Overview & Admissions

As organizations increasingly rely on data for decision-making, the demand for “data-capable” employees is growing dramatically.

This Certificate in Applied Data Science (CADS) is designed to equip students with the basic knowledge and skills to use data to make better decisions in any field.

The program offers focused training with a strong emphasis on practical workplace applications. All students complete a practicum in which they complete a project in a real-world setting. For students completing the certificate while working, the practicum could potentially take place within their current place of work.

100% online, 3–4 terms, 12 credit hours







Students will gain an understanding of basic data science tools, methods, and best practices, as well as the complex ethical and societal issues associated with data-driven approaches.



Students must earn a B or higher in the following courses, or demonstrate equivalent knowledge:

  • STOR 155: Introductory level knowledge of statistical data analysis methods including correlation, regression, basic probability, hypothesis testing, and confident intervals for stat.
  • COMP 110 or INLS 560: Basics of computer programming (language agnostic) ) including flow control, functions, basic data structures, and debugging techniques.

Students who have mastered a prerequisite topic through other means (e.g., work experience, a different UNC course, or training outside of the university) must apply for a prerequisite waiver as part of the admissions process. This involves providing documentation explaining why they feel a waiver should be granted and include, for example, a syllabus for an alternate course or a detailed description of the work experience through which students obtained the required skills. Approvals for waivers will be made on a case-by-case basis as part of the admissions process.



Undergraduate students admitted to the program will be charged tuition based on current UNC-Chapel Hill undergraduate tuition rates. There will be no additional program-specific tuition/fee charges for this category of program students.

Non-degree-seeking students will be charged graduate tuition rates and fees


Application Deadlines

Apply by June 11, 2024 to begin courses in August 2024.


How to Apply

Students must apply and be admitted before taking part in the Certificate in Applied Data Science (CADS) program. Once the CADS admission committee reviews the applications, accepted students will be notified via email. If you have questions about the certificate program or application process, please email CADS@unc.edu.

Students applying for the program will be required to submit:

  • A short application form with typical demographic and academic information.
  • For current UNC students: Current unofficial academic transcript and any record of other relevant academic work (e.g. courses taken at a different institution and transferred to UNC-Chapel Hill).
  • For non-degree-seeking students:
  • A statement of interest in the program in the form of a short (500 words) essay.

Non-degree seeking students

Working professionals, alumni, and others not currently enrolled in a degree program at UNC may apply for this program.

Current UNC Students

Enrollment is restricted to students with majors that are not traditionally focused on data science. Please note, currently enrolled UNC students majoring and minoring in information science, data science, computer science, or statistics are not eligible.