Big Data Certificate Admissions Process

Thank you for your interest in applying for the fully online Big Data certificate at the San José State University School of Information. Please follow the application process detailed below.

Application Deadlines
Application Process

Admissions Requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree from any regionally accredited institution in any discipline with a GPA of at least 2.5 at the bachelor’s degree institution or in the last 60 semester or 90 quarter units

Students must also have a general understanding of computers and technology and access to a computer with Internet connection and appropriate software. Please note students in the Big Data certificate program are required to have a minimum of 8GB of RAM and a minimum of 100GB hard drive due to working with large data sets.

Course Prerequisites 

Applicants with a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Information Science or related areas should either have taken courses or had practical experience in database management systems and programming/programming languages (Unix/Linux, C++ or Java, Python, R).

Applicants with bachelor's degrees in other areas should have practical experience in software development, database management, algorithm design, and programming languages (Unix/Linux, C++ or Java, Python, R). In addition, students are encouraged (but not required) to have knowledge in cloud computing and website/mobile application services.

International Applicants

In addition to holding a bachelor’s degree as required above, international applicants (or applicants who earned their degrees in a country where the primary language is not English), must meet the following requirements:

  • TOEFL score of 600 (paper version) or 250 (computer version) or 100 (Internet-based), OR
  • IELTS score of 8.

Important Note for International Applicants: If you are taking the degree online from your own country – or any country outside the United States – there is no need to obtain a visa. You apply as a special session student and complete the certificate online from outside the United States.

Application Deadlines

Application Period for Spring 2018:

  • Opens: August 1, 2017
  • Closes: December 1, 2017
  • Document Deadline: December 20, 2017

Application Process

IMPORTANT: The notice of admission from the School of Information will only come via email. Make sure you set your spam filter to accept all correspondences from the domain. Please be sure to complete all 3 steps.

1. Complete the university's online graduate application. Note students applying for the Big Data certificate should select "none" under the degree objective portion of the application. Note: Non-US citizens do not use the "International Admissions Application;" they use the domestic application for certificate programs. Before completing the online Cal State Apply application, read the following– and then apply on . For assistance with the CSU Certificate application, an online tutorial is available. On the Cal State Apply screen “Enrollment Information,” for the Degree/Credential Objective choice, please choose: “Information School, (Certificate, Big Data)”

  • Fill out the application to show only your bachelor’s degree institution and your master’s degree institution.
  • Non-US citizens: On Cal State Apply's "Personal Information" application page where it asks for "US state/territory", use the dropdown menu to click "Foreign country"; where it asks for "Citizenship status", use the dropdown menu to click "Other visa"; where it asks for "visa status", put in "U"; and where it asks for the "date issued", type in "01/01/2000".
  • A GRE, work experience, academic references, academic honors, and a statement of purpose are not necessary. In the boxes provided on the form, leave these boxes blank. For the "Statement of Purpose" box, only type in the words "not applicable".
  • When you click the "Submit" button, the application is electronically submitted to the SJSU Office of Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluation (GAPE). Be sure to print out the "Confirmation" web page for future reference.

2. Pay the CSU Graduate Application fee of $55. Payment of the CSU Application Fee of $55 will be accepted by credit card or PayPal only. The payment must be made in order to submit your Cal State Apply university application.

3. Obtain one sealed transcript for your bachelor's degree. Send transcripts to:

Graduate Admissions & Program Evaluation
San José State University
One Washington Square
San José, CA 95192-0017 (Use of any other zip code will cause misdirection and/or loss of transcripts)

Transcripts may be sent electronically. If your school of record has partnered with any of the following vendors, the institution should send the transcripts to SJSU via these vendors and not to us directly. Transcripts in PDF format sent via email from the institution will not be accepted. If the vendor needs an email address, use:

Credentials, Inc. or E-scripsafe
National Student Clearinghouse


If you attended SJSU, DO NOT send your SJSU transcript. Certificate students are not required to submit documents to WES.


Fees are $500 a unit. The total cost for the nine-unit Certificate in Big Data is US $4,500. Fees are subject to review and change. The Big Data certificate program is offered in special session only and does not qualify for financial aid.


Fees are due within 21 days of enrollment. Pay your fees after you are enrolled in each class.

Our school's programmer / analyst, Gina Lee, will manage the process to enroll you in the courses you choose each semester. Students already enrolled in the program can take courses during the fall, spring and summer sessions.

Please note that we will try to get you into the class of your choice but cannot guarantee a particular instructor. We do not guarantee a particular instructor for any of our programs.

For any admissions questions, please contact Gina Lee

get help with application process