Online life. Young woman chatting with friend on laptop at home, panorama

University of North Dakota Online Master of Science in Data Science

Why University of North Dakota?

The online  Master of Science in Data Science offered by the University of North Dakota is aimed at aspiring data scientists with a computer science background. UND’s computer science department administers it. The  University of North Dakota, a large public research university in Grand Forks, North Dakota, has a particular strength in engineering topics. Applicants to the program should hold an undergraduate degree in Bachelor’s degree, generally in computer science, although other backgrounds are considered on a case-by-case basis. A minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.85 is expected.  The GRE is only required if the Computing Science Accreditation Board has not accredited your prior degree. TOEFL scores are requested of international applicants. 

Program Snapshot

University Name University of North Dakota
Location Grand Forks
State North Dakota
Niche.com Grade B+
Name of Degree Master of Science in Data Science
School or Department Administering Program Computer Science
Credits 30
Cost per credit $782
Tuition for Entire Program 23460
Test Requirements
  • GRE required if prior degree not accredited by CSAB/CSAC
  • TOEFL if applicable
Minimum GPA 2.85
Prerequisite Courses and Skills Bachelor’s degree generally in computer science
Campus Visit Required? No
Typical Time to Complete Two years
When Can Students Start the Program? Fall, Spring
Program Concentrations
  • Business Analytics
  • Educational Foundations and Research
  • Behavioral Data Analytics
Synchronous Classes No
Required Courses
  • Advanced Database Systems
  • Data Engineering and Management
  • High-Performance Computing and Paradigms
Does the Program Include a Capstone? Yes
Does the Program Include a Practicum or Internship? No
Other Features that Make the Program Unique
  • 24/7 online tutoring service
  • Interesting specializations in behavioral data analytics and educational foundations and research (learning analytics)
  • Collaboration with aerospace research and other studies
Program Objectives (quoted directly from the program) This advanced curriculum is an ideal marriage of computer science, data science, and business analytics for well-rounded expertise in one of the fastest-growing areas in the realm of computing. You’ll gain strong interdisciplinary knowledge and a domain-specific analytics foundation, as well as experience with leading research.
Program Description This 30-credit program combines skills in computer science, data science, and business analytics. The focus is on acquiring interdisciplinary knowledge and research experience.  Three concentrations offering domain-specific analytics skills are offered: Business Analytics, Educational Foundations, and Research and Behavioral Analytics.

What will I Learn?

Students in the UND MSDS program begin by completing three required courses: Advanced Data Systems, Data Engineering and Management, and High-Performance Computing and Paradigms. This foundation prepares them for the study of analytics within a particular research domain or subject area. In addition to a more typical concentration in Business Analytics, the University of North Dakota also offers two distinctive concentrations not often available through other programs.

The concentration in Educational Foundations and Research looks at the use of data and data analytics in the education field, sometimes called “learning analytics.” As students increasingly complete their education at least partially through the use of online learning systems, massive datasets about their learning behavior and results are created, providing fertile ground for analysis and suggesting interesting ethical and legal problems. The second exciting concentration offered by UND is Behavioral Analytics. Students in this concentration learn how to harvest, navigate, and analyze data about the behavior of individuals as they use complex systems such as online gaming, web commerce, and Internet of Things devices.

The emphasis throughout the program is interdisciplinary knowledge and skills drawn from computer science, data science, and business analytics. Students have the opportunity to participate in real-world research through work with research teams based at UND, including the university’s unmanned aircraft research program.

How much will the program cost?

Students finish their degree within two years and pay $782 per credit for a total of 30 credits, or just under $24,000.

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 schedule within the given week.  The program can be completed 100% online, and no campus visits are required.  The program is usually completed in 2 years. Students can enter the program in the Fall or Spring semesters. To assist students in being successful in their studies, the University of North Dakota offers a 24/7 online tutoring service.

Summary

The University of North Dakota online Master of Science in Data Science program offers both a strong foundation in data science basics and the opportunity to delve deeper into the real-world application of analytical skills and technologies. Offering the chance to participate in fascinating research, the program provides excellent value for money, mainly since it requires only thirty credits of study. The program will attract applicants with a strong computer science background. Still, given the necessary prerequisites and freedom in course choices, it may not appeal to applicants who are less prepared in quantitative fields.