Frequently Asked Questions


Applying to the DSE program:

What undergraduate degree is required for admission?

A Bachelor’s degree in a STEM field is required. Both academic achievement and career experience are carefully reviewed for applicants without a strong technical background. The admissions committee has been examining math achievement closely, such as calculus I, II, and III, as they are generally required for the completion of technical degrees.

(Please note the following: If someone does not have a STEM degree (ex. BA in Sociology), but took required Computer Science, Math, and Statistics courses as a non-degree student and was working as a Data Analyst using R, you may be eligible for admission into the DSE program. Please contact the Program Director for more information).


Is the GRE required?

GRE scores are optional. Admission does not require standardized test scores. Higher math scores on the math part of the GRE may be considered in the context of evaluation of mathematical ability. This might be particularly important if older math course scores are low.


Is there a minimum GPA required for admission?

Yes, 3.0.


What is required in order to apply? When is the deadline?

Required Documents Include:

completed application

supporting documents (personal statements, two letters of recommendation, official transcripts)

application fee of $75.

The deadline to apply has passed for Fall 2024 semester.

Additional information is available at the Office of Graduate Admissions.


Do you accept non-degree students?

At this time, we do not accept non-degree students.


Do you accept spring applications?

At this time, we are not accepting applications for the spring. We only accept applications for the fall.


How is the application for admission handled?

After basic screening, applicants are rated on letters of recommendation and personal statements (high importance), research and work experience (high importance), academic achievements (medium importance), and extracurricular activities (low importance).


When will I find out if I have been accepted into the program?

All applicants are notified of an acceptance or rejection by the Graduate Admissions Office. We begin faculty evaluations after the deadline. We try to establish the faculty review within a few weeks of the deadline, and there is a further week or so for the full admission approvals to come through. For questions on your application status, you can contact , while in the faculty review phase or  or call 212-650-6977.


I am a math major. I have all the math background, but I didn't take a programming course. I have done quite a bit of programming. Can I apply?

Yes, but make sure your application packet is able to demonstrate that you have that skill.


I have a disability. Can I apply?

Yes, CCNY is committed to providing a supportive environment for students with disabilities. More information can be found at the Office for Student Disability Services.


Is there any other information I can quickly review for my application process?

Yes, please visit graduate admission FAQ.


I was not selected for admission. Can I ask for a reason?

Yes, feel free to contact the Program Director at .


Back to DSE Home

About the DSE program:

What is the difference between this program and those at other CUNY Schools (The Grad Center, Baruch, and Queens)?

The DSE program at CCNY specifically targets the STEM fields. It also offers a Capstone Project. This serves as a culminating academic and intellectual component, bringing data skills learned throughout the program to practice and ensuring that students are readily equipped to apply the skills learned upon completion of the program. 

CCNY & CUNY Graduate Center - The program offered at The Grad Center is tied to the PhD program. PhD courses are meant to probe some of the underlying foundations of data science, including theory. They may have more of an emphasis on cutting edge academic research, as opposed to application. Students who are looking to explore those aspects may find the program offered at The Grad Center to be a better match for them. Secondly, the 6 core courses offered in CCNY's Master's program provide a very consistent basis for applied data science and engineering. CCNY has a consistent core, while The Grad Center offers greater flexibility. Finally, the program at CCNY has established relationships with faculty in the engineering school, the sciences, the medical school, and other divisions. We have industrial partners who are working with us through our undergraduate co-op program. This allows CCNY to leverage a large, diverse, and unique set of capstone experiences. The Grad Center offers capstone projects, but with different partners. Please explore both options to see which is a better fit for you.


What fields are you talking about when you say STEM fields?

We refer to all disciplines in the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics.


How long does it take to complete the program?

The program is targeted at 2 years. It is possible to complete the program within 1.5 years (with summer courses).


Is the DSE program eligible for a STEM-OPT extension after completion?

Yes, it is. Please contact the Office of International Student and Scholar Services at or 212-650-8106 for information on deadlines and documentation you may need to provide.


Can I take any electives? How do the electives relate to the capstone?

Yes, ideally the electives support domain knowledge in the same field you'll be working on with your mentor. For the capstone, students are encouraged to look at the CCNY faculty and identify their ideal mentor.


Do you pick the mentors for me, or do I have to find the mentors for the capstone on my own?

At the end of the second semester (end of your first year), one of the co-directors will assist in the match making process. However, students may find a match on their own.
What times will the courses be offered? Will I be able to work?

