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.
|University Name||Bay Path University|
|Name of Degree||Master of Science in Applied Data Science|
|School or Department Administering Program||School of Science and Management|
|Cost per credit||$880|
|Tuition for Entire Program||$31,680|
|Prerequisite Courses and Skills||degree in math, statistics, computer science, engineering, finance, or a related field.|
|Campus Visit Required?||No|
|Typical Time to Complete||1 to 2 years|
|When Can Students Start the Program?||October or February|
|Program Concentrations||Generalist and Specialist Track|
|Does the Program Include a Capstone?||Yes|
|Does the program include a practicum or internship?||No|
|Other features that make the program unique|
|Program Objectives (quoted directly from the program)||None indicated|
|Program Description||This 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.
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.