Notre Dame Launches Data Science Master’s Program

(Photo: Public Domain, Creative Commons)

(Photo: Public Domain, Creative Commons)

Notre Dame will be launching an online Master's degree in Data Science in August 2017, which will be the university's first ever entirely-online Master's program.

The courses were developed, and will be taught by, Notre Dame faculty from the Department of Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics together with the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, the Mendoza College of Business, and the Department of Psychology. AT&T, which is helping to develop the program, will be offering its employees discounted tuition as well as other benefits if they would like to take the courses.

John Donovan, AT&T's chief strategy officer and group president of Technology and Operations, said:

"Every technology going forward must factor in software and data analytics– whether it's 5G networks, internet of things, artificial intelligence, or any of today's numerous industry drivers."

The Master's of Science, which takes 21 months to complete with two or three courses per semester, will have online classes scheduled for the evening in Eastern Standard Time.

The courses will focus on real-world projects and practical applications. Courses will include statistics, mathematics, computer science, data science ethics, communications, data science as a business process, and behavioral data science.

Notre Dame's online programs emphasize mobile access, community interactions, and 24/7 accessibility.

Elliot Visconsi, Notre Dame's chief academic digital officer, said:

"A graduate of this new program will be equipped with the academic training, analytical insight, imagination and practice skills necessary for success as a data scientist. Graduates will have the flexibility of mind to master new data science processes, tools and strategies as they emerge, and the ability to communicate effectively and act ethically in this exciting and fast-moving field."

Candidates with any academic or work background may apply, but some mathematics and programming skills are required for participation. By January, a readiness assessment tool for prospective students will be available.

The university hopes to have about 40 students for the first classes.

New students will be required to attend an initial long weekend orientation at Notre Dame. There will also be attendance-optional retreats with faculty and industry leaders, held at Notre Dame and in the Silicon Valley region in California, reports Sue Lister of the Notre Dame News.

The program is made to be accessible to working professionals so that they can prepare for careers as data scientists in fields as varied as information technology, software, healthcare and medicine, research, finance, and education. Data scientists mine and interpret data to provide insights for businesses, institutions, and other organizations.

According to Margaret Fosmoe of the South Bend Tribune, data science degree programs are increasing in number.

Saint Mary's College created a Master's degree program in the subject in 2015, as a hybrid program — both online and in-person components are required.

Indiana University also offers a Master's in the subject and gives students the choice to attend online, in-person, or to do the hybrid version. For more information, visit Notre Dame's online learning page.

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