Data Institute Certificate FAQs


How are the certificates graded?

All certificate courses are graded as pass/fail.

Are there exams required to pass this certificate?


Are there projects or homework?

There are no graded assignments but you will be asked to work on projects to get the most out of the course. Some classes will include lab sessions to work on the material and receive feedback from the faculty.

Can I get a student visa to attend these certificates?

We are not able to sponsor a student visa for certificate students. 

How do I apply for the Diversity Fellowship?

Prospective students may apply for a Diversity Fellowship to any of our certificates. To apply for a Diversity Fellowship for a Data Institute certificate (excluding Deep Learning I & II certificates, which have specific requirements listed below), submit an application with your resume and statement of purpose describing your interest in data science and which under-indexed group(s) you are a part of (gender, race, sexual identity, veteran, etc.).

Our Deep Learning certificates have specific requirements for fellowship applicants:

  • At least 1 year of coding experience (the course is taught in Python)
  • At least 8 hours a week to commit to the course (includes time for homework)
  • Curiosity and a willingness to work hard
  • Identify as a woman, person of Color, LGBTQ person, person with a disability, and/or veteran
  • Be available to attend in-person 6:30-9pm in downtown San Francisco (SOMA), one evening per week (exact schedule found here under details, day of the week varies)

Your statement should include:

  • 1 paragraph describing one or more problems you’d like to apply deep learning to
  • 1 paragraph describing previous machine learning education or experience (e.g. courses, Coursera,,…)
  • which under-indexed group(s) you are a part of (gender, race, sexual identity, veteran)

How many diversity fellowships are awarded for each certificate?

The number of scholarships we are able to offer depends on how much funding we receive (if your organization may be able to sponsor one or more places, please let us know). 

How is enrolling in the certificates different from enrolling in the MS in Data Science?

Certificate courses are generally 7 weeks in length and are offered for CEUs (Continuing Education Units). Students are awarded a certificate upon completion, rather than a graduate degree. The MSDS program is 12 months in length and students are awarded a Master’s of Science degree upon successful completion of the graduate program.

What is the deadline to cancel my enrollment and receive a refund?

Students must email by 5pm before the second class session of the course in order to request a full refund. 

I am enrolled in a certificate right now or have previously enrolled in a certificate. Do I qualify for the USF student/alumni rate?

Unfortunately not. The student/alumni rate is for students in degree granting programs. However, students who have completed both Deep Learning Part 1 and Part 2 at the Data Institute are eligible for the alumni rate for an additional certificate course.

My company offers education reimbursement. Can I receive a letter confirming my enrollment?

Yes, we are able to provide students enrolled in certificate courses with a letter confirming their enrollment. Please contact us to request.

I submitted my application, when will I receive more information about enrollment?

Applications are generally reviewed within 5-7 business days. Once your application is reviewed and processed, you will receive information on next steps.

I have previous plans that conflict with one of the class sessions. Can I still enroll in the certificate?

Certificate students are required to attend 6 out of 7 class sessions in order to earn the certificate. If you have additional absences, you are welcome to attend any remaining sessions but you may not be awarded the certificate at the end of the course.

Do I need to pick-up my ID card from the Main Campus One Card Office?

No. Our staff will have your ID card at the certificate check-in table.

Are laptops provided?

No, you will need to bring your own laptop. Please also confirm you have admin privileges as you may be asked to download software.

Can I have a copy of my transcript?

Our certificate courses are offered for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and do not appear on a transcript. 

Where can I find a 1098-t tax form for the tuition expense related to this course?

Unfortunately,USF does not issue a 1098-t for certificate courses. This course is offered for Continuing Education Credits and the university does not provide certificate students with 1098-T forms.

Is there parking near the campus?

There are not any university owned parking lots near the Downtown Campus. Here are some parking lots within the area (you should confirm ahead of time that the lot is operational during evening hours):

  • 188 Spear Street Parking Hills Plaza Garage
  • 945 Spear St ABM Parking Garage
  • 123 Main St Public Parking Garage
  • 221 Main St Rincon Center Garage
  • 121 Spear St Parking Garage