GP2 Underrepresented Populations Master’s Program

MPS Data Science at UMBC in collaboration with the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences

We are inviting doctors and scientists who identify as belonging to an underrepresented group in Parkinson’s disease (PD) research to apply for funding to pursue a virtual Master’s in Data Science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). This is a virtual program taught over two years.

This program prepares students for careers in data science, therefore a strong passion for data science is required. In the core courses, students will get a fundamental understanding of data science through classes that highlight bioinformatics, statistical analyses, and data analysis/management. The core courses will also introduce students to ethical and legal implications surrounding data science.

The prospective student must enroll in the program in the 2024 fall semester.

More information about the MPS in Data Science (by distance learning) program can be found here


The Global Parkinson’s Genetics Program (GP2) is an ambitious project supported by the Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s (ASAP) initiative and executed in partnership with The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Disease Research.

Entry Requirements

Applicants must meet the following specifications:

  • A bachelor’s degree in any subject*

  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, or equivalent. Applicants with grades on a scale other than 4.0 will be evaluated based on standards for the country of their degree.

    • If the original transcript from the University is in a language other than English, a notarized version in English must be provided.

  • Prospective students must have also completed the following courses at the undergraduate or graduate level:

    • One semester of statistics

    • Calculus I

    • Candidates must have academic or professional experience equivalent to basic programming courses.
      (The Data Science program does not accept online courses (e.g., Coursera, MOOCs, edX) in fulfillment of the prerequisite requirements).

  • Have a clear interest in conducting the capstone research project aligning with GP2 goals

  • Have a clear interest in developing an understanding of neurodegenerative disease genetics

  • Be computer literate and understand the principles of data management and analysis

  • Be committed to collaborative work, locally and globally

  • Have good written and oral communication in English (sufficient to present work and write a thesis)

*If you have a three-year degree versus a four-year degree, your transcript will be reviewed to determine whether you have met the necessary prerequisites for the program. Eligibility for admission can only be determined upon receipt of a complete application.

English Language Requirements

All international students are required to submit English Language scores unless they hold an undergraduate degree from a U.S. institution or hold a degree from an English-speaking country on the list of exceptions, which can be found here.

An adequate level of English Language proficiency can be demonstrated by taking one of the below examinations and achieving the required score.

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score: 90 iBT
    (No section may have a score less than 22)

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score: minimum sum of section scores – 27.5
    (No section may have a score less than 6.5)

  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic score: 61

  • Duolingo English test score: 120

The examination must have been taken within 2 years prior to applying for this program.

Funding Notes

We will support the costs of the overseas tuition fees for the virtual MPS in Data Science program starting in Fall 2024. The award will cover: 

  • University fees that are directly related to the master’s program (i.e. tuition and application processing fees).

Selected candidates will conduct a capstone project that aligns with GP2 goals while completing the master’s program. As a result, selected candidates must generate a manuscript submitted to a preprint server (such as medRxiv, bioRxiv) by the end of the funded program.

Application Information

Deadline: June 26, 2024.

To apply, please register and complete the online application form within The Michael J. Fox Foundation grants portal.

To be considered for funding for this GP2 master’s program, you must belong to an underrepresented group in Parkinson’s Disease (PD) research.

Here is more information and answers to frequent questions about the GP2 Underrepresented Populations Master’s program.