Student Resources

Student Handbook

All program and registration policies are published in the Handbook. Please note: the handbook is updated regularly and these policies and procedures are subject to change.

Academic Resources

Bridge Courses

Bridge to Statistics Course:
Student Support is excited to announce the launch of the Bridge to Statistics course that is now available to you in 2DS. This course is designed to help refresh, reinforce and review the statistical knowledge needed for statistics in the DataScience@SMU program. There are no live sessions as this course is 100 percent self-paced.

Students highly recommend the resources found in the Bridge to Statistics course and have named it key to their success in their statistics courses throughout the program. We encourage you to take advantage of this course and of the opportunity to post questions on the course wall.

number summary and box plots

Programming Bridge Course:
While not required for students to complete, this self-paced bridge course is highly recommended, as it provides additional programming resources for RStudio, Python, and SAS. Many of these skills are required for Doing Data Science coursework. There are no live sessions as this course is 100 percent self-paced.

Programming Resources

For those of you with limited programming experience, such as Python, please review the following resources in preparation for your first term and continuous use throughout the program., which will create a foundation for the remainder of the program.

Time Management Resources

University Resources

  • SMU Student ID Card
  • SAS and R Download Process
  • SAS: You will create a SAS OnDemand account where you will be able to access SAS throughout the program. Once enrolled in classes, your instructor will provide access to the direct link to access all relevant course materials in SAS. For more information about SAS OnDemand, please see this User’s Guide.
  • R: To download RStudio, follow the information listed on the RStudio website. For other RStudio packages such as ggplot, knitr and rmarkdown, visit the RStudio Products page
  • As a student with SMU you have free access to This site offers thousands of video courses and tutorials on various different topics that you may find helpful during your time in the DataScience program. To log into
    1. Go to and select “Sign In” in the upper right corner
    2. Select “Sign in with your organization portal” that is below the “Continue” button.
    3. Enter “” in the next box and hit “Continue”.
    4. From there you should be able to sign in with your SMU credentials.

Career Services Resources

Proactively plan your next career transition or job promotion by partnering with Career Services. The career team looks to engage you with high-level services to help you achieve your professional goals.

As a DataScience@SMU student, you have access to a variety of coaching and career support services, including:

  • Resume and cover letter reviews
  • Interview strategy and preparation coaching
  • Live and recorded career webinars
  • Networking strategy planning
  • Employer opportunities and more!

To learn more about Career Services, including the 2DS Career Hub (a self-directed course filled with professional development modules and downloadable materials), follow these steps:

  1. Log into your 2DS account and select the “My Courses” tab to access the hub.
  2. Email Career Services or call 1-817-554-6626 to schedule an appointment.

Student Ambassadors

As a DataScience@SMU student, you have the opportunity to connect with tenured students and alumni. Student ambassadors are available to clarify expectations for future courses (time commitment, number of assignments, structure of course, etc.), talk about their experience as a DataScience@SMU student and answer any questions you may have.

How to Become a Student Ambassador:

The student ambassador selection process begins towards the end of every term. Once the ambassador application is open, you will receive an email from Student Support with the link to apply. You will need to complete the following steps to become an ambassador:

  1. Submit a completed application.
  2. Meet with the student ambassador coordinators.
  3. Complete student ambassador training.


Applying for Graduation

Students who have successfully completed all requirements for the MSDS degree are eligible for graduation. If you believe you have completed all required course work, please reach out to your student support advisor. After confirming your eligibility, you must apply for graduation through my.SMU by the deadlines listed below, even if you do not plan to participate in the commencement ceremony. You will find the form under Self Service → Degree Progress/Graduation → Apply for Graduation. You must apply for graduation by the following dates:

May 2019
Friday, January 25
August 2019
Thursday, June 6

Graduation Ceremony

Any graduating student of the DataScience@SMU program is invited to attend the on-campus graduation ceremony, which is generally held in May (for spring graduates) and December (for summer and fall graduates). After confirming your eligibility with your student support advisor and submitting your application for graduation, you will begin to receive communication about next steps, including ordering your graduation regalia. You will receive more details from Student Affairs, but you can find more graduation information on the SMU Graduation site.