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Frequently Asked Questions - Data Science

Application Portal Information

Fall 2024

  • November 1, 2023:  Application start
  • March 26, 2024:  Deadline for International applicants
  • July 12, 2024:  Deadline for Canadian/Permanent Residents


The current admission cycle is for Fall 2024, with the following dates:

  • November 1, 2023:  Application start
  • March 26, 2024:  Deadline for International applicants
  • July 12, 2024:  Deadline for Canadian/Permanent Residents

Please note that we do not presently offer admission for the Spring or Summer semesters.

If we are currently accepting applications, please follow the below steps:

  • You can access the portal by clicking the “online application” link found under step 3 of “Start your application” (for Regular students) on the Faculty of Graduate Studies’ Apply Page.
    • Note: you require an eID account to complete the application.
  • Once in the Student Admissions for Graduate Studies portal, you can find our programs under
    • Data Science and Analytics Master Degree” or
    • Data Science and Analytics - Diploma” or
    • Fundamental Data Science and Analytics - Certificate”.
  • After you’ve submitted an application, you can upload your unofficial transcripts, prerequisite proof, and CV/resume through your Student Centre.
    • Please do not provide us with any application related documents via email unless explicitly requested by the program.

See the rest of our Frequently Asked Questions for more details.

The application's "To Do" list is automatically populated within the application portal, which can lead to concern over "To Do" lists items being outstanding, but that the program itself does not require.

The following items may populate but are not required by applicants until they have been offered admission:

  • Official Transcripts (see our section on transcripts below for more information)
  • Proof of Canadian citizenship
  • Proof of Permanent Residency
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency
  • References (if you choose not to submit them)

If we require additional material from you regarding your admissibility, you will be contacted at the email address supplied in your application.

While we appreciate the continued interest we receive from those not actively enrolled in our program, we are not able to accommodate requests to register in, audit, or otherwise attend our courses. The Data Science and Analytics program's DATA 600-level courses are available exclusively to students who are actively enrolled in the Data Science and Analytics graduate program.

This restriction includes, but is not limited to: undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Calgary or any outside institution, Open Studies students, Visiting Students, alumni or staff. 



    • All unofficial transcripts and degrees for all post-secondary education to assess prerequisites and a student's GPA. Please include Grade Scale from each institution as well.
    • Proof of Prerequisite Completion
    • CV/resume

    Please note: We are reviewing applications as they are submitted. If these documents have not been uploaded or uploaded incorrectly, your application will still be considered, but it may potentially impact your admissibility. 



    Please do not send or try to upload the following documents:

    • GRE or GMAT scores
    • Study Proposals
    • Writing Samples
    • Proof of English Language Proficiency*

    *The only time we ask that proof of English Language Proficiency be provided is if a student does not hold a degree from an institution that instructs in English. All students who have completed a degree from an English speaking institution are exempt from the requirement to provide this proof.

The minimum requirements for admission for all credentials are:

  • A minimum admission grade point average of 3.00 on a four-point scale or equivalent, calculated on the last 60 units (20 half-course equivalents) completed in your 4-year Bachelor’s degree. 
  • Successful completion of the following undergraduate courses, with at least a “B” grade or equivalent: 
    • one course in computer programming, 
    • one course in statistics or equivalent, and 
    • one course in either calculus or linear algebra or equivalent. 
  • Demonstration of English Language Proficiency (ELP)  
  • Outside North America: find the grade equivalency and minimum GPA requirement for your country here.
  • North American institutions: we are generally seeking a "B" average for a letter score, or 72% as a percentage. 

Please note:

  • Do not attempt to convert your GPA to a 4.0 scale.
  • If you possess any graduate-level degrees, e.g. Master/PhD etc. these are not included as part of your GPA calculation.
    • If they meet the requirements listed, courses from additional degrees may be used towards our prerequisite requirements (more information below).
  • Transcripts frequently include an institution's grading scale, that is the one that the University of Calgary will use. If your institution's grading scale is not included on your transcripts, it is helpful to include the Grading Scale as part of the document you upload.

If you hold a Bachelor, Master, or PhD degree from an institution that instructs in English, the proof of English Language Proficiency required is waived, and we ask that no test results be provided.

If your previous post-secondary education was taught in a different language, proof of English Language Proficiency is required. 

View English Language Proficiency requirements here in the University of Calgary calendar: G.A.1 Graduate Qualifications.  Also, for information on how to submit your scores please view information on "Submitting Official Proof of English Language Proficiency & other Test Scores" (found on the Graduate Science Centre website).

