FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Jump to the sections on application and preparation, course planning, internships, financial aspects, the section on general questions, or the section for questions by international students.


Application and Preparation

How much mathematics coursework should I have to be successful in this program?

Students who apply should be close to a mathematics minor. They should have taken two semesters of single variable calculus in high school or college, and it is essential that they have taken full courses in multivariable (vector) calculus and linear algebra and done well in them (B or better). An additional course in mathematics beyond linear algebra is highly desirable. If you have questions, please contact the program.

How much experience with statistics should I have to be successful in this program?

Applicants should have taken a calculus-based statistics course that covers elementary probability, properties of random variables, common discrete and continuous distributions, expectations, the central limit theorem, parameter estimation, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, and possibly elements of linear regression. It is desirable if you have used a computational statistics package in this class, for example SPSS, R, or Stata. If you have taken the first course of a statistics sequence for economics majors (the second course would then be econometrics), you may also be adequately prepared. If you have questions, please contact the program.

How much computer science experience should I have to be successful in this program?

R and Python are used extensively throughout the program. R is a language and environment for statistical computing and graphics, and Python is an interpreted, object-oriented, high-level programming language with dynamic semantics. Students should have working experience or have taken coursework on these languages prior to admission. In addition, introductory computer science coursework focusing on C++ and/or Java will help familiarize students with general programming.

I haven't taken a programming course in college, but I became proficient with programming language while working for my current employer and am now spending most of my time coding in that language. How should I document my computer science proficiency?

You can use the supplemental data form for this program to explain your preparation. You can also ask a supervisor to submit a letter of recommendation in which your coding work could be addressed.

I expect to have some time available until entering the program - how can I better prepare during the summer?

The Georgetown Analytics program is giving an asynchronous, online course in programming preparation that covers R, Python, and command line use in the summer prior to matriculation. The course is equivalent to three credits, is designed for matriculating MS Analytics students, and is offered free of charge. It is required for incoming students who do not have a computer science degree and adequate preparation. Students admitted to the program will only have this requirement waived on discussion with the Program Director (Todd Leen) or Program Coordinator (Heather Connor). This course will run during Georgetown Summer Session II (July 10 - August 11). Remember, you must complete this course to matriculate in the fall unless you are granted a waiver by the program.

If you are comfortable with R, Python, and the command line, a good next step would be to take a course in data structures or to learn this topic on your own. Your preparation should cover topics such as basic data structures (lists, stacks, queues, trees, hashing, heaps, disjoint sets, graphs, self-adjusting data structures).

I am not sure how well I am prepared for the course work. What do you recommend? 

Please contact us, explaining your preparation in detail - listing relevant courses and work experience.

I have only taken Calculus I and Calculus II. Can I get admitted to this program?

You should not submit an application at this time, but rather contact us to discuss your level or preparation. You can take the required courses at a local college before applying. Many community colleges offer these courses at convenient times. Georgetown University also offers these courses through its School of Continuing Studies during the summer. We'll work with you to prepare a plan. You should also refresh your Calculus knowledge before enrolling in these courses.

I don't have any programming experience. Can I get admitted to this program?

You should not submit an application at this time, but rather contact us. You can acquire this experience in a number of ways, including college courses and company training. Georgetown University also offers such courses through its School of Continuing Studies during its summer session.

I am currently taking prerequisite coursework to fulfill program admission requirements. Can I apply for admission before I have completed the course(s) and be admitted to this program?

Yes, this is possible. You can be admitted conditioned on satisfying certain conditions, such as successful completion of a required course. To do this, please explain in your application how you plan to complete this requirement and be sure to keep in touch while you complete the course(s).

## If you are an international applicant, all prerequisite coursework must be completed by the end of May.  If you are an international applicant and anticipate completing prerequisite coursework after May, please contact the program prior to applying. ##

I still need to take Multivariable Calculus and Linear Algebra. Can I take these classes at Georgetown University over the summer?

