Who is this degree for?

This degree is designed for candidates who want to take on real-world data challenges and gain a comprehensive understanding of how data is collected, processed, analyzed, visualized, and reported across a variety of industries. Applicants should be proficient with statistics and Python. Students will learn how to apply these skills in ways that help organizations become more effective, strategic, ethical and successful.

We are interested in applicants with 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.


Spring/Summer 2023 Key Dates
Priority deadlineFebruary 1, 2023
Final deadlineMarch 15, 2023
Classes startMay 2, 2023

MADS accepts applications three terms per calendar year:

  • Spring/Summer term: applications close in March and classes begin in May.
  • Fall term: applications close in July and classes begin in August.
  • Winter term: applications close in November and classes begin in January.

Application Requirements

You must submit an application through the University of Michigan School of Information website, and include the following with your application:

Applicants for the degree program must have an undergraduate degree. If you have completed a three-year bachelor’s degree, please email umsi.mads@umich.edu to inquire if this would be recognized as an equivalent degree.

A copy of your current resume/CV.

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 a degree(s).

We will accept unofficial transcripts for application review. Official transcripts will be required later if you are admitted.

The MADS Program requires two short essays and a personal statement to get to know our applicants in more depth. Typically, we inquire about personal background, programming experience, and interest in data science and the UMSI MADS program. Example questions we’ve asked in the past include:

  • Why are you interested in the Master of Applied Data Science degree with UMSI, and what do you hope to gain with this degree?

  • 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?

  • What do you believe is the greatest potential value and greatest potential harm of data science?

One letter of recommendation from someone(s) who can best speak to your ability to be successful in the program. Either academic or professional recommendations are welcome.

After applying to the Master of Applied Data Science program applicants are required to demonstrate their foundational Python fluency (roughly equivalent to UMSI’s Python 3 Programming MOOC) and basic statistics knowledge. Applicants may do this in one of two ways:

  1. Take a combined Python and Statistics Assessment

  2. Submit a certificate of completion of the Python 3 Programming MOOC and take a Statistics Assessment

Students who need a refresher on statistics are encouraged to take the Statistics with Python Specialization.

If applicants have already completed the entire Python 3 Programming Specialization that is offered on Coursera by the time of application, applicants will only be tested on introductory statistics. If applicants have not completed the Python 3 Programming Specialization (or don’t need to) they will take an assessment that tests both Python and statistics.

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 required. Applicants holding 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.

No additional tests are required! We do not require the GRE or any other additional tests as part of our admissions process. For more information, see more about the admissions criteria.

Application Information

The next application deadlines are:

  • Applications Open: November 16, 2022
  • Final Deadline: March 15, 2023

Have questions? Attend an upcoming Information Session or email umsi.mads@umich.edu.

Coursera does not grant credit, and does not represent that any institution other than the degree granting institution will recognize the credit or credential awarded by the institution; the decision to grant, accept, or transfer credit is subject to the sole and absolute discretion of an educational institution.

We encourage you to investigate whether this degree meets your academic and/or professional needs before applying.

Have questions?

If you have questions about the application process or eligibility, please email us at umsi.mads@umich.edu.