Eastern University Online Master of Science in Data Science

Why Eastern University? 

The Eastern University online Master of Science in Data Science, offered by the university’s Mathematics Department, prepares students for careers in data science through a straightforward program in which all courses are required. Eastern University, a small private Christian university with a Baptist heritage, offers a program that is accessible to students without substantial quantitative background – no prerequisite courses are required for your application to be considered. The GRE is not required, and applicants must have earned a minimum 3.0 GPA in their undergraduate degree.

Program Snapshot

University NameEastern University
LocationSt David’s
StatePennsylvania
Niche.com GradeB-
Name of DegreeMaster of Science in Data Science 
School or Department Administering ProgramMathematics
Credits30
Cost per credit$300
Tuition for Entire Program$9000
Test RequirementsTOEFL if applicable
Minimum GPA3.00
Prerequisite Courses and SkillsNone
Campus Visit Required?No
Typical Time to CompleteTwo years
When Can Students Start the Program?Every seven weeks
Program ConcentrationsNone
Synchronous classesNo
Required CoursesAll courses in the program are required courses: 

  • Fundamentals of Data Science
  • Introduction to Statistical Modeling
  • Principles of Python Programming
  • Data Analytics in R
  • Data and Database Management with SQL
  • Foundations of Machine Learning Models
  • Applied Machine Learning
  • Information Visualization
  • Data Science Capstone: Ethical and Philosophical Issues in Data Science
  • Data Science Capstone: Applied Data Science
Does the Program Include a Capstone?Yes
Does the program include a practicum or internship?No
Other Features that Make the Program Unique
  • One course at a time in seven-week sessions
  • Christian university
  • No other STEM graduate programs
  • Courses are self-paced, so although they are offered at 7-week intervals, you can complete the work as quickly as you would like within those seven weeks
Program Objectives (quoted directly from the program)Gain specific, marketable skills in the top coding languages, along with critical knowledge in DS-standard programming, mathematics, statistics, data analysis, and machine learning.
Program DescriptionThis 30 credit program provides students with specific, marketable skills in Python and R, along with crucial knowledge with industry-standard programming, mathematics, statistics, data analysis, and machine learning. Two capstone courses, focusing on ethical and legal issues and a real-world project, complete the program. The program can be completed within two years. 

What will I Learn?

The Eastern University curriculum is heavily skills-focused, with an emphasis on providing students with the techniques most in-demand from employers using some of the most popular software and programming languages used in business. Students can expect that coursework will integrate a Christian worldview, particularly in ethical and philosophical discussions. 

All students in the program must complete the same courses, and there are no elective options.  All students must complete introductory courses in data science fundamentals and introduction to statistical modeling.  Students learn principles of Python programming, data analytics in R and data, and database management with SQL. Two courses cover the foundations of machine learning and applications of machine learning. Information visualization is also required. Finally, students have the opportunity to explore the real-world use of their new skills and knowledge in two capstone courses. The first capstone addresses ethical and philosophical issues in data science, and the second capstone allows students to explore real data problems.

How much will the program cost?

 Students finish their degree within two years and pay $3000 per credit for a total of 30 credits, or $9000  for the entire degree.

How does the program fit into my life?

The program can be completed 100% online, and no campus visits are required.  All courses are asynchronous, meaning that instructors create learning materials such as lectures, activities, quizzes, assignments, and group discussions, and students are expected to complete that material on their own schedule. Most other asynchronous online programs are structured with weekly modules, where new content is posted every week. The Eastern University program is different because it is self-paced. The instructor posts all materials at the beginning of each 7-week long course. Students can complete all of the content on any schedule as long as they finish before the seven-week mark. This model would allow students to be highly flexible in terms of managing their workload around personal and professional responsibilities. Connections with other students and instructors may be more challenging to maintain.

Summary

In comparison with other data science Master’s programs, the Eastern University program is far less expensive, and this feature will probably be desirable for some aspiring data scientists. The Christian worldview of ECU should be taken into account as a pro or con for applicants. Similarly, the accelerated self-paced seven-week course design will be appealing to students who are very self-motivated and want to have more control over their experience. However, if you are looking for a program where you will develop a close rapport with classmates and have significant “real-time” interactions with students and instructors, the ECU program will likely not be a good fit for you.