Answer questions, question answers.

Our rigorous and forward-thinking online MSDS program challenges students to make sense of the vast amounts of data available now, and turn insights into action. We believe in the good that data science can do. Our students go on to make monumental strides in discovery, analysis, and problem-solving in diverse fields.

Data science is a multi-faceted, interdisciplinary practice. Candidates will combine technical, quantitative, and philosophical study to shed light on complex issues using data. Graduates from our online Master of Science in Data Science program transform business, medicine, engineering, technology and public policy, just to name a few fields.

Who Should Apply?

Now more than ever, the field of data science demands leaders with diverse backgrounds. We encourage interested applicants with a three-year or four-year undergraduate degree from an accredited institution to apply. Our students come to the School of Data Science having majored in everything from History to Psychology. We believe in diversity of thought and feel that a variety of backgrounds is key to successful collaboration.

However, mastery of certain foundational subjects is required for both enrollment and success in the program. The curriculum and content of the online MSDS demand a level of comfort in a quantitative and technical classroom setting. Students must have successfully completed each of the following prerequisites (or an equivalent) prior to the start of the term in which the program starts.

  • Single variable calculus (similar to UVA MATH 1210-1220, MATH 1310-1320, or APMA 1090-1110)
  • Linear algebra or matrix algebra (similar to UVA MATH 3350, MATH 3351, or APMA 3080)
  • Introductory statistics (similar to UVA STAT 2020, STAT 2120, APMA 3110, or APMA 3120)
  • Introductory programming (similar to UVA CS 1110, CS 1111, CS 1112, or CS 1113)

MSDS prerequisites are essential for program preparedness. For more detailed information on the prerequisites for the MSDS and how they may be fulfilled please visit here. Contact the School of Data Science Online Enrollment Team at (434) 264-5759 or email onlinedatascience@virginia.edu to learn more and prepare a plan to fulfill prerequisites.

Upon completion of the online MSDS, individuals will be able to:

  • Leverage computational tools to acquire, manipulate, and store data.
  • Model, analyze, and extract information from data.
  • Use simulation and visualization to better understand and interpret data.
  • Apply important privacy, security, and ethical issues related to the use of data.
  • Work within a team to extract useful information from a large, complicated data set for a vaguely posed problem.
  • Effectively communicate among and between a diverse array of colleagues and clients.
  • Demonstrate a passion for their work, as evidenced by their ability to apply mental effort and tenacity to challenging issues.
  • Demonstrate their understanding of what data science is “good for,” as evidenced by their ability to distinguish which problems lend themselves to solutions provided through data science, which problems in and of themselves can be clarified or illuminated through data science, and which problems will not or cannot be well addressed through the use of data science.
  • Innovate using reflection and inquiry practices with data science to establish what they know, reveal what they don’t know, and understand how they know what they don’t know (“Better to do the right thing, than to do things right,” -Drucker).

Key Dates and Deadlines

Term Priority Deadline Final Submit Deadline Term Start
Spring 2021 September 24, 2020 November 20, 2020 February 1, 2021
Summer 2021 January 20, 2021 March 22, 2021 May 17, 2021
Fall 2021 April 26, 2021 June 28, 2021 August 24, 2021

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