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This page contains frequently asked questions (FAQ) on Master of Applied Data Science (MADS) program guidelines. Please read The Graduate School Handbook or contact your Student Support Advisor for further details. Please read these carefully.

How long do I have to complete my program? Both full and part-time students have five years to complete their degree. For students enrolled in the full-time track, the Student Support Advisor proactively initiates contact after two years in the program to facilitate a discussion regarding timely program completion. For students following the part-time track, the Student Support Advisors reach out after three years to engage in a similar discussion concerning the timely completion of their academic journey. During these conversations, Student Support Advisors will discuss time limit extensions if deemed necessary.

What if my studies are interrupted by military service, Peace Corps, or something similar? If graduate study is interrupted by active military service, or service in the Peace Corps, VISTA, or the equivalent, as much as two years of that time will not count toward the time limit for the degree. In such an event, send an official letter from the appropriate agency to the student’s Student Support Advisor, the MADS Student Services Coordinator, and The Graduate School to document the interruption.

What if I want to go on a leave of absence, parental leave, or withdraw from the University?

  • Leave of Absence: Before the first term of leave, the student must complete and submit a MADS Time Limit/Leave form and speak to their Student Support Advisor before filling out a Request for Leave of Absence form to The Graduate School. This second form requires approval by the academic program. Leave of absence cannot be granted to students with temporary grades like incomplete.
  • Parental Leave: The student must complete and submit a MADS Time Limit/Leave form and speak to their Student Support Advisor before filling out the Parental Leave Application form, along with other supporting documentation as outlined in the policy, must be completed, and submitted to The Graduate School at least eight weeks before the anticipated birth or adoption of the child.
  • Withdrawal: The student should submit a MADS Time Limit/Leave Form. After a conversation with their Student Support Advisor, students should submit an electronic Withdrawal Form through their ConnectCarolina Student Center and complete the withdrawal steps as indicated. Upload an Instructor Grade Input form for each course the student is enrolled in.

Do online students have access to the Student Emergency Fund? Yes, they do. Our MADS online graduate students should be aware of the 1) Student Emergency Fund sponsored by Student Affairs and Scholarships and Student Aid and 2) GPSF Emergency Fund. Both funds may provide immediate limited financial support for emergency expenses. Find more information and applications at the Dean of Students website and GPSG website.

What happens if I fail to register for a semester without being approved for a leave of absence? To resume studies, students must submit an Application for Readmission and the MADS Time Limit/Leave form. Readmission is not automatic and will be reviewed by the program before recommending to The Graduate School. Readmission is also required after a deferment.

Under what circumstances would I have to apply for reapplication? If any of the below apply to you, please contact the Student Services Coordinator ( to discuss developing a feasible academic plan for returning. Afterward, you will fill out the Admission Application request form at The Graduate School website.

  • An individual remains unregistered for five years or longer and wishes to resume graduate study.
  • An individual cancels registration prior to the first semester of enrollment in an academic program and does not defer admission to a future term.
  • An individual withdraws during the first semester of enrollment in an academic program and later wishes to pursue the degree after two years have passed.
  • A student exceeds the time limit for degree completion and wishes to continue studies.

Under what circumstances would I become academically ineligible to continue my studies? If you receive a grade of F, F*, XF, or nine or more hours of L or fail a written or oral examination for the second time.

  • After becoming academically ineligible, how can I be reinstated? You will receive an email notifying you of your academic ineligible status and asking if you intend to seek reinstatement. If yes, you will develop an appropriate academic plan with the Student Services Coordinator as part of the Request for Reinstatement to Graduate School form. The Director of Graduate Studies will submit the petition either endorsing or declining to endorse the request.