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Program Specifics

Class Profile

Career Success and Employment Overview

  • What is the full-time placement rate after graduation?

    For our most recent graduating class (2019), 100% of students who were job seeking received full-time employment within 2 months of graduation.

  • What is the average salary for recently placed graduates of the program?

    For our most recent graduating class (2019), the average salary offer was just over $84,000. This does not include benefits and signing bonuses.

  • What employers recruit from the program?

    Students have received offers from companies such as PetCo, Ford, Lexis Nexus,  GM, Apple, Sparrow Health, Walmart, PwC, EY, Cognizant Technologies, Deloitte, Mars, Inc., IBM, Intel, and more. Typical job titles include business intelligence developer, data analyst, solutions architect and consultant, but job titles are not standardized across the industry.

  • Does the program offer any assistance with full-time placement?

    The program provides each student with a career services advisor to help in the search for employment. Students receive personalized resume reviews, practice interviews, negotiation advice, etc. The program also provides networking opportunities, workshops and career fairs to help students develop relationships with employers. Specifically, we have a spring analytics fair focused on internships and a fall analytics fair focused on full-time job opportunities.


  • How much does the program cost?

    Current tuition is set at $36,000 for in state students, and $39,000 for out of state/international students. For the most updated information, please visit the Tuition and Financial Aid page.

  • Are there any scholarships or graduate assistant positions available?

    There are some limited scholarship opportunities available to highly qualified candidates. There is no separate application–admitted students will be notified in December if they are received a scholarship award. While we do not have GA/TA opportunities immediately within our department, students are encouraged to look on for outside opportunities. Several students have been able to obtain opportunities in their final term of enrollment as well.

    We also guarantee a fellowship of up to $1,000 to assist students in attending industry events and certifications. This is paid out after the event or certification has taken place. This CANNOT be used for tuition or internship expenses.

    In addition, the summer internship experience allows students to earn a significant amount to support their educational expenses. This amount is determined by the internship offer a student receives.

  • Are internship/co-op opportunities available?

    Yes, internships are a required component of our program in the summer. The average pay was $24 an hour for 2019 summer interns. For the Class of 2020*, 86% of students secured a paid internship or paid sponsored project for the summer, the other 14% worked on a unpaid corporate-sponsored project (*this was the year of the COVID-19 pandemic)

  • Are there part-time jobs available on campus?

    There are opportunities available for on-campus employment. Often during the school year, our office will receive requests for resumes from other MSU departments. Often, students will continue to work remotely for their summer internship companies approximately 10-20 hours per week in the fall.


  • What are the admission requirements for this program?

    For specific details, please visit our Admissions page.

  • Can the admissions committee tell me my chances of getting in before I apply?

    We admit students based on the entire contents of their application, and thus we cannot review or assess your chances until your application is complete. The admissions committee will only review a candidate’s application if all required documents are received.

  • How much work experience do I need to have to qualify for admission?

    There is no work experience minimum. We like to target a range of ages to meet the personalized needs of the companies we work with. Some employers prefer students directly from undergrad, all the way to 10+ years of work experience. Our average work experience is 34 months for the class of 2021.

  • Do I need to take the GRE or the GMAT? Can these tests be waived?

    Candidates can choose to take either the GRE or the GMAT. GMAT/GRE waivers are only automatically granted to Michigan State University graduates with a GPA greater than 3.25. Other students can request a waiver by emailing their resume/CV and unofficial transcripts to for evaluation WHEN THEY BEGIN THEIR APPLICATION. The M.S. in Data Science & Analytics GMAT code is QHO-5P-59. The GRE code is 1465.

  • What is the minimum GRE/GMAT score required to be admitted?

    While we do not have a minimum GMAT/GRE score, our average GMAT score of admitted students is 640 (approximately a 318-322 on the GRE, depending on quant/verbal breakdown). GMAT/GRE scores alone does not guarantee or deny admission to the program as we review applications on a holistic basis.

  • Does the program require a technology-related or business undergraduate degree?

    The program does not require a specific undergraduate degree. However, students from business, statistics, computer programming, actuarial science, economics, etc. are often great fits for the program. If you lack experience in a specific area, and offers several training classes in R, Python, etc. Gaining additional training will ensure you have the base-level skills required to be successful in the classroom. Basic exposure to a programming language or stats package (Python, R, C, Java, etc.) is highly recommended prior to application.

