General Admissions FAQs


When do test scores need to be submitted?

The GRE or GMAT is required for international applicants unless they qualify for a test waiver.  If you do not qualify for the test waiver, your application will be held as incomplete until official scores are submitted.  The committee cannot review applications until all of the required elements are submitted. UNC Charlotte’s school code is 5105.

How do I apply for a GMAT/GRE waiver?

The School of Data Science will consider waiving the GRE test requirement for applicants of the master’s DSBA program who hold a degree from an accredited U.S. institution with a GPA of 3.0 or higher or who hold a terminal degree (e.g., J.D., M.D., or Ph.D.). If you meet this requirement, please contact one of our program directors, Joshua Hertel or Carly Mahedy.

How do I know if my test scores have been received?

You will receive an email in your application portal inbox informing you that your scores have been received. If you are unsure if they have been received or have questions about your test scores, please contact the graduate admissions office.

How long are GMAT and GRE scores valid?

GMAT and GRE scores are valid for five years.

Is the GMAT or GRE required for admission?

No. Starting in 2019 the School of Data Science waived the GRE/GMAT test requirements for all applicants with a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in the United States, minimum 3.0 GPA.  In addition, the test requirement will be waived for applicants holding a terminal degree (e.g., J.D., M.D., or Ph.D.). For international applicants that do not meet one of the qualifications above, official GRE or GMAT scores are required. 

What happens if my first attempt on the GMAT or GRE is not competitive enough for admission?

Admission to the program is competitive. If you receive a GMAT or GRE score that falls considerably below the program’s average,  we would encourage you to retake the exam.  The current profile of admitted students can be found HERE


Am I required to have a certain type of Bachelor’s degree to apply to the DSBA program?

Candidates are not required to possess a bachelor’s degree from any particular field of study to qualify for admission to the DSBA program. Diversity of academic background is one of the factors that enrich the DSBA classroom experience.

Are classes available online?

No, occasionally some courses may be offered online, but most classes will meet in person.  The Data Science and Business Analytics Graduate Certificate and MS degree are intended as face-to-face programs. We value the personal interaction between students and faculty and the many informal networking opportunities that occur within the classroom setting. 

Are transfer credits accepted?

A maximum of six credit hours of graduate coursework from a regionally accredited institution may be considered for acceptance into the master’s degree program. The grade earned must be A or B, cannot have counted towards any previously earned master’s or doctoral degree, and must be approved by the faculty.

Can I attend the program part-time?

Yes. We admit part-time and full-time students. One caution, under the Graduate School requirements there is a time limit of six years to complete the master’s program, and a time limit of four years to complete the graduate certificate.

How do I know what classes are available?

Enrolled students can view the current schedule of classes in Banner Self-Service. Once in Banner, select the term you are interested in and hit submit.  Then, under the Subject heading select Data Science and Analytics and perform a Class Search.

I am interested in taking a few courses, but I’m not sure if I want to commit to a master’s degree. Do I have an option?

Yes. If you have obtained a bachelor’s degree, you may be able to take a couple of courses as a post-baccalaureate. You can also apply for the DSBA Graduate Certificate program. The certificate mirrors the foundation and core curriculum and you are in the same classes as the master’s students. If you choose to apply to the degree program at a later date, all 15 credit hours can be transferred into the degree as long as you have earned a minimum of 3.0 in each class.To apply for post-baccalaureate or certificate admission, please apply online through the Graduate School’s Admissions website.

I was not admitted because of a poor academic record, what can I do? 

Students can apply to the Post-Baccalaureate (Post-Bac) program, which essentially requires only a Bachelor’s degree.  This would allow the student to enroll in some of the graduate courses required for the program and to demonstrate their aptitude for the program with good marks in those courses and references from the instructors.  The student could then re-apply to the program with the additional context of demonstrated capability at UNC Charlotte to balance their previous academic record.  This will not guarantee admission upon re-application but affords the opportunity for a student to demonstrate a much stronger case for admission. Up to six credit hours taken as a Post-Bac student can be applied toward the DSBA master’s program.