Yes, this is possible. These courses are offered at Georgetown University's School of Continuing Studies every summer and can be completed during a single summer session.

What is meant by a "proof-based mathematics course"?

This should be a course that introduces, derives and justifies mathematical techniques using rigorous logical arguments, with less emphasis on computational techniques. Such courses are typically taken after completing Linear Algebra. Examples include courses in Number Theory, Differential Equations, Graph Theory, Abstract Algebra, or Combinatorics.

I think my mathematics background is sufficient, but I haven't taken any statistics at all. What do you recommend?

I took Econometrics in college, and we did a good deal of statistics in that course. Am I prepared adequately?

This preparation is usually sufficient. To make sure, please send us more detail about your preparation, including perhaps a syllabus or information about the textbook that was used.

Is there a minimum GPA for applicants?

The Graduate School expects a B-average (3.0 or better) for applicants. We want to make sure that entering students can meet or come close to this requirement. For a successful application, evidence of success (A-grades) in advanced mathematics, statistics and/or computer science courses is even more important. If the application shows this, a student with a slightly lower GPA may still have a chance of admission.

Planning Your Courses

How many courses can I take at a time?

Three courses per semester is the normal load for full time students. Part time students who also have a full-time job may take either one or two courses per semester. Working full time and taking three graduate courses is not recommended as you will most likely perform poorly both in your job and in your classes.

Can I be a part-time student?

Yes. This is possible for students who are not on a student visa. This may be a good option for students who wish to continue their full-time job while attending the program, especially if they receive financial support from their employer. Graduate School rules state that students admitted to a master's degree program are allowed three years from matriculation to complete all requirements for the degree. Talk to your advisor if you think you might take longer, since there are ways to get an extension.

Is it possible to switch between part-time and full-time status?

Yes. It is possible to switch back and forth between full-time and part-time status, and many students do this depending on their desired balance of work and study. However, international students must remain on full-time status throughout and may only switch to part-time status during their last semester. In addition, students should keep in mind that they are required to complete the program within three calendar years.

I am a foreign applicant. Can I start as a full-time student and continue part-time if I get a job offer?

No. You should not expect this to be possible. Please contact the Office of Global Services for details.

How long can I take to complete the degree?

Graduate School rules state that students admitted to a master's degree program are allowed three years from matriculation to complete all requirements for the degree. Talk to your advisor if you think you might take longer, since there are ways to get an extension.

Do graduate students have academic advisors?

Yes. All graduate students will receive individual advising, usually from the Director of Graduate Studies.

Does the program offer graduate courses during the summer?

While Analytics core-courses are not currently offered during the summer, students may take coursework to satisfy elective requirements during the summer.

I plan to continue working full time. How long can I take to complete the degree?

Graduate School rules state that students admitted to a master's degree program are allowed three years from matriculation to complete all requirements for the degree. Talk to your advisor if you think you might take longer, since there are ways to get an extension.

When and where will classes be offered?

All classes will be offered on Georgetown University's Main Campus. Directions to the Main Campus may be found here and campus maps are here.  Classes in this program will usually meet one day per week in the late afternoon (3:30PM - 6:00PM) or evening (6:30PM - 9:00PM). Graduate classes in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics also usually meet on this schedule.

How easy is it to take courses in other programs or departments?

You should always inquire with the instructor to see if the class is appropriate for you and if there is room for you, as there may be restrictions. Also, check with your advisor to see whether the class satisfies degree requirements.

Is it possible to take courses out of sequence?

Yes. This is possible, but we strongly recommend against it. The curriculum has been carefully designed to maximize your experience and your performance.

How often are the core and required courses offered?

The core courses and the required courses will be offered every year. ANLY-501: Introduction to Data Science will always be offered in the fall.

What is the typical number of students in a graduate class?

The class size will typically be capped at 25, but classes will also run with smaller sizes.

Will I be able to get a seat in the course I want to take?

