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MS In Data Science Program Information

Admission to the MSDS program

Application deadline:  This program begins with enrollment in summer courses.  Applications to begin the program in a particular summer should be submitted no later than March 15 of the preceding spring.

GRE scores:  GRE scores are not used in the admission process.

Undergraduate preparation:  Applicants should have an overall undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, and strong performance in prerequisite undergraduate courses, including the following SDSU courses or their equivalents:

  • Math 125 Calculus II
  • Stat 281, 381 or 382
  • Stat 541 or 482
  • Math 250 or MATH 315
  • Familiarity with SQL such as that contained in Stat 410 or 510
  • Familiarity with programming fundamentals  (CSC 150-C++, Info 101-Python, or equivalent)

Correcting undergraduate preparation deficiencies:

  • Students with no prior statistical programming experience may benefit from taking one or more of the following courses online during the prior academic year in order to prepare for summer Stat 600
    • Stat 510 SAS Programming (3 credits)
    • Stat 514 Basic R Programming (1 credit)
    • Stat 515 R Programming (3 credits)
  • Students needing a refresher on statistics before taking Stat 601 and other program courses may benefit from taking Stat 541 Statstical Methods II (3 credits) online during the summer or face to face during the fall or spring preceding Stat 601.
  • MATH 125, MATH 250, STAT 281, STAT 381, STAT 410/510, STAT 541, and CSC 150 are all available online for those wishing to correct deficiencies prior to applying.

MSDS program delivery and timeline

Online vs classroom delivery: This program is not a completely online program. Some courses are available online, but it is not currently possible to complete the program without being resident on or within driving distance of the SDSU campus in Brookings, South Dakota in the U.S.

Program starts in summer: This program is designed to be started in the summer. Students will generally not be able to start in the fall semester, and will rarely be able to start in the spring.

Program completion in one year: This program may be completed in one calendar year simply by following the default curriculum as describe in the table below, though completion in one year is not required.

Summer courses

  • STAT 600 Statistical Programming
  • INFS 774 Big Data Analytics

Fall courses

  • STAT 601 Modern Applied Statistics I
  • INFS 762 Data Warehousing/Mining
  • STAT 560 Time Series Analysis
  • MATH 575 Operations Research

Spring courses

  • STAT 602 Modern Applied Statistics II
  • INFS 772 Programming‐Data Analytics
  • STAT 545 Nonparametric Statistics
  • STAT 551 Predictive Analytics I

Program total cost and financial assistance
The 2019/20 tuition and fee cost for those completing the entire 30 credit program within one calendar year will be $12,786 for residents of the state of South Dakota, and $22,108.50 for non-residents.

Financial assistance in the form of a graduate teaching assistantship (GTA) or graduate research assistantship (GRA) is generally not available to students in this program. This is a professional master’s degree program designed to prepare students for immediate entry into careers as professional data scientists, not careers in teaching or academic research. Thus, GTA’s and GRA’s are rarely available to MSDS students.

Information for international applicants (DHS STEM OPT, TOEFL)

The MS in Data Science program qualifies for DHS STEM OPT extension as CIP 11.0101.

A TOEFL score of 575 (paper‐based), 230 (computer‐based), or 90 (internet‐based) is required.