Bay Path University Online Master of Science in Data Science

Why Bay Path University?

Accelerated eight-week classes that allow students to focus intensely on the subject they are studying are a compelling draw of the online Master of Science in Applied Data Science offered by this private university in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. Located just south of Springfield, this small institution, founded as a women’s college, has designed its online MSDS as a “bridge program” that will prepare graduates to collaborate with teams of data scientists and analysts.  Although the program requires applicants to have a degree in math, statistics, computer science, engineering, finance, or a related field, it emphasizes the fact that it is open to students without a computer science or engineering background. 

Program Snapshot

University NameBay Path University
LocationLongmeadow
StateMassachusetts
Niche.com GradeB
Name of DegreeMaster of Science in Applied Data Science
School or Department Administering ProgramSchool of Science and Management
Credits36
Cost per credit$880
Tuition for Entire Program$31,680
Test Requirementsnone
Prerequisite Courses and Skillsdegree in math, statistics, computer science, engineering, finance, or a related field.
Campus Visit Required?No
Typical Time to Complete1 to 2 years
When Can Students Start the Program?October or February
Program ConcentrationsGeneralist and Specialist Track
Synchronous classesNo
Required Courses
  • Foundations of Data Science
  • Introduction to Data Analytics I*
  • Introduction to Data Analytics II*
  • Introduction to Machine Learning I*
  • Introduction to Machine Learning II*
  • Statistical Modeling
  • Data Exploration and Visualization
  • Database Systems
  • Case Analysis Capstone
  • Probability for Data Analytics**
  • Statistical Inference for Data Analytics**
  • Statistical Modeling
  • Data Mining I**
  • Data Mining II**
Does the Program Include a Capstone?Yes
Does the program include a practicum or internship?No
Other features that make the program unique
  1. The program itself is a “bridge program” designed so that graduates can collaborate with data scientists and analysts
  2. Classes in an accelerated eight-week format
  3. Not limited to individuals with an undergraduate degree in computer science or engineering 
Program Objectives (quoted directly from the program)None indicated
Program DescriptionThis Master of Science in Data Science covers data management, modeling, statistics, visualization, machine learning, and other topics within two concentrations: Generalist and Core. The program’s 36 credits can be completed within 1 to 2 years, and include a required capstone, but no practicum or internship.

Note: Courses marked with * are required for the Generalist Concentration only, and those marked with ** are required for the Specialist Concentration only

What will I Learn?

Students with the less technical or quantitative background may want to take a look at Bay Path’s Generalist program concentration, which provides more introductory courses on Data Analytics and Machine learning than the Specialist concentration. Specialists cover statistical inference, probability, and data mining in greater depth, while both concentrations share coursework in modeling, data visualization, and database systems.

The coursework covers all the topics that one can expect in a data science master’s program. Still, the small size of the university means that students don’t have the opportunity to learn in-depth in elective courses about applying data science methods to specific domains of interest such as health care, biology, or engineering. 

A Case Analysis capstone at the end of the program allows students to practice and consolidate their knowledge by examining the use of data science in the “real world,” but for students looking for more on-the-job training, no internship or practicum is offered. 

How much will the program cost?

While students, especially those in the generalist concentration, may not be receiving the rigorous and wide-ranging technical preparation offered by some other programs, they also aren’t paying top dollar. Students finish their degree within 1 to 2 years and pay $880 per credit for a total of 36 credits, or just under $32K for the entire degree.

How does the program fit into my life?

Aspiring data scientists who are juggling employment and family obligations will be happy to know that the program offers lots of flexibility. All courses are completed 100% online, and students are not required to visit campus. Students are welcome to complete the program part-time and may begin classes in either October or February. Scheduling your coursework around other obligations is easy because all course material is asynchronous – materials are provided every week, and you complete them on your schedule. 

Summary

The program is better suited for students who prefer a value-conscious, broad introduction to the field. As well, students who have less academic preparation may find the degree more welcoming than some other programs.  Some students may find that choice and control are lacking, as once you choose a concentration, all courses in the program are required.