Admissions & Application

Fall 2023 Application Opens Soon

Important Dates

Dec 15

Fall 2023 Application Opens

Apr 1

Fall 2023 Priority Deadline

May 1

Fall 2023 Final Deadline

Please note: To ensure all items are turned in by the deadline, applicants must complete the ApplyTexas portion of their application at least one week prior to the deadlines above.

Eligibility Requirements


Competitive applicants have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) or a comparable GPA in upper-division work—junior- and senior-level courses—and in any graduate work already completed is also required.

Relevant Education

A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution is required. 

A typical candidate will have a degree in statistics, computer science, mathematics, engineering, or similar are recommended. 

Atypical Applicants who have a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field should provide evidence of a sufficiently technical background, a passion for data science, and their functional use of the topic through work experience. This information will need to be conveyed on an applicant’s CV, Statement of Purpose, and Mathematics & Programming Preparation form.

Relevant Background

See below for a list of courses that are recommended for completion before applying to the online MSDS program.

The Admissions Committee, has recognized three important qualities that they would like to see in an applicant: 

  • Mathematical Maturity: Can you think in terms of mathematical notation and concepts? More importantly, can you recognize your areas of deficit, and self-correct?
  • Critical Thinking: Can you think through a problem, recognizing where mistakes were made, correct them, and re-address another possible solution?
  • Technical Background: Can you utilize software to get a job done? If not, can you get yourself up to speed on it relatively quickly?

Applicants who do not hold a degree in statistics, computer science, computer engineering, mathematics, electrical engineering or similar, will need the following course work prior to enrolling in the program:

  • Mathematics
    • Multivariable Calculus (eg. MATH 408D) and
    • Linear Algebra (eg. MATH 341) equivalents
  • Statistics
    • SDS 320E (formerly SDS 328M) equivalent
  • Programming experience in:
    • Python and
    • R or C++

Application Materials

Your application will be submitted through AppyTexas. In addition to the ApplyTexas application, please review the following requirements and considerations and download the application guide.

Required Materials

Statement of Purpose

A statement of purpose must be submitted via the MyStatus site as a "Statement of Purpose" document. Candidates should limit their submission to two pages describing their reasons for pursuing graduate study, academic and professional interests and goals. It may also include events/experiences that prepared you for graduate study.


An applicant's CV/resume will outline their work history, educational background, relevant publications, research and patents. At the end of the CV/resume please include a section about how you have covered relevant coursework (via MOOC’s, courses, work) and the grade associated with this course (assuming it was through a college or university).

Mathematics & Programming Preparedness Form

Applicants must provide relevant information regarding coursework taken in the subject areas of linear algebra, multivariate calculus, introductory statistics, and programming. This form must be uploaded as a “Mathematics Preparedness Form” document through the Document Upload System on the applicant’s MyStatus Portal.

Quest Assessment

The MSDS Quest Assessment is part of a holistic admissions process to assess your readiness to complete the MSDS program. Your Quest score alone is not determinative of admission in the the MSDS program, which will also take into account your prior grades, work experience, your statement of purpose, and Math Prep form. These questions assess your knowledge of core topics covered in undergraduate-level linear algebra, multivariable calculus, programming and introductory statistics courses. There is no minimum score required for admission to the MSDS program, nor is an offer of admission guaranteed for applicants who score above any particular threshold. The MSDS Assessment is open-book (you can use any book, hardcopy or electronic) and open-notes (e.g., lecture notes). You may use paper, a pencil, and a calculator (including R or any other statistics program on a computer). Your work on this assessment should be your own, with no help from anyone else.

Accessing the assessment: Once you receive your UT EID use your credentials to pay for the MSDS Quest Assessment through UT Austin’s TXShop. Be sure to enter 1 for the Quantity, add to your cart, check out as a Guest, and use the same information entered on your GoApplyTexas profile in the Billing Address section. After selecting Continue with Credit you will be asked if you are tax exempt– please select “no” as the assessment does not have a sales tax. Proceed through the University of Texas at Austin Credit Card System payment process. After you pay, you will receive a receipt page with a link to access and complete the MSDS Assessment.

Instructions and materials covered in the assessment are detailed in the Warmup section. Be sure to review this section before continuing to the required section.


International applicants must have a satisfactory score on the TOEFL or IELTS exams.

For more information, please see UT Austin’s requirements for International Students support page. Any questions about the English Proficiency requirement need to the Graduate and International Admissions Center.


Official transcripts from every senior college you have attended are required.

