Data Science - MS

Program Code: MSDS
Master of Science

Availability: campus

Program Philosophy and Content
As a result of globalization and advances in technology during the 21st century, the complexity and variety of data have evolved, while the volume of data continues to increase daily. This phenomenon has been dubbed “The Data Revolution.” The world is inundated with data, stemming from, but not limited to, social media platforms, business transactions, Internet sources, cellular data usage and file sharing. Industry and government organizations collect, organize and analyze data and information for several reasons, from maintaining their competitive edge, to altering business strategies and increasing sales to enhancing national security.

Data science is one of the most important disciplines of the future, and it will intersect with every area as the reservoir of the world’s data continues to grow. According to a McKinsey Global Institute report, “the United States alone could face a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills as well as 1.5 million managers and analysts with the know-how to use the analysis of big data to make effective decisions.”

The Master of Science in Data Science, part of the Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences, is a 36-credit program. This program will train students as data scientists who will serve as key informants for decision makers in both the public and private sectors. It will serve as a cornerstone in cross-disciplinary learning. The comprehensive, challenging curriculum emphasizes programming, data visualization, machine learning, database skills and quantitative analysis to produce graduates who are innovators in producing, visualizing and communicating actionable new insights about the meaning of data for decision-makers in businesses, public agencies and nonprofits.

The ideal candidate for the Data Science program possesses an inquiring mind, an interest in the world around them, an ability to communicate with others effectively, and quantitative knowledge, skills, and abilities. The individual should be self-motivated, in addition to committed to personal and professional development. Individuals from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds are encouraged to apply; however, faculty of the Data Science program may request an interview to determine if the program will meet the applicant’s goals.

In just five years, students can earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree at Mercyhurst University through the new 4+1 Data Science program. Undergraduate students in almost any discipline major of study may apply for the 4+1 program. Interested students must apply by April 1 of their sophomore year or after they have 30 credits completed on their Mercyhurst transcripts. Students of the 4+1 Data Science program will take four graduate-level courses (12 credits) during their junior and senior years. These credits will count toward the master’s degree, but will be billed at the undergraduate flat rate. These credits will only count for the Master of Science degree and students must complete at least 121 undergraduate credits to earn a bachelor’s degree. As a graduate student, students must complete 24 credits during the fifth year, charged at the graduate rate. Completing these requirements in five years may require students to take some courses during the summer.

The program chair shall conduct an annual review of the academic progress of all students enrolled in the program. Students whose GPA falls below a 3.0 or who might otherwise exhibit behavior that is not conducive to ensuring employment in this field will be placed on probation or removed from the program, depending on the outcome of review.

Mission Statement
It is the mission of the data science program at Mercyhurst University to produce graduates, through a variety of delivery modalities, who are skilled in utilizing a variety of sources of data and analytic techniques to lead the collaborative development of high-quality written and oral analytic data products that, in service toward a just world, inform decision-makers, thereby fostering an appreciation for the dignity of work and commitment to serving others.

Program Student Learning Outcomes:

Graduates of the Masters of Science in Data Science will be able to:

  • Obtain, organize, and transform data into appropriate format for storage, exploration, visualization and analysis
  • Collect, clean, and store, and query data from a variety of private and public data sources
  • Explore, visualize, and analyze data to detect patterns
  • Create formal predictive models using statistical and machine learning tools and make predictions to support decision making in private sector, nongovernmental organizations and governmental organizations
  • Communicate analytic findings in easy-to-understand written, oral, visual, and/or multimedia formats to clients

Core Requirements

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