The Post-Baccalaureate Certificate is a rigorous program consisting of 4 courses (12 credits) providing a solid conceptual foundation in data science.
While normally completed in two semesters, data science certificate students are free to pursue the program on a part-time basis or attempt three to four courses during a single semester.
Students take one course in each of the three focus areas (statistics, algorithmics, and infrastructure and large scale computing) plus one elective.
Length of program
- 12 credits (4 courses)
Successful candidates must have:
- A baccalaureate degree in computer science, statistics, engineering, or a closely related STEM field, and
- An undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 (or the equivalent)
Whatever the undergraduate major, the candidates must show they satisfy the following prerequisites for admission:
- Two (2) semesters of computer science fundamentals coursework or equivalent experience, and
- Five (5) semesters of mathematics/statistics
- Two (2) semesters of calculus (equivalent to MATH 1271 and MATH 1272 at the University of Minnesota)
- One (1) semester of multivariable calculus (equivalent to MATH 2263 at the University of Minnesota)
- One (1) semester of linear algebra (equivalent to either MATH 2142, MATH 4242, or CSCI 2033 at the University of Minnesota)
- One (1) semester of statistics (equivalent to STAT 3021 or a higher level STAT equivalent at the University of Minnesota)
Non-U.S. students must provide proof of English language proficiency:
- The TOEFL is the most common exam and is preferred, but other tests are also accepted
- Detailed information on the English language proficiency tests and minimum scores are available through the Graduate School
- Please note that scores should be submitted directly to the Graduate School.
The GRE is not required, but if supplied will be taken into account in the admissions process.
Key dates during the application cycle
Admission to the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate is for both spring or fall semester start.
- March 1: Application deadline for fall admission
- October 1: Application deadline for spring admission
Applications submitted after the program deadline may not be considered.
How to apply
Other than the GRE, the procedures and required documents for admission to this Post-Baccalaureate Certificate match those for the M.S. degree.
Only one letter of recommendation is required for admission to the certificate, but we recommend at least two letters (one familiar with your current situation, and (if within 3 years) one familiar with your academic background).
Submit your application electronically here. Applicants to the certificate should apply by March 1 for fall consideration and October 1 for spring consideration. These are priority deadlines. We can't guarantee that your application will be considered if you apply after these deadlines.
To satisfy all program requirements for the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate admitted students must:
- Complete a minimum of four courses (at least 12 credits) to include one Tier 1 course from the Statistics track, one Tier 1 course from the Algorithmics track, and one Tier 1 course from the Infrastructure track, plus one additional elective course chosen from the complete list. The elective course should be determined with consultation from the program advisor or Director of Graduate Studies. All qualifying courses are listed on the courses page. Please note that transfer courses are not allowed.
- Maintain a minimum GPA set by the program (currently 3.0), including any courses taken to fulfill a missing admissions prerequisite (though these latter courses do not count toward the certificate).
Transfer to the M.S. degree
Students enrolled in the certificate program are encouraged to apply for the master’s program, and will receive priority consideration, though admission is not guaranteed.
Any courses taken as part of this certificate program can be used if the student is later admitted to the Data Science M.S. degree. However, the M.S. degree requires a minimum GPA of 3.25, higher than that required for the certificate.
A student maintaining a minimum GPA of 3.25 in their courses for the certificate program may apply for the M.S. degree using the usual procedure, and they may use all the same application material originally submitted for the application to this certificate, plus a letter from a U of MN faculty member, and may apply for a waiver of the requirement for the GRE.