FAQ for the ICDS Master's of Engineering Science: Data Science

Here you can find answers to the most common questions about the ICDS Master's of Engineering Science: Data Science.

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Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Is this a STEM program?

Yes! International students are eligible to apply for the 24-month OPT STEM extension.

When can students enroll and what are the deadlines?

The Engineering Science focus in Data Science program offers both fall and spring entry. Application deadlines are posted and mark the beginning of the application review process. However, applications are accepted on a rolling basis well past the deadlines until the cohort capacity is reached.

When do classes start?

The academic calendar is posted online on the Registrar’s website.

Is there an orientation?

Yes! Students will attend two orientations: one is hosted by the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences for ALL new graduate students, and the second is a program-specific orientation that is focused on the program, degree requirements, etc.

How long is the program?

Students can finish in 1 – 1.5 year, depending on term of entry and scheduling. Students who enroll in the fall semester have the option to finish in as early as 1 year by taking their last 6 credit hours in the summer (EAS 504 / EAS 560). Students who enroll for spring entry will graduate in 1.5 semesters. Students should talk with the graduate coordinator about their individual situations to see If 1 or 1.5 year to graduation makes more sense.

How many courses do I have to take a semester?

To maintain full-time status, students must take 12 credits per semester. A reduced course load may be available in certain situations, such as a student’s final semester. Students should talk with the graduate coordinator on an individual basis to see if they qualify for reduced course loads.

What is the structure of the program?

The program is 30 credit hours or 10 courses. It is cohort based so students will take courses in the same sequence – there is no straying from the schedule for the first two semesters. Students interested in pursuing the program on a part-time basis should consult the graduate coordinator to come up with an individualized schedule.

Can I take more credits if I want to?

Students must follow the course plan as it is laid out for the first two semesters; if students return for a third semester (fall or spring) where they are part-time, students may choose to take additional courses but they will not count towards the degree requirements. After all degree requirements have been met students must apply for degree conferral and cannot continue to enroll in non-degree courses.

Can I transfer credits?

Yes - students can transfer up to 6 graduate-level credits. Students must have earned a “B” or higher in previous coursework, and they courses must be equivalent to coursework in the curriculum in order for the courses to be deemed transferrable. If students are interested in seeing if coursework can be transferred they should send a transcript and course syllabus to engsci@buffalo.edu.

Not all of the core courses interest me, can I swap it for another course?

No. The curriculum is set up with required courses and one elective (or two- if students opt for the all-course option). Students can only replace a course if they have already taken it for credit towards another degree (Example, a student takes CSE 474 Intro to Machine Learning for their undergraduate requirement and received a B or higher. In this situation the student can take an advanced machine learning course to fulfill the machine learning core requirement).

Can I complete an internship in the program? When is the earliest I can start?

Yes! Students have the option to complete a project-based internship as part of their requirement to complete 3 credits of EAS 560 Master’s Project. Students can choose an internship or a research project with a faculty member. Students are required to seek out their own internship opportunities. The internship is a considered a culminating experience and students cannot enroll in the internship course until 2 semesters of full-time study in the program have been completed. International students must be aware of the CPT requirements and deadlines as posted on International Student Services Website.

Can I see the schedule?

Fall Entry:

1st Semester (Fall)

2nd Semester (Spring)

3rd Semester (Summer) 4th Semester (optional – fall)
EAS 501 Numerical Math for Computing and Data Scientists CSE 574 Intro to Machine Learning EAS 560 – Master’s Project *  EAS 560 – Master’s Project * 
EAS 502 Probability Theory CSE 560 Data Models Query Language EAS 504 – Data Science Survey Course *  EAS 504 – Data Science Survey Course * 
EAS 503 Programming and Database Fundamentals for Data Scientists EAS 507Statistical Data Mining II    
EAS 506 Statistical Data Mining Elective    

*Students can choose to take both EAS 560/504 in the summer to graduate in 1 year, or can take just one and extend the program to 1.5 year (which offers room to take additional courses in the 4th semester).

Spring Entry:

1st Semester (Spring)

2nd Semester (Fall)

3rd Semester (Winter) 4th Semester (Spring)
EAS 501 Numerical Math for Computing and Data Scientists CSE 574 Intro to Machine Learning EAS 560 – Master’s Project * EAS 560 – Master’s Project *
EAS 502 Probability Theory CSE 560 Data Models Query Language   EAS 504 – Data Science Survey Course *
EAS 503 Programming and Database Fundamentals for Data Scientists EAS 506 Statistical Data Mining I    
EAS 507 Statistical Data Mining  II



*Students have the option to take the project over the winter break.

What is the cost?

Students can find information about tuition and fees on the student accounts website.

Do you have any assistantships?

No we do not.

I see there is another program that looks similar. What is the difference in the MS and the MPS program?

The Engineering Science MS focus in Data Science program is mostly intended for STEM students with a strong quantitative background, e.g., an undergrad degree in Computer Science, Statistics, Applied Math, Engineering, or a Natural Science. The program of study delves into the deep mathematics and computing of data science.

The Master of Professional Studies in Data Science and Applications is mostly intended for students from other backgrounds, often students with some experience in industry, who wish to learn data science and apply it to their domain of interest. This program is more focused on applications of data science.

Where are your alumni working?

Our graduates have gone on to become data science and analytics advisors, data analysts, data scientists, data engineers, jr. application developers, software engineers, solution engineers, operations research scientists, and  algorithms engineers for companies including Dell Technologies, Amazon, FedEx, M&T Bank, ValueCentric, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, and more!

When was the program introduced at UB?

Our first cohort launched in Fall 2017. In 2020, we had our first spring cohort.

What are the minimum GRE scores you admit?

We pursue a holistic review of applications and have no hard GRE cutoff.

What prior experience do I need before entering?

Some prior knowledge of mathematics, statistics and computing (commensurate with that from an engineering/natural science/math undergraduate program) is required. Most students in the program have a solid undergraduate background in a STEM field. Entrace requirements can be found on our program homepage.

Is there an employment report for recent years that illustrates post-graduate employment statistics for the program?

We are still in the process of compiling this data from our first cohorts and will make it available as soon as possible.

Is there a dedicated lab?

No, however, there are internship and research opportunities.

I still have questions. Who can I contact?

For curriculum-related questions, please contact the graduate coordinator at engsci@buffalo.edu. For admissions questions contact gradeng@buffalo.edu.