To be acceptable as a prerequisite, a course must meet the following requirements:

  • Accredited - It is from an accredited institution or learning resource.
  • Evaluated - The course is evaluated/graded in some way.
    • “B” grade or equivalent must be achieved.
    • Pass/fail courses can be used, but more detailed evaluation is preferable.
  • Proof - You can produce a transcript or equivalent that documents your completion, and the grade for the course.
  • Duration - Minimum length of 30 hours.
  • Curriculum - The learning outcomes are similar to those listed below.

Learning Outcomes:

Computer Programming:

  • Problem solving, analysis and design of small-scale computational systems, and implementation using a procedural programming language.
  • Python is the language most utilized in our program, however students are able to apply with backgrounds in other languages.


  • Parameter estimation, introduction to the collection of data, elements of probabilistic modelling, basic probability computation techniques, discrete and continuous random variables and distributions, expectation and variance, central limit theorem, single-parameter confidence interval estimation, and exposure to any statistical software package.

Calculus or Linear Algebra:

  • Calculus: single variable calculus, limits, derivatives and integrals of algebraic exponential, logarithmic and trigonometric functions play a central role, applications of differentiation, and fundamental theorem of calculus.
  • Linear Algebra: systems of linear equations, matrix algebra, linear transformations, and determinants.
  • We require students to have successfully completed either a calculus or linear algebra course. It is considered advantageous for a student to have both.

CLICK HERE to view the prerequisite pre-assessment for you to review. If you are comfortable answering the questions listed, this is a good indicator that you are prepared for the material found in our fast-paced, graduate level program. 


Our program’s current tuition costs are listed here, on the Program Specific Fees page, under Faculty of Science. Students are also assessed General Fees. All costs are listed in CAD $.

Each academic year, graduate student fees could be subject to change per the Faculty of Graduate Studies guidelines and regulations. Please note that these totals are estimates and if there are discrepancies between the FAQ page and the University Calendar, please use the University Calendar for reference

  1. Tuition for Canadian/Permanent Residents

    • Tuition per 3-unit course - $3,386.55 
    • Tuition per 3-unit internship course - $1,639.28 

    Therefore, the tuition totals per program are:

    • Graduate Certificate (12 units) - $13,546.20 
    • Graduate Diploma (24 units) - $27,092.40 
    • Master (30 units + 6 internship units) - $37,144.06 
  2. Tuition for international students

    • Tuition per 3-unit course - $4,577.76 
    • Tuition per 3-unit internship course - $2,288.88

    Therefore, the tuition totals per program are:

    • Graduate Certificate (12 units) - $18,311.04 
    • Graduate Diploma (24 units) - $36,622.08 
    • Master (30 units + 6 internship units) - $50,355.36 
  1. Full-Time Students

    • 4 months for the Graduate Certificate. 
    • 8 months for the Graduate Diploma.
    • 12 months for the Master Degree.


    • As our Master program has been designed to be completed in 12 months, including internship, we are unable to offer a longer Master program if a student is seeking full-time studies (e.g. 16 months or 2 years).
    • If you are exclusively interested in a program that is longer than 12 months for full-time students you will need to explore options beyond our program.
  2. Part-Time Students

    • At least 8 months for the Graduate Certificate. 
    • At least 12 months for the Graduate Diploma.
    • At least 16 months for the Master Degree.
  3. Maximum Completion Time

    • 3 years for the Graduate Certificate. 
    • 3 years for the Graduate Diploma.
    • 6 years for the Master Degree. 

Federal legislation stipulates that only certified consultants may offer advice about immigration issues. Students who have been accepted to the University of Calgary will have access to International Student Services (ISS) at the University of Calgary, who are certified in this area. See the following websites for more details:

Below are some of the funding options that you may be eligible for, please note some items listed are limited to Canadian/Permanent Residents, or have other eligibility requirements.

