Master Statistics for Smart Data

From Big Data to Smart Data

ENSAI opened a Master of Science in Big Data in September 2015 and took advantage of its accreditation renewal to revamp the program to shift its focus to Smart Data. In July, 2017, ENSAI was co-accredited for 5 years to award the degree of Master of Science in Statistics for Smart Data. This degree is part of the overall offer of Master’s degrees in Statistics and Applied Mathematics in the category of Science, Technology and Health in Rennes and is co-accredited with Rennes 1 University, Rennes 2 University, Agrocampus Ouest, and INSA Rennes.  


Smart Data à ENSAI

The demand for skills in the field of high-dimensional data processing and analysis is increasing dramatically worldwide, yet serious academic programs for this domain are still quite rare.

Smart Data focuses on revealing the Value and Veracity from the Volume, Variety and Velocity of Big Data to  meet the vital challenge of identifying relevant and valuable information among the plethora of data available. 

ENSAI is currently the only French engineering school accredited to offer an all-English program with this unique program, combining Statistics and Computer Science. ENSAI was first accredited by the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research to deliver a Master of Science in Big Data in 2014 (known as a Master international or DNM in the French nomenclature).

ENSAI has many years of experience dispensing multidisciplinary training (Statistics, Computer Science, and Econometrics), numerous international corporate and academic partnerships, a Big Data Academic Platform established by GENES, and a Big Data research chair financed by the Institut Louis Bachelier and the Fondation du Risque.

ENSAI's Master of Science in Statistics for Smart Data will meet the very important needs of corporations and organizations of all kinds for graduate-level training that  remains rare in academic offerings on the French, European, and international stage. 

Master of Science in Statistics for Smart Data brochure.

Interview: A PhD on autonomous vehicles after International Master of Science.


Curriculum: Course Descriptions

The structure of this Master's program is composed of one semester of coursework at ENSAI, followed by a 4 to 6-month internship in France or abroad within the professional world or academia/research laboratories.

Prior to the start of the Academic Year, the students will be given the opportunity  to attend courses designed  to reinforce different notions in Computer Science, Statistics, and Mathematics. After the beginning of the semester, students will learn methodologies and practical skills, acquire core concepts of data management, and learn how to use the tools necessary to access, treat, and analyze massive amounts of heterogeneous data. Students will develop mastery of mathematical models and algorithms allowing them to extract important data and develop deep understanding and create insight. The curriculum at ENSAI will allow them to become skilled Data Scientists and work in various sectors like retail, manufacturing, financial markets, insurance, healthcare, energy, and public administrations.

Note: In order to permanently ensure that the curriculum is adapted for the needs of the current job market, ENSAI reserves the right to make slight changes to the proposed curriculum and the descriptions between the period of admission and the start of the academic year.


Graduates of the program are skilled Data Scientists. In addition to doctoral possibilities in research, they will have numerous career opportunities in international corporations and data start-ups in many fields including:

Business Analytics
Internet of Things
Personalized Medicine
Smart Grid Optimization
Smart Society
Social Networks Analysis
Supply Chain Optimization


Doctoral opportunities: ENSAI proposes a PhD in Applied Mathematics (Statistics and related fields). ENSAI PhD students are enrolled in the MathSTIC Doctoral School, which is operated jointly by several regional institutions of higher education including the University of Rennes 1, the University of Rennes 2, INSA Rennes, Institut Mines-Telecom Atlantique, and Ecole Normale Supérieure de Rennes. ENSAI also proposes joint PhD programs in Economics and Computer Science in collaboration with partner establishments from Rennes, Paris Saclay,or institutions abroad. 

PhD students at ENSAI take advantage of the dynamic, interdisciplinary research environment of the renowned CREST  research lab and its team. The CREST laboratory is characterized by a strong attachment to quantitative methods, data, mathematical modeling, and the continuous movement between theoretical models and empirical evidence to analyze concrete scientific, economic, and societal problems.   



All courses and examinations occur in English. Non-English speakers must have a minimum level of B2 (CEFR scale). Certificates requested with application form. 

Non-French speakers benefit from intensive French courses the preceding summer (August), as well as weekly evening French classes during the academic year.

Foreign French-speaking students possessing an official French language certificate (DELF or DALF) may request to be exempted from some or all of the French courses. Students possessing French nationality are automatically exempted.

See below for program cost details.


This final phase of the MSc in Statistics for Smart Data program involves a four to six-month paid* internship, which can take place either in France or abroad, in either the professional world or academic/research laboratories. This experience should allow for the student to apply the statistical and computer science theory and methods that they have learned during the semester of coursework.

The student must write an Internship Report and defend it in front of a jury.

*If the internship is carried out in France, by law it must be paid.

