Graduate Admissions for MS and PhD Programs

Students are admitted once per year for the Fall semester. The next application cycle begins in September 2024 for Fall 2025 enrollment.


MS applicants:

  • Priority deadline – Jan 10, 2025

  • Final deadline for international applicants – March 14, 2025

  • Final deadline for domestic applicants – June 06, 2025


PhD applicants:

  • Final deadline – Jan 10, 2025


MS and PhD applicants are not required to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.

To make the application process as simple and straightforward as possible, we've put together a checklist for your reference as you complete your application.

1.    Getting Started

If you are not already enrolled at UMD you will have to create an online account on the Graduate Application Portal

Create an account

Click the link at the bottom of the Application Portal page that says, "New students create an account." You will be asked to select the program you are applying to:

  • For the Master's program, select: Survey and Data Science (SUDS), M.S.

  • For the Ph.D. program, select: Survey and Data Science (SURV), Ph.D.


For existing UMD students, when you are ready to apply you can sign in with your usual directory login information.

Complete the online application at your own pace. Choose the appropriate program and title as noted above. The Graduate School’s Step-by-Step guide is a helpful resource.

The application fee is $75.

Click numbered sections to open panels:

Write a statement of purpose describing your experience and interest in data science and survey methodology.  These goals and interests can include but are not limited to:

  • Survey Management
  • Budgeting and Cost Modeling / Sample Design and Selection
  • Questionnaire Design and Pretesting
  • Survey Data Entry, Coding, and Data Management / Weighting and Imputation
  • Estimation and Analysis of Survey Data / Writing Survey Reports
  • Integration of Data Science and Survey Analysis

The online application will ask applicants to provide their references' names and email addresses. The references will then be contacted via email with instructions on how to electronically submit a letter of recommendation. This process can begin prior to submission of the application.

The admissions committee uses letters of recommendation to help judge how well you might perform in the graduate programs. There are two equally important criteria to use in choosing people to ask for recommendations:

  1. That the individuals know you well, and
  2. That they can comment on your academic abilities in statistical and research methodology.

    Persons knowledgeable about the demands of technical graduate programs often can make the most informed judgments about the likelihood of your success in such a program.

Applicants who are returning to school after years in the workforce face a more difficult task in seeking recommendations from persons with the attributes listed above. The admissions committee is aware of this difficulty and seeks to take that into account when evaluating applications. In these cases, persons who have current knowledge about the applicant's aptitude and skills are more desirable recommenders than professors whose knowledge pertains only to academic performance many years earlier.

Important: Recommenders should focus their evaluation on your academic aptitude in statistical and research methodology.

Applicants are asked to upload a scanned version of their transcript(s) issued by each institution attended (in the original language, with literal English translation). Upon enrollment, you will need to have an official copy sent to the Graduate School by each institution.  For a full description of the transcript requirements, see Transcripts and Diplomas/Degree Certificates.

  • Successful MS applicants for admission should hold at least a BS or BA degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale)
  • Successful PhD applicants for admission should hold a master’s degree with a minimum grade point average of 3.75 (on a 4.0 scale). Provisional admission status may be granted to candidates with an undergraduate degree with a minimum grade point average of 3.5 and other evidence of outstanding potential.

Applicants will be required to submit TOEFL, IELTS or PTE scores if you do not hold a degree from a U.S. institution or from one of the English-speaking countries listed on the UMD Graduate School website.

  • TOEFL: Minimum score of 96 (iBT) 
    • For the University of Maryland to receive your TOEFL score, please use the reporting code 5814.
  • IELTS: Minimum score of 7.0
    • The University of Maryland downloads IELTS scores that have been transmitted to our e-download account.  IELTS test takers should contact their IELTS test center directly to request electronic test scores be sent to the following IELTS e-download account:

      University of Maryland - The Graduate School
      The Graduate School
      2123 Lee Building
      College Park Maryland, 20742

      • Note: The Graduate School will not accept paper IELTS test report forms.
  • PTE: Minimum score of 68 (total) and 68 (writing)
    • PTE test takers can send their score reports to the University of Maryland through their Pearson Account.

More information about graduate school English language proficiency requirements

MS Applicants

  • The online application will ask you to select one of three specializations: Social and Psychological Science, Statistical Science, or Data Science. 
  • Submit the Graduate Admission Supplementary Form (PDF) to indicate which one you have chosen. In the form, describe the courses you have previously completed that are necessary for your specialization.

    • Statistical Science: Provide information about your prior coursework in calculus (three courses); linear algebra (one course); and statistics (one course).
    • Social and Psychological Science: Provide information about your prior coursework that includes at least two undergraduate courses in the social sciences and two quantitative courses, at least one of which must be a statistics course.
    • Data Science: Provide information about your prior coursework in programming (two courses); statistics (one course); and your background in computer science

PhD Applicants

  • The online application will ask you to select one of three specializations: Social and Psychological Science, Statistical Science, or Data Science.