Data Science Masters

October 2, 2018

Application Advice Part 1: Letters of Recommendation

Countdown to the Application Deadline

The January 18, 2019 deadline to submit your application to the M.S. in Data Science program is quickly approaching. As the deadline gets closer, the admissions staff will post advice on steps you can take to strengthen your application.

Application Advice Part 1: Letters of Recommendation

We pride ourselves on the intimate cohort experience we offer students. However, because we are a selective program, we must turn away hundreds of qualified applicants each year. Strong letters of recommendation are often the key to admission as they can provide valuable insight into an applicant’s intellectual abilities and personal qualities.

Choosing your recommenders. Two letters of recommendation are required; three are preferred. For applicants with professional experience, we recommend at least one academic reference and one professional reference. It is usually most helpful to submit academic letters of recommendation from instructors or research advisors in quantitative or technical disciplines who know you well and can speak to your ability to succeed at the graduate level. Do not seek out letter writers with prestigious titles only because you think their status will impress us. We want to see sincere letters from faculty or professionals with whom you have worked directly.

Guiding your recommenders. To help guide your references, you should educate them about the M.S. in Data Science program; let them know why you are applying to our program specifically; and show them your resume and essay responses. By taking these steps, you will position your references to write well-informed letters of recommendation that complement the other components of your application and strengthen your application overall.