Data Science FAQ
The Data Science master's program uses the online application for the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. You will find it here.
We do not have rolling admissions. There is a single application deadline each year - December 1st.
You will find the Data Science master's degree in the GSAS online application under the listings for Engineering and Applied Sciences. On the Degree Program Selection page choose "Engineering and Applied Sciences" as the program, "Data Science" as the Area of Study, and "S.M." as the degree.
As an interdisciplinary field, Data Science attracts students with varied backgrounds. We welcome applicants with undergraduate training in a wide range of academic disciplines.
Prerequisites we expect from applicants include knowledge of calculus and linear algebra; familiarity with probability and statistical inference; fluency in at least one programming language such as python or R, and an understanding of basic computer science concepts.
If your training in Computer Science, Math and/or Statistics is not reflected in the courses listed on your transcripts, you will need to find other parts of the application to make your training clear to the Admissions Committee. The Additional Materials section of the application is available to upload relevant information. You can also describe your training at one of your jobs or through self study in your personal statement.
You should get letters of recommendation from the three people you think will be able to make the best case for why you are an outstanding applicant for this degree program. These should be people who know you and your capabilities very well. Former professors can certainly be valuable sources of recommendation letters, but letters from managers or colleagues from your work experience can also be helpful.
No, a writing sample is not required.
The Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) will not be accepting General GRE scores nor Subject Test GRE scores for applicants to our Ph.D. programs or masters degree programs in Computational Science & Engineering and Data Science. Applicants to these programs should not submit official or unofficial GRE scores to us nor mention them anywhere in their application materials.
Questions about the SEAS GRE policy and requirements should be directed to the SEAS Office of Graduate Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: this policy was officially changed in August 2020 may not yet be reflected on all Harvard University websites.
There are minimum scores required for the TOEFL or IELTS. International students required to take those tests must achieve at least a sore of 80 on the TOEFL or 6.5 on the IELTS.
The Data Science master's degree is a full-time on-campus program. All students are required to be registered full-time (i.e. take four 4-credit courses each semester). All of the courses students will take while in the program are offered during the day and require students to be present on campus.
No, applicants should not apply to both the Data Science and CSE programs. Applicants should select the program that best fits their preparation and interests and apply to that particular program.