Master of Science in Data Science

The first term of study is designed to provide a foundation in the fundamentals of the field, and to provide a baseline for all incoming admissions streams from several related but distinct fields of undergraduate study.

The program includes discipline core courses, and a set of topical electives that provide the continuity of study across the two years.  The discipline courses are augmented by an arc of courses that provide milestones for program advancement and completion of the Thesis.  This arc consists of a course in Research Methods, Research Seminar, Thesis Proposal, and then a final term to conclude and defend the work.

The program offers a research-and student-centered education. The balance of emphasis on fundamentals, recent computational innovations, big data analytics, and applied artificial intelligence will stimulate and accelerate knowledge discoveries. The program requires a 30 ECTS thesis  as part of the degree completion requirements. Students are encouraged to present their research findings at international conferences and to publish their results in scientific journals.

To apply now, please sign up and start filling out your application.

For more information on the Data Science MSc Program, please contact Prof. Michael Lewis (

Application Requirements:

1) an undergraduate degree (Bachelor’s degree or equivalent) in a relevant discipline, to be determined by the Admissions Committee;

2) a minimum CGPA of 2.75;

3) the required level of English proficiency as indicated below

4) 2 letters of recommendation;

5) a personal statement of purpose;

6) submission of a valid IELTS or TOEFL test report (must be submitted).

Required Level of English Proficiency:

The absolute minimum requirement for English language proficiency test reports for admission to the Master of Science in Data Science program is overall IELTS test score of 6.5 (with sub-score requirements no less than 6.0), or the equivalent TOEFL score as posted on the ETS website.

Applicants to the Master of Science in Data Science  program, at the discretion of the Admissions Committee, can be exempted from submitting the language proficiency test report if:

  • one of their earlier academic degrees was earned in an English Speaking country;
  • their undergraduate degree was earned in a program with English as the main language of instruction;
  • the applicant is a graduate of Nazarbayev University
The typical curriculum for the program
Year 1: Fall Semester (Semester 1)
Program Core  DS 501 Fundamentals of Data Science 6
 DS 502 Probability and Statistics for Data Science 6
 DS 507 Database Management Systems 6
Innovation  DS 551 Process and Project Management 6
Research  SEDS 591 Research Methods 6


Year 1: Spring Semester (Semester 2)
Program Core  DS 504 Data Mining and Decision Support 6
 CSCI 545 Big Data Analytics 6
Research  SEDS 592 Research Seminar 6
Elective  ELECTIVE 1 - SEDS 504 Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Recommended) 6


Year 2: Fall Semester (Semester 3)
Research  DS 693 Thesis Proposal 6
Innovation  DS 552 Data Driven Innovation 6
Elective  ELECTIVE 3 - MATH 540 Statistical Learning (Recommended)  6


Year 2: Spring Semester (Semester 4)
Research DS 694 Thesis 30


Program Elective Courses

  • MATH 540 Statistical Learning (Recommended Elective)
  • SEDS 504 Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Recommended Elective)
  • CSCI 512 Information Theory
  • CSCI 515 Modeling and Simulation for Computer Science
  • CSCI 547 Algorithmic Trading
  • CSCI 581 Acquisition and Analysis of Biomedical Data
  • CSCI 594 Deep Learning