Data Science Masters

The MSDS program welcomes qualified international applicants. You are considered an international applicant if you are not a U.S. citizen, immigrant, or green card holder.

International applicants must meet all admissions requirements for the program.

English Proficiency Requirement

All applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency in order to be admitted to UW and additionally to the MSDS program. The Graduate School’s Policy 3.2 describes several ways to meet the UW requirement, though some requirements to be admitted to the MSDS program are higher or have different parameters than those listed on UW Policy 3.2 on English Language Proficiency.

Please note that transmission of electronic scores is not instantaneous and applicants should transmit their scores as soon as they can. Applications without proof of English Proficiency within two weeks of the international deadline cannot be considered for admission.

Medium of Instruction: English

Many international applicants, especially those from India and Pakistan, satisfy the English Proficiency Requirement by documenting that they received their undergraduate instruction entirely in English. This is often documented on the student transcript with a note that the “Medium of Instruction was English,” or a separate letter to this effect. Separate letters can be combined with transcripts into a single file/.pdf, and uploaded in the transcripts section. If you can document this, you have completed the requirement, and there is no need or benefit whatsoever in providing additional test scores.

Degree from an English-speaking country and institution

Some applicants satisfy the requirement by listing a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree from a regionally-accredited institution located in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, or other English-speaking country, and where English is the medium of instruction. Again, if this is the case for you, there is no need or benefit in providing additional test scores.

TOEFL scores: minimum 106 total and 25 in each section

Applicants may demonstrate sufficient English proficiency for MSDS program admissions by providing scores of at least 106 total on the TOEFL iBT, along with scores of at least 25 in each section. This is higher than the standard UW Graduate School requirement listed by Policy 3.2.

  • The MSDS program accepts the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition, available everywhere that TOEFL iBT is normally available (with the exception of mainland China and Iran), as well as TOEFL MyBest Scores. The Special Home Edition is identical in content and scoring to the regular TOEFL iBT taken in a testing center.
  • Only scores less than two years old will be accepted.
  • TOEFL scores must be sent directly to UW by the Educational Testing Service using institution code 4854. UW does not use department codes, as all scores go through the central UW Graduate School. You may choose any department code and scores will be transmitted to all programs to which you apply via the Slate online application at UW.

DuoLingo scores: minimum 125 total

The MSDS program accepts Duolingo English Test examination results. Applicants can demonstrate proficiency for MSDS program admissions by providing scores of at least 125 total on the Duolingo English Test. This is higher than the standard UW Graduate School requirement listed by Policy 3.2. Official test scores must be sent directly to UW from the testing company.

IELTS scores: minimum of 7.5

The UW MSDS program accepts electronic IELTS scores sent directly from the testing company, with a minimum score of 7.5, to demonstrate English Proficiency. This is higher than the standard UW Graduate School requirement listed by Policy 3.2. Applicants using ILETS test scores must submit official scores electronically via the IELTS system (E-TRF), using the University of Washington’s Recognizing Organizations (RO) ID 365.

F-1 Employment Options (On Campus, CPT, OPT)

Students on an F-1 visa are eligible for certain work during and after their graduate programs. In their first year of study, students are generally restricted to on-campus jobs until the first summer when they are eligible to work at an internship through the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) program. As students approach graduation, they are then able to apply to the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program, which gives F-1 students the opportunity for hands-on work experience related to their field of study.

Because the MSDS is designated as a STEM program, MSDS students may also qualify for an OPT extension after they complete the MSDS program. Learn more about the F-1 employment options at the UW International Student Services page.

Visa Status

International students must have a visa status that allows for academic study at the University of Washington. If you are admitted to the MSDS program and plan to attend on an F-1 visa, you must study full time — at least 10 credits per quarter — to maintain your visa status.

More Information

For more information for international students, see the Graduate School’s International Applicant Information page and International Student Services’ Visa Information page.