The Master of Science in Statistics – Data Science Option provides the skills to make sense of complex data to achieve organizational goals.

Is this program right for you?

Designed with the working professional in mind, the Master of Science in Statistics – Data Science Option (MS-DS) from UW-Madison enables graduates to move into leadership roles in their organizations or move laterally and upward into other roles.


Leveraging the power of statistical thinking will prepare to you to put data into context and communicate its meaning to others. You will build analytical, reasoning, and communication skills in realistic strategic planning sessions. As a result, the MS-DS will provide you with strong skills in working in teams of professionals and business leaders and in leading discussions grounded in data reasoning.


The 12-month program is offered in the fall and spring semesters, and summer will include an intense data practicum using large corporate data sets that are focused on change management in a complex organization. The MS-DS is a residential program with 12 credits offered in the fall, 12 in the spring, and six in the summer.


What you Learn

  • Understand data in context
  • Summarize and visualize data to reflect context and elicit insights
  • Use models to guide analysis and inform collaborators
  • Grasp concepts behind mathematical foundations of statistics
  • Gain computing expertise with complex data analysis
  • Interpret and communicate a data analysis
  • Develop as a professional

Where & How you learn


  • Face-to-face


  • Attend regularly scheduled classes during the academic year and summer session
  • Work in teams to develop and expand skills that enhance your value in the workplace

Apply Now

All applicants must:

  • Possess an undergraduate degree with a GPA of 3.00 or higher on a 4.00 scale based on the last 60 credits earned from the degree-granting institution
  • Have some experience and skill with abstract conceptual thinking and task definition, such as that developed in typical engineering, mathematics, and computer sciences courses
  • Have at least 3-5 years of work experience, ideally involving data

Students admitted to the MS-DS program are expected to have courses equivalent to the following UW-Madison courses:

    • STAT 303 R for Statistics I
    • STAT 304 R for Statistics II
    • Four semesters of calculus:
      • MATH 221 Calculus and Analytical Geometry I
      • MATH 222 Calculus and Analytical Geometry II
      • MATH 234 Calculus-Function of Several Variables
      • MATH 421 The Theory of Single Variable Calculus
    • MATH 340 Elementary Matrix and Linear Algebra
    • Highly recommended:
      • STAT/MATH 309 Introduction to Probability and Mathematical Statistics I
      • STAT/MATH 310 Introduction to Probability and Mathematical Statistics II

Apply now or visit program website.


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