to issue I-20s for visiting students. Please consult the catalog for more information on mathematics and computer science courses.
We encourage prospective students to examine the offerings of accredited colleges or universities local to them. Many applicants complete our prerequisites at a community college. If you are unable to complete the courses locally, the following institutions offer one or more courses via online or distance learning format that will satisfy our prerequisite requirements. Courses at these institutions are taken for a grade on a transcript and require a proctored final exam.
|UC Berkeley Extension
UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Extension
UC Irvine Extension
University of North Dakota
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Louisiana State University
You should take MATH 230 (Elementary Linear Algebra). The Department of Mathematics typically offers this course every year in the fall semester. MATH 202 (Linear Algebra and Probability) satisfies neither the linear algebra nor the inferential statistics prerequisite for the MSDS program.
You should take MATH 101 (Elementary Statistics). The Department of Mathematics typically offers this course every semester. There are other courses at the university that satisfy the inferential statistics prerequisite, such as MATH 102 (Biostatistics), MATH 103 (Statistics for the Social Sciences), or ESS 200 (Statistics). We will also accept two-course sequences in probability theory and mathematics statistics for mathematics majors as satisfying the inferential statistics prerequisite. For example, at the University of San Francisco, this sequence is composed of MATH 370 (Probability with Applications) and MATH 371 (Statistics with Applications).
You should take CS 110 (Introduction to Computer Science I). The Department of Computer Science typically offers this course every semester. CS 110 features Python, a preferred programming language for the MSDS program. However, our more competitive applicants have also taken the equivalent of CS 112 (Introduction to Computer Science II), a second course in computer programming that typically features Java and requires students to build more sophisticated and larger programs.
Programming experience is necessary to be successful in the MSDS program. While practical experience is valuable, we require that applicants complete at least one programming course at an accredited college or university. Note that HTML, web design, PHP, Microsoft Excel, VBA, etc. might be valuable, but they do not count towards programming experience. We prefer knowledge of programming languages like Python, Java, C#, C++, Matlab, or Mathematica.
No. Given the uncertainties surrounding online coursework, and the failure of many online courses to provide a mechanism by which student code is evaluated and checked for plagiarism, applicants should show coursework on transcripts from accredited academic institutions in order to have a competitive application. Certificate coursework can serve as a supplement to courses taken for college credit.
The students enrolled in the class of 2017–2018 had the following relevant scores:
While the GRE exam is not a perfect measure of academic achievement or potential to be a successful data scientist, prospective students scoring strictly less than 160 on the quantitative portion are increasingly non-competitive for the MSDS program.
The USF school codes are 4850 for GRE and 91M-3X-08 for GMAT.
We do not have a minimum GPA requirement but we are generally looking for GPAs of 3.0 and above and examine transcripts carefully. The class of 2017–2018 has a median undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 3.47.
We received 643 submitted applications for the 2017–2018 cohort, of which 134 were sent formal acceptance letters (an acceptance rate of approximately 20 percent). We anticipate that the acceptance rate for the 2018–2019 cohort will again be between 10 and 20 percent.
We mostly use R, Python, and SQL.
Yes. Our deadline for priority scholarship consideration is December 5. It is still possible to receive a scholarship if your application is received after December 5, but the availability of scholarship funds after that date is uncertain.
Yes. Starting in December, we process applications on an ongoing basis. Some applicants are summarily denied. Some applications are placed on hold until the final March 1st application deadline. Other applicants are interviewed and admitted to the program before the application deadline. In general, we advise prospective students who are highly motivated to join our program to apply as early as possible in the admissions cycle.
We do not provide a pre-review of any application. We cannot comment on an individual's chances of admission as our applicant pool changes from year to year.
No. Our priority deadline is for priority scholarship consideration and does not guarantee an early decision.
Yes, the program welcomes international applicants. International students in the class of 2017–2018 hail from India, China, UK, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Turkey, South Korea, Spain, Singapore, Russia, and Taiwan.
The program seeks applicants with TOEFL scores of 90 or higher. International students in the 2017–2018 cohort have a median TOEFL score of 106 (range 93–117).
The TOEFL is waived for applicants who have completed a bachelor's degree, a master's degree, or two years or more of studies in a degree program in English at a higher education institution in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand. The TOEFL is also waived for applicants from Norway and Iceland. Our program does not waive the English language exam requirement for applicants with degrees completed in countries other than those listed above where the medium of instruction was English.
International graduates typically apply for OPT (Optional Practical Training) after they graduate. MSDS qualifies as a STEM major. International students apply for CPT (Curricular Practical Training) during the academic year for their practicum assignment. Please direct all further questions regarding CPT, OPT, or STEM to the Office of International Student and Scholar Services.
Yes, USF requires that proof of funds is submitted at the time you apply in order to expedite the I-20 process if admitted.
If you plan to finance your education with a loan, you will need to obtain a letter from your bank stating that they will provide a loan for the needed amount if you are admitted. Upload this letter to the certification of finances section of the application.