Coût & Financement des études

The MSc in Statistics for Smart Data program cost is fixed at: 

- €8,000* for normal tuition, inclusive of all fees and registration
- €10,000 for professionals, corporations, and organizations (financing current employees)

*Reduced tuition possible for students from Academic Partner Institutions

Students following this Master's program are not eligible to apply for GENES' student grant based on financial need.


Université d'été (Intensive French Summer Program):

Non-French speakers also pay €1,000 for the 1-month Intensive French Summer Program (August): the Université d'été; this cost is inclusive of courses and program fees. This is made payable to the organizing service at CIREFE (not ENSAI) directly upon arrival. Participants have 2 options for accommodation and choose when registering for the Université d'été program:

- living with a French host family (cost: €26/night = €182/week + one time €6 application fee)
- living in a university residence hall (renovated room with private bathroom, shared kitchen) (cost: €320/month)


Erasmus+ Student Loans

Students from Erasmus+ program countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden, United Kingdom, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway) may be eligible for student loans at preferential rates to help finance their studies. For more information, please consult the European Commission document explaining eligibility requirements and advantages of the program. 


Admissions & Prérequis

The Master of Science in Statistics for Smart Data  is open to students of all nationalities.

All applicants must have a minimum of 4 years of higher education (at least a 4-year Bachelor's degree or the first year of a Master's). A strong statistical, mathematical and computer science background is required. For more detailed information about prerequisite knowledge, click on the categories below: 

Candidates with degrees from non-EU countries must provide GRE revised General Test results or equivalent such as GMAT, TAGE MAGE, etc. Please have results sent directly to ENSAI by using the following Designated Institution code when registering for the GRE: 7180. For more information about the GRE, please visit the official website:

Non-native English speakers will be required to certify a minimum B2 (CEFR) level of English by providing valid results from a recognized language certification such as the TOEIC, TOEFL, IELTS, CLES, etc. 

Applications are selected based on candidates' degrees, level, and skills. A personal interview (in person or via videoconference) will be at the discretion of the ENSAI admissions committee.

Comment Candidater

ENSAI is now accepting applications on the Admission page for MSc in Statistics for Smart Data.


All applications for the Master of Science in Statistics for Smart Data at ENSAI in France for the 2019-2020 academic year must be completed and submitted online between: 

1st wave: December 17, 2018 and February 15, 2019 

2nd wave: February 16, 2019 and April 15, 2019 

3rd wave: April 16, 2019 and May 24, 2019 

Candidates are strongly encouraged to apply during the first round of admissions, given the limited number of places, the highly selective admissions criteria, and the time constraints to obtain a visa for non-European candidates. Opening a 2nd and a 3rd wave will depend upon the number of available places following the preceding wave(s).

The following items are mandatory for all candidates:

  • Curriculum vitae in English
  • Statement of Purpose, dated and signed (this signature serves as official proof of application)

Directions:In English and in 3500 characters or less (not including spaces): What specifically has led you to apply for ENSAI's Smart Data program? Explain how your education and/or professional background have prepared you for some of the specific aspects of this Master's degree.

  • Copies of degrees, diplomas (in order from most recent to oldest) -  originals plus certified English translations – if documents are  in French, a translation is not necessary
  • Copies of all official grade transcripts (originals plus certified English translations – if documents are  in French, a translation is not necessary)
  • Course content/descriptions from previous education (in English or French)
  • English language certificate such as TOEIC, TOEFL, IELTS, CLES, etc. proving minimum level equivalent to B2 (CEFR scale), for non-native speakers
  • French language certificate (for non-native French speakers who wish to be exempted from the intensive French summer program and French courses)
  • Copy of the official GRE Revised General Test score report (results must be less than 5 years old to be valid) or equivalent such as GMAT, TAGE MAGE, etc. for candidates with degrees from non-EU countries (this document is not mandatory but very strongly recommended). If you have never taken the GRE, please visit the official website Please have results sent directly to ENSAI using the following Designated Institution code when registering for the GRE: 7180
  • 3 academic or professional references (please indicate for each the name, position, institution and email address). We may contact them
  • Copy of a valid passport or ID card
  • Proof of an international bank transfer order (copy of order, screen shot of online transfer, etc.) for the non-refundable application fee of €100 (mentioning candidates’ name + Smart Data). Please bear in mind that this will take several days to process. Applicants must cover any and all fees associated with the transfer. For accepted candidates, the application fee will be applied to the cost of tuition. See “Payment Procedure and Calendar” below.
  • Payment of tuition & fees form[nbsp]duly completed and signed. If the jury selects your application, you will receive an admissions’ offer from ENSAI for the 2019-2020 academic year. This document is a commitment to pay all tuition & fees upon acceptance of this admissions offer.