Hesburgh Library of University of Notre Dame, Indiana

University of Notre Dame Online Master of Science in Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics – Data Science

Why University of Notre Dame?

The online Master of Science in Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics – Data Science offered by the University of Notre Dame is a structured, personalized option for aspiring data scientists, providing opportunities for collaboration through an optional externship and a required on-campus immersion experience. The University of Notre Dame,  a large private Catholic research university in South Bend, Indiana, expects applicants to the program to demonstrate skills in calculus and basic programming in