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Admission Requirements

group of students applying

General Requirements

Applicants to our Data Science programs typically have an Honours Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in either Computer Science or Statistics, with a minimum overall average of 78%. A successful applicant must demonstrate strong foundations in the following:

It is also possible to apply to our Data Science programs with a bachelor's degree in a discipline other than Computer Science or Statistics. In this case, applicants must demonstrate a strong background in computer science, statistics, and/or mathematics, as evidenced through grades in advanced undergraduate courses. Specifically, applicants are expected to demonstrate knowledge equivalent to a subset of the following UW courses in either CS, optimization, and/or statistics. You will be asked at the time of application to provide your background in our Supplementary Information Form.

Combinatorics and Optimization:

  • Intro to optimization, e.g., CO 250

Computer Science:

  • Algorithms, e.g., CS 341
  • Intro to database management, e.g., CS 348


  • Applied linear models, e.g., STAT 331
  • Applied probability, e.g., STAT 333
  • Mathematical statistics, e.g., STAT 330
  • Sampling and experimental design, e.g., STAT 332

*Students require three references, at least two academic. Students are not required to have prior work experience.

English Language Proficiency

Applicants will also need to meet the University of Waterloo's English Language Proficiency requirements (the higher scores will be required).

Graduate Record Examinations (GRE)

We do not require GRE scores for admission to our data science programs. However, we encourage you to submit your scores to supplement your application and set yourself apart in this competitive program. 

Additional Information

The above requirements, together with the two foundation courses in statistics (STAT 845) and computer science (CS 600), have been carefully designed to make sure all students will be able to complete the core and electives courses required to complete the program.

Applicants lacking in background may be admitted on probation and required to take and earn a grade of at least 78% in specified qualifying courses. In particular, students requiring both foundational courses CS 600 and STAT 845 would be required to take at least one of them in a probationary period prior to the program's start, and this probationary course would not count toward degree credit.