Illinois Institute Of Technology Online Master of Data Science 

Why the Illinois Institute Of Technology? 

Illinois Institute of Technology’s Master of Science in Data Science program features innovative partnerships with area companies in order to provide students with the challenge of applying their growing data science savvy to real-world datasets and problems. This Chicago-based private research university has a long and storied history at the forefront of innovation in architecture, engineering, science, design, and technology. Students in the online data science master’s are expected to enter the program prepared to attack problems and concepts intensively.  A bachelor’s degree in computer science or business is required of applicants. This requirement can be waived if applicants pass a placement exam and take recommended computer science or math courses to supplement their skills. The GRE is required, as is the TOEFL if applicants are international. 

Program Snapshot

University Name Illinois Institute Of Technology
Location Chicago
State Illinois
Niche.com Grade A-
Name of Degree Master of Data Science 
School or Department Administering Program Computer Science
Credits 33
Cost per credit $1,614
Tuition for Entire Program $53,262
Test Requirements
  • GRE 
  • TOEFL if applicable
Minimum GPA 3.00
Prerequisite Courses and Skills Bachelor’s degree in a STEM field or a business field, or take a placement exam and take recommended computer science or math classes.
Campus Visit Required? No
Typical Time to Complete 12 to 16 months full time, two years part-time
When Can Students Start the Program? Fall, Spring
Program Concentrations None
Synchronous classes No
Required Courses
  • Mathematical Statistics or Applied Statistics
  • Machine Learning or Statistical Learning
  • Project Management or Software Project Management
  • Public Engagement for Scientists
  • Data Preparation and Analysis
  • Advanced Database Organization or Data-Intensive Computing or Big Data Technologies
Does the Program Include a Capstone? No
Does the program include a practicum or internship? No
Other Features that Make the Program Unique Partnerships with companies incl. Accenture, Accuen, Siemens – provide software, tools, guest lectures, and real-world datasets
Program Objectives (quoted directly from the program) At Illinois Tech, make sense of data using high-level mathematics, statistics, and computer science, and become skilled at communicating your insights and results. Learn to think about real problems, not just apply tools.
Program Description This 33 credit program prepares students to make sense of data using high-level mathematics, statistics, and computer science. Graduates are skilled at communicating insights and results, and have the chance to explore real problems, not just learn tools while completing the degree. The program does not offer domain concentrations. The program can be completed within 12 to 16 months full time or two years part-time. Neither a capstone nor practicum is offered.   

What will I Learn?

The focus throughout the Illinois Tech program is giving students the opportunity to see how the skills and ideas they are learning about can be applied beyond the classroom and in the workplace.  Students practice solving real organizational problems through partnerships with major companies such as Accenture, Siemens, and Accuen. Partner companies provide the program with software, data tools, guest lectures, and real-world datasets. This material is integrated into a curriculum that offers students a balance of comprehensiveness and flexibility.

Students take a suite of core courses covering statistics, machine learning, project management, data preparation, and analysis.  They also choose from core courses in advanced database organization or data-intensive computing or big data technologies. Finally, all students must take a course in Public Engagement for Scientists, in which they examine the different audiences for scientific communication, and develop skills in writing and presentation with audience understanding and engagement in mind. Beyond these required courses, all other courses are electives, as IIT does not offer specific concentrations within the MSDS program. A wide range of electives is offered from across the Institute’s innovative curriculum in engineering, computer science, design, and other subjects.

How much will the program cost?

 Students finish their degree within 12 to 16 months full time or two years part-time. They pay $1614 per credit for a total of 33 credits or just over $53,000 for the entire degree.

How does the program fit into my life?

The IIT program is more flexible in terms of curriculum in comparison with other data science Master’s programs, with students being able to choose between two different required courses that cover similar subject matter. Because there are no domain concentrations, students also have greater flexibility when it comes to elective courses. This flexibility may make it easier for some students to adapt their degree experience to fit in with professional, family, and personal demands. Motivated students can complete the degree in as little as 12 months as full-time students, although part-time students will likely take two years. 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.  Because of the project-based nature of the program, students can expect to need to schedule time to work with classmates or meet with instructors. 

Summary

The Illinois Institute of Technology’s program is distinguished by its emphasis on practical problem solving through an innovative partnership model bridging the Institute and major Chicago-area companies. The program also offers a balance between intensive data-oriented coursework and more general training in project management and scientific communication. Students can also take advantage of the resources of a research-intensive and academically challenging university. However, the high cost of the degree program may be a reason to look to other programs. Some may also prefer to earn a degree with named concentration tracks, allowing them to focus on a specific domain and communicate their expertise with potential employers.