Frequently Asked Questions

General

Can this program be taken part-time?

The MDA program is a one-year full-time program. It is not available to take part-time.

When is your next intake? Can I start in January? In May?

We only have one intake per year in September. This is because the program is structured so that some courses in the fall term are required for courses in the winter term.

How many years is the program?

The MDA is a 1-year program.

I have a 3-year degree. Can I apply?

No. Applicants must possess a four-year degree from an accredited university with a minimum average of at least 75% in the last two years of full-time undergraduate study.

If I have taken similar courses in my previous degree can I get transfer credits?

No. All our courses are developed specifically for the program and build on each other. As such, all students take a set of required core courses and have a choice of elective courses based on their specialty field.

However, students who can demonstrate sufficient background in any of the above required core courses (e.g., scoring a final mark of 78% or higher in a similar course during a previously obtained degree with sufficient documentation to demonstrate mastery of the topic, such as a detailed course outline) may be permitted to substitute any such course with another graduate-level course with a significant data analytics focus from either the Department of Statistical & Actuarial Sciences or the Department of Computer Science. Any such substitutions are subject to the approval of the Director of the MDA program.

What type of degree (discipline) do you require?

An undergraduate degree with significant quantitative coursework in mathematics, probability, statistics, and computer programming is required. It is up to the applicant to provide sufficient documentation to demonstrate that they satisfy all of the prerequisite course requirements. Examples of degree areas that commonly satisfy admission requirements include:

  • Computer Science
  • Statistics

Or other fields with significant quantitative coursework in mathematics, probability, statistics, and computer programming, such as:

  • Actuarial Science
  • Computer Software Engineering
  • Economics
  • Financial Modelling or Financial Mathematics
  • Mathematics or Applied Mathematics
  • Physics

Do you consider the last term of a 4-year degree when computing overall 2-year academic average?

The MDA Admissions Committee may request applicants to update their application file by uploading their final transcripts that show winter-term marks if such courses were prerequisites and were not completed at the time they submitted their application.

How do you calculate average from last 2 years of undergraduate study? Is it the last 20 courses?

Applicants will have the last two full-time years of education used to calculate their admissions averages. Averages will be calculated using the last 10.0 full credits or 20 half credits (or equivalent). Where possible, the calculations will be weighted using the provided course weights listed on the transcript(s). Transcript assessment is done by the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

International applicants should note that the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies uses an internal 12-point GPA scale for conversion purposes.

My academic average is below 75%? Can I apply?

An overall average of 75% in the list of prerequisite courses is required along with a minimum average of 75% in your last 2 years of undergraduate study. Applications that do not meet this requirement will not be considered.

Please note that admissions to the MDA program is competitive and the actual average of successful applicants who receive an offer is generally higher than the minimum.

What are the job opportunities after completion of MDA?

Given the skills and knowledge gained during their time in the MDA program, graduates have accepted data-focused roles within a broad range of industries across a wide variety of functional areas of organizations. Past graduates have accepted positions in areas/departments such as Pension Analytics, Business Insight Analytics, Fraud Detection Analytics, Incentives Analysis, Credit Risk Measurement, Business Analytics, Data Engineering, Financial Analytics, Data Consulting, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Research

Is the Experiential Learning Term a co-op or an internship placement provided by the program?

The third term of the MDA program sees students actively apply for positions of interest and gain self-marketing skills in securing their experiential learning opportunity through either formal or informal recruiting activity. Recognizing the varied career goals & objectives of students, the MDA program does not ‘place’ students in pre-determined positions with a set of defined organizations. The program provides support to students in securing their individual experiential learning opportunity through personal career management classes & activities throughout the Fall & Winter terms, one-on-one coaching and advising with the program’s Career Services Officer and by promoting potential positions of interest via a program-specific electronic job board. More details can be found on our Experiential Learning Term Page.

Where have MDA students completed their Experiential Learning Term position?

MDA students have completed their Experiential Learning Term in a wide variety of settings, including Financial Services, Technology, Consulting, Consumer Goods, Energy and utilities, Government, Insurance, Healthcare, Aviation, Construction, Manufacturing, Education, and the Hospitality/Restaurant industries, for example.

Application

Does the application require a “Statement of Interest”?

All application material that is required with the application is listed on the Application Timeline page under "Application Materials".

Do I need IETLS or is Duolingo sufficient?

We accept the Duolingo test. Details can be found on our English Language Proficiency webpage.

How much is the application fee?

The application fee is set by Western’s School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. As of 2020, it is $120 CDN.

What are the required documents to apply?

All application material that is required with the application is listed on the Application Timeline page under "Application Materials".

Can I take prerequisite courses at Western (or other institution) as an independent student to fulfill the pre-requisite requirements of the MDA program?

Conditional offers may be given to strong applications that may be missing 1 or 2 of the prerequisite courses on the condition that they take those courses through Western (or at other institution that offer equivalent type courses) before being admitted officially to the program. For example, applications from strong students from outside of a computer science background may be given a conditional offer that requires them to complete one or both of CS1026 and/or CS1027. Applications from strong students may be given a conditional offer that requires them to complete SS2857 and/or SS2858.

Please note that CS1026, CS1027, SS2857, and SS2858 are commonly offered in the summer term.

My GPA is below 75%. If I take courses to upgrade my average will that be evaluated in my application?

The Admissions Committee assesses applications based on what has been uploaded to the admissions system. If courses were taken to upgrade an average and that is reflected on transcripts this information would be evaluated as part of the application.

I’m having difficulty with my application. I am not able to upload my documents. What should I do?

All questions regarding the application process should be directed to gradapps@uwo.ca.

Does the review committee take work experience into account?

While work experience is considered in supporting your application package, we still require you to have university credit courses for the pre-requisites.

I did my degree in English. Can you waive the English Language Proficiency Requirements?

All applicants whose first language is not English must provide this documentation regardless of the language of instruction at their university. Details can be found on our English Language Proficiency webpage.

I’ve attached all my documents. Can you review them and tell me if I can apply?

Due to the high volume of inquiries to the MDA program, we are unable to pre-screen/review documents sent via email. Only full applications will be reviewed. To apply visit the SGPS website.

I graduated from a Canadian university but I am an international student. Can I waive the ELP requirements?

All applicants whose first language is not English must provide this documentation regardless of the language of instruction at their university. Details can be found on our English Language Proficiency webpage.

Do you give conditional offers if I am missing some of the required courses?

Conditional offers may be given to strong applications that may be missing 1 or 2 of the prerequisite course on the condition that they take those courses through Western (or at other institutions that offer equivalent type courses) before being admitted officially to the program. For example, applications from strong students from outside of a computer science background may be given a conditional offer that requires them to complete one or both of CS1026 and/or CS1027. Applications from strong students may be given a conditional offer that requires them to complete SS2857 and/or SS2858.

Please note that CS1026, CS1027, SS2857, and SS2858 are commonly offered in the summer term.

Finally, please also note that prerequisite coursework must have been taken for credit at the undergraduate or graduate level at an accredited university. Study through online certificate programs will not be considered.

Can I satisfy prerequisite course requirements through online certificate programs?

Prerequisite coursework must have been taken for credit at the undergraduate or graduate level at an accredited university. Study through online certificate programs will not be considered.

Fees & Financial Aid

What is the tuition?

Information on the MDA tuition rates is on our Tuition and Fees page.

Does the university provide financial assistantship in the form of Fellowships or teaching assistantships?

The MDA is a one-year, course-based professional science master's program with a cooperative education term component (the Experiential Learning Opportunity term). Students do not complete a research thesis and as this is the case, do not receive Teaching Assistantships, Research Assistantships, or scholarships.

Information on external funding options is found on the Financial Assistance Page.

Aside from tuition fees, what other fees are required to be paid?

In addition to tuition fees, there are student fees/ancillary fees that Western students pay. For additional detailed information on fee structures and inclusions, please refer to the Tuition and Fees information page. Note that tuition fees do not include room and board.