Entry requirements

Applicants should have competed a bachelor's degree by the time of beginning the Masters.

Applications are to be made online via the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and are considered for Fall Term admission only. Applications to the Master of Science in Data Science degree program for entry into the program in Fall 2020 will be available in September of 2019.

Months of entry


Course content

The three-semester Master of Science (SM) in Data Science trains students in the rapidly growing field of data science, which lies at the intersection of statistical methodology, computational science, and a wide range of application domains.

The program offers strong preparation in statistical modeling, machine learning, optimization, management and analysis of massive data sets, and data acquisition. The program focuses on topics such as reproducible data analysis, collaborative problem solving, visualization and communication, and security and ethical issues that arise in data science.

The design of the program was developed through discussions between the computer science and statistics faculty and other Harvard departments and schools. A total of twelve courses should be taken over at least three semesters. Each student’s plan of study should address a set of learning outcomes which answer the question: "What should a graduate of our data science program be able to do."

  1. Build statistical models and understand their power and limitations
  2. Design an experiment
  3. Use machine learning and optimization to make decisions
  4. Acquire, clean, and manage data
  5. Visualize data for exploration, analysis, and communication
  6. Collaborate within teams
  7. Deliver reproducible data analysis
  8. Manage and analyze massive data sets
  9. Assemble computational pipelines to support data science from widely available tools
  10. Conduct data science activities aware of and according to policy, privacy, security and ethical considerations
  11. Apply problem-solving strategies to open-ended question

Fees and funding

British citizens who are – or will be – graduates of British universities should check out both Kennedy Scholarships and Frank Knox Fellowships.

Both of these awards offer full tuition and health insurance coverage and a generous stipend towards living expenses. They are offered annually in competition.

Please note that you will need to submit your application to either or both awards ahead of the deadline for your Harvard application. Kennedy Scholarship and Frank Knox Fellowship applications are to be made online via their websites between mid-August and late-October in the same application season as you will submit your application to Harvard. Awards made at interview in London in January are provisional, pending confirmation of a place on the course.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    full time
    18 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

GSAS Admissions
001 617 496 6100