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MS in Statistics and Data Science FAQs

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When does the online application for this program open?

The online application for all TGS programs, including the MS in Statistics and Data Science program, opens annually in early September.

Can I apply off cycle?

No. The Department of Statistics and Data Science accepts applications for full-time students entering in the fall quarter only.

May I apply for more than one TGS graduate program at Northwestern?

"You may only submit one application to TGS per academic year. Additional applications will not be reviewed and application fees will not be refunded."

I am planning to apply for the Statistics PhD program. If I am not accepted, could my application be transferred to the MS program for consideration?

Yes, but you must indicate your interest in being considered for the MS program when applying for the PhD program. You cannot make this selection after you have submitted your application. This allows your application to transfer from the PhD program to the MS program if you are not accepted in the PhD program.

Can I apply for this program before having my BS degree if I will be receiving my BS degree prior to starting the program the following fall?

Yes, you can apply to the program as long as your expected graduation/degree date from your BS program is prior to the start of the MS program. Please see the TGS application information regarding transcripts

Am I required to pay a fee to apply for the MS program?

Yes, the application fee is $95. Applicants to the Statistics and Data Science PhD program have the option to be considered for the MS program if they are not admitted to the PhD program at no additional cost.

Is it possible to receive an Application Fee Waiver due to a difficult financial situation?

If you are applying for the Statistics and Data Science PhD program with the option to be considered for the MS program if your application for the PhD program is unsuccessful, then you can apply for a Fee Waiver if you have US citizenship or permanent residency. See:

If you are only applying for the MS in Statistics and Data Science program you must pay the application fee.

Is the GRE required?

The GRE is optional, not required. However, please be aware that if you provide unofficial GRE scores in the application you will be required to provide the official scores for your application to be complete. If you do not want to provide official GRE scores, please leave the GRE scores blank.If provided, GRE scores must be received directly from ETS. See

Is TOEFL required?

A minimum of TOEFL score of 80 or IELTS of 7.0 is required for most international applicants. The TOEFL score can be waived if the applicant has completed an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution where the language of instruction is English. Official scores must be less than 2 years old and must come directly from ETS. See

Do students in the MS program pay tuition/fees?

Students in the MS program pay Tuition and the Student Activity Fee on a quarterly basis (fall, winter and spring), and the annual Northwestern University/Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan premium (unless coverage is waived through the Student Health Insurance Office). MS students in Statistics and Data Science receive a 65% subsidy of the annual health insurance premium if registered full time (other than TGS 512).

See for the current costs associated with these fees.

Does Northwestern University provide any kind of full financial support in the form of scholarship / assistantship for the entire period of this master's degree?

Unfortunately, Northwestern does not provide financial support for students in the MS program. However, external scholarships may be awarded to students on a merit basis.  

Am I required to have health insurance?

Yes. All graduate students at Northwestern University are required to have health insurance through the Northwestern University/Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan (NU-SHIP) unless they are approved for a waiver by providing proof of other qualifying comparable health coverage. See Student Health Insurance and Annual NU-SHIP Enrollment/Waiver Process for more information.

Can I be a part time student and participate in the program?

The MS in Statistics and Data Science program is a full-time program. Both tracks require a minimum of 4 quarters of residency (not including summer), while students on thesis track may need 5-6 quarters or longer to complete their degree. The degree for both tracks must be completed within two years (i.e., Fall of Year 1 to Summer of Year 2).

Will I be able to continue working while in this program?

The MS in Statistics and Data Science is a day school program, meaning the required courses are offered during the day, not in the evening. Graduate students enrolled in the MS program may continue working as long as they can negotiate taking the required courses at the times they are offered and can maintain a full-time course schedule (3 classes per quarter). As a reminder, the MS in Statistics and Data Science program is a full-time program that must be completed within two years.

If I have completed my coursework, but have opted to do the MS thesis, do I still have to pay tuition?

Students who have completed their coursework but are working toward completing a thesis for their degree may register for TGS 512 by paying a nominal fee to maintain the full-time student status. Please see for more information. Note that students registered in TGS 512 are not charged the activity fee, and are not eligible for the CTA U-Pass nor the subsidy of the annual health insurance premium.