Frequently Asked Questions


Along with meeting the requirements for admission to the Graduate School, you should prepare a personal statement and a copy of your transcript(s) and resume. Letters of recommendation are requested, but not required.

Learn more about Data Science admissions requirements.

Our department does not provide application fee waivers. You can check to see if you meet the requirements for an application fee waiver from the Graduate School.

Learn more about Graduate School application waivers.

We do not require any graduate standardized tests for admission. You are welcome to submit GRE or other scores if you feel it will improve your application.

The MU DSA program is a full-fee program. There are no Teaching Assistant (TA) opportunities for Master’s candidates in our program and we do not provide tuition waivers.  There could be industry-sponsored positions for second year students who qualify and apply for positions. These projects will support stipends, but not tuition

Financial Aid is determined through the Student Financial Aid Office. Please contact them directly for all applicable programs available to you. Three out of four MU graduate students receive some form of financial aid.

We do not accept applications for spring semesters. We begin accepting applications for Fall 2024 on August 1, 2023. We have several review deadlines throughout the year. Our final deadline for complete applications will be in late May/early June. Apply now!

Yes, you are not locked into an interest area when you are accepted.

Yes, both MS and certificate programs are eligible for STEM_OPT under CIP code 110199. To qualify for OPT, students must be in the US on an F-1 visa in order to apply for OPT/STEM OPT. If a student is participating in the online program outside of the US, they would not be eligible to apply for OPT.

Program Information

The Masters of Data Science is housed in the MU Institute for Data Science and Informatics (MUIDSI) and serves as nexus of interdisciplinary collaborations bridging numerous MU colleges and schools, including the College of Engineering, the School of Medicine, School of Journalism, and School of Information Science and Learning Technologies.  The program has trained many Informatics PhD’s since its inception, and also serves as the parent of the MU DSA MS program.

  • Students are actively engaged as a cohort with instructors. 
  • Courses integrate JupyterHub with Canvas and GitHub
  • All code is by example, so you are never left to figure it out yourself. 
  • Many interesting data sets, and an open door to bring your own.
  • Courses are staggered in 8 week sessions over the semester, so you are never in more than two courses at a time.
  • The courses are designed to work together. So, what you learn in one course is built on in the next.
  • Having a cohort based program gives students peer support during the program period, which is demonstrated to lower stress and increase learning.
  • The main requirement is a good internet connection.
  • Most of the software used in the program is hosted at the University of Missouri.

The Python and R Boot Camps are usually offered in spring and summer semesters, to prepare you for fall regular classes. It is essential you apply early so that you are ready to do the boot camps and put yourself in the best position to take on Big Data.

Executive Session

No, attendance at the Data Science Executive Week is not required but it is strongly suggested. Our students have consistently described this week as one of the their best educational and professional experiences. Data Science Week also gives you the opportunity to meet with our Industry Advisory Board members to network and gain valuable contacts within the industry.

The executive session on campus is usually held each spring in mid to late March.

Students must arrive at the hotel by Sunday afternoon to participate in a meet and greet that evening.

Executive week is held on the University of Missouri’s Columbia Campus.

Accommodations and some meals are provided during the executive sessions.

Students are responsible for their own travel to Columbia.

Minimal free time is provided as the days are packed with seminars and activities. If a student wishes to stay for a longer visit they will be responsible for their own expenses.

Program staff will do their best to accommodate dietary concerns, however, please notify us in advance of any special requirements.

Each day students have a power-packed day of instructions, data labs team activities, and presentations.

Contact the DSA Program

Ehren Oncken

DSA – Academic Advisor

22K Heinkel Building
(573) 882-6077