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Here you’ll find answers to commonly asked questions about our online master’s degree programs: the Master of Science in Data Science (MSDS), Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS), and forthcoming Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence (MSAI).

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CDSO programs do not have admissions caps.

No applicant is automatically admitted to CDSO’s master’s programs. All applications will be reviewed by the admissions committee to make certain applicants are prepared to succeed in the program.

It is possible to earn admission to a CDSO program with an upper division and graduate-level GPA below 3.0. However, a petition to the UT Graduate School will be required in that case. Administrators for your program will utilize your application materials (such as your CV and statement of purpose) to create the petition, which will then be reviewed by the UT Graduate Dean for final approval.

A GRE score is not required for admission to any CDSO program. If provided, GRE scores will be considered. If you do not have a relevant or related degree, have been out of school for over 10 years, or are concerned about the strength of your application, providing GRE scores may assist the Admissions Committee in their review.

There is no minimum GRE test score requirement. However, applicants admitted to our computer science and data science programs usually have high quantitative scores (80th percentile or higher).

Each program requires applicants to have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or a comparable degree from a foreign academic institution. Typical degrees might include computer science, computer engineering, mathematics, electrical engineering or similar, and demonstrate a strong understanding of select topics such as:

MSCS: Discrete Math, Data Structures, Algorithms and Complexity, Computer Organization and Architecture, and Principles of Computer Systems

MSDS: Multivariable Calculus, Linear Algebra, Elements of Statistics, programming experience in Python and R/C++

MSAI: Discrete Math, Data Structures, Algorithms and Complexity, Introduction to Data Mining (CS 363D), Linear Algebra, and Probability and Statistics

Please find more details about eligibility and prerequisites on the individual program pages.


You can keep track of your application materials and status through your MyStatus portal.

To be considered for admission, all required and optional materials are due by the final application deadline.

Yes, but you must fill out separate applications and upload required items for each. If you are admitted to more than one program, please note that you will only be able to participate in one program at a time.

We do not accept GMAT scores.

Applying by the priority deadline will allow additional time for your application to be processed. Should any issues arise (for example, a transcript is declined) this gives you time to complete the application by the final deadline.

Yes. Please review GIAC’s Complete the Online Application section.

Quite possibly. Please check in with the Graduate and International Admissions Center at to confirm.

Yes, the TOEFL iBT or IELTS Academic is required. However, international applicants who are from a country where English is the only official language are exempt from this requirement. Additionally, applicants are exempt from the requirement if they possess a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. institution or an institution in a country where English is the only official language. The requirement is not waived for applicants who have earned a master’s—but not a bachelor’s—degree from a similar institution.

For GRE and TOEFL scores, the Educational Testing Service (ETS) institution code for UT-Austin is 6882. It is not necessary to use a department code. There is no institutional code for the IELTS Academic examination. To fulfill the requirement with scores from the IELTS Academic, please use the IELTS electronic score delivery service to send your scores to the “University of Texas at Austin” account.

Yes, transcripts written in a language other than English must be accompanied by a translation.

A foreign credential evaluation is not required. If a transcript is written in a language other than English, a complete and official English translation must be uploaded together with the original transcript.

You will be given the opportunity to list the name, position, organization and email address for 3 recommenders when you complete ApplyTexas. After you submit this portion, emails will be sent to your recommenders directing them to a website where they may upload their letters.

Additionally, MyStatus offers a self-service feature you can use to resend the request email to your recommenders if necessary. Use it to supply an alternate email address if your recommender’s spam filter blocks the original request, or has removed the link. You can also add a new recommender or revise your right-to-view status from “retained” to “waived.”

All CDSO programs are designated as Option III.

US-based students in Option III programs are eligible only for federal guaranteed loans and some private sector loans. The Office of Financial Aid can advise Option III students on availability of these loans and required procedures for applying.

  • Please contact Financial Aid. Please note students taking 3 hours or less are not eligible for federal financial aid. Please also note that students enrolled in Option III programs, including those of CDSO, are not eligible for grant loans.
  • Students in Option III programs are not eligible for Hinson-Hazlewood Act Exemptions (for Texas ex-servicemen and their children), but may be eligible for GI Bill benefits. Please direct questions to
  • International students can find more information on opportunities that may be available to them on the Texas Global financial aid page.

Our programs do not offer visa status.

International students who are inside the U.S. and have an immigration status may not be eligible for our program. Some students with F1 and OPT status have certain visa restrictions that prevent online study. If you fall into this category, contact Texas Global (UT’s international student office) at to verify your eligibility for our programs.

Please see the application guide for the program you are interested in applying to.

Yes. However, if your CDSO program of interest is for a degree you already hold in that subject, the Graduate and International Admissions Center may require additional information as to why you want to apply. You may be asked to provide a comparison between your previous graduate program and the program to which you are applying. If this describes your situation, providing such information in your statement of purpose will aid in the admissions and approval process.

  • MSDS: Transfer credit is not accepted.
  • MSCS & MSAI: Up to 6 hours, or two courses, may be transferred pending approval from the Graduate Advisor and degree evaluator.


Successful applicants typically hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or a comparable degree from a foreign academic institution in statistics, computer science, computer engineering, mathematics, electrical engineering or similar.

