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Are There Any Online Master's in Data Science Programs That Do Not Require the GRE?

Answer: Yes, there are a number of online master’s in data science programs that do not require the GRE. While applicants to some online data science master’s programs are required to submit GRE scores, many of the programs currently offered use other factors in lieu of the GRE for admissions decisions.

Eligibility for admissions to online master’s in data science programs typically requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Programs may then use a variety of factors to assess each applicant’s academic and/or professional qualifications. One of the metrics that programs may choose to employ in this regard are scores from the Graduate Record Examinations General Test, or the GRE as it is more commonly known. While many different types of graduate programs require applicants to take the GRE and submit an official GRE score report as part of the application process, GRE policies vary by school and by program.

Online Master’s in Data Science Program Admissions and the GRE

Currently, the majority of master’s programs in data science offered by accredited, non-profit colleges and universities do not require GRE scores. However, there are some programs that do require the GRE and/or will accept the GRE or the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT). There are also a number of programs that only require the GRE or GMAT conditionally and that waive GRE and GMAT requirements for applicants who have several years of relevant professional experience, a graduate degree in another field, and/or an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher. The breakdown of online master’s in data science program GRE requirements is as follows:

  • No GRE Required: 16 programs
  • GRE Required: 7 programs
  • GRE Required on a Conditional Basis: 4 programs

It is important to note that standardized test waivers may not be automatic or guaranteed. Applicants who believe they qualify for a waiver may have to apply for one and should be prepared to submit GRE or GMAT scores if a waiver is not granted.

Online Master’s in Data Science Program Admissions Requirements

In general, online master’s in data science programs are looking for students who are prepared for the technical and intellectual challenges of earning a graduate degree in data science. As a result, many programs require or recommend that applicants have a background in computer science, mathematics, or statistics. Some programs have a list of college-level prerequisites that they expect applicants to complete prior to enrollment, and some programs may offer one or more preparatory courses online for students who have not fulfilled the program’s undergraduate prerequisites.

Among the other factors that online master’s in data science programs may consider as part of the admissions process are a candidate’s cumulative undergraduate GPA, two or more letters of recommendation, a written personal goals statement, and answers to one or more essay questions. Some programs have a minimum undergraduate GPA threshold that applicants must meet or exceed, such as 3.0 on a four-point scale. Provisional or conditional admissions may be extended by some programs to applicants whose GPA is below the stated threshold, in these situations, students must often maintain a minimum GPA in their first couple of courses in the program to gain full admission.

Applicants are also typically asked to furnish an up-to-date resume or CV as part of the admissions process. Some programs may prefer candidates who have a professional background in analytics and/or data science. In addition, several years of professional experience in a relevant field may qualify applicants to programs that otherwise require the GRE or GMAT for a waiver of this requirement.

Applicants to online master’s in data science programs should be aware that admissions policies and procedures vary by program and by school. Thus, it is important to research admissions requirements carefully and/or speak with an admissions advisor prior to submitting an application to an online master’s in data science program.


GRE Requirements by Online Master’s in Data Science Program

School Testing Requirements Program
DePaul University Not required Master of Science in Data Science - Computational Methods Concentration
Elmhurst College Not required Online Master of Science in Data Science program
George Mason University Not required Online Master of Science in Data Analytics Engineering (Data Science)
Georgia Southern University GRE required Online Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS) with a Concentration in Data Mining and Data Warehousing
Illinois Institute of Technology Not required (GRE is waived for applicants with a Bachelor's degree and a min. GPA of 3.0) Online Master of Data Science program
Indiana University Bloomington GRE Required (GRE waiver may be possible with 5+ years of relevant work experience) Online Master of Science in Data Science program
Johns Hopkins University Engineering for Professionals Not required Online Master of Science in Data Science
Kent State University Not required Online Master of Digital Sciences with a Concentration in Data Science
Lewis University Online Not required Online Master of Science in Data Science program
Maryville University Not required Online Master of Science in Data Science
Northwestern University Not required Online Master of Science in Data Science
Northwestern University Not required Online Master's in Information Systems (MSIS) - Data Science Specialization
Oklahoma State University GRE or GMAT required Online Master of Science in Management Information Systems with a Data Science Option
Regis University Not required Online Master of Science in Data Science program
Saint Mary's College GRE or GMAT required Online Master of Science in Data Science program
Southern Methodist University GRE required (may be waived with 5+ years of industry experience or a master's degree); GMAT not accepted DataScience@SMU Online Master of Science in Data Science program
Stevens Institute of Technology GRE or GMAT required Online Master of Science in Business Intelligence & Analytics program - Data Science Concentration
University of California, Berkeley GRE or GMAT required datascience@berkeley Online Master of Information and Data Science (MIDS) program
University of California, Riverside GRE/FE scores not required (unless GPA is lower than 3.0) Online Master of Science in Engineering with a focus in Data Science
University of Colorado Boulder Not required Online Master of Science in Computer Science with an Emphasis in Data Science and Engineering
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Not required Online Master of Computer Science in Data Science (MCS-DS) track
University of Michigan Not required Online Master of Applied Data Science
University of Michigan - Dearborn Not required Online Masters in Computer and Information Science with a Concentration in Data Management and Analytics (Data Science)
The University of Oklahoma GRE required Online Master of Science in Data Science and Analytics program
University of Southern California GRE required (scores must be less than 5 years old) Online Master of Science in Computer Science (Data Science)
University of Wisconsin - Extension Not required Online Master of Science in Data Science (MS-DS) program
Utica College Not required Online Master of Science in Data Science program

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