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Master of Data Science Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the program cost? 

For Fall '22 entry, domestic student tuition is $25,000 CAD and international student tuition is $42,000 CAD.

When are the application deadlines? Can I apply for a Winter semester start?

The Fall semester is the only entry point into the program. For Fall '22, the application window is now closed. The application window for Fall '23 entry will open September 1, 2022.

How are tuition payments distributed?

Billing and payment are done on a semesterly basis rather than annually. More information can be found on the Student Financial Services website - fees page.

Questions about billing, payment, your university financial account, and payment arrangements or deferrals can be directed to Student Financial Services at the following email: accquest@uoguelph.ca

Do I need to provide an English Language Proficiency Score if I completed prior post-secondary studies in which English was the language of instruction?

If your first language is not English but you have completed prior post-secondary studies in which English was the language of instruction, then you may request to have your English Language Proficiency requirement removed. You will need to write a brief statement about the University from where you obtained/will be obtaining your degree, then upload this statement in the English score test section of your application.

Where can I find more information about immigration requirements?

Can I enroll as a part-time student?

Yes, students can enroll part time. Part-time students are expected to take two courses per semester and we recommend that these two courses include the core courses. Registering as a part-time student may impact the eligibility of international students to gain a post-graduate work permit upon graduation. 

Will classes be offered remotely? 

For Fall ‘21, yes. In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, Data Science core courses will be offered exclusively online in Fall 2021. Students are expected to remotely attend courses according to the course schedules. Networking opportunities will be provided via online events. We are monitoring the pandemic and assessing the safety of our students and staff before determining whether subsequent semesters will be offered online. In the post-pandemic period, all courses are expected to have face-to-face components.

When will I receive an offer of admission? 

You should receive an official offer of admission or notice of rejection within 4-6 weeks of the application deadline.

I have an Honours Bachelor's in an unrelated field of study, but I have taken online courses and/or gained relevant work experience since completing my degree. Am I still eligible to apply?

The entry requirements are set to ensure sufficient depth in at least one of statistics and mathematics, and computer science so that incoming students are prepared to succeed in the program. If you do not meet these requirements, then you must have sufficient breadth in statistics and computer programming to ensure success in the program. You can use the Statement of Interest in your application to explain why you believe that your prior coursework and/or work experiences have adequately prepared you to meet the eligibility requirements. The Admissions Committee will assess your eligibility once a complete application is received.

I have an Honours Bachelor's degree in Engineering. Am I eligible for the MDS program?

In general, an engineering degree may qualify as a "related degree," but it depends on the discipline and how much statistics, mathematics and/or computer science is taken in the program. These relevant disciplines include, but are not limited to, Computer, Electrical, Electronic, Environmental, Information Technology, Software, and Systems Engineering. You can use the Statement of Interest in your application to explain why you believe that your prior coursework and/or work experiences have adequately prepared you to meet the eligibility requirements. The Admissions Committee will assess your eligibility once a complete application is received.

I meet all eligibility requirements but my GPA is just under 70%. Am I still eligible to enter the program?

The eligibility requirements, including the minimum GPA standards, are set to ensure that incoming students are prepared to succeed in the program. If you have special circumstances that have impacted your eligibility or experiences that you feel demonstrate your suitability, then you may use your Statement of Interest to build your case. The Admissions Committee will assess your eligibility once a complete application is received.

I am a working professional and would like to take the program part-time. How can I see the course schedule to coordinate with my daytime job?

While the MDS program can be taken on a part-time basis, the course schedule changes from semester to semester and is set by central administration. As such, the course schedule is not usually available in advance. 

Do I need to find a supervisor for the program?

No. You do not need to identify a supervisor at the time of application. As a course-based program, a supervisor is not required to complete the program requirements. However, you may wish to identify a willing supervisor after program start, in the case that you would like to pursue a Data Science Project (DATA*6700) in lieu of the capstone courses.

Does this program qualify me for a post-graduate work permit? 

Yes, you will be eligible to apply for a post-graduate work permit (PGWP) upon completion of the Master of Data Science program, if you maintained full-time status for the duration of the program without taking time away from studies (assuming you meet all additional eligibility criteria besides program duration). Note you will still be eligible for the PGWP if you studied part-time in your final academic semester only.

The duration of the PGWP will depend on the length of the program. Most students enrolled in full-time studies without interruption will complete the Master of Data Science within three to six semesters. Students who complete the program in more than three uninterrupted semesters while maintaining full-time status (except possibly in their last semester) will typically be eligible for longer PGWPs**. 

If you are unsure whether you will stay or return to Canada after studies, consider applying for the PGWP in case your plans change because you will lose the opportunity to apply after 180 days. If you stay inside Canada after studies, then you should apply for your PGWP within 90 days of being notified you have graduated. You do not need to reside in Canada or hold a job at all times to keep the work permit valid.  

If you have further related questions, please contact our International Student Advisors Matthew Keefe (mkeefe@uoguelph.ca) or Pugaleni Iynkaran (iynkaran@uoguelph.ca)

For the most up-to-date information, visit the IRCC website.

**The final eligibility assessment and duration of PGWP will be decided by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada Officer reviewing your file.

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