Continue Your Data Science Education With SMU

Master of Science in Data Science – Credit for Prior Learning Benefit and Application Information

If you’ve completed any data science boot camps, you could be eligible to receive credit towards an online Master of Science in Data Science from SMU.

Applicants are eligible to receive up to 6 credit hours – potentially saving you more than $10,000 in tuition – for prior boot camp courses if admitted into our online graduate program.

The online MS in Data Science program offers current and aspiring data science professionals the advanced skills needed to manage, analyze, mine and understand complex data. Through a blend of interactive coursework, collaborative group activities and online face-to-face classes you will be prepared to make strategic decisions for your organization and stand out as a leader in your field. 

Learn more about the online MS in Data Science program and our admissions team will reach out to see if your boot camp credit can be counted towards our degree.

SMU Data Science Boot Camp 

For those who have already completed their online SMU Data Science Boot Camp, you have the opportunity to keep the momentum going and leverage your boot camp experience to pursue your Master of Science in Data Science online with SMU.

See below for special instructions on how to apply to ensure your SMU Data Science Boot Camp credit can be applied to your degree. 

Note: These instructions are for SMU Data Science Boot Camp graduates only. For those with boot camp credit outside of SMU, please reach out to admissions at Our admissions team will help you complete your application and determine whether or not your bootcamp credit will qualify. 

How to Apply

Step 1: See if You Meet the Eligibility Criteria

All SMU Data Science Boot Camp graduates in good standing are eligible to be considered for Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) for one or both of the following courses:  

CPL is assessed and evaluated in five main categories. You must pass each category (described below) in order to be eligible to receive CPL:

  1. Homework: Students must achieve a B+ average (≥ 3.7) or better over all the indicated homework assignments* completed in the boot camp. 
  2. Projects: Students must achieve a B+ average (≥ 3.7) or better over all the projects completed in the boot camp.
  3. Capstone: Student work will be assessed by review of the capstone/final project.
  4. Attendance: Students must demonstrate at least 90 percent attendance in the boot camp classes indicated for DS 6306 and/or DS 7374, as well as 90 percent attendance overall during the boot camp.
  5. Instructor Recommendation: The student’s boot camp instructor must validate the student’s performance and provide a recommendation. 

*Selected homework assignments will be noted in the portfolio template and cover material needed to meet the required MSDS course-level outcomes.

Step 2: Build Your Boot Camp Portfolio

To apply to receive credit for courses in the online Master of Science in Data Science program, you must submit a portfolio that highlights your boot camp projects and experience.

This portfolio is your chance to demonstrate your data science knowledge across multiple domains of learning that meet the course-level outcomes of the classes indicated.

You can submit your portfolio for one (3 credits) or both (6 credits) of the courses listed.

Portfolio Requirements for Boot Camp Alumni

A portfolio template is provided in the online application. Your portfolio should include (in the following order):

  1. Statement of courses being petitioned
  2. Statement of authenticity and signature
  3. Assessment/evaluation materials (e.g., homework grades, project grades, attendance and an instructor recommendation letter)
  4. Your Certificate in Data Science from SMU CAPE

In the event the review committee requires additional information or higher resolution files, you will be notified.

Step 3: Submit Your Remaining Application Items

In addition to your portfolio of work, you must submit all of the following materials to be considered for admission:

  • Online application
  • One letter of recommendation
  • Professional résumé or curriculum vitae
  • All official transcripts
  • Official TOEFL scores (if applicable)

Upon complete submission of your application, a standing committee – comprising three data science faculty – will evaluate your portfolio. Portfolios petitioning for 3 credits receive all or no credits. Portfolios petitioning for 6 credits receive all, half or no credits. You will receive your results via a formal letter by the evaluation committee.

We are waiving the statement of purpose requirement and $75 application fee for our boot camp alumni.

Leverage your boot camp learnings and take the next step in your data science career with DataScience@SMU.