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University of Michigan School of Information


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Priority deadline: Submit by Aug. 17, receive decision week of Sept. 13
Early decision deadline: Submit by Oct. 5, receive decision by week of Oct. 25
Final deadline: Submit by Nov. 15, receive decision week of Dec. 6

The University of Michigan School of Information’s Master of Applied Data Science welcomes applicants from diverse backgrounds. 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 we welcome applicants with ample or little previous experience in data science.

Q&A with the MADS admissions team: Our information sessions will allow you to hear from the MADS admissions team as they discuss the admissions process/timeline, provide an overview of assessment expectations, and give guidance with application tips as you work to complete your application. There will also be an opportunity to ask any admissions questions you have. 

Additional webinars and other special events may be announced soon.

Q&A with a current MADS student: We also have current MADS students who will be hosting office hours leading up to the deadlines. These are offered as quick 1:1 meetings to go over any questions about the application/assessment process, student experiences, etc.

Click on the link to join the office hours on the date and time of the event. Information Mentors may be online with another person, but they can see that you've arrived. Just hang out for a few minutes and they'll be right with you.

(Video playlist: Graduates of the Master of Applied Data Science answer questions about what it's like to be in the online program.)

Minimum requirements for admission

Completion of a bachelor's degree or an international degree that is equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's degree from a college or university recognized and approved by the higher education authority in the country where the degree is earned.

Note: if you have completed a three-year bachelor’s degree, please email to inquire if this would be recognized as an equivalent degree.

Application components


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. Please note that we are not accepting physical transcripts at this time since our staff is working remotely due to office closures for COVID-19. Please send all transcripts electronically to

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.


A copy of your current resume.


Three short essays (250 words or less for each question) telling us about your specific interest in pursuing the Master of Applied Data Science online degree, and what you hope to accomplish by participating in the program. 

  1. Why are you interested in the online Master of Applied Data Science degree, and what do you hope to gain with this degree?
  2. 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? In addition, how did or would you successfully communicate that information to influence the outcome or behavior?
  3. 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?


Entrance assessment

After applying to the Master of Applied Data Science program, students are required to pass one online assessment that covers topics in introductory statistics and base level Python to be accepted to the program. There are two possible paths an applicant may take:

  • [Most Common] Combined Python and Statistics Assessment: We expect this assessment can be completed in about 1.5 hours and contains questions similar to the practice assessments applicants are encouraged to take. On average, applicants have taken 2 weeks to prepare and successfully complete the assessment.
  • Statistics Assessment: If students have already completed the entire Python 3 Programming specialization that is offered on Coursera by the time of application, students will only be tested on introductory statistics material. Please upload your Python 3 Programming specialization certificate at the time of application submission.

We strongly encourage applicants to take our practice assessments to understand the basic level of proficiency in Python and statistics we expect to be successful in our program. We 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.

View sample Python and statistics assessment questions.

View list of suggested resources for learning or refreshing Python and statistics skills.

The practice assessments and entrance assessment will be sent to you within 7-10 business days of submitting your application. Applicants receive two attempts to pass the assessment. Those who submit on or by the priority deadline will have a deadline of September 1 to complete their assessment for full priority consideration for scholarship and admission. Those who submit on or by the final deadline will have a deadline of October 20 to complete their assessment.

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 recommended. The TOEFL must be taken within the past two years. 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.

In addition to the in-person TOEFL and IELTS options, we also accept the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition, which is an online alternative that is identical in content, format and on-screen experience to the in-person TOEFL.

No standardized tests required!

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

Letters of recommendation

  • One letter of recommendation is required from someone who can best speak to your ability to be successful in the program. Up to three letters of recommendation may be submitted. Either academic or professional references are welcome.

How to get letters of recommendation for MADS.

Application fees

  • $75 for U.S. citizens and permanent residents
  • $90 for international applicants 

We offer fee waivers for those who qualify.

Sign up for our interest list and receive:

  • Invitations to exclusive information sessions and events 
  • The opportunity to chat with current students 
  • More in-depth information about the MADS program 
  • Tips and advice for creating a successful application 
  • Reminders for important deadlines