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Data Science, M.S. Program Details

Student Information

  • An application for graduate admission 
  • Official transcripts of all college work (undergraduate and graduate)
  • Three recommendations from individuals in professionally relevant fields
  • Strong overall academic record including introductory statistics, linear algebra and programming courses
  • Only accepting applications for fall admissions

    Admission Application Dates
    Application Deadline for Fall Start 
    December 15 Rolling Admissions begin
    February 15 Priority Consideration 
    June 15 Deadline for Fall Semester start
  • Newly admitted students requesting visa sponsorship will work with the Office of International Students & Scholars
  • Data Science students are eligible for a total of 3 years of OPT.  
  • All foreign transcripts must be evaluated and requested from one of the evaluation companies belonging to the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services.  Evaluations should be sent directly to the Graduate School.
  • Language Test is required for all international applicants unless you are Lawful Permanent Resident, English is your native language, or your baccalaureate degree was conferred from a regionally accredited US institution.

    Language Test Information
    Test TOEFL IELTS (General) Duolingo
    School Code 5907 UNCW Graduate School UNCW Graduate School
    Minimum Score 79 6.5 for acceptance 100
  • Cost of Attendance 
  • Data Science Program Differential Fees ($2,250) and Differential Tuition ($1,500) in addition to standard COA for entire program (total for three semesters)
  • Students enroll in one credit hour during Summer semester and will be billed for one credit hour at the graduate tuition student rate at that time.
  • Graduate Assistantship stipend of $1,500 in first semester for 5 hours per week working.  Graduate Assistant stipends also available second and third semesters up to $3,000.
  • Out-of-State Tuition Remissions may be available to recruit highly qualified out of state or international students.  These funds are used to assist covering the tuition difference between in and out of state students.
  • In-State Tuition Scholarships may be available to assist with recruitment of highly qualified North Carolina students.  

Admissions decisions are based upon the examination of several factors.  Where other indicators of success warrant, applicants who fall below the established criterion in one of the areas may be considered for provisional admission.  These individuals may be required to take additional course work to remove deficiencies or may be required to demonstrate proficiency in certain areas.

There are two main reasons a student might be accepted into the program provisionally.

1) Deficiency in Statistics, Programming or Linear Algebra.  The applicant is required to complete a course or program before attending in the fall.  This includes a traditional course from UNCW or another university, an on-line course from a university or a certificate from an on-line learning platform such as Data Camp or Coursera.

2) Overall GPA under 3.0.  Some applicants have very strong records in the computational courses that are likely indictors of success in our program, but have an overall GPA just under the required 3.0.  Students accepted provisionally in this situation can remain in the program provided they obtain a grade of B or higher in all courses the first year of the program.

Practicum Guide

  • Call for Proposals - February 15
  • Proposal Review to Begin - March 24
  • Practicum Sponsors selected - April 7
  • NDA agreements signed, and Data Security finalized - April 24
  • Practicum kick-off meetings - May 3-9
  • Summer - Conference and video calls at convenience of sponsor
  • Bi-weekly meeting with team and sponsor beginning August 23
  • Midpoint review meeting by October 1
  • Final Presentations by Dec 11

All dates are flexible except the Final Presentation.

  • There is no fee charged to sponsor a Practicum Project.
  • We would be grateful if you would consider incurring all or part of the cost to support your student team's travel to your location (and lodging if necessary) for the Project Kickoff Meeting and the Final Presentation.
  • All students and faculty members involved in the project will sign an NDA.
  • UNCW will not sign the NDA. Faculty do not have the authority to sign for UNCW and nothing in the NDA can give the perception that this is being done.
  • A sample NDA is available upon request but most NDAs require negotiation between the sponsor and UNCW.
  • Each team will consist of 3-5 students that we will assign to the project. One of these students will be designated as the student point of contact.
  • No one will be granted access to sponsor data or resulting student work product and deliverables until they have signed the sponsor's NDA and the sponsor has confirmed receipt
  • Initial contact will be made by the team soon after the practicum sponsors are selected to begin making arrangements for the kick-off meeting. From this point forward a student contact will be the formal point of contact with the team.
  • A Sponsor Liaison from your organization will serve as the central point of contact for the student point of contact.
  • We recommend regularly schedule progress meeting every other week to make sure the team is progressing towards their goal.
If issues arise that cannot be resolved between our team and the sponsor liaison, contact the Program Director (Dr. Mark Lammers) to get them resolved at appropriate levels.
  • It is important for your organization to understand if the skill set of the students is well suited for your project. Upon entering the project, students will have completed the first two semesters of the program outlined below.
  • The Program emphasizes both SAS and Python programming in each of the first 8 courses (3 in SAS, 1 in R and 4 in Python). It is possible for the students to do a project using a different language, but these languages are preferred.
  • Some level of conflict within the student team is not uncommon.
  • We monitor the teams continuously and work with them to overcome conflicts and improve their overall teamwork skills.
  • If you see conflict, it's very likely we see it too and are working with them, however contact the Program Director at any time to discuss your team and any concern you have.
  • The kickoff meeting should occur around the first week in May. A face-to-face meeting on site is preferred but circumstances may dictate that the meeting is through video conferencing.  
  • Some suggestions for the kickoff meeting:
    • Introductions - include key personnel on your side, including the sponsoring executive, if possible.
    • Give an overview of your organizational unit and/or company.
    • Give an overview of the problem, the datasets, and the players.
    • Allow for other activities, if appropriate, such as tours or lunch.
  • The teams will present their progress to a group of Data Science Faculty by September 15.
  • A Midpoint Team Presentation will be delivered to the Sponsors by October 1.
  • The purpose of this presentation will be to demonstrate the teams understanding of the data stets involved, their understanding of the business problem and to present initial models and results.
  • The sponsor is asked to evaluate the presentation and identify final methodology to be used and desired deliverables.
  • The final presentation will be an in-person, hour long, executive-level presentation to the sponsor and is mandatory for all teams.
  • The final presentation can be delivered at the sponsor site or UNCW campus.
  • A brief description of the project, approved by the sponsor, will be maintained to share with future potential sponsors and for use on Student Resumes.


Semester 1A

DSC 501 - Introduction to Computational Data Science I (3 CR)
DSC 511 - Fundamentals of Statistics for Data (3 CR)
DSC 541 - Practicum in Data Science I (Full Semester, 1 CR)

Semester 1B

DSC 502 - Introduction to Computational Data Science II (3 CR)
DSC 512 - Linear Methods for Data Science (3 CR)

Semester 2A

DSC 521 - Machine Learning I (3 CR)
DSC 531 - Generalized Linear Models (3 CR)
DSC 541 - Practicum in Data Science I (Full Semester, 1 CR)

Semester 2B

DSC 522 - Machine Learning II (3 CR)
DSC 551 - Spatial-Temporal Analysis (3 CR)

Summer Session

Data Science 541 - Practicum in Data Science I (1 CR)

Semester 3A

DSC 532 - Categorical Data Analysis (3 CR)
DSC 542 - Practicum in Data Science II (Full Semester, (3 CR)

Semester 3B

DSC 592 - Special Topics (3 CR)

Contact UNCW Data Science Program

Dr. Mark Lammers, Program Director

Phone: (910) 962-3958
Fax: (910) 962-7107

Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Summer hours:
Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Friday, 7:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.