Yes. We will make sure that this is always possible, as long as it is a course within the Analytics program.

Can I take elective courses before completing the core courses?

Yes. This is possible, and you are encouraged to do so. Be sure to check the prerequisites of any course that you wish to take.

How can I find out whether a course offered by another Georgetown program counts towards the degree?

We have developed a list of pre-approved elective courses offered by the departments of Computer Science and of Mathematics and Statistics. For other programs, please inquire with your advisor.

I have taken graduate courses elsewhere. What are the rules for transferring credit?

The Graduate School allows students to transfer up to 25% of the curriculum for qualifying graduate courses from other institutions, as long as these courses have not been used to satisfy requirements for a previous degree and the grade is at least a B. In practice this means that two courses (6 credits) could be transferred. Please contact us to determine which of your courses qualify. We will require details such as a syllabus, information about the textbooks that were used, etc. For the actual transfer, an official transcript will be needed.

There is a course at another university in the Washington DC area that I would like to take. Can I do this?

It is possible to enroll for courses through the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area, provided the courses are not available at Georgetown University. You must obtain permission from this program, the Georgetown Graduate Dean, and from the visited institution. This is an exciting way to add to your academic experience.

You cannot register for a Consortium course during Early Registration but must do this at the beginning of the semester. Detailed rules are available on the Graduate School webpage. If you took a class at another area institution directly (not through the Consortium), you can ask for transfer of credit, subject to the 25% limit on transfer credit. The total of all transfer and consortium courses may not exceed 25% of the curriculum that is counted towards graduation.

In addition, transfer and consortium courses do not count toward the Georgetown grade point average. So you cannot make up for a B- earned in a Georgetown course by earning a B+ in a Consortium course. 

Finally, you will be charged Georgetown tuition when taking a Consortium course. If you are eligible for in-state tuition in Maryland or Virginia, it may be in your interest to register for a graduate course directly and then request transfer of the course credit

Can I take courses in the Computer Science Department or in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics to satisfy the degree requirements?

Yes. This is possible, as long as the course is on the list of pre-approved electives, there is room in the class, and you have instructor approval (if applicable).

Internships

Is there an internship requirement for the degree?

There is no internship requirement, but many students seek internship opportunities during the summer.

Am I guaranteed an internship?

There is no guaranteed internship placement, but the graduate program will help students find internships with external partners, according to their interests and time constraints. Students are also encouraged to find internships on their own. In addition, the Cawley Career Education Center is a good resource available to all Georgetown students.

How does an internship actually work?

An internship takes place off campus, at a location and in an environment that is not connected to Georgetown University. It could even occur outside of the Washington, DC area. Summer internships are usually full-time and normally last about eight weeks. They may continue into the academic year on a part-time basis. Internships during the academic year are usually part-time. Internships do not carry academic credit.

Will I be able to choose between different internships?

Yes. Students in similar programs have been able to choose in the past.

Can I get paid for an internship?

Interns are usually paid for their work. However, there is no guarantee. Keep in mind that the financial benefit of an internship may come later, when you apply for a job and can point to past experience.

Financial Aspects

What kind of financial assistance is available for students?

The Analytics program offers merit-based scholarships to both incoming and continuing students. There are also opportunities for student employment as a research assistant or teaching assistant. For more information on student financial aid, please refer to the Office of Student Financial Services.

What other possibilities are there for student employment?

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics regularly hires graders and tutors. There are also other opportunities for student employment, ranging from work in the library to work for an administrative department at Georgetown University.

Will I receive an automatic offer of financial assistance when I get admitted?

Scholarships are offered to a limited number of students each semester.

If I don't receive an offer for a scholarship upon admission, will I have another chance once I am enrolled?

We may offer limited additional scholarships to students who do exceptionally well after enrolling. These students will be contacted individually.

I have some General Questions

You may wish to review the Graduate Admissions F.A.Q. page, which contains useful information about graduate admissions and programs for prospective students.

