Application Checklist

Applications to HDSI graduate programs must be submitted online using UCSD’s Application for Graduate Admission

NOTE: Current or former UCSD students will not be able to submit their application online. These students must complete their online application then email to submit their materials for review.

Statement of Purpose

An applicant’s statement of purpose is very important and is given careful consideration in the selection process. For additional guidelines, please refer to Statement of Purpose. There is no specific word limit, but be concise and specific in preparing your statement, giving information that demonstrates your level of preparation and potential for success in graduate school.The statement of purpose must be submitted online through the UCSD Application for Graduate Admission.

NOTE: Requests to update the Statement of Purpose are not granted after submission. Please carefully double-check edits prior to official submission.


An applicant’s Curriculum Vitae or Resume is used to gain a better understanding of the individual’s potential for success in this program. It should highlight details such as academic history, relevant work experience, skills, publications, honors/awards, etc. A resume or curriculum vitae should be uploaded to the  UCSD Application for Graduate Admission.

Three Letters of Recommendation

Three (3) letters of recommendation are required. Additional letters may be submitted, however, you must submit a minimum of three (3) letters.

LORs are submitted via the online application only. For additional information about the procedures and policies for letters of recommendation, please review the UCSD Graduate Division guidelines at Procedures for Letters of Recommendation.


Unofficial transcripts should be uploaded online to the UCSD Application for Graduate Admission. More information about how to upload unofficial transcripts can be found on this website: Academic Records and Transcripts

Official transcripts from all prior higher education institutions attended will be required AFTER an applicant receives their official offer of admission from UCSD. Applicants who attended any campus of the University of California, including UCSD, must provide official transcripts of the UC coursework. Transcripts from UCSD may be ordered by an applicant from the Office of the Registrar. There is no charge for UCSD transcripts of record sent to departments in support of an application for graduate student.

GRE Score Report (Optional)

Applicants for Fall 2023 Admission to the Data Science Graduate Programs (MS and PhD) will not need to provide a GRE score with their applications for Admission.

If applicants have already completed the GRE and would like to include their scores with their application, they can include these scores when submitting the application for review. Applicants with valid test scores should request that ETS submit the scores directly to the UCSD institution code 4836; the department codes are not needed. Information about the GRE is available from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) website.

TOEFL Score Report (International Applicants Only)

Demonstrated proficiency in the English Language is required for all international applicants whose native language is not English.

UCSD accepts both the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores. Non-native English language speakers who earned their degree from an accredited U.S. college/university or a foreign college/university who provides instruction solely in English may be exempt from this requirement. To learn more about the minimum score requirements and possible exemptions, please visit UCSD’s English Language Proficiency website.

Students may us the following Institution code when submitting official scores: 4836. The Department code can be left blank.

Application Fee

Applicants will be required to pay the application fee for each application submitted or to request a fee waiver at the end of the online application. Your application cannot be reviewed until this fee is paid.

  • US Citizens, Permanent Residents, and Undocumented Applicants: $135.00
  • International Applicants: $155.00

Applicants may submit multiple applications for the same term. Please note that each application must be submitted to a different department and to only one degree level (Master or PhD) per department.

For information regarding fee waivers, please review the Graduate Division website.

After You Apply

  • The HDSI admissions team reviews applications as they are received. There is no need to follow up with the admissions team, you will receive communication regarding your status by March 2023.

Dates and Deadlines: Fall 2024 Cohort

The application period for the Fall 2024 cohort will open in October 2023.

  • Application submission deadline: December 15, 2023
  • UCSD offer letters sent: March 15, 2024
  • Student decision deadline: April 15, 2024
  • Fall 2024 Program begins: September 23, 2024


In order to provide the tools and resources needed to achieve academic, professional, and personal development goals, the Data Science program has a committed staff available to support students and their needs.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding admission, please reach out to our team via

Laura Horton

Graduate Admissions Advisor


What are the requirements for admission to the program?

Our program does not have specific prerequisite courses or undergraduate degree requirements for admission. Our aim is to build a diverse cohort with a range of expertise and interests.

More information regarding the courses required once admitted can be found on our Graduate Program Requirements webpage

What is the cost of attendance for a graduate program at UCSD?

The tuition and fees breakdown for the in-person MS and PhD programs can be found on the UCSD Graduate Division Tuition & Fees webpage.

Are the in-person MS and PhD programs in Data Science STEM designated?

Yes, Our in-person graduate degrees are STEM designated.

For more information about the designation or OPT Extensions, please visit the UCSD Graduate Division STEM OPT Extension webpage.

I am having trouble submitting part of my application, who should I contact?

If you are a current or former UCSD student, you will not be able to submit your application online. Please make sure your application is complete then email HDSI’s Graduate Team ( so that our staff can submit your materials for review.

For non-UCSD applicants, please reach out to the UCSD Graduate Division office via email ( or by visiting their website for more contact information.

I am a current undergraduate student at UCSD, how do I apply to a graduate program in Data Science?

Please fill out an application online using this link UCSD Application for Graduate Admission. All current and former UCSD students will not be able to submit their application online. Please make sure your application is complete then email HDSI’s Graduate Team ( so that our staff can submit your materials for review.

Note that admission into our graduate program is conditional until the undergraduate degree is completed. Courses applying to a student’s undergraduate degree requirements cannot also be counted towards a graduate degree, This is referred to as “double dipping” and is not allowed by UCSD policy.

I am a current graduate student at UCSD, how do I change my program of study to Data Science?

Please complete the following steps:

  • Fill out an application online using this link UCSD Application for Graduate Admission. Once the application is submitted, a failure notice will appear. This is expected as a currently enrolled graduate student. Please remain in your current program until you receive an acceptance letter.
  • Send the following information to the account:
    • Student’s first and last name
    • PID
    • Original term and year of entry to graduate school at UCSD
    • Original Department
    • Current degree program

If you are nominated, you will submit a Major Change/Degree Aim in the Graduate Student Database.

*Current UCSD students are not guaranteed a spot in our program and will go through the evaluation process same as all applicants.

Are GRE Scores Required?

No, GRE scores are not required for the Fall 2024 cohort applications.

Please check back on this website for GRE requirements in future academic years.

I am an international student with a degree from an international institution where English was the primary language of instruction. Do I need to submit TOEFL/IELTS scores?

Non-native english speakers may be exempt from the English Proficiency Requirement (TOEFL/IELTS) if they earned or will be earning a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree with grades of B (3.0) or better from either

  • A regionally accredited U.S. college or university where English is the sole language of instruction, or
  • A foreign college or university which provides instruction solely in English. You may verify whether your institution meets this requirement by looking up your institution in the IAU World HIgher Education Database (WHED).

More information can be found on the UCSD Graduate Division English Language Proficiency webpage.