Because data science is a complex technical field, some prerequisite training in mathematics and
computer science is essential for success in the program. These prerequisites may be achieved through
an undergraduate program, through professional experience, through recommended online self-study
resources, or a combination of the above. The prerequisites for the program are:
- Basic programming in a language such as Python or R.
- Basic familiarity with data structures.
- Ability to communicate clearly, coherently and professionally in spoken and written form.
We review applications holistically, with an aim to understand you as an individual candidate.
No one element of the application will make or break a strong file. A strong application will
present a full picture of who you are as an applicant— how you are prepared to succeed in our
program, your past and present experience and why our data science program is the right fit for
you as you reshape your professional trajectory or plan for career growth. Below are the elements
that make up an application and our tips on the best ways to prepare each of those elements:
- Applicants will typically receive an admissions decision within one month.
What You’ll Need to Apply
Don’t have time to read the whole application checklist right now? to review when it’s most convenient for you.
- Submit a current professional resume. An updated resume will provide useful information about your professional achievements and activities. We recommend adding brief contextual information to communicate in detail those positions or experiences that, in your view, are especially relevant to your readiness to succeed in this program.
- Submit a personal statement. This brief written account (between 250 and 500 words) introduces you to the admissions committee. In the personal statement you should describe your motivation for enrolling in the program, your relevant academic background and professional experience as well as any qualifications, skills, or achievements that relate to your preparation to succeed in the program. It would also be helpful to provide an account of why you are interested specifically in data science as a subject for graduate study.
- Submit a TOEFL or IEFTL score (if applicable). International students whose native language is not English must also submit scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language. Notre Dame’s Graduate School will waive the TOEFL/IELTS requirement for non-native English speakers who spent a minimum of two years at an academic institution whose primary language of instruction was English. In certain circumstances, applicants may need to provide a letter from the institution’s Registrar’s Office (or the office responsible for academic records) confirming English as the language of instruction. For more information on Notre Dame’s TOEFL or IETLS requirements, please review our FAQ document.
- Submit an application fee of $75.
Request writers to submit at least two letters of recommendation. Applicants should request three letters of recommendation, although only two letters are required. At least one of these letters should be from a person who has supervised you in a professional or academic context. All letters should speak to your ability to succeed in a graduate program with quantitative and technical content. Writers should know you well enough to describe your professional achievements, academic preparation and any other relevant details with candor, detail and objectivity.
Recommendation writers can upload their letters directly into our application system. Letters of professional recommendation can be uploaded after submitting your application.
- Request unofficial transcripts from all educational institutions you have attended. These are acceptable for the preliminary admissions review. Official transcripts will be requested and are required to be submitted after the admissions decision.
Submit GRE (or GMAT) test scores. Notre Dame requires GRE scores for all applications to the Graduate School. Please note that ETS will not report GRE scores that are more than five years old. We will also accept GMAT scores in place of the GRE General Test.
What if you’re still waiting on your test scores? GRE test scores can be uploaded after you submit your application.
What if you’re still waiting to take the test? Although you can send us your GRE scores later, if you haven’t already done so, we recommend scheduling a GRE test date online as soon as possible.
Other Recommendations (optional, but strongly encouraged)
Submit additional documentation. We encourage applicants to share any additional credentials relevant to their qualifications or readiness for graduate study in data science. These credentials may include:
- Certificates of free or non-credit online course completion
- Credentials earned through continuing professional education
- Documentation of professional certifications not suitably captured on the resume
- Awards or recognitions relevant to the application
- Experience with programming languages not otherwise documented on the academic transcript or on the professional resume, such as evidence of completion of a basic online programming course.
- Take the Data Science Readiness Assessment. In order to help you assess your level of readiness for the program, we offer a free online readiness assessment called the “Data Science Readiness Assessment.” This online assessment is optional and not tied to the admissions process. It is instead a benefit to help you understand your current preparation in mathematics and programming skills. Take the assessment.
If you’d like to review this again later, of what you’ll need to apply.