Insight Into the Data Science Admissions Process

Author: Staff

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How to Write a Personal Statement for a Master’s in Data Science Program

You’ve decided to join the transformative field of data science and pursue your master’s degree. You want to join the ranks of successful data scientists helping businesses make better decisions, shaping social discourse, and changing the world for the better.

Applying to a respected institution is exciting, but it can feel daunting. The personal statement for a master’s program is one of the most intimidating aspects of the admissions process. To help you feel more confident in your application, we’ve shared some tips below for writing a solid statement of intent and other insights into the data science admissions process here at Notre Dame.

Writing a Personal Statement That Stands Out: Don’t Use a Template

Templates abound for statements of intent online, but the point of a personal statement is that it’s personalthat is, individual to you. It may be tempting to use a template, especially if you don’t know where to start or what to include. However, doing so limits your ability to showcase your unique story and strengths—and the admissions committee will see the difference.

Instead, think about your goals, backstory, and what you can bring to a program. While reviewing samples can be a useful starting point, your personal statement should be original and tailored to the program to which you’re applying. Above all, don’t use the same personal statement for multiple master’s programs.

Use Your Personal Statement to Tell Your Story

The best way to create a compelling personal statement is to provide a story about who you are and where you want to be. Include information about your education, current and past career experience, and what has inspired you to pursue a master’s in data science degree. Discuss any potential downfalls in your application (for example, gaps in your resume or low grades in relevant coursework), the story behind them, and how you’re going to overcome them.

Demonstrate a Drive to Succeed

At Notre Dame, we look for two main criteria in prospective students: preparation and a drive to succeed. Your statement of intent, transcripts, and supplementary documents will demonstrate academic preparation, but you’ll also want to show ambition and an ability to meet the rigors of the program.

To demonstrate your drive to succeed, include your future goals—whether that is a specific career or industry or something broader—along with any projects you’ve worked on or notable accomplishments. Discuss any relevant qualifications you have, such as courses you’ve taken in data science or experience with a programming language.

Ultimately, you’ll want to use your data science master’s personal statement to show where your career is going and how the program fits into that trajectory.

Why This Program? Tailoring Your Data Science Master’s Personal Statement

Beyond telling your story and demonstrating your strengths, make sure you incorporate your reasons for applying to this specific program. For example, if you are applying to Notre Dame, you might discuss the immersions, structured curriculum, or collaboration with industry partners.

Other Tips for Navigating the Admissions Process

While the statement of intent is important for admission into a master’s program, admissions committees review every aspect of your application to gain a holistic understanding of your strengths and qualifications. Learn more about the admissions process at the University of Notre Dame in this video:


Program Director Roger Woodard discusses how to set yourself apart as a data science master’s program applicant.


Frequently Asked Questions About the Admissions Process and Data Science M.S.

If you want to know more about the admissions process or master’s in data science program at Notre Dame, view our data science program FAQ outlining required application materials and other FAQs.

Contact our team any time if you still have questions about the admissions process or what to include in the data science master’s personal statement.

Why Apply to Notre Dame’s Master’s in Data Science Program?

At Notre Dame, you’ll join one of the top 10 online graduate programs in data science and gain the knowledge and skills you need for a successful career in just 21 months. Designed for working professionals, our master’s in data science degree offers a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning to help you master data science tools and coursework. Here, you’ll study under award-winning faculty at an institution known for excellence, innovation, and a mission of fostering the development of mind, body, spirit, and community.

Experience the Notre Dame Edge. Apply today.