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Grand Canyon University Online Master of Science in Data Science 

Why Grand Canyon University? 

The online Master of Science in Data Science from Grand Canyon University provides a highly structured, Christian-influenced training in the fundamentals of data science.  Data science applicants to this at this large for-profit private Christian university in Phoenix, Arizona, should have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.85, but applicants with lower GPA but high GRE or GMAT scores may also be considered. Applicants should hold an undergraduate degree in Computer Science, Statistics, Mathematics, Physics, or Engineering, or students can enroll in GCU’s Bridge to Master of Science in Data Science suite of courses. 

Program Snapshot

University NameGrand Canyon University
LocationPhoenix
StateArizona
Niche.com GradeB
Name of DegreeMaster of Science in Data Science 
School or Department Administering ProgramCollege of Science, Engineering, and Technology
Credits38
Cost per credit$550
Tuition for Entire Program$20,900
Test RequirementsNone if undergraduate GPA 2.85 and above. Applicants with a lower GPA may be admitted based on GMAT or GRE scores
Minimum GPA2.80
Prerequisite Courses and SkillsDegree in Computer Science, Statistics, Mathematics, Physics, or Engineering or complete Bridge to Master of Science in Data Science
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:

  • Introduction to Graduate Studies in CSET
  • Advanced Probability and Statistics for Regression Analysis
  • Predictive Modeling
  • Machine Learning for Data Science
  • Neural Networks and Deep Learning
  • Research Methods in Computational Sciences
  • Data Mining
  • Designing and Creating Data Products
  • Data Science Capstone Project
Does the Program Include a Capstone?Yes
Does the program include a practicum or internship?No
Other Features that Make the Program Unique
  • “Christian Worldview” of university
  • Students can also enroll in on-campus classes if desired
  • Compulsory two credit intro to graduate studies course to aid in student success
Program Objectives (quoted directly from the program)Prepares computer science and engineering professionals for an advanced career path in analytics and strategy by exploring how data science drives organizations forward. Students will gain a deeper understanding of how to apply predictive analytics theory, principles, technical tools, and industry-specific knowledge to a wide variety of problems in science, engineering, and business.
Program DescriptionThis 38-credit program prepares students for data science careers through the study of predictive analytics theory, principles, technical tools, and industry-specific knowledge applied to a wide variety of problems in science, engineering, and business. A capstone project is required.

What will I Learn?

The Grand Canyon University Master of Science in Data Science curriculum is highly structured. All students in the program must complete the same courses, and there are no elective options. The goal of the program is to prepare students for a career in analytics and strategy by exploring how data science drives organizations forward, through the study of theory, principles, technical tools, and industry-specific knowledge.  Since Grand Canyon University is a nondenominational Christian university with a Southern Baptist heritage, students can expect a Christian worldview to influence content and teaching in the curriculum. 

All students begin with a compulsory Introduction to Graduate Studies in the College of Science, Engineering, and Technology, covering skills needed to succeed in graduate studies. Fundamental concepts are then taught in Advanced Probability and Statistics for Regression Analysis.  Application of data science tools and methods are covered in required courses in Predictive Modeling, Machine Learning, Neural Networks and Deep Learning, and Data Mining. Students learn how new knowledge is created through courses in Research Methods in Computational Sciences, and Designing and Creating Data Products. Students then have an opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge they have learned through a final capstone project exploring a data-intensive problem. 

How much will the program cost?

Students finish their degree within two years and pay $550 per credit for a total of 38 credits, or just under $21,000 for the entire degree.

How does the program fit into my life?

 All courses are asynchronous, meaning that instructors create learning materials such as lectures, activities, quizzes, assignments, and group discussions in weekly modules, and students are responsible for completing the module on their own schedule within the given week. The program can be completed 100% online, and no campus visits are required. Accelerated courses allow students to focus intensely on the subject matter and complete the program more quickly if desired. Students can attend on-campus classes if they wish if, for example, they live close to the GCU campus in Phoenix. The program is usually completed in 2 years. 

Summary

The GCU program will most likely appeal to applicants who are looking for a straightforward, highly structured experience that does not require students to make too many choices about their educational path. As well, students who have less academic preparation may find the degree more welcoming than some other programs. The Christian influence at GCU may be a pro for some applicants, but a con for others. Students who already have extensive experience or prior graduate degrees are likely to find the GCU program, particularly the required 2-credit study skills course, to be less relevant to their needs.