Optional Materials

GRE General Score

  • The GRE requirement will be optional for the fall 2023 admission cycle.
  • There is no minimum GRE test score, however competitive applicants are likely to have GRE quantitative scores in the 80th percentile or above.
  • Students may continue to submit official GRE scores for consideration, but they will not be required to do so. Providing GRE scores can bolster your application if there are aspects of your application that you feel may be not as competitive as others. For example, if you do not have a relevant or related degree (as clarified above) or have not been in school in over 10 years, adding a GRE score will assist the Admissions Committee in their review. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at

Letters of Recommendation

Although optional, up to three letters of recommendation may be included in an application. Recommenders will receive an email with a link to upload their letters and applicants can manage letters through their MyStatus portal.

Application Process

See application deadlines above.

Applying is a twofold process involving both Graduate School and program materials. Please use the admissions guide in the Application Materials section above and click on the embedded links to ensure your application and materials meet the Graduate School and program guidelines. Applicants are recommended to start the application process early in order to have all required materials received by the final deadline.

1 Apply to the Graduate School at The University of Texas at Austin

The first part of the application process is submitted electronically through ApplyTexas. Please follow the steps below.

  1. Create an account or log-in if you already have one.
  2. Select Start/Edit Profile and complete the section.
  3. Select Start/Edit Applications.
  4. Select Start a New Application.
  5. Select Four-year college/university.
  6. Choose University of Texas at Austin (Austin) as the institution to which you would like to apply.
  7. In the type of application, choose the most appropriate option.
  8. Select the semester of entry.
  9. Scroll down to Natural Sciences section and select Data Science (MS in Data Science Online Program) option as the major.
  10. Continue on with the application.
  11. Pay the Application Fee.
  12. Within 2-3 days of the submitting you will receive log-in instructions so that you can upload applicable required materials. Note: Sending paper copies of documents will significantly delay the processing of your application.

2 Check your MyStatus Portal and upload applicable items

Once you receive your UT EID use your credentials to pay for the MSDS Quest Assessment through UT Austin’s TXShop. Be sure to enter 1 for the Quantity, add to your cart, check out as a Guest, and use the same information entered on your ApplyTexas profile in the Billing Address section. After selecting Continue with Credit you will be asked if you are tax exempt– please select “no” as the assessment does not have a sales tax. Proceed through the University of Texas at Austin Credit Card System payment process. After you pay, you will receive a receipt page with a link to access and complete the MSDS Assessment.

For remaining Program and Graduate and International Admissions Center Requirements download our guide.

3 Send Test Scores

Send official GRE scores to UT Austin (optional)

Reference UT Austin code: 6882.

Send official English proficiency exam scores (if applicable)

International Applicants are required to submit either an official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score report demonstrating an adequate knowledge of English. Visit the Graduate and International Admissions Center site for more information.

4 Review Your Status

Visit MyStatus to monitor and manage reference/recommendation requests, upload your curriculum vitae or resume, submit additional items such as publications, and revise your FERPA waiver.

Tuition & Fees

Full Program

10 Courses

Tuition is the same for U.S. and international students.

Per Course

$333 per
credit hour


Some additional institutional fees may apply.

Employer Tuition Reimbursement

Students are encouraged to seek tuition reimbursement through their employer. If you work at a company that offers tuition benefits, speak with your manager or HR department to see what’s available to you.


Each semester, students are extended the following fees when applicable:

Financial Aid

Graduate students pursuing a master’s online may apply for federal, state and institutional financial aid programs administered by the Office of Financial Aid by completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Please visit Texas One Stop for more information regarding loans. Students are also encouraged to check with a lending institution of their choice for other possible student loans. In order to apply for a federally-backed educational loan, you will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Once this form has been submitted, you may also sign up to receive your Financial Aid Notification (FAN) electronically. You will need to complete the FAFSA each fiscal year (October 1st) if you wish to receive aid. It is important to note that your application is completed based on your income tax filing for the previous year and your award will be for the Summer and Fall of the application year and the Spring in the following year. The 20/21 FAFSA will cover fall 2020, spring 2021 and summer 2021. If you plan to take summer classes you must have both the 20/21 and 21/22 FAFSA applications on file in order to qualify for financial aid. It is important to pay attention to all communications received in regards to your financial aid in order to avoid delaying your payment. We also encourage students to check their CASH pages weekly to ensure no new items are pending.

Additional Resources

UT Austin’s Texas One Stop also offers the following information on different ways to pay for your degree:

Take the Next Step

Advance your data science career with UT Austin's online Master of Data Science.