  • Are there prerequisite courses required for admission?

    There are no specific prerequisite courses for the program. However, students must show basic exposure to a programming language and statistics. This does not need to be from formal undergraduate coursework; alternative methods can meet this requirement (Udemy, Coursera, Datacamp, LinkedIn courses, etc.)

  • I am an undergraduate student at MSU. What can I do now to prepare myself for the program?

    Overall, from an application perspective, we look for exposure to all three pillars of our program: business, computer programming and statistics. If you find you are light in one of these areas, we would recommend that you take courses in the gap areas to help you become a better-rounded applicant.

    There are several great resources at MSU to help you prepare for a M.S. in Data Science & Analytics:

    • Take an introductory-style course such as ITM 481, CMSE 201, CMSE 202, CSE 102,  CSE 231, CSE 232 or PLS 392. All of these would provide some conceptual background and technical skill development.
    • Pursue a minor/major in one of the following: computational math (CMSE), information technology, computer science, statistics, or social science analytics.
    • Speak with our director on fit for the program.

International Students

  • What do I need to know about the TOEFL / IELTS test?

    English competency test scores are required, with minimum scores of 250 on the computer version of the TOEFL and 100 on the internet-based test, or a minimum of 7 on the IELTS. English competency test takers should use the Michigan State University code 1465.

    The English language proficiency test requirement may be waived for students who earned a bachelor’s degree in the United States. For example, if you earned a bachelor’s degree at MSU, with the majority of credits earned while on campus, your English language competency scores are usable (even if old) for admission into the program. Additionally, students who attended international universities but had instruction solely in English are also eligible to waive the TOFEL/IELTS requirement. Find out more on our Admissions page.

  • As an international student, what resources do I have on campus?

    The Office for International Students and Scholars (OISS) is dedicated to providing support to Michigan State University’s international students, scholars and families.

  • I have a three-year undergraduate degree. Can I apply for the program directly, or do I need to complete another year of schooling first?

    The program requires that applicants complete a four-year undergraduate degree. A select number of exceptional students with a 3-year degree may be admitted, but will need to go through a waiver process at the university level for full admission to MSU (done by the program admissions office and MSU graduate school). Admission to the program for these 3-year applicants does NOT guarantee admission to MSU–the waiver process must be followed. 2022 will be the first year we allow students to go through this process.


  • What is the application deadline?

    Applications will open for spring enrollment (January 2021) on March 15, 2021, and will close October 15, 2021. Apply early for the best chance at admission. All applications must be completed by October 15 in order to be considered for admission to the program for the upcoming spring term. Domestic applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. MSU students graduating in May 2021 who apply by April 1 will have an interview decision no later than April 15, 2021. Most domestic applicants will receive a response to their application (interview, waitlist, or not admitted) within three weeks of a complete and submitted application. Interviewed candidates will have a decision within two weeks post-interview. For international applicants, applications will be reviewed as they are completed and interview decision will go out in five batches: May 1, July 1, August 15, September 15 and October 16.

  • What if my application is late by a few days after the deadline? What if my test scores will not arrive until after the deadline has passed?

    All documents must be received by Oct. 15. We can’t guarantee a place in our class if your documents are submitted after this date. Our maximum class size is 48; however we do still consider applications for waitlist decisions through our application deadline. Students interviewing will be notified if this is only for a remaining waitlist slot. Students on the waitlist can be admitted up through November 20th.

  • Where do I send my documents (transcripts, statement of purpose, letters of recommendation and test scores)?

    Documents and unofficial test scores can be loaded onto our online application system. Official test scores must be sent to the program office. The GMAT code is QHO-5P-59. The GRE code is 1465. English competency test takers should use code 1465. International students, please be sure to send ATTESTED copies of your transcripts.

  • How can I check my application status?

    The program will contact you once a decision is made on your application. We will only review your application once it is complete. You can log onto the application system to verify your documents are in place. TRANSCRIPTS WILL SAY NOT RECEIVED AS THEY ARE NOT REQUIRED UNTIL AFTER ADMISSION–THIS IS NORMAL. GMAT/GRE scores not received will also not impact your application review as long as you inputted your unofficial scores.

  • What happens after my application is complete?

    The admissions team will review completed applications. Based on the strength of the candidate, the admissions team would schedule an interview as the next step. Interviews are conducted by invitation only, via Zoom.