This is a named option within the Psychology, M.S.

This program is designed to train students who have an undergraduate degree in a core behavioral science (e.g., Psychology, Economics, Sociology) to use modern data-science tools to address questions regarding human behavior. These skills are highly in demand by business, government and non-profit organizations to better understand how people act and interact with products, advertisement and societal policies. The program is designed to be completed in four semesters of full-time study. It culminates in one semester of placement with companies or other organizations to conduct an applied capstone project.

Graduate students in this program are not permitted to accept any research, project, or teaching assistantship positions that would waive tuition or provide tuition remission.

Please consult the table below for key information about this degree program’s admissions requirements. The program may have more detailed admissions requirements, which can be found below the table or on the program’s website.

Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet the minimum requirements of the Graduate School as well as the program(s). Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.

Fall Deadline March 31
Spring Deadline This program does not admit in the spring.
Summer Deadline This program does not admit in the spring.
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Not required.
English Proficiency Test Every applicant whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must provide an English proficiency test score and meet the Graduate School minimum requirements (
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 0

Students holding a bachelor's degree in the social sciences and a strong statistics and/or behavioral science research background are encouraged to apply for admission to the graduate program in data science in human behavior. 

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.

Program Information

Students enrolled in this program are not eligible to receive tuition remission from graduate assistantship appointments at this institution.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Named Option Requirements


Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes No Yes No Yes

Mode of Instruction Definitions

Accelerated: Accelerated programs are offered at a fast pace that condenses the time to completion. Students typically take enough credits aimed at completing the program in a year or two.

Evening/Weekend: ​Courses meet on the UW–Madison campus only in evenings and/or on weekends to accommodate typical business schedules.  Students have the advantages of face-to-face courses with the flexibility to keep work and other life commitments.

Face-to-Face: Courses typically meet during weekdays on the UW-Madison Campus.

Hybrid: These programs combine face-to-face and online learning formats.  Contact the program for more specific information.

Online: These programs are offered 100% online.  Some programs may require an on-campus orientation or residency experience, but the courses will be facilitated in an online format.


Minimum Credit Requirement 33 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement At least 27 (82%) credits applied toward the graduate degree credit requirement must be completed in graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide.
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements None.
Assessments and Examinations None.
Language Requirements None.

Required Courses

Semester 1 (Fall)
PSYCH 610 Design and Analysis of Psychological Experiments I4
PSYCH 709 Proseminar in Data Science in Human Behavior1
PSYCH 750 Programming for Human Behavioral Data Science3
Elective (selected from list below)3
Semester 2 (Spring)
PSYCH 710 Design and Analysis of Psychological Experiments II4
PSYCH 709 Proseminar in Data Science in Human Behavior1
PSYCH 752 Applied Machine Learning for Behavioral Data Science3
Elective (selected from list below)3
Semester 3 (Summer)
PSYCH 755 Environments and Tools for Large-Scale Behavioral Data Science3
PSYCH 790 Capstone I5
Semester 4 (Fall)
PSYCH 791 Capstone II3
Electives (Select 2)
Database Management Systems: Design and Implementation
Big Data Systems
Security and Privacy for Data Science
Data Visualization
Foundations of Data Management
Topics in Computing
Introductory Econometrics
The Economic Approach to Human Behavior
Special Topics in Electrical and Computer Engineering (Topic: Data Science and Engineering)
Total Credits33

Students in this program may not take courses outside the prescribed curriculum without faculty advisor and program director approval. Students in this program cannot enroll concurrently in other undergraduate or graduate degree programs.

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Named Option-Specific Policies

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

Students are not allowed to count credits of graduate coursework from other institutions.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

With program approval, no more than 3 credits of coursework numbered 300 or higher from a UW–Madison undergraduate degree are allowed to count towards the 6 credit elective course requirement. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

UW–Madison University Special

With program approval, students are allowed to count up to 3 credits of coursework numbered 300 or above taken as a UW–Madison special student that can be applied towards the 6 credit elective course requirement.  Credits earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.


The Graduate School regularly reviews the record of any student who earned grades of BC, C, D, F, or Incomplete in a graduate course (300 or above), or grade of U in research credits. This review could result in academic probation with a hold on future enrollment or in being suspended from the Graduate School.


Every graduate student is required to have an advisor. To ensure that students are making satisfactory progress toward a degree, the Graduate School expects them to meet with their advisor on a regular basis.

In many cases, an advisor is assigned to incoming students. Students can be suspended from the Graduate School if they do not have an advisor. An advisor is a faculty member, or sometimes a committee, from the major department responsible for providing advice regarding graduate studies.

A committee often accomplishes advising for the students in the early stages of their studies.


15 credits

Time Constraints

Master’s degree students who have been absent for five or more consecutive years lose all credits that they have earned before their absence. Individual programs may count the coursework students completed prior to their absence for meeting program requirements; that coursework may not count toward Graduate School credit requirements.

Grievances and Appeals

These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:

Students should contact the department chair or program director with questions about grievances. They may also contact the L&S Academic Divisional Associate Deans, the L&S Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning Administration, or the L&S Director of Human Resources.



Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

Faculty Director of the Data Science in Human Behavior: Tim Rogers,