All The Other Things You Need to Know

Assistantship, Financial Aid, and Internships

Graduate Tutors/Gradeers


Important Links

Academic Conduct and our Zero-Tolerance Policy

And all the other important stuff ==>

Who is my academic advisor?

    • If you are a main-campus student, then, If the initial letter of your last name belongs to
    • If you are a “Shady Grove” student, then Dr. M. Ali Yousuf ( is your academic advisor.

Who is the chair of the Data Science program?

    • At UMBC, the departments have chairs. Since we are a program (not a department), we don’t have a chair. Our Graduate Program Director is Dr. Ergun Simsek (

I have a problem with/question on X. Whom should I contact (Y)?

What should I do in case of a temporary injury or illness?


Communications with the core Faculty & Staff: Given the nature and size of our program, e-mail is the best way to reach our faculty and staff.

If you have administrative questions about the program (schedules, deadlines, fees, policies, paperwork, graduation, class locations, class registrations, credit transfer, etc.), please contact our program coordinators as follows.

Communicate with your Instructors: Professors are not mind-readers. If you have problems in your course or will be absent from a class, email your professor as soon as possible! In many cases, if they know about a situation and there’s a valid reason (such as a prolonged work deployment mid-semester) they can work with you to try and develop acceptable alternative arrangements. However, if they don’t know why you’re missing from class or haven’t turned in assignments, they will not chase after you — but grade you accordingly.


The DATA Student email list serves as the official “broadcast” medium for announcements, new courses, events, relevant talks, job opportunities, etc — so be sure to monitor or appropriately manage your UMBC email address. If you need to update your address on that list, contact our program coordinators.


UMBC can accept up to 6 relevant graduate credits toward the DATA MPS provided they have not been used as part of other earned degrees and were a “B” grade or higher. You will need to submit the course description and syllabus along with the Graduate School form requesting the transfer credit. For more details


  • The following symbols are used for grades: A, B, C, D, F, and I.
  • D and F are not passing grades.
  • “I” means incomplete!
  • Because graduate students must maintain an overall ‘B’ average, every credit hour of ‘C’ in coursework must be balanced by a credit hour of ‘A.’
  • A course in which a grade less than ‘B’ is received may be repeated. On the transcript, ‘R’ (Repeated) denotes a repeated course. Only the grade on the repeated courses, whether it is higher or lower than the original grade, is used in the computation of the cumulative GPA; however, all grades earned remain on the transcript.
  • You must have a B or higher in all certificate courses to earn the certificate and must maintain a B average to graduate with the MPS degree.
  • If you fail a core class (DATA 601-7), you need to retake it but don’t forget you can’t it for the third time!



As with most universities, our ‘primary’ semesters are Fall and Spring. For the DATA program, we do not run courses over Winter Session since it is too short a timeframe for most students (and our adjunct faculty) to commit to attending class 3-4 times a week for a month. However, we do run courses over the summer — but which ones and which summer session(s) they are offered are dependent on instructor availability, so there may or may not be courses of interest, necessary for your degree progression, or that fit your schedule during summertime. It depends on what is offered and when. Of course, if courses are added to the schedule after registration opens — for any semester or session – we announce them by the DATA student email list.


Since international students are required to take 3 courses every Fall and Spring semester (unless it is their last semester at UMBC), they generally finish our program in 16 months (i.e. Start September 202X, Graduation: December 202X+1).

However, working professionals generally take 2 courses per semester due to their already busy schedules and they generally complete their degrees in approximately 2 years.

Most Certificate students complete their certificates in two semesters.


Any ADA or documented special needs must be brought to your professor’s attention during the first week of the semester, and proper university/medical documentation must be provided. Retroactive accommodations may not be accepted.


As both graduate students and professionals, you will be expected to produce written deliverables that are appropriate for your classroom experience and profession or industry. Therefore, if you think you need assistance with developing and/or “brushing up” on graduate-level research and/or writing skills, UMBC offers a range of resources to help you obtain or polish those critical skills to enable you to succeed fully. If needed, I encourage you to take advantage of these campus resources — they’re here for your benefit:

Introducing the Graduate Student & Postdoctoral Development (GSPD) Unit

The unit responsible for providing professional development opportunities to our graduate students and postdoctoral scholars will now be known as the “Graduate Student & Postdoctoral Development” unit (GSPD). This name reflects our commitment to serving the diverse needs of our graduate student and postdoctoral scholar communities more comprehensively.

The GSPD unit will provide professional development for all graduate students and postdocs. We are so fortunate to have scholars from various backgrounds, countries of origin, cultures, life experiences and disciplinary frameworks.  Many of our workshops will be cross-cutting and of interest to our general population, such as those on financial literacy, public speaking, career exploration and time management.  While our programming will be open to all graduate students and postdocs, we will sometimes designate sessions as having an affiliation with a particular program within GSPD:

1. **PROMISE** – Programming for graduate students & postdocs from underserved backgrounds.  We are dedicated to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within our graduate student and postdoctoral population and providing a “third space” for minoritized scholars. Building on a 20 year legacy of PROMISE programming at UMBC, the GSPD unit will continue to offer and expand upon PROMISE offerings, ensuring that scholars receive the support and resources they need to holistically excel.

2. **CIRTL (the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning)** –  Programming to enhance teaching effectiveness. UMBC scholars will enjoy free workshops and courses through the CIRTL national network as well as local innovative teaching and learning opportunities we are fostering with on-campus and off-campus partners. CIRTL empowers our graduate students and postdocs to excel as educators and mentors and earn nationally recognized certificates along the way.  Following the practice of the Faculty Development Center, we will designate sessions that count toward a CIRTL certificate with a “Ͼ” symbol.

3. **Office of Postdoctoral Affairs** – Programming, advocacy and support that acknowledges the unique needs of Postdoctoral Research Associates. The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs will focus on providing resources, guidance, and support for hiring and sustaining our postdoctoral scholars. Our goal is to foster a vibrant and collaborative community among postdoctoral researchers at our institution and support faculty in hiring and mentoring these scholars effectively.

The GSPD unit is committed to nurturing the growth and success of our diverse academic community. You are welcome to peruse our Fall 2023 Professional Development Calendar (events are also in our myUMBC group). In the coming weeks, you can expect to see updates to promotional materials and communication channels to reflect this change. Our MyUMBC group URL has been changed to; please update departmental websites to reflect the change. We encourage you to explore the enhanced offerings provided by the GSPD unit and take advantage of the resources available to support your students’ and postdocs academic and professional journey.