  • Graduate Students’ Association Bursaries: Our students will be eligible for bursaries through the Graduate Students’ Association.
  • Canada-Alberta Job Grant: A Certificate, Diploma or Master in Data Science and Analytics can work within the Canada-Alberta Job Grant model if the employer and employee meet the criteria as set out in the Canada-Alberta Job Grant Applicant Guide.
  • Lifelong Learning Plan: Our Diploma and Master credentials are eligible for the Government of Canada’s Lifelong Learning Plan.
  • Student Loans: Details on student loans are available here.
  • University of Calgary scholarships: The Faculty of Graduate Studies maintains a scholarship database; eligibility is determined by the applicant. Please note that deadlines for Graduate Award Competition (GAC) scholarship applications vary by program. This is an external deadline (not one set by the program) and therefore no exceptions can be made to this deadline.
    • You can search for scholarships for “Data Science and Analytics” and include your citizenship, and registration status, a list will populate.
    • Please note that most scholarships listed here are exclusively available to Master students (not our Graduate Certificate or Diploma).
    • The Graduate Awards office advises that students in course-based programs such as ours are unlikely to receive funding through the these awards are primarily given to students in thesis-based programs -- only exceptional applicants should commit to the lengthy process of submitting a GAC application.
  • Other scholarships: While the program itself does not offer scholarships/funding, you may find options not associated with our program (e.g. Alberta Student Aid offers some scholarships which apply to our program) but we do not have further details on such offerings.
  • Payment Plan: Students are able to utilize the University’s Payment Plan option to pay their fees on a monthly basis as opposed to once per term (e.g. spreading the Fall term fees which are usually all due at the end of September to be monthly payments over the Fall term). You can find out more on the Faculty of Graduate Studies’ Payment Plan website, and the Registrar Office’s.


We offer a "stackable" or "laddering" program, meaning our separate credentials build upon each other; therefore, if you apply directly to the Master, you complete the components of the Certificate and one of the Diploma specializations. 

This is an intensive program, completed at an accelerated pace relative to a standard thesis-based graduate degree.

Generally, classes are expected to run in the following format below. Please note that course timings, dates and enrolment limitations are subject to change.

Certificate-level courses

  • Certificate-level courses are DATA 601, DATA 602, DATA 603 and DATA 604. There are typically two lecture options offered, running Monday through Thursday.
    • The daytime schedule runs 9am - 11:45am, and the evening from 5pm - 7:45pm.
  • Both daytime and evening options are structured the same: DATA 601 and 602 running concurrently for 6 weeks, followed by DATA 603 and DATA 604 for the remaining 6 weeks of the Fall semester.

Diploma-level courses

  • Our Diploma classes (DATA 605-624) run exclusively in the Winter semester. Classes will run Monday through Thursday, in the evening from 5pm - 7:45pm.

Master Level courses

  • The Master's Integrated Topics course, DATA 691, runs on what is called a "block week" schedule, where students are in class Monday-Friday, from approximately 9am - 5pm, for two weeks.
  • The internship component (DATA 693/5), where the 200-hours associated with the internship will be spread out over the remaining semester based on the student and potential internship/research internship partner.
  • Course descriptions for DATA 691, DATA 693 and DATA 695 available here.

A student enrolled in all four courses should expect to have 40+ hours of work per week (or ~20 hours of work per week, per course), this includes 11 hours of in-class learning, with the remaining hours committed to assignments, research etc. done independently.

Given the high demand for our program, ultimately preference will be given to those students who can commit to a full-time schedule, however we do work to accommodate our students and have a limited number of alumni and current students who chose to complete the program on a part-time basis.

Please note: joining our program part-time will extend your time in the program, as less courses are taken per semester and because our program's courses are only offered in specific semesters.

Part-time students are expected to complete 2 courses a semester, equating to approximately 20 hours per week, with 5.5 hours per week of in-class learning, and the remaining time devoted to assignments, research etc. done independently.

A student's status as "full-time" or "part-time" may also affect:

  • The amount they are assessed for General Fees,
  • Services offered (e.g. part-time students are not eligible for health, dental or a UPASS [used for Calgary Transit]).
  • Student loans.
  • Immigration options.

Currently, all classes are scheduled to be held in-person for the Fall 2023 and Winter 2024 academic terms.

Most courses (DATA 601-614) will be held on the Main Campus, with the exception being our Health Data Science and Biostatistics specialization (DATA 621-624), which is held on the Foothills Campus

Our program was designed with interactive and collaborative learning in mind. We believe that in-person learning provides students with the greatest opportunity to apply curriculum knowledge, while expanding their skillset and network.

We do appreciate there are ample opportunities to grow our program's remote learning component, however at this time we are focusing on in-person learning.


Please go to the Dataverse Scholar's Portal to see a number of projects that were completed as part of the Fall 2018 certificate program.


Unofficial transcripts, the term for those transcripts uploaded through their Student Centre, by the student, will be used to evaluate an application for admission.

Until an offer of admission is provided, only unofficial transcripts (NOT official) are required for an application to be considered complete and ready for assessment.

  • Please do not request to have your official transcripts sent until you are requested to do so as part of an unofficial offer of admission provided to you via email by the program.
  • After you’ve submitted an application you can upload your unofficial transcripts, proof of prerequisite completion, and your CV/resume through your Student Centre. 

Transcripts frequently include an institution's grading scale, that is the one that the University of Calgary will use. If your institution's grading scale is not included on your transcripts, it is helpful to include the Grading Scale as part of the document you upload.

