Data Science (MS) – STEM Designated Degree Program
Today we live in the era of big data, and professionals across industries as well as the educated citizenry have a need to understand and gain insights from the massive amount of data generated from various sources, including science, health care, education, social media, and governmental and non-governmental organizations. With broad knowledge of the explosion of big data, people with competency in computer science who are interested in the science of and behind big data are seeking out training that will enable them to develop expertise in understanding and analyzing big data, capable of being creators as well as users of data mining/analytics tools. It is this population the MS in Data Science intends to serve.
The primary mission of this degree is to train students in core Data Science competencies and expose students to a broad range of Data Science related topics and applications, preparing them to be part of the next generation Data Science workforce. In addition, students will have a unique opportunity to conduct research in Data Science investigations. The MS degree in Data Science combines the fundamentals of Data Science, with options for students to choose a domain area relating to Data Science.
The demand for data scientists and engineers is growing tremendously. For example, the job title “Data Scientist” topped Glassdoor’s 50 Best Jobs in America for the second consecutive year in 2017. Also, the job titles “Data Engineer” and “Analytics Manager” both cracked the top five. A recent study co-authored by IBM projects that the demand for data scientists and data engineers will grow 39 percent by 2020, when the number of annual job openings for data professionals reaches 2.72 million. The study further states that:
- Annual demand for data-driven decision makers, which comprise one-third of the data savvy professional job market, is projected to increase by 110,000 openings by 2020.
- Annual demand for the fast-growing new roles of data scientist, data developers, and data engineer will reach nearly 700,000 openings by 2020.
Along with the Data Science (MS) degree, the Computer Science department also offers the following options for graduate study: Computer Science (MS), Computer Science (Combined BS/MS), Computing Technology (Certificate), Computational Linguistics (MS), Cybersecurity (MS), Information Technology (MS) and Information Technology, Applied Information Technology Concentration (Online PSM Program).
Please refer to our programs of study page for a comprehensive list of all of the graduate programs offered within the university.
Students should have completed a minimum of 15 undergraduate credits in Computer Science including foundational courses in computer programming, data structures and algorithms, computer organization and discrete mathematics. If an applicant does not have such a background, the Computer Science Graduate Committee will assign up to four existing additional preparatory courses aimed to providing the student with the minimum background necessary to fully enter the program.
The Graduate School requires the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree in order to be eligible to apply for a graduate program. Applicants with non-U.S. degrees, please visit the International Applicants page to review the U.S. degree equivalency information.
In order to make applying for graduate school as seamless as possible for you, we have
created an application checklist. This checklist can be a reference point for you during the
application process to ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of the steps
needed to apply, as well as all corresponding supplemental materials for your specific
program of interest.
- Application Deadline: Rolling Admission
- Submit Online Application: Please create your online account and submit your application by following the general application instructions and pay (or waive) the non-refundable $60 application fee. Once this step has been completed, the online portal will allow you to upload your supplemental materials.
The following is a list of the supplemental materials that will accompany your application for the Data Science (MS) program:
- Transcript: One from each college attended.
- Essays/Personal Statement – Please write one integrated essay providing a response to each of the following questions:
- What are your goals for graduate study and your future career?
- In what ways do your academic background and your professional experiences provide evidence of your potential for success in the program you selected and in your eventual career? Please give specific examples of relevant coursework and/or experience.
- Is there any further information we should consider in assessing your candidacy?
- Letters of Recommendation: Two (2)
- Resume: Required
- Students holding degrees from non-US institutions must request a course-by-course transcript evaluation from a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services or by Educated Choices. TOEFL (Test of English as a foreign language), IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or Duolingo English Test are required for applicants to any program who earned their degree in a country where English is not the official language. Please check our International Applicants page for more information and for our current TOEFL/IELTS Waiver Policy.
Download the course curriculum for the Data Science (MS) program
If you have any general questions regarding the application process and requirements, please email or call us:
The Graduate School
If you have specific inquiries regarding your program of interest, please contact the Data Science (MS) Program Coordinator:
*During the summer months, there will be a rotating department chair available to answer your inquiry. Find the updated summer chair for this program.*