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MScA Frequently Asked Questions

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Test Scores
Application Materials
International Students
Additional Questions

Application Questions

How do I apply to the Master of Science in Analytics (MScA) program?

To apply for the MScA program, please visit to begin the online application process.

When are applications due?

Applications are accepted twice per year, spring and fall intake only. View application requirements.

When will I receive my admission decision?

Admission decisions are shared approximately two to three weeks following each respective deadline.

If I finish my application before the deadline, will I receive my decision early?

Unfortunately, no. Admission decisions are not offered on a rolling basis. The MScA admission committee reviews all applications at one time. Admission decisions are shared approximately two to three weeks following each respective deadline.

How do I submit the materials that will accompany my application?

All materials must be uploaded as part of the online application process. This includes unofficial transcripts, candidate statement, resume or CV, and letters of recommendation. The admissions office will not accept attachments sent by email to be included in an online application.

Does the admissions office allow recommenders to email their letter directly as an attachment to be included in an applicant’s file?

Unfortunately, no. Recommenders must upload their letter of support by using the URL that is sent to them electronically by our online application system.

Test Score Questions

I took the GRE and want to include my score with my application. Is the GRE or GMAT required?

While we do not require the GRE or GMAT for admission, applicants are welcome to include their score along with the application. The Master of Science in Analytics (MScA) program is a professional master’s degree and requires at least two years of actual practical experience. We believe that standardized test scores are not good indicators of the success of this group. Yet, we accept a small group of students who lack professional experience but have excellent academic records; we look at the GRE and/or GMAT scores of these students.

Application Materials Questions

What materials do I need to submit to accompany my application for admission?

Please carefully review the list of application materials to ensure your application file is completed on time.

I am an international student and completed my degree(s) outside of the United States. Why do I need to submit a course-by-course evaluation?

A course-by-course evaluation will translate courses, degrees, and grades to U.S. equivalency. This evaluation is required for all application files with foreign transcripts. Evaluations must be completed by an accredited NACES member.

When should I forward my course-by-course evaluation?

An applicant’s course-by-course evaluation must be submitted along with all other application materials by the deadline.

Once I upload my unofficial transcripts to my application, do I still need to provide an official transcript?

Yes. One unofficial transcript from each university attended must be uploaded within the application. Please do not mail transcripts as part of your admission application; we only require unofficial uploads for application evaluation. If you are offered admission, one official transcript for each university attended will be required prior to the first day of the term. An unofficial transcript for undergraduate coursework is still required for the application even if you hold an advanced degree(s).

International Students Questions

I am an international student and require a visa to study. Will the University of Chicago Graham School help me?

Yes. The MScA program encourages international students to apply, and will assist with securing an F-1 visa upon admission.

What is the total cost of tuition?

As part of the I-20 process, the Office of International Affairs will conduct a thorough review of financial documentation (e.g., bank statements, letter(s) of support, etc.) to verify that international students have access to the total cost of attendance which includes tuition, student fees, health insurance, books and supplies, and living expenses. Learn about the current cost of tuition.

Is the MScA an approved OPT/STEM program?

Yes. Please visit our Office of International Affairs website for more information.

Does the MScA program offer Curricular Practical Training (CPT)?

Yes. Eligible students must be enrolled full-time for one academic year (or three consecutive quarters) to qualify. Students must also be able to present an employment offer letter to complete the application process. Please visit the Office of International Affairs website for more information.

Where do I send my TOEFL/IELTS score?

If you are taking the TOEFL, request the scores to be sent to the University of Chicago; the University of Chicago institutional code for ETS is 1832.

What are the minimum scores required?

The minimum required score for the TOEFL is 104 overall, with 4 sub scores of 26 each.

Minimum required scores in the IELTS are an overall score of 7, with sub scores of 7 each. (Note: students are required to take the Academic Reading/Writing test within IELTS, not the General Training Reading/Writing test).

TOEFL or IELTS score reports are valid for two years and scores will be considered expired if the test was taken more than two years prior to submission of the application. Photocopies of TOEFL or IELTS Score Reports will not be considered valid.

Can I request a waiver for submitting an English proficiency score with my application?

The English language requirement may be waived if the applicant is a native of or studied in full-time status for at least one academic year within the last five years in the U.S., the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or English medium universities in Canada or South Africa. Students who studied in English in other countries, for example, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc., are not exempt from the English language requirement.

Who must take the TOEFL/IELTS?

Everyone who is an international student, has not studied for at least one academic year within the last five years in a school in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, or an English-medium university in Canada or South Africa, must take the TOEFL or IELTS.

When should I take the TOEFL/IELTS?