Our aim is to offer courses late in the day and potentially in the evening, as we want to enable students to work and attend classes simultaneously. Core courses are taught later in the day or early evening and typically require you being on campus Tuesday-Thursday. Please consult with your employer to see if there is any flexibility with your work schedule.

After admission, can I postpone my enrollment to the program?

Yes, you may defer your enrollment up to two semesters from the term you were admitted (i.e., one year). This is only possible if it is granted by the program administrator. You must re-submit new applications (and fees), as well as any other supporting documents. You will then be re-evaluated amongst a new pool of applicants.


I may not be able to enroll for five consecutive terms. Are there options for students in my situation?

The program has very few options for students who need to skip terms. Please speak with the program director to discuss this further.


I do not have 1 or more of the required courses on my transcript. Can I still enroll?

No, you need to have all the required courses on a university transcript. Online certificates are not counted unless they are supported by college credit. As long as the college/university can issue a transcript with the course and grade listed on it, we can consider it.


Can I take more than two courses in one term?

Yes, with the exception of repeating courses.


Can I waive some of the required courses, as I have already taken similar ones at City College and/or other schools?

No - transfer of credit is not granted for any of the 6 required core courses or the capstone. 

What is the policy on transfer credit?

Transfer credit is unusual and never automatic. In some cases ONE, or very rare cases TWO courses (6 credits) of transfer credit **may** be allowed for electives. These fit in slots where e-permits are used so you must take at least one of the three (two for capstone thesis) electives at CCNY. Thus if any transfers are used, this reduces the courses one could take at the graduate center or other CUNYs.

Firstly ALL electives, whether taken at CCNY, through e-permits at other CUNYs or transferred must be (1) Master's level courses (never undergraduate courses) (2) the courses must not repeat or have significant overlap with the content of 6 core courses (3) the courses must support the Data Science and Engineering program similar to the current list of electives and (4) the courses must be approved by the program director and the dean in writing. In the case of transfers, this should occur at the beginning of the program before the end of the first semester.

What would be the consequence of dropping a course?

You must take the course again. You may be able to repeat the course in the second year, or need to defer your graduation one year.


Does the program have incomplete grading policies?

Yes, the exact handling is subject to the specific instructor’s policy.


How many classes can I miss?

Tolerance to missing class depends on the instructor. Keep in mind that missing lecture means losing out on two-way communication and trust with the instructor.


What should I do if I failed a course?

You must repeat the course. You may continue in the program and retake the failed course the following year, as long as you have passed all the other courses with a cumulative B (3.0) GPA.


What are the academic standards to stay in the program?

Our program institutes very high standards. Students must maintain a cumulative B (3.0) GPA. If the GPA drops below 3.0, the student is automatically placed on probation for the subsequent  semester. If the cumulative GPA does not rise above 3.0 by the end of the subsequent semester, the student will be dismissed from the program.


Does the program impose a minimum GPA for graduation?

Yes, 3.0 GPA (in compliance with school wide academic standards).


Study Environment:

Are the libraries open late at night?

Yes, please refer to CCNY Libraries and Hours.


Financial Matters:

Is financial aid available?

Graduate study at CCNY is supported by a combination of student fees, state funds, private and foundation contributions, and federal research grants. Exact information is found at the Financial Aid Office.


Additional Questions:

How do I reach City College? Can I drive there?

See Directions to the City College Campus. By train: (1) IRT #1 or #9 local to 137th Street and Broadway; walk up 138th Street three blocks to Convent Avenue, (2) IND “A” or “D” express, or the “B” or “C” local to 145th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue, walk west one block to 145th Street and Convent Avenue, then south to 138th Street, (3) RT #4 or #5 express or #6 local to 125th Street and Lexington Avenue, change there for the M-100 or M-101 bus to Amsterdam Avenue and 138th Street, walk east one block to Convent Avenue, (4) Metro North to 125th Street and Park Avenue, change there for the M-100 or M-101 bus to Amsterdam Avenue and 138th Street, walk east one block to Convent Avenue. City College operates shuttle buses between the campus and the 137th Street (Broadway) and 145th Street (St. Nicholas) subway stations. Due to the general difficulty in parking, driving to the college is strongly discouraged.
Is the cafeteria open late at night?
Yes, the student cafeteria is usually open until 8:30 PM (Friday and Saturday until early afternoon). Exact information can be found at Cafeteria and Food Services.
Can I eat in the classroom during lectures?
No, unless you have permission from your instructor. Please use the cafeteria’s facilities.
Does CCNY offer housing?
Does CCNY provide child care and education services on-site?
Yes, please see the information at the Child Development Center for enrollment requirements and available operation hours.

Last Updated: 05/28/2024 10:07