UBC Master of Data Science Admissions

Applications for the UBC Master of Data Science in Vancouver and Okanagan will open on December 10, 2018 for our September 2019 cohorts. 
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The UBC Master of Data Science helps you take your career to the next level, giving you the technical foundation and real-world data experience to effectively translate data into knowledge, communicate its stories and aid decision-makers to make the right choices.

We’re looking for students who have a passion for learning and for data science, a strong work ethic, a burning intellectual curiosity and good communication and technical writing skills.


Application Dates and Deadlines

Applications are UBC Master of Data Science in Vancouver are now closed. Subscribe for future news and updates. 

Before you Apply

Before you apply online, please review the admission requirements, application process and deadlines. 

Part of the MDS program consists of foundational material in Computer Science and Statistics. If you hold an undergraduate degree in one of these areas, please review our course offerings before making the decision to apply for the program.

Note that MDS is an intense professional graduate degree program. It is mandatory that you attend classes, labs, and events. As such, we do not recommend that you work while taking this program.

Admission Requirements

To be eligible to apply for the Master of Data Science, you must meet the academic, pre-requisite, English proficiency and professional requirements below.

Academic Requirements

At the minimum hold the equivalent of a four-year bachelor’s degree from UBC with a minimum B+ (76% at UBC) average in your third and fourth-year courses.
Prerequisite Courses

Proof of completion of at least three (3-credit) prerequisite courses, in each of the following:

  • one course in programming (e.g., similar to UBC CPSC 103, CPSC 110 or APSC 160), AND
  • one course in probability and/or statistics (e.g., similar to UBC STAT 200 or STAT 241/251 or STAT 302), AND
  • one course in calculus (e.g., similar to UBC MATH 100) or one course in linear algebra (e.g., similar to UBC MATH 221). Completion of a course in both calculus AND linear algebra is recommended.  


Self-assessment Test

If you are not sure about your core knowledge in the areas of programming, statistics, probability or calculus, you can try our self-assessment test. You should be able to answer all of the questions in 1-3 hours (including referring to textbooks or online resources if you haven't encountered a topic recently). If you cannot do these questions with limited effort, you will likely struggle in the program without additional preparation. The test is for your own reference only and is not intended to represent the level of MDS content (which will be much higher!). You can download the self-assessment test answers here.

English Proficiency

If your undergraduate degree was not completed at an English-speaking university, proof of English-language proficiency is required as this program requires a significant amount of reading, writing and oral communication. See the International Students page for more information.

Professional Experience

Although, not required, preference will be given to applicants with relevant professional experience.

No Standardized Tests

The UBC Master of Data Science program does not require a Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or any other academic test score for admission.



Applicants who do not meet the admission requirements stated above, but who have had other significant formal training, relevant professional experience, and/or otherwise possess demonstrable knowledge or expertise that would prepare them adequately for successful study in the graduate program, may be granted admission on the recommendation of the Program Director and the approval of the Dean of Science.


Laptop Requirements

Students in the UBC Master of Data Science program are required to use their own laptops. In particular, students will need to have a machine that:

  • runs one of the following operating systems: macOS Yosemite 10.10.3 or later, Ubuntu 14.04 or later, Windows 10 Professional, Enterprise or Education (1511 November update, Build 10586 or later). Please note that Windows 10 Home is not sufficient as not all the Software required for the program can be installed on that OS.
  • can connect to networks via a wireless connection
  • has at least 40 GB disk space available
  • has at least 4 GB of RAM
  • uses a 64-bit CPU
  • is 4 years old or newer at the start of the program
  • uses English as the default language

Application Process

If you are interested in applying to the UBC Master of Data Science we suggest you familiarize yourself with the Application process and begin to gather the required information and documents. Read more application tips.

  1. Review the admissions requirements above.
  1. Gather information about your educational history.

Be prepared to provide names, locations and dates of study for all of the educational institutions you have attended.

  1. Complete the online application (applications for September 2019 will open in Fall 2018).

Follow the instructions on the UBC Graduate Studies website to complete your application. Allow yourself 45 to 60 minutes to complete the online application. This is where you will enter your biographical and educational information and other required information, such as descriptions of how you meet the pre-requisites and your resume. We encourage you to review the questions in advance and take time to prepare your responses. Once your application has been submitted, it cannot be changed. Un-submitted applications will expire after 30 days of inactivity.

  1. Upload your admission documents

You are required to upload the following documents to the online application system:

  • Unofficial transcripts for all courses, including but not limited to exchange courses, zero-credit courses and courses completed at an international institution
  • Unofficial degree certificates for any degrees that are not indicated on your transcripts
  • One page letter of intent describing your data science experience and interest
  • Resume or CV detailing your qualifications and experience
  • English language test scores from the TOEFL, IELTS or MELAB (international students only)
  • Unofficial documents are sufficient for the purpose of adjudication. Official versions of each document will be requested at a later date for admission to UBC.

Note: If you are a UBC student or alumni, please indicate your student number in your online application and the MDS Program Office will download your official UBC transcript directly

  1. Ask your referees to submit their letters of recommendation.

You are required to provide three letters of recommendation. To be considered official, letters must be submitted by referees in one of two ways:

  • Online: To take advantage of this option, you must provide a valid institutional email address (no Gmail, Hotmail or similar addresses) for each referee when you apply. Referees will receive a secure link prompting them to upload their letters of recommendation directly to the online application system.


  • By mail: Referees may send a printed copy of their letter in a sealed and endorsed envelope to the MDS Program Office.

Note: Letters mailed by applicants and emailed letters sent by anyone are not acceptable and cannot be used to gain admission to UBC.

  1. Pay the non-refundable application fee.

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After you Apply

We will inform you on our admissions decision within 4-6 weeks of the application deadline.

If you receive a conditional offer of admission and wish to accept, you must:

  • submit a non-refundable $1,000 deposit to confirm your acceptance of the admission offer (this deposit will be credited to your first tuition payment);
  • arrange to have your official transcripts sent directly to the UBC Master of Data Science office; and
  • fulfil any other conditions described in your conditional offer of admission.

We will then send you an unconditional letter of acceptance, along with a welcome package.


If you have any questions about the admission process contact us