Applicants with a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or a comparable degree from a foreign academic institution in an unrelated field will be able to show their functional use of the topic through work experience. Additionally, applicants must complete the following course work prior to the semester they intend to enroll:

Math (Calculus and linear algebra)


Programming experience in

  • Python and
  • R or C++


Successful applicants typically hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or a comparable degree from a foreign academic institution in computer science or related sciences (such as electrical engineering, computer engineering, or mathematics).

Applicants who do not have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or related sciences must have prior coursework or experience equivalent to the following UT Computer Science core undergraduate courses prior to the semester they intend to enroll:


Well-qualified applicants to the MSAI program will hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or a comparable degree from a foreign academic institution in a related field that demonstrates their capacity for success in a technical field of study. Common examples would include computer science, computer engineering, electrical engineering, statistics, data science, or mathematics. Applicants with degrees in non-technical subject areas may be eligible for admission if the admissions committee determines they have completed sufficient relevant coursework to be fully prepared to pursue graduate study, such as:

These courses should be of a technical nature and are typically offered by a computer science, engineering, math, or statistics department.

CDSO does not provide individual feedback on applications. Please do not contact program faculty or university administrators regarding admissions decisions.

Curriculum & Courses

Instructor-paced courses operate on a fixed schedule, with fixed and published due dates for all course assignments. The instructor sets specific due dates for assignments and exams, and you complete the course within a single semester. In instructor-paced courses, course materials are made available at specific times as the course progresses.

Once admitted, you can begin your studies in the semester you applied for.

Yes, UT faculty teach all courses in the Computer and Data Science Online master’s programs.

Yes. The University of Texas at Austin is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, professional, masters, and doctorate degrees. Contact the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of The University of Texas at Austin.

Degrees earned from the Computer and Data Science Online programs do not say “online”. The degrees on the diplomas read as follows:

  • Master of Science in Computer Science
  • Master of Science in Data Science
  • Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence

UT’s online master’s degree in computer science, data science, and artificial intelligence are closely modeled after UT’s renowned on-campus programs, ensuring you benefit from the robust curriculum and full-scale master’s degree programs.

To graduate, you will need 30 credit hours. The program consists of 10, three-credit courses.

Our 30-credit-hour online master’s programs can be completed over the course of 18 to 36 months.

Students must earn a grade of B- or better in the foundational/required courses and a C or better in elective courses.

Students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of a 3.00 to remain in their program. To graduate, all students must have a graduate grade-point (GPA) average of at least 3.00. The GPA includes all graduate courses in which the student earns a letter grade while he or she is enrolled.

Total tuition for each program is $10,000 ($1,000 per course or $333 per credit hour). International students must also pay a semesterly fee of $125. Additional fees for late registration may apply. Please see individual program pages for more information.

A student may take up to five courses each semester. The online master’s courses are of comparable rigor to UT Austin’s  on-campus courses. For working professionals or students with significant additional obligations, we highly recommend taking only one to two courses per semester.

The program follows the timeline of the traditional semester. The university calendar can be found here.

UT Austin is strongly committed to ensuring that our programs adhere to the highest standards for academic integrity. Students should expect that exams may be proctored or otherwise monitored to comply with these goals.

Student Experience

Interaction between instructors and/or TA’s will be available through email, online discussion boards, and virtual office hours.

The lectures are pre-recorded and will be made available that week for you to view on your own time. Within a courses’ prescribed timeline, students can move at their own pace following a self-regulating learning process. They complete interactive assessments and receive instant feedback.

All interactions, assistance, and correspondence with faculty, TAs, or staff will be conducted through online channels, such as email, Canvas, Zoom, Ed Discussion, and Slack. Interaction between faculty and students will primarily take place through the edX content delivery platform. Open edX technology allows instructors to create engaging learning sequences, which promote active participation as students alternate between learning concepts, solving exercises to check their understanding, and completing graded assessments.

Either a MacBook Pro or a Windows PC will suffice. We've provided some recommendations below that should provide a good experience across all courses.

MAC: OSX Mojave or newer; PC: Windows 10
x86 CPU, multi-core, 8GB RAM
Mozilla Firefox v20.0 or Higher, Google Chrome v25.0 or higher
Javascript Enabled & Third Party Cookies Enabled
800 x 600 resolution or better
Cable Modem, DSL or better (300 kbps download, 250 kbps upload)

Yes. Students who have excelled in a CDSO course may be invited to
apply to serve as a Learning Facilitator in for that course in a future semester. Learning
Facilitators provide additional support and communication to students. These appointments
are part-time (typically between 10-15 hours) and awarded at the discretion of faculty and
program staff.

Learning Facilitators are vital members of the course staff for CDSO’s courses. LFs assist teaching faculty by providing additional attention and support to students. In this role, you will interact with fellow students in course discussions, assignment feedback, and support communications. Serving as a Learning Facilitator gives you the opportunity to deepen your mastery of course material, work more closely with faculty, and get to know your fellow CDSO students. Learning Facilitators are compensated by stipend depending on number of hours appointed. These positions do not include tuition remission or benefits, and are not guaranteed to all CDSO students.