Please note: for any official transcripts where a degree was awarded, to be considered "complete" the transcripts need to state that the degree was awarded, or the degree itself also needs to be provided.

  1. My original transcripts aren't in English, what should I do?

    If your original documents are not in English, we require both the original documents or certified true copies of each of your official transcripts and degree certificates in the original language sent directly from the issuing University, and an English translation from the issuing University or a notarized word-for-word English translation of a duplicate copy of that origin.

  2. I'm a UofC graduate, do I need to provide transcripts from the UofC?

    No, we are able to retrieve internal transcripts, and do not require them to be sent to the program.

    Please note that if you have any additional post-secondary education after your degree at the University of Calgary, this will not be on file and therefore need to be submitted.

  1. Unofficial Transcripts

    Unofficial transcripts are those uploaded by the student.

  2. Official Transcripts

    Official transcripts are those sent directly from the issuing institution or another approved method listed in our Transcripts FAQ.


Until an offer of admission is provided, only unofficial transcripts (NOT official) are required for an application to be considered complete and ready for assessment. 

"Official transcripts" are those received by the University of Calgary directly from the issuing institution. Please utilize the option of submitting your transcripts electronically if possible. Instructions for delivery methods are below.


  • Transcripts must come directly from the issuing institution’s appropriate transcript distribution email address (e.g. Registrar Office, Transcript Office).
  • Indian transcripts and degrees may be requested via The National Academy Depository (NAD).
  • All emails must be sent to
  • Please be aware that documents sent by students or faculty members cannot be accepted as “official”.
  • If possible, please request to have your files sent electronically rather than through the post.


  • Important: This option is recommended only if one of the organizations listed is already in possession of your transcripts; we do not require an assessment.
  • In light of the difficulties international students may encounter obtaining official transcripts, the Faculty of Graduate Studies will accept transcripts as official if they are sent directly from one of the following professional organizations*:
    • Alberta Education
    • Medical Council of Canada Archive
    • International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)
  • Emails must be sent to


  • While the electronic method should always be utilized if possible, we understand that some institutions may not be able to offer this service.
  • Official transcripts are to be sent in a sealed envelope directly to the program by the issuing institution.
  • Mailing Address:

Faculty of Graduate Studies, ES 1010
University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB T2N 1N4

Please note: we do not accept transcripts through WES, or any other method/organization besides those listed above. 

  1. Sending Official Transcripts

    Official transcripts are only required after an offer of admission has been provided. 

  2. No Official Transcripts Required

    • Pre-application
    • After an application has been submitted
    • After the application deadline


The intention is for all Masters students to complete a 200-hour professional internship (in industry), but under certain circumstances students may complete a research internship, which will be based on campus, in lieu of one in a professional environment.

The internship (DATA 693) and research internship (DATA 695) is 6 credits. We have a dedicated internship office to help ensure that students have opportunities to apply for. An Internship Coordinator will be facilitating industry connections, and will be assisting in the placement of our students with appropriate industry partners. However, students are required to apply for the position they are seeking and interview to confirm the placement.

In some instances a student may partner with their employer to complete the professional internship. This would be determined by the Internship Coordinator, who connects with an applicant upon their admission to the program. Previous work experience cannot be utilized towards the 200-hours required.

Applicants to the Master program will be asked to provide two references.

  • Program specific: Please note that the Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma do not have the option to include references.
  • Format: References are completed through an online form that is generated as part of your application, not through the submission of independent letters.
  • Who to use: References can be professional or academic: we recommend choosing someone who can best speak to your strengths and recent accomplishments in relation to the program.
  • Deadline: References must be submitted by the application deadline to ensure they are considered; references submitted after the application deadline may potentially be considered but this cannot be guaranteed. 
  • Whether to complete: As a highly competitive program, with many qualified applicants, we strongly recommend you complete this portion of the application.
    • Each aspect of the application should be seen as a way to demonstrate an applicant’s aptitude for the program.
    • If you do not wish to include references, because the reference portion cannot be left blank you will still need to complete the fields.
  • We offer a "Master of Data Science and Analytics", not a Master of Science degree.
  • Our Master degree is a professional, course-based graduate-level credential. 
  • This is an intensive 1-year program, completed at an accelerated pace relative to a standard Master program. 
  • It has been designed to provide technical expertise at a fast-pace to allow our program’s alumni to either elevate their career, or take it in a new trajectory.
  • We do not offer a thesis-based program, and our degree will not continue to a PhD-level.

Details are available in our Professional Graduate Internship Program brochure, or you can send an email to

Do you have a question about the program? Get in touch