I work full-time. Are evening classes available?

The program is intentionally designed to accommodate working professionals. The majority of the classes meet once a week in the evening, usually after 5 p.m.

If I am denied admission, can I reapply for a future term?

Candidates who are denied admission are able to submit an application for a future semester. However, the candidate should first address the area(s) of their application (e.g., GPA, GRE, TOEFL, etc.) that caused it to be denied.

Is work experience a requirement for admission?

Work experience is preferred, but not required for admission.   Employers recognize that a DSBA degree is most useful when combined with the practical knowledge gained through professional experience.

What is the application process for transfer students?

Transfer students follow the same procedures as other applicants, including submitting the application and all required documents.  Once admitted they can submit transcripts and syllabi to the Graduate Program Director to identify which courses might be eligible for transfer credit.  Under UNC Charlotte’s policy, up to 6 credit hours can be transferred into the program with the approval of the faculty. 

What is the average class size?

​Classes usually have 35-40 students.  Classes offered in the summer tend to be smaller.

What is the average profile of a student admitted to the DSBA program? 

The average student who was admitted to the School of Data Science DSBA program for Fall 2021 was 29 years old with 3-5 years of professional experience.  A more detailed profile can be found HERE. Please be aware that these numbers represent averages and that the DSBA program reviews each application individually and holistically. A candidate’s credentials are NOT required to match this profile exactly to be competitive for admission.

Prerequisite Coursework

Are prerequisite courses required for the DSBA program?

Yes. The DSBA program requires at least one semester of calculus and one semester of statistics prior to applying. The program requests a working knowledge of at least one higher-level procedural programming language (i.e. Python, Java, Perl, C/C++, etc.).

Can I apply to the program before completing prerequisite courses?

 It is highly recommended to have these courses completed prior to applying. However, candidates can apply and gain admission to the DSBA program prior to completing the prerequisite course requirements. To avoid encountering registration restrictions, candidates should plan to have all prerequisite courses completed before the start of their first semester.

What options exist for completing necessary prerequisite courses?

Prerequisite courses for the DSBA program may be completed at any accredited institution or through accredited online college services or community colleges. We recommend the community college system which offers high flexibility and low cost.  For those in the Charlotte region Central Piedmont Community College and Rowan Cabarrus Community College have multiple campuses as well as online options. 

Application Requirements and Deadlines

Are students admitted to the program in the summer semester?

No. We admit students to the program in the fall and spring semesters.

Can I submit my application after the priority deadline? 

Yes, applications received on or before the priority deadline will be reviewed first and given first priority. However a number of slots are reserved for applications received after the deadline, and applications received after the priority deadline will be reviewed on a rolling basis admission.

How long does the Statement of Purpose need to be?

The statement of purpose is your chance to explain to the program board why you want to be part of the DSBA program and identify your professional and academic goals. Most students have between 500 and 1000 words.

How many letters of recommendation are required? 

Three letters of recommendation are required. The recommendations should be from faculty or people who work with you, individuals who have known you for a long enough time that they could speak for your work ethic, success as a student, and how you work in a team setting.

How much is the application fee and can it be waived? 

The application fee is $75 for domestic applicants and $85 for international applicants. The fee is assessed by Graduate Admissions, not the School of Data Science.  The application fee is not transferable or refundable.

What are the deadlines for applying to the DSBA program?

For fall admission the priority application deadline is March 1st. For the spring semester the priority deadline is October 1st. Applications received after this date will be reviewed on a space-available basis. 

What is a rolling basis admission?

Rolling basis admission means that the DSBA program evaluates applications as they are received versus waiting to evaluate all applications after a hard deadline. Applications will be accepted and reviewed as long as space remains in the program. However, candidates should plan to allow a minimum of 30 days for their application to clear the review process. ***Rolling admissions begin after the priority deadline has passed- October 1st or March 1st.

Where do I check my application status? 

Applicants can track the progress of their application through the application portal system.

Where do I send my official documents?

