What Does A Top University Look For In A Student For MS In Data Science: Rutgers University


For the latest issue in our series on MS In Data Science in the US for Indian Students, Analytics India Magazine reached out to Rutgers State University of New Jersey. Founded in 1766, Rutgers University is an academic, health, and research center and one of the oldest and largest universities in the United States. The university has a network of 500,000 active alumni.

Objective: How does the MSc in Data Science stand out, making industry students ready?

Rutgers: The Master of Data Science at Rutgers University is a professional master’s program that prepares students to be work-ready upon graduation. It is a rigorous program offered by the Department of Statistics, to be completed in three full-time semesters. While many data science programs are very broad and shallow, the Rutgers MSDS is narrow and deep. Students learn important theories and core concepts that allow them to be lifelong learners and data science practitioners no matter what modern tools are available now or will be available in the future.

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As a professional program, practical training is its primary aspect, making the MSDS one of the few programs in the United States to provide international students with first day CPT (Curricular Practical Training), or the ability to seize a relevant training opportunity once they gain admission to the programme, compared to the usual waiting period for one year. In addition, the Department of Statistics has established the Office of Professional Programs dedicated exclusively to providing internship and part-time and full-time employment opportunities to students in the program; This is in addition to students who have access to the Office of Exploration and Career Success available to all Rutgers students.

Additionally, our New Jersey location near New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Connecticut makes us an attractive hub for companies hiring from these areas.

Objective: What are the main aspects that the university looks for in the student during the admission process?

Rutgers: We consider applicants comprehensively and consider all aspects of the application when making admission decisions. This includes college transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation, and personal essays. Having said that, the MSDS is an academically rigorous quantitative program that requires a strong background in mathematics and statistics. Admission decisions favor applicants who can demonstrate strong proficiency in mathematics, statistics, and knowledge of a programming language.

Objective: Do you focus specifically on foreign students, especially from India?

Rutgers: We welcome applications from both local American students and international students from all over the world. When considering international students, English language proficiency and English language communication skills are important. Students from India historically score well in these two aspects.

Objective: How relevant is the university to industry to facilitate on-campus placements?

Rutgers: The Department of Statistics created the Office of Professional Programs dedicated to finding special employment opportunities for MSDS students. MSDS students receive exclusive full-time employment and internship opportunities from program partners. This is in addition to the Rutgers University-wide Office of Career Services, one of the largest in the country, which is also available to all Rutgers students, including MSDS students.

Students found jobs in the financial services, consumer, pharmaceutical, technology, and consulting industries in data science-related positions once they graduated.

AIM: Can you share with us your college placement history for your Data Science Student Program?

Rutgers: We do not dig employment numbers by student type (international or domestic); However, 85 percent of our graduates find full-time jobs, also within six months of graduating, while a small percentage choose to pursue further graduate studies, including Ph.D. Our international students typically make up 60 percent or more of our students. It is important to note that previous full-time work experience is not required and that the majority of MSDS students enter the program with less than one year of full-time work experience.

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The vast majority of students find internship opportunities. Many students typically obtain an internship once the program begins in the fall through existing company relationships that connect the program with employer partners.

AIM: Who can apply for the course? Any special requirements for Indian students?

Rutgers: The MSDS is open to all students who have completed an undergraduate degree and meet the academic requirements for the program in Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Programming listed below:

  • Multivariate Calculus
  • linear algebra
  • Introduction to probability
  • Statistics Theory
  • Two courses in statistical computing or computer science, including advanced programming. For more information, one can visit here.

Rutgers: The Statistics Department does not offer any scholarships or financial aid. However, students are eligible for external scholarships. Additionally, there are some class and other paid on-campus opportunities available to students in the program.

All admission inquiries should be emailed to the Director of Admissions at [email protected] directly.


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Kumar Gandarv

Kumar Gandarv

Kumar Gandharv, PGD in English Journalism (IIMC, Delhi), sets out on a journey as a technical journalist at AIM. A keen observer of national news and international relations. Likes to go to the gym. Call: [email protected]

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