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Schmid College of Science and Technology

» Master of Science in Computational & Data Sciences

Computational and Data Scientists construct mathematical models, develop quantitative analysis techniques, and use computers to analyze and solve scientific real-life problems. Our mission is to provide graduates with innovative tools and a collaborative approach to meeting tomorrow’s challenges.

Chapman University offers both M.S. and Ph.D. programs in Computational and Data Sciences. The programs follow a uniquely interdisciplinary approach to solving critically important problems, using mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, statistics and computing. Through modeling, simulation and study of specific phenomena via computer analysis, data mining and software engineering, you will learn to apply extraordinary technology and processes to answer the world’s most complex questions in fields including: Predictive Analytics, Earth Systems Science, Bioinformatics and Biotechnology, Genomics and Drug Design, Population Genetics, and Economic Science.

+ - Program

As the challenges we face—environmental, biological, chemical, geophysical—continue to grow and generate massive amounts of data, it’s computational and data sciences that will help us meet those issues head on.  Whereas computer science involves the pursuit of new frontiers chiefly within the realm of computer software and hardware, computational science practitioners apply the knowledge and power of computing to other science disciplines, whether it be running a costly physics experiment through a computer simulation to save millions, or creating new software that can sift through raw data with a far more strategic and sophisticated eye.

Academic Program and Research

Through modeling, simulation and study of specific phenomena via computer analysis, data mining and software engineering, you will learn to apply extraordinary technology and processes to answer the world’s most complex questions in fields including:

  • Predictive Analytics
  • Earth Systems Science
  • Bioinformatics and Biotechnology
  • Genomics and Drug Design
  • Population Genetics
  • Economic Science

Employment and Future Opportunities
According to academic forecasters and business analysts, computational and data science is one of the most rapidly emerging areas of study in the nation. Chapman’s graduate program in computational and data science will help you find your place in this ever-growing field. Upon graduation, you’ll be greeted with a diverse range of career options. Graduates go on to work in the areas of aerospace engineering, data science, environmental modeling, medical development, gene sequencing, geology and meteorology.

The program is offered at the Chapman campus located in Orange, California.

+ - Curriculum

2017/2018 Curriculum

Foundation Courses (3-6 credits) – For admitted students who have verified potential, but require supplementary support for success in the CADS program. 

CS 502* – Applied Methods in Mathematics
CS 503* – Statistical Methods

Core Courses (10–13 credits)
CS 510* Computing for Scientists (3)
CS 520 Mathematical Modeling (3)
CS 530 Data Mining (3)
CS 555 Multivariate Data Analysis (3)
CS 595 Computational Science Seminars (1)
* waived for students showing appropriate knowledge

Elective Courses
(12 credits) elective courses selected from among the graduate courses in computer science, computational sciences, mathematics, physics and economic sciences; at least nine credits need to be in one area of study.  Courses and descriptions can be found in the Course Catalog.

Elective or Thesis Course Option (6 credits)
Choose additional graduate level electives or thesis

Total Credits - 28-37 (final credit total depends on courses waived)

Prerequisites - equivalent preparation may be used to satisfy the following courses

  1. Differential Equations (or take CS 502)
  2. Computer Programming (Data Structures preferred)
  3. Probability and Statistics (or take CS 503)

+ - 4+1 Integrated Undergraduate/M.S. Degree Program

Obtain your graduate degree with just ONE additional year of study.

The 4+1 year Integrated Computational and Data Science M.S. program is a unique opportunity open to all Chapman University undergraduates with a strong mathematical and/or computational background.   Undergraduates will have the opportunity to obtain a Bachelor’s degree of their choice and a CADS M.S. with just one additional year of study.

An undergraduate degree specifically in computational science is not required for admission. The program will consider applicants from a broad range of undergraduate science disciplines (e.g. biology, chemistry, computer science, biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, mathematics, physics, economics) as long as they satisfy the prerequisites for the program and meet admission requirements.

Chapman students should apply to the graduate program in their junior year, prior to taking graduate level courses.  Students will receive conditional admission to the program, pending completion of their bachelor's degree as stipulated in the graduate catalog (see explanation of conditional admission in the graduate catalog).  If accepted into the graduate program, undergraduate students may take graduate credits in their senior year.  These credits may also count towards the undergraduate degree credit requirement (please check with your major advisor).  Students will be officially admitted to the M.S. to complete their graduate coursework after receiving their undergraduate degree. The application process, prerequisites, and graduate program requirements are as specified for the M.S. in Computational and Data Sciences; however, the application fee and GRE are waived.

Chapman Prerequisites:

  1. Differential Equations (MATH 350 or CS 502)
  2. Computer Science 1 & 2 (CPSC 230 & 231, CPSC 350)
  3. Probability and Statistics (MATH 360 & MATH 361 or CS 503)
See the Course Catalog for course descriptions.

+ - Faculty

Meet our math, physics and computation core faculty.

To search for a particular faculty member, please visit our searchable faculty directory.

+ - Admission

1.  Online application for admission (includes $60 non-refundable application fee)
2.  Official transcript from degree granting institution
3.  Graduate Admission Test Scores – The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test scores are required and must have been taken within the last five years.  Applicants must achieve the following minimum scores which are listed as previous version test scores and new version test scores:

  • Verbal: 153
  • Quantitative: 146
  • Analytical Writing: 4.0

4.  Letters of recommendation – two letters of recommendation are required, including one from an academic source which describes your professional and academic abilities.
5.  Statement of Intent – a 750 word essay.  Applicants are expected to address science topics they are interested in and how they envision applying computational science in those areas.
6.  Resume – a resume or curriculum vitae is required.


7.  Applicants whose first language is not English or who have completed their undergraduate degree outside of the United States are required to achieve an acceptable score on one of the following English language proficiency exams which must have been taken within 2 years of the date of application for admission to Chapman University.

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL),
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE Academic)
  • Cambridge English Advanced Exam(CAE)

Applicants must achieve a minimum score of:

  • TOEFL: 550 (PBT) or 80 (iBT)
  • IELTS: 6.5
  • PTEA: 53
  • CAE: 180

8.  Complete and submit the International Supplemental Application Guide

Students should apply in their junior year, prior to taking any graduate level courses.  The application process, prerequisites, GPA and graduate program requirements are as specified for the M.S. in Computational and Data Sciences, however the application fee and GRE are waived.


  • Differential Equations
  • Data Structures
  • Probability and Statistics
All prerequisite courses must be met by the end of the first semester.

2017/2018 Tuition Information

Tuition per credit - $1,505

Financial assistance is available in the form of federal loans, teaching assistantships and research assistantships. Our industry partners provide scholarship funding as well as internship opportunities for our students.

More information can be found on the Financial Aid website or by contacting Graduate Financial Aid at gradfinaid@chapman.edu or (714) 628-2730.

Priority Admission: January 15
Regular Admission: May 1

See the Academic Calendar for semester start and other dates.

Contacts - You are always welcome to contact the Graduate Program Coordinator, Robin Pendergraft, pendergr@chapman.edu / (714) 997-6993 and the Program Director, Dr. El-Askary, elaskary@chapman.edu / (714) 289-2053.

Admission – Please contact our admissions coordinator, Monica Chen, at mchen@chapman.edu / (714) 289-3590 regarding your application, to schedule a campus visit or for other non-program specific questions.
Apply by May 1st  - Apply Now

International Students – View our international student admissions page for additional information regarding applying to Chapman -

Tuition - Contact Student Business Services at (714) 997-6617 for information regarding tuition, fees, billing & payments.  Please note that program staff are prohibited from discussing financial information.

Federal Financial Aid - For more information, email gradfinaid@chapman.edu or call (714) 628-2730.  The FAFSA must be filed by March 2nd.   Must be enrolled at least half time, taking at least 4.5 credits, to qualify for federal loans.  If students are interested in receiving loans, they must complete the appropriate applications.

Housing - For graduate student housing options, contact Housing and Residence Life at (714) 997-6603. 

+ - FAQ

Q:  What is CADS?
A:  CADS is our shortened version of Computational and Data Sciences. 

Q:  What is the GRE?  Is it required?
A:  The GRE is a general, standard exam for graduate-level admissions testing verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing.  You can access GRE information here: http://www.ets.org/gre/.  The test is required for applicants to the CADS programs.  The recommended scores for admission are: 153 Verbal, 146 Quantitative, 4.0 Writing. 

Q:  Who should my letters of recommendation come from? May I submit additional letters?
A:  Letters of recommendation should come from former faculty members or those you've worked with in the industry who can attest to your academic and professional abilities.  Two letters is recommended, but you can submit more if you wish.

Q:  What are the application deadlines?
A:  The priority deadline is January 15 for fall admission.  The regular admission deadlines is May 1.  However, we will consider M.S. applications from qualified students after these deadlines until the cohort has been filled.

Q:  What are the most important factors in the application evaluation?
A:  Our Program Director and Admissions Committee individually evaluate the entire application for each applicant.  Every applicant is different and what might be a strength on one application may not be as highly considered in another.  With that in mind, each piece of the application should be considered important.

Q:  Can I submit my application before I have all the necessary documents?
Yes. Admissions will hold your application and notify us as your documents become available. You will not receive an admissions decision, however, until all documents have been received.

Q:  When are admission decisions made?
A:  Priority Applicants will be notified of admission and support decisions in late Jan./early Feb.  Regular deadline applicants will be notified approximately two weeks after the deadline. 

Q:  How many students are accepted each year?
A: The M.S. program has space for many well qualified applicants.

Q: When can I start? 
A: Due to the nature of the courses, we strongly suggest starting in the fall semester.  An exception to this is students with a very strong computational background who can waive out of Computing for Scientists, which is a prerequisite to the rest of the program and is only offered in fall.  Please inform the program coordinator if you feel you fit into this category and are interested in starting in spring.

Q:  How long does it take to complete the M.S. program?
A:  The length of time it takes to complete the program varies, depending on the amount of courses taken each semester.  Students enrolled full time usually complete the M.S. program in two years.  Students may also attend on a part-time basis.

Q:  Can I send in transcripts to show coursework from non-degree granting institutions? 
A:  Yes, we will take all courses you have completed into account for both admission and transfer credit.

Q:  Can I transfer courses?  Online courses?
A:  Up to 6 credits may be accepted as transfer credit.  We accept both standard and online courses that meet all transfer requirements and are from regionally accredited schools.  

Q:  Is there financial support available?
A:  The program does not provide tuition support for Masters students; however, qualified students are eligible for assistantships.

Q:  How do I find out about available assistantships?
Students who would like to be considered for graduate teaching assistanceships should send their CV and evaluations from any previous teaching assignments to the Program Coordinator prior to the application deadline.  Please specify level of knowledge in each of the following undergraduate areas: math, physics, statistics, and/or computer science.

Q:  What scholarships are available?
A:  Students are encouraged to apply for external scholarships sponsored by government agencies, corporations, and foundations.  Some students receive aid through our industry partnerships.  Our industry partners provide scholarship funding as well as internship opportunities for our students.  Some scholarship search options are found on the Financial Aid - Outside Scholarships page. 

Q:  What are the housing options?
On-campus housing is extremely limited and graduate students are encouraged to research alternative living arrangements off-campus by visiting our Introduction to Off-Campus Living page. After being accepted to the program, you can connect to the community through Facebook Off Campus Housing and Roommate Corner and Off-Campus Housing Listings.  International students should also check with International Student & Scholar Services.

Q:  How accessible are the professors at Chapman?
A:  With a small student to professor ratio, CADS students have incredible access in this highly personalized program.

Q:  Does Chapman offer part-time enrollment and evening classes?
A:  Yes, part-time enrollment is available.  We offer late afternoon and evening courses every semester.

Additional Information for International Students:

Q:  Are Chapman's Computational and Data Sciences degrees STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) programs?
A:  Yes, students in our program are eligible to apply for STEM benefits.  See the International Student & Scholar Services for more information.  You can also contact Susan Sams, Specialist International Student & Scholar Services, at sams@chapman.edu or (714) 997-6829, with any questions.

Q:  What is OPT 
  Optional Practical Training or OPT allows you to work for one year, following graduation, in a job related to your major or field of study.  See the International Student & Scholar Services for more information.  You can also contact Susan Sams, Specialist International Student & Scholar Services, at sams@chapman.edu or (714) 997-6829, with any questions.

Q:  What is CPT?
A:  Curricular Practical Training or CPT allows you to participate in an off-campus paid internship related to your major or field of study.  See the International Student & Scholar Services for more information.  You can also contact Susan Sams, Specialist International Student & Scholar Services, at sams@chapman.edu or (714) 997-6829, with any questions.

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Hesham El-Askary
Program Director
(714) 289-2053

Robin Pendergraft
Graduate Program Coordinator
(714) 997-6993

Monica Chen
Graduate Admissions Counselor
(714) 289-3590

Graduate Financial Aid
(714) 628-2730

Susan Sams
International Student & Scholar Services Coordinator
(714) 997-6829