What Does It Mean to Be a Non-Traditional Graduate Student?


Welcoming Students of Non-Traditional and Non-Technical Backgrounds

The online Master of Data Science program welcomes students with non-traditional and non-computational backgrounds to apply. Whether you want to switch careers or advance further where you work, your experience in business, management, and other fields may make you a perfect candidate for the online Master of Data Science program.

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What is a Non-Traditional MDS Student?

The online Master of Data Science program at Rice is designed for non-traditional graduate students who need to balance their educational goals while working and/or raising families. You’ll be able to maintain your work-life schedule while earning your degree part-time in our best-in-class flexible and engaging learning format.

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What is a Non-Technical MDS Student?

Students do not need to have technical background to apply to the online Master of Data Science program at Rice. The MDS@Rice degree program was developed for the adult learner with a non-computational background in mind. Those who have experience in business, finance, engineering, or other quantitative fields are well-suited to our innovative and interdisciplinary curriculum.

The program begins by covering foundational topics in computation, mathematics, and statistics, so you can get up to speed quickly.

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Can I Apply as a Non-Traditional Applicant?

Prospective students are not required to have a background in a computational field before applying for the online Master of Data Science program. However, a strong foundation in math and programming through either work experience or undergraduate courses is required.

We also offer an online Bridge Course for students who need foundational math and programming skills, either before they apply for or enroll in the Online MDS@Rice program. For more information, visit the Curriculum page.

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If I Apply With a Non-Computational Background, Will I Be Behind?

There are no specific course prerequisites or requirements to apply for the online Master of Data Science program. Rice, however, offers an online Bridge Course to help cover the required foundations in math and programming. These will provide you the right introduction to the mathematical and programming skills that will help you succeed in your course of study.



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