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The University of Michigan School of Information’s Master of Applied Data Science welcomes applicants from diverse backgrounds to apply. We offer an agile curriculum that suits a wide-range of applicants including those who are returning to school full-time to pursue advanced study in data science, and those who will complete their degrees while working part or full-time. We are interested in applicants who have a history of academic and/or professional success, who demonstrate creativity and a commitment to sophisticated problem solving, and who exhibit persistence, leadership, and initiative, and welcome applicants with ample or little previous experience in data science. Specific admissions criteria include the following:


We require one scanned or electronic transcript uploaded to the online application or mailed directly to us for all undergraduate and/or graduate programs from which you have degree(s). We will accept unofficial transcripts for application review, and will require official transcripts if offered admission.

If you have not yet completed your baccalaureate degree, you may submit a current (in-progress) transcript now, and a final transcript showing degree conferral upon graduation.


Applicants are required to upload a copy of their current resume.


Short Essays

Applicants are required to respond to short essay questions (250 words or less for each question) telling us about their specific interest in pursuing the Master of Applied Data Science online degree, and what they aim to accomplish by participating in the program. Questions applicants will be asked to respond to include:

  1. Why are you interested in the Master of Applied Data Science degree with UMSI, and what do you hope to gain with this degree?
  2. Provide examples of your aptitude for success in the program, highlighting self-initiation and persistence.
  3. Describe a data-oriented problem you've solved, or problem you'd like to solve. What steps did you take, or could be taken, to identify, design, and implement a solution?
  4. Describe a time when you successfully communicated information to influence an outcome or behavior, and what you think contributed to that success.
  5. What do you think is the greatest potential value and greatest potential harm of data science?

Personal Statement

How have your background and life experiences, including cultural, geographical, financial, educational or other opportunities or challenges, motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan?

For example, if you grew up in a community where educational, cultural, or other opportunities were either especially plentiful or especially lacking, you might discuss the impact this had on your development and interests. This should be a discussion of the journey that has led to your decision to seek a graduate degree.

The Personal Statement should be no more than one (1) page double-spaced.


Entrance Assessments

We strongly encourage applicants to take our practice assessments, which will be hosted on Coursera, to understand the basic level of proficiency in Python and statistics we expect to be successful in our program. We will provide links to free or low-cost online courses and resources for those who do not already have experience in these areas, or those looking to refresh their knowledge.

If admitted to the Master of Applied Data Science program students are required to pass online assessments in introductory statistics and base level Python, similar to the practice assessments applicants are encouraged to take, to enroll in the program.

Non-Native English Speaker Assessment

We require the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) if English is your non-primary language. A score of at least 100 on the Internet-based test (IBT) is required. Applicants who have earned a Bachelor's or Master's degree are exempt from taking an English proficiency examination if one or more of the following criteria is met:

  • You are a native English speaker;
  • You completed all of your undergraduate and/or graduate education and earned a degree at an institution where all classes are taught exclusively in English;
  • You are a current University of Michigan student.

If, for example, an applicant completed two years of an undergraduate degree program at a non-English speaking institution and then transferred to an English speaking institution, they do not meet the criteria for exemption. Similarly, being a U.S. citizen or a U.S. permanent resident does not automatically exempt an applicant from taking TOEFL. If the applicant’s first language is not English, the applicant must meet the exemption or submit their TOEFL score.

No Additional Tests Required

We do not require the GRE or any other additional tests as part of our admissions process.

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants will collect and submit three letters of recommendation from people who can best speak to their ability to be successful in the program. These might include academic or professional references, as either are welcome.  


An application fee of $75.00 USD for U.S. citizens and permanent residents and $90.00 USD for international applicants applies. We offer fee waivers for those who qualify.


The priority deadline for admission and scholarship consideration will be April 1, 2019.