Does Georgetown University provide housing for graduate students?

While there is no on-campus housing for graduate students, the Office of Neighborhood Life is a great resource to learn more about off-campus options. A great housing option for graduate students is The Virginian Suites, an off-campus building with four floors of housing reserved just for graduate students. There's also a wealth of housing and student life information on the Graduate School of Arts & Science's website and at the Graduate Student Life Guide.

I live in the Washington area. What is the best way to get to Campus?

Directions to Campus may be found here. To attend evening classes, you can usually find legal parking north of the Georgetown campus. You can also come with the Georgetown University Transportation Shuttle (GUTS), Washington Metrobus (lines D2, D6, G2, and a Circulator line) or by bicycle (there is a Capital Bikeshare station at the main entrance of the campus). The nearest subway stop is in Rosslyn and is served by a GUTS bus.

Is there a Georgetown University bus system that students can use?

Yes. It is called Georgetown University Transportation Shuttle (GUTS) and is free for students and University employees. It serves Dupont Circle, Arlington, Rosslyn, and several other locations.

Is it possible to get a bite to eat or a cup of coffee before an evening class?

There are several fast food restaurants in the Leavey Center. The Corp (undergraduate student corporation) operates several coffee shops and a grocery store. There is also a buffet style restaurant with an adjacent sports bar on campus. Finally, there are many places to eat in the Georgetown area, and some of them are fast and inexpensive.

I may have to miss some classes due to my travel schedule. Will this be a problem?

This can usually be handled, if it doesn't happen too often. Please inform your course instructor before you have to miss a class. Try to obtain notes from other students and use the online course material.

Is it possible to have a part-time job while being a full-time student?

Yes. This is something that many graduate students in related fields do, for example after a successful summer internship. International students are eligible for on-campus employment, but their employment opportunities off campus are restricted.

Is it possible to have a full-time job while being a full-time student?

Students are strongly discouraged from doing this. You are putting both your job performance and your academic performance at risk when you attempt this.

I am about to finish my first semester with an average that is less than the required B. Am I in trouble? 

You will receive a notice and should talk to your advisor. You can improve your average by doing better in subsequent courses. The B-average must be achieved when you are applying for graduation.

I have a GPA that is slightly worse than a B and plan to improve it by having a graduate course transferred in which I received an A. That works, doesn't it?

No, that does not work. Grades for transferred courses are not counted when calculating a student's overall GPA.

Is there a thesis requirement for the degree?

No. There is no thesis requirement.

Can I write a thesis instead of completing courses?

There is currently no thesis option for the degree. However, students may find instructors and work with them on research projects, which may be done within a research tutorial that is taken for credit. Such research may then lead to publishable papers.

I am an international student

All answers are to the best of current knowledge. They are subject to change and do not constitute legal advice or commitments. Please contact Georgetown University's Office of Global Services for more detailed answers (see the next question).

Where can I get advice about visa, work restrictions, and so on?

Your main point of contact is the International Student and Scholar Services group in the Office of Global Services. You will be able to meet with an advisor from that office when you first arrive on campus.

Is this program of study STEM-eligible? 

Yes. International graduates of this program have the opportunity to extend their Optional Training Program (OPT) from 12 to 29 month, assuming all other requirements are met. The CIP number of this program is 30.3001 (Computational Science).

Can I take an internship during the summer?

Yes, this is possible. We offer a 0.25 credit course titled ANLY 905-Internship that can be taken during the summer which will allow you to apply for CPT. Another option would be to utilize OPT during your internship.

I plan to go home to visit my family during the summer and will not be able to take a summer course. Will this be a problem?

No. The only required summer course will be taken online, prior to starting the program in the Fall. Other summer courses will always be electives, and will not be required for graduation.

Can I become a grader or course assistant?

Yes. International students are eligible for on-campus employment within certain limits.

Are international students eligible for financial aid?

Yes. International students will also be considered for scholarship offers.