How to Apply

Your career as a data specialist awaits

You don’t have to come from a science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) background to be successful in the online Data Science Program at Indiana University.

In fact, we embrace your unique academic or professional experience, and believe that it will only bolster your journey towards becoming a one-of-kind, in-demand data specialist.

Read ahead to discover how to apply to our online program. Learn more about the application process for our residential program.

International students

To apply, you’ll need to provide official documentation showing you’ve earned a U.S. bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in another country. To apply to our residential M.S. program, you will also need a valid Visa.

Learn more about equivalent degrees for graduate students and Visas at the IU Office of International Services.

Your academic background

Although you don’t need to have a specific background to be successful in this program, you must possess the following:

  • Knowledge of mathematical and statistical principles like linear algebra, calculation, and probability
  • Familiar with basic concepts of object-oriented programming like C, C++, and/or Java
  • Possess strong communication and critical thinking skills
  • Experience with data structures and algorithms

If you need help developing any of these skills, please contact the Luddy Office of Online Education for recommendations on how to increase your mathematical and programming skills.


We highly recommend that you submit your application and all supporting materials at least two weeks prior to final deadlines to expedite admissions decisions.

We admit students to this online data science program twice a year, to start in January and August.

Learn more about the residential deadlines.

Online programs

  • February 1 - Fall application opens.
  • May 1 - Deadline for Fall consideration.
  • August 1 - Spring application opens.
  • November 1 - Deadline for Spring consideration

Academic honesty

It is your responsibility to act with honesty and integrity, and be responsible and accountable for all actions throughout the admissions process. Once you submit an application, you are formally agreeing to adhere to all deadlines and instructions set by the Data Science Program.

If at any time it is discovered that false information, omissions, or misstatements are made on the application, your consideration could be revoked.

Our data retention policy

Any form of documentation or recorded information—regardless of physical characteristics—created, received, recorded, or legally submitted in the course of study becomes the property of Indiana University. This means documentation is non-returnable, and will not be forwarded, copied, or released to you or a third party.

We recommend that you avoid sending irreplaceable documents.

We do encourage you to make photocopies of your original academic records and send them to your home university.

Ask your home university to:

  • Verify that the photocopies are consistent with their records
  • Attest that the copies are true photocopies and stamp them with an official university stamp
  • Put the attested, stamped photocopies in sealed envelopes endorsed by the registrar
  • Mail the sealed, endorsed envelopes directly to the appropriate graduate office

Indiana University requires that university records, as defined herein, regardless of format, be retained for specific periods of time in accordance with legal or other institutional requirements, or for historical value. The university has designated official repositories to manage the retention of these records according to procedures outlined below, wherein documents are securely destroyed after three years of the last date of enrollment.

Learn more about the records retention guidelines.

Note: All credentials are retained indefinitely throughout a student's academic career with the Data Science Graduate Office. Excluded from this policy are individuals who reserve the right to request their irreplaceable; original documents be verified upon arrival on campus for same-day verification. Same-day verification is only awarded to those who submit their irreplaceable and official academic records to the Office of International Services (OIS) in-person.

International documentation is nonreturnable, unless deemed irreplaceable. An irreplaceable document is defined by Indiana University as:

“A document that can only be issued once in a lifetime per person by a ministry of education (or other educational authority) or a document where another official copy cannot be obtained.”

International documentation, as deemed irreplaceable by the Office of International Services (OIS), may be returned after the conferral of your degree or certificate at your sole request. Indiana University will not voluntarily return your documentation upon degree conferral.

The Data Science Graduate Office will return materials if all of the below is followed:

  • You’ve completed all program requirements and a degree or certificate was conferred
  • You have submitted the Return of Irreplaceable Documents Request form and “Agreed” to all terms and conditions
    • Please contact the Data Science Graduate Office at for the form
  • You’ve provided sufficient evidence of identification in the form of an official photo (license) and IU identification number for an in-person pickup or mail return

NOTE: Any documents requested to be returned through mail, will be at your expense. The Data Science Graduate Office is not reliable for any damages that should occur prior, during, or after the delivery of the documents.

Your tomorrow starts now

Begin your online application