Please upload all of your documentation (including the official transcripts, reference letters, statement of purpose, and vitae/resume) through the AdmissionPros system. The Graduate school will refer applications and the respective documents to the program only when the application is complete. If the application packet is incomplete the department will not receive it.  The department can only make a decision once we receive a complete application from the graduate school.

Will my application be reviewed if I am missing a document?

No. The graduate admissions office forwards applications to the DSBA program board only when all elements of the application have been received.

Three-Year Degrees and Transcript Evaluations

Do I have to submit anything extra if I have a three-year degree?

Yes. International applicants who have earned three-year bachelor’s degrees are required to submit a “foreign credential evaluation” along with their supplemental application requirement. Such evaluation must be performed by a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES), for example, the World Education Services (WES). Either a document-to-document or a course-by-course foreign credential evaluation meets this requirement. UNC Charlotte will consider such an agency’s assessment as to whether the academic credential earned is, or is not, equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree as well as its recalculation of grades. A listing of other NACES members is available at

If my GPA percentage isn’t out of a 4.0, what can I do?

There are several conversion tools available online. We recommend the free WES evaluation tool.


There are several conversion tools available online. We recommend the free WES evaluation tool.

While some funding for graduate students is available, it is limited. U.S. citizens enrolled in the master’s degree or the graduate certificate can qualify for unsubsidized federal loans.  Full-time students enrolled in the program can also apply for graduate assistantships.  The assistantships are highly competitive, and the majority are awarded through academic departments. Several academic grants and scholarships are available. Details on potential graduate support at the University level can be found here.

What are the estimated tuition and fees for this program? 

The estimated tuition and fees for the DSBA program in the 2021-2022 academic year can be found on the Financial Information page.  Please note that the total cost of attendance depends on a multitude of factors including tuition and fees, room and board, health insurance, cost of books and supplies, miscellaneous and personal expenses, the number of credit hours you take per term, the number of semesters you are enrolled, and whether or not you are a North Carolina resident.

What are the requirements to be considered an in-state resident for tuition purposes? 

The North Carolina Residency Determination Service is the centralized service for determining residency classifications for all graduate and post-baccalaureate students. Candidates should refer to the Residency Determination Service (RDS) website for specific information on residency requirements.

When and how can I apply for an assistantship?

You can apply for an assistantship once you are accepted into the program. Most assistantship opportunities are emailed to students during the beginning of the semester. More information regarding Research and Teaching Assistantship opportunities can be found on the Graduate School’s website or through the Career Center’s Hire-a-Niner. The Hire-a-Niner website aggregates postings for internships, full-time positions and campus jobs. SDS also provides assistantships for full-time students enrolled in the DSBA program. Additional information and how to apply can be found here.

English Language Assessment

Is the TOEFL or IELTS required? 

Yes. If English is not your native language the Graduate School requires that applicants submit current scores from the TOEFL or IELTS academic exams, or the Duolingo English Test. Scores older than two years will not be accepted. Taking both tests is not required. Applicants who have received a degree from an institution in the US or UK are not required for TOEFL/ IELTS/ Duolingo.Register for the exams here:

What are the minimum required TOEFL/IELTS/Duolingo scores?
  • A minimum TOEFL score of 220 (computer-based), 557 (paper-based), or 83 (Internet-based) is required. The minimum IELTS band score of 6.5 is required.  The minimum score for the Duolingo English Test is 115. 

As a reminder, this is a requirement for The Graduate School at UNC Charlotte. Only applicants who have received a degree from an accredited institution in the U.S. or United Kingdom can request a waiver.

What is the code to submit TOEFL/IELTS/Duolingo scores? 

UNC Charlotte’s school code is 5105, a department code is not necessary.

STEM Designations and OPT

Is this a STEM-designated program?

Yes, this is a STEM-designated program (52.1399). Under current DHS regulations, those who complete the MS in Data Science will qualify for a 24-month STEM-OPT extension after graduation.


What if my question is not listed here? 

We suggest you visit the ISSO’s COVID-19 FAQ website.If you have further questions after visiting these websites, please feel free to contact us at