You should take the TOEFL/IELTS in time to be able to have the results submitted at the time of your application. To find out more about when TOEFL/IELTS examinations are scheduled at a test site near you, please consult the TOEFL and IELTS web sites.

I received my education in Singapore in English. Do I have to take the TOEFL/IELTS?

Yes, you do. Students who have studied in English in Singapore are not among those exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS.

I took the IBT TOEFL and have an overall score of 104, but one of my sub-scores is below 26 and the program I am applying for requires at least 26 on each part. Do I have to retake the TOEFL?

Yes, you do have to retake the TOEFL. The requirement is a score of 104 with sub scores of 26 or better. If you receive your test results and find that an element of your score does not meet the requirement, you should immediately make arrangements to retake the test.

I attended a U.S. high school for two years. Do I have to take the TOEFL/IELTS?

No, you do not have to take the TOEFL/IELTS if one of the two years has been within the last five years. However, you must submit a transcript that shows that you have attended high school in the U.S.

I don't have the required TOEFL/IELTS score. Can I retake the TOEFL/IELTS once I arrive in the U.S.?

No. The fulfillment of the English language requirement is one of the elements required for us to issue you a visa document. If your TOEFL/IELTS score does not meet the requirement, we cannot issue the document, and you will not be able to enter the country. So it is imperative that you retake the test right away.

I have taken the SAT/GRE/GMAT. Do I have to take the TOEFL/IELTS?

Yes, you do. While the SAT/GRE/GMAT are significant indicators of your academic aptitude, they do not specifically address your English language proficiency. So you have to take the TOEFL or IELTS and submit the results along with your other test results.

I received my secondary education in Germany and earned the highest marks in English throughout. Do I have to take the TOEFL/IELTS?

Yes, you do. Since you do not fall into one of the categories of individuals who would be exempt from taking the TOEFL/IELTS, you must provide a TOEFL/IELTS score.

I studied in Belize for several years. Since the University of Chicago web site says that students who studied in an English-speaking country are exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS, does that mean that I do not have to take the TOEFL/IELTS?

Unfortunately no. While the official language of Belize is English, only those students are exempt who have studied in one or more of a specific set of English-speaking countries. Those are the U.S., the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and English medium universities in Canada and South Africa. Someone who studied in an English-speaking country other than these must take the TOEFL or IELTS.

I have worked in the U.S. for more than two years. Does that mean that I am exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement?

No, you must take the TOEFL or IELTS. The University's policy stipulates that individuals who have studied in the U.S. for at least one year within the past five years are exempt from having to take the TOEFL/IELTS, but employment does not meet that requirement.

I took the TOEFL in 2014 and I am applying for the fall of 2016. Can I still use those TOEFL results?

Yes, since the TOEFL is valid for two years you can still use those results.

Additional Questions

How will I be notified that I am admitted to the MScA program?

Applicants of the MScA program will be notified electronically approximately two to three weeks following each respective deadline.

If I am admitted to the MScA program, what do I do next?

If offered admission, newly admitted students will be required to provide official transcripts for each college or university as reported on their application. University Registrar may mail physical hardcopies to The University of Chicago Graham School Graham School; Attention – Graduate Admissions; 1427 East 60th Street, Second Floor; Chicago, IL 60637. Electronic copies (from University Registrar or clearinghouse) may be sent to Details on other post-acceptance activities will be sent shortly after being admitted.

What can I expect after being admitted?

As part of the MScA program, course activities begin prior to the official start of each intake quarter (spring and fall). Pre-quarter courses covering introduction to statistical concepts (aka, “stats boot camp”) and an R workshop are held. Students with little to no evidence of completing coursework in statistics may be required to complete this 5-week pre-quarter course (Example: Spring courses officially begin late March; boot camp will take place mid- to late February; Fall courses officially begin late September; boot camp will take place mid- to late August).

Does the MScA program accept transfer credit?

Unfortunately, students are not able to transfer in credit. However, students may request to replace a course(s) upon program review and approval through the petition process after being admitted.

What is the difference between a Master of Science in Analytics (MScA) degree and a Business Analytics (BA) Certificate?

MScA is for business professionals who aim to become analytics professionals with advanced data analysis and modeling skills. Graduates of this program are employed for such roles as data scientist, data analyst, business analytics professional, or manager of analytics teams. BA is for business professionals who would like to support their decision making with insights derived from data by using relatively simple data manipulation and analysis tools. That is, BA sharpens decision making skills of business professionals in their own field; marketing managers with BA certificate, for instance, make marketing related decisions on the basis of facts derived from data, rather than managerial intuition alone.

I have additional questions and need help. Who can I contact?

If you would like to schedule a time to speak with someone in the admissions office, you may email to request a telephone appointment. Appointments can be scheduled Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Central Time.