Post-Baccalaureate Certificate admissions

Please review the list of frequently asked questions prior to starting your application.

All applicants for data science graduate degree programs are required to have a four-year bachelor's degree from an accredited U.S. university or foreign equivalent at the time of enrollment. This must be documented with a valid transcript. A bachelor's degree must be awarded by the time the students begins this program. Whatever the undergraduate major, the successful candidate must show the prerequisites for admission.

How to apply

All degree applicants must apply online using the Office of Graduate Admissions system and all letter writers must use the online recommendation system. Please visit the Office of Graduate Studies for full Graduate School application instructions.

Important Dates

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

To ensure your application is processed as efficiently as possible, we strongly recommend that you submit your completed application (and all required materials) at least two weeks before the application deadline. Applications submitted after the program deadline may not be considered.

Education Requirements

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)

International students must provide proof of English language proficiency:

The GRE is not required, but if supplied will be taken into account in the admissions process.

Documents to upload

Personal statement/statement of purpose

You must write a statement of purpose outlining your immediate educational and long-range career objectives in relation to data science and why you are applying to the University of Minnesota's Data Science program. Discuss any interests in specific research topics or faculty members' projects. In a separate section within the statement of purpose, concisely discuss your relevant educational, research, or industrial backgrounds as they relate to data science or data analytics, and the specific prerequisite areas (Calculus and related math classes, statistics, computer programming & related systems). If you have expertise in computing or another prerequisite field that is not reflected in your transcripts, please include a description. Include any unique experiences relevant to the research you have done, especially any data-driven projects. Give an example of the most complicated computer-driven problem you have solved or program you have implemented. There is a 4000 character limit on this statement (strongly recommended; does not include spaces; not strictly enforced). No other statements are required for the data science program.

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Please include a curriculum vitae which includes educational institutions attended, degrees awarded, and employment history, with dates. If not listed elsewhere, include a table or list showing how you have satisfied each of the admission prerequisites listed at the bottom of this page - list specific courses or other specific experiences, even if listed elsewhere in this application. Lacking specific prerequisites does not automatically preclude admission, but your statement of purpose would need to include your plans to fulfill the missing prerequisites. Short descriptions of any special projects or experiences can be included here, though longer descriptions should be reserved for the statement of purpose submitted separately. You will have to upload separately complete transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended (informal copies are OK though official copies will be required upon admission before you can enroll).

Letters of Recommendation

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 the names of individuals who can speak to your ability to do graduate-level work in data science, ideally familiar with the background experience described in your statement of purpose. One of the letters must be recent (in the last two years), and if you have been out of school for less than 5 years, it is encouraged for one of three letters to come from a faculty member.

Transcripts

Upload unofficial transcripts directly to your application per the instructions for submitting your application to the graduate school. Official transcripts will be required if you are admitted and wish to attend our program. No hard copies should be faxed or mailed as this will significantly delay the processing of your application.

Important information on transcripts and credentials

  • Remember to read the complete instructions for uploading transcripts and credentials before you proceed.
  • If you've received credit from institutions outside of the United States, view additional instructions for international transcripts and credentials before uploading your documents.
  • Your application must indicate each institution of higher learning from which you have earned credit and you must submit transcripts or academic records for each of these institutions. This includes partial or incomplete transcripts.
  • Unofficial transcripts or academic records must be uploaded directly to the application BEFORE you submit it. Non-English transcripts must be accompanied by an English translation. DO NOT submit paper or fax copies of this material. If you have previously enrolled at any University of Minnesota campus, you can obtain electronic copies of your transcripts from One Stop student services.

What happens after I submit my application?

  • Your application will be reviewed by the Data Science Admissions Committee after the application deadline (March 1).
  • You will receive email status updates from the Office of Graduate Admissions at each point in the admission process. 
  • Contact gsquest@umn.edu regarding any inquiries about your GRE or TOEFL scores. Our department does not receive or process these documents.

Program admission statistics

Statistics for applicants can be found on the Graduate School website.