Walkway and modern buildings at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore Maryland.

Loyola University Maryland Online Hybrid Master of Science in Data Science

]Why Loyola University Maryland?

The Master of Science in Data Science from Loyola University Maryland is a hybrid program offering a mix of classroom-based learning and online learning. Most courses combine both in-person classes and online content and activities. Loyola, a small private Catholic research university in Baltimore, Maryland, has a robust undergraduate data science program, and the same faculty who teach undergraduates teach in the Master’s degree program. Applicants to the program should hold an undergraduate degree with coursework in calculus, statistics, and computer science. Equivalent work experience may be substituted on a case-by-case basis. Standardized test scores are not required for application, except for TOEFL scores for international applicants.

Program Snapshot

University Name Loyola University Maryland
Location Baltimore
State Maryland
Niche.com Grade A-
Name of Degree Master of Science in Data Science 
School or Department Administering Program Computer Science
Credits 31
Cost per credit $1,000
Tuition for Entire Program $31000
Test Requirements TOEFL if applicable
Minimum GPA None indicated
Prerequisite Courses and Skills Coursework in calculus, statistics, and computer science (or equivalent work experience)
Campus Visit Required? Yes
Typical Time to Complete Two years
When Can Students Start the Program? Fall, Spring
Program Concentrations
  • Technical 
  • Data Analytics
Synchronous Classes Yes
Required Courses
  • Introduction to Programming
  • Programming for Data Science
  • Introduction to Data Science
  • Business Intelligence and Data Mining
  • Data Science Project Design
  • Data Science Project
  • Statistical Computing
  • Linear Statistical Models
  • Machine Learning
Does the Program Include a Capstone? Yes
Does the Program Include a Practicum or Internship? Yes
Other Features that Make the Program Unique
  • A mix of online and in-person learning
  • Capstone is a year-long project working with a real-world client
Program Objectives (quoted directly from the program) Students are prepared with programming skills in Python needed to transform messy web data into clean data and the knowledge to apply sophisticated statistical modeling using R to address any data-driven problem. Leveraging Loyola’s Jesuit background, the program also provides students the opportunity to examine the ethical implications of the work they will do as a data scientist. As part of the program, Loyola’s strong commitment to social justice encourages students to engage with nonprofits.
Program Description This 31-credit program is a mix of online and in-person learning. Students learn to use Python to transform messy web data and to use R to perform statistical modeling to address data-driven problems. The focus throughout is on the ethical implications of the work that data scientists do, and the program also emphasizes social justice and partnerships with nonprofits. Students complete a capstone project working with a real-world client. 

What will I Learn?

Loyola University Maryland MSDS students are taught to use Python tools and statistical methods to transform, analyze, and model messy data to inform decisions across a range of organizations. The program relies on the Jesuit heritage of the university to inform ethical discussions of the work of data science. Distinctive among data science programs, the Loyola degree has a social justice focus, and the university partners with nonprofits as well as industry. Students complete a year-long capstone project working with a real-world client, including a semester course on project design and then another course completing the project.

The Loyola program requires students to take two introductory courses in Programming and Programming for Data Science. Students then complete a course in Introduction to Data Science, and another required course on Business Intelligence and Data Science.  Modeling and other statistical approaches are taught in Statistical Computing and Linear Statistical Models courses. Students in the Technical concentration are also required to complete a course in Machine Learning. Students in the Technical specialization choose two more computer science courses and another course in either statistics or business. Students in the Analytics specialization simply select three electives from computer science, statistics, or business. The two courses in Project Design and Capstone Project complete the curriculum.

How much will the program cost?

Students finish their degree within two years and pay $1,000 per credit for a total of 31 credits, or  $31,000

How does the program fit into my life?

It’s important to realize that the Loyola University Maryland MSDS program requires some on-campus attendance for each course, so students will need to live within commuting distance of campus. However, it will require less time on-campus than a fully in-person program, so it will still provide flexibility for students looking to balance their studies with professional and family responsibilities. Commuting costs will also be lower. Most courses require students to attend classes during some weeks, and in other weeks students will work from home or elsewhere to complete asynchronous (or unscheduled) online content.

The program can be completed within two years. Students can enter the program in the Fall or Spring semesters. The program is heavily project-based, including the year-long capstone, so students can expect to need to schedule a significant time to work with clients and classmates.

Summary

The Loyola MSDS program offers a distinctive hybrid model that combines online and in-person learning. It will, therefore, appeal to aspiring data scientists in the Baltimore area, or who are willing to relocate. The hybrid model allows a greater degree of independence and flexibility for students, while still enabling them to participate in classroom discussion and personal conversations with instructors and classmates.

The Loyola program is based on a curriculum that balances predictability and choice – it is fairly easy to plan one’s pathway through the curriculum because required courses are offered in a consistent semester every year. The Loyola program may not be accessible to everyone. Still, for those who seek a social justice approach and/or those who have a strong interest in applying data analytics to non-business contexts and nonprofits, the program may be just what they are looking for.