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Graduate Admissions in Data Science

The SBU Graduate Program in Data Science (DAS) features both MS and PhD degree programs in Data Science. It is jointly offered by the Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics (AMS), and the Department of Computer Science (CS), both part of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS). Students will receive vigorous training in Data Science encompassing topics such as statistical analysis, big data analysis/management and fundamentals of computing. 





 MS in Data Science 

The MS program in Data Science features 36 credits (12 courses) including 10 core courses and 2 electives. The ten core courses are: (1) AMS 507 Probability, (2) AMS 572 Data Analysis, (3) AMS 580 Statistical Learning (or AMS 530 Parallel Computing if the student has already taken a course like AMS 580), (4) AMS 597 Statistical Computing, (5) CSE 581, Computer Science Fundamentals: Theory, (6) CSE 582, Computer Science Fundamentals: Data Structures and Algorithms, (7) CSE 583, Computer Science Fundamentals: Programming Abstractions, (8) ISE 503 Data Management, (9) AMS 560 Big Data System, and (10) AMS 598 Big Data Analysis. The two electives can be selected from any letter-graded courses offered by the AMS and CS departments. As a capstone experience and part of the electives, we require the students to take either (i) 3-credit of AMS 585 (Internship in Data Science), or (ii) 6-credits of AMS 585 as a master thesis, with a faculty mentor. Students are expected to complete their MS program in 3 to 4 semesters. The following is a 3-semester course plan for MS in Data Science:

Term 1 (Fall semester):

AMS 507 Probability 

AMS 572 Data Analysis 

CSE 581, Computer Science Fundamentals: Theory 

CSE 582, Computer Science Fundamentals: Data Structures and Algorithms 

Term 2 (Spring semester):

AMS 580 Statistical Learning (or AMS 530 Parallel Computing)

AMS 597 Statistical Computing 

CSE 583, Computer Science Fundamentals: Programming Abstractions 

ISE 503 Data Management 

Term 3 (Fall semester):

AMS 560 Big Data System (Cloud Computing) 

AMS 598 Big Data Analysis 

Elective 1 *

Elective 2 *

Note: (1)* Students can choose to take at least 3-credit of AMS 585 Internship in Data Science during either the third semester, or the summer between the second and the third semesters, with or without industrial sponsors. (2) For students who have taken some of these courses in a previous degree program, they can substitute them with other relevant letter-graded graduate courses from AMS or CS Departments upon the approval of the graduate program director and the course instructor.


 PhD in Data Science 

The doctoral students in Data Science are required to take the same 10 core courses as in  the MS program, as well. Furthermore, the doctoral students will need to take at least 2 electives (any letter-graded courses) from AMS or CS departments, plus an additional 42 credits of electives (including at least 18 thesis research credits) to satisfy the minimum 78-credit PhD program requirement. A doctoral student will take the written doctoral qualifying exam at the end of their first academic year. The doctoral qualifying exam consists of a 3-hour CS foundation exam, and a 3-hour Data Mining exam. These two exams will be held at the end of May/beginning of June - based on the following eight Data Science core courses taught in the first year of the Data Science Graduate Program under the usual Fall admission, namely, (1) AMS 507 Probability(2) AMS 572 Data Analysis(3) AMS 580 Statistical Learning(4) AMS 597 Statistical Computing, (5) CSE 581, Computer Science Fundamentals: Theory(6) CSE 582, Computer Science Fundamentals: Data Structures and Algorithms(7) CSE 583, Computer Science Fundamentals: Programming Abstractions, and (8) ISE 503 Data Management. 

The Data Science program provides a pathway for MS students to transfer to the PhD program upon completing the set of eight core courses with GPA> =3.5 and passing the doctoral qualifying exam. 



We welcome students with solid foundations in data science, computer sciencestatisticsmathematics, or related science or engineering disciplines to apply for our program. 

Fall 2023 Application Deadlines:

– International applicants: April 15, 2023

– Domestic applicants: June 1, 2023

Early applications are very much encouraged as rolling decisions will be made for program admissions. 

General application information can be obtained at the Graduate School website or go directly to the application website

Application Requirements:

   A. A bachelor's degree in computer science, data science, statistics, mathematics, a natural science, engineering, an applied science, or social science with a strong mathematics and programming background. Students are expected to be fluent in Calculus and at least one programming language. 

   B. A minimum overall cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 (or equivalent), and at least a 3.0 average in all courses in pertinent or related fields. Attention will be given to courses related to data science, computer science, statistics, and mathematics.

   C. For Fall 2023 applications, the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test is NOT required. However, you are most welcome to submit your GRE score should you have it. Any GRE scores should be reported by ETS (Educational Testing System) to the Graduate School directly. The institution code for GRE and TOEFL is 2548. The Department code is 0402 for GRE and 78 for TOEFL.

   D.  Any applicant with a degree from an English language institution, including high school, a bachelors, masters, or PhD do not need to take an English language proficiency test as long as they select one of these on their application. Additionally, any applicant who served as a Teaching Assistant at an institution where the primary instruction was in English do not need to take an English language proficiency test as long as they select this on their application. 

However, if an applicant is not a native or primary speaker of English and does not have a degree from an English language institution, then s/he must submit a valid language proficiency exam along with their graduate application.  The language proficiency exams we accept are TOEFL, IELTS, and Duolingo.  The minimum scores required for admission can be found on the Graduate School's FAQ website at:  

Official TOEFL scores should be reported by ETS to Stony Brook University, using institutional code 2548, prior to the application deadline. For the Duolingo or IELTS, applicants must upload a copy of the test report into their online application prior to the application deadline.  Applicants in this category, if admitted, will be required to send their official Duolingo or official IELTS test report electronically through the testing center to Stony Brook University. 

  E. Three letters of reference either from academia or industry.  

  F.  Applicants must upload a clear and legible scan of all undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) transcripts, as well as degree evaluations or translations for international credentials (if applicable, see rules below), into their online application prior to the application deadline.  Applications without transcript scans will not be reviewed by the admissions committee. Unofficial domestic transcripts and unofficial international transcripts, evaluations, and translation copies are acceptable for an admission decision to be made.

For applicants with international credentials, in some instances where the coursework, degree equivalency, GPA, and/or institution cannot be verified, a course-by-course evaluation from one of Stony Brook University's approved NACES members listed below, may be required. 

  1. World Education Services (WES)

  2. International Education Evaluations, Inc. (IEE)

  3. Education Credential Evaluators (ICE)

If a degree is not transcribed in English, then applicants with international credentials must submit an official English translation (from any of the above approved NACES members) of all coursework showing a complete course-by-course record, GPA, degree, and institution, in addition to the original documents.  

However, if admitted, the applicant must submit final official undergraduate and graduate (if applicable)  transcripts/evaluations/translations from their college/university or evaluation/translation agency to Stony Brook University.  Applicants with domestic credentials must submit an official transcript to Stony Brook University from each undergraduate and graduate college or university attended, regardless of whether a degree was conferred.  

Official Final Transcripts and Other Materials should be sent to:

Stony Brook University
Office of Graduate and Health Sciences Admissions
Health Sciences Tower, Level 2 – Rm. 271

Official E-Transcripts: Should be sent to 

  G. Resume.  (see instructions in the next section)

  H. Personal Statement. (see instructions in the next section)

Application Procedure: 

Please read this entire webpage before you apply. General application information can be obtained at the Graduate School website or one can go directly to the application website.

Note that the application portal status page will give several options to upload additional documents after the application has been submitted. Applicants will receive access to upload additional documents, including their resume and personal statement, after the application is formally submitted (and application fee paid). To provide materials after submission, navigate to the 'Upload Materials' section on your dashboard, select the best document type among the limited dropdown menu options, and upload the supplemental document(s).

Provisional Admission: Occasionally, students with who are less proficient in terms of credentials, but otherwise demonstrate academic potential are offered provisional admission. Their admission offer will stipulate remedial classes they must take in their first semester and earn at least a B average in order to matriculate to the regular MS or PhD student status. 



All students admitted to the PhD program will automatically be considered for financial support and tuition waiver if the application is submitted by the due date. MS students are not typically considered for financial support or tuition waiver at the time of admission. However, in a small number of cases qualified MS students are able to receive partial support via departmental or campus opportunities. 

Send graduate admissions related questions to: