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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.

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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.


2018/2019 Curriculum

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

1. Differential Equations (or take CS 502)

2. Computer Programming (Data Structures preferred or take CS 501)

3. Probability and Statistics (or take CS 503)

Foundation Courses (3-9 credits) – For admitted students who have verified potential, but require supplementary support for success in the CADS program. These credits do not count toward the degree total. 

CS 501* –Introductory Computation for Scientists (3)
CS 502* – Applied Methods in Mathematics (3)
CS 503* – Statistical Methods (3)
* waived for students showing appropriate knowledge

Core Courses (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)

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 - 31 


Admission Requirements

1. Prerequisite Courses

Recently admitted applicants hold degrees in physics, biology, chemistry, business and psychology, as well as math and computer science. We encourage applicants from a broad range of disciplinary interests.  All applicants must provide evidence of satisfactory coursework in the following areas:

·       Computer Programming (Data Structures preferred)
·       Differential Equations
·       Probability and Statistics

Any of these courses can be completed at other accredited institutions such as your local community college and/or other four-year colleges and universities. If you have not completed some of your prerequisite course(s) prior to applying, it is possible to enroll in these courses at Chapman University. However, in order for your application to be considered for review, you are required to have successfully completed at least one of the prerequisite areas. All other prerequisites must be met by the end of the first academic year. Please contact us for more information.

2. Application Requirements

Online application for admission (including $60 non-refundable application fee)

Official transcript from degree granting institution.  If prerequisite courses have been taken at schools other than the degree granting institution, those transcripts must also be submitted.  Applicants must have earned a minimum grade point average of 3.00

Graduate Admission Test Scores (School Code: 4047); 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:

                                         Verbal: 153
                                         Quantitative: 146
                                         Analytical Writing: 4.0

Letters of recommendation; two letters of recommendation are required, including one from an academic source which describes your professional and academic abilities

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.

Resume; a resume or curriculum vitae is required

Language Test (International Students Only); applicants who have completed their undergraduate degree outside of the United States are required to achieve the following minimum score on Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): 550 (paper-based), or 80 (internet-based), International English Language Testing System (IELTS): 6.5, Pearson Test of English (PTE):53 or Cambridge English Advanced Exam (CAE): 180 minimum.

Financial Certification Form (International Students Only)

Accelerated Graduate Program for Current Chapman Students Admission Guidelines

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 up to 12 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.

Admission Deadline

Priority Admission: January 15

Regular Admission: May 1

See the Academic Calendar for semester start and other dates.

Financial Information

Tuition Information

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.

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

Admission – Please contact our admissions coordinator, Gabriela Duarte at gduarte@chapman.edu  / (714) 997-6993 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. 

Accelerated Undergraduate/M.S. Degree Program

The Accelerated 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 can take up to 12 credits during their senior year and earn 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 Prerequisites:

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


Graduate Fellowships

We have 29 fellowships in our database for masters level students and 32 fellowships for doctoral level students.  This includes NSF, NASA, NIH, and more! More information and tips on applying can be found here:


 Our advanced search is also a great tool to filter programs by upcoming deadline:



Programming Preparations CADS 

Python/SciPy Tutorial


LATEX Tutorial

Bash Tutorial http://linuxcommand.org/lc3_learning_the_shell.php 
Vim Tutorial

Git Tutorial

Julia Tutorial

C Tutorial

C++ Tutorial



Student Health Insurance

Chapman University's health insurance plan is through United Healthcare. Students may visit the plan website at www.uhcsr.com/chapman to view full plan description, terms of coverage, and more.

See more information:

Graduate Students

International Students


Student Health Service

Disabilities Services

Students Health Center


Psychological Counseling


Student Housing

On-Campus Housing

Community Living


Resources for Students



Campus Shuttle

Rideshare Incentives

Bike Voucher Program 

2018-19 Parking Plan






Meet our faculty.

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


Q:  What is CADS?

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

Q: Do you accept students that have degrees outside of Math and Computer Science?

A: Absolutely. While typical undergraduate preparation for this program will include degrees in computer science, mathematics, and statistics, applicants from other sciences, engineering or business will be considered if they demonstrate sufficient math and computer science preparation.

Q: What is required for admission to the program?

A: Please review our admissions requirements for more information.  You may also contact our graduate admissions team at (714) 997-6711, or gradadmit@chapman.edu.

Q: What are the application deadlines?

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

Q: What prerequisite courses or skills are required for the program?

A: Students should have the following:
1. A year or more of programming preferably in Python, C++, or Java; or equivalent or better of professional experience
2. Completion of upper division differential equations courses such as MATH 350
3. Completion of upper division statistics and probability courses such as MATH 350 and MATH 360

Q: What if I don’t have all the required prerequisites?

A: Students who need additional courses will be required to take the appropriate foundation courses prior to beginning core classes. These are:
1. CS 501 - Introductory Computation for Scientists
2. CS 502 - Applied Methods in Mathematics
3. CS 503 - Statistical Methods

Q: Is the GRE General Exam required?

A: Yes, the general GRE exam is required of all applicants. GRE scores are good for five years, after which time the exam must be repeated. Only the General exam is required.

Q: What are the minimum scores for the GRE?

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

Q: Do you accept GMAT in lieu of the GRE?

A: Only in special circumstances. Please ask if this applies to you. 

Q: Is there a thesis or dissertation required?

A: No thesis or dissertation is required for the MS.

Q: Am I required to take the TOEFL (or equivalent)?

A: Applicants who have completed their bachelor’s degree or higher at an institution where English was not the primary language of instruction must submit scores for an English Proficiency exam. Chapman University's institution code for the TOEFL is 4047.

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 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 send in transcripts to show coursework from non-degree granting institutions?

A: Yes, all courses you have completed will be taken into account by the admission committee

Q: Can I submit my application before I have all the necessary documents?

A: Yes, although some sections are required before submitting. Admissions will hold your application and notify us as your documents become available. You will not receive an admissions decision until all documents have been received.

Q: How many students are accepted each year?

A: The M.S. program has space for many well qualified applicants.

Q: Do you accept admissions on a rolling basis?

A: No, students are admitted once a year – for the following fall semester.

Q: What is the cost of the program?

A: The 18/19 cost of the MS program is $48,515 ($1,565 per credit regardless of residency).

Q: How long does the program take to complete?

A: Normative completion to the master’s degree is 2 years.

Q: Am I allowed to attend part-time?

A: Yes, part-time students are encouraged to enroll in a minimum of 12 credits per year (6 & 6).

Q: Is there a thesis or dissertation required?

A: No thesis or dissertation is required for the MS, but it is an option.

Q: Is this program online?

A: No, this program is not online and does not offer any hybrid courses. 

Q: When are classes offered?

A: Most courses are offered in the afternoons and evenings.

Q: Can I transfer 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: Does the MS lead to a PhD Degree? 

A: Strong MS students will receive preferential consideration for the PhD degree.

Q: Is there financial support available?

A: The program does not provide tuition support for Masters students; however, qualified students are eligible for assistantships ad other on-campus jobs.

Q: How do I find out about available assistantships?

A: Students who would like to be considered for 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 scholarship search options are found on the Financial Aid - Outside Scholarships page.

Q: What are the housing options?

A: 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: CADS students have incredible access in this highly personalized program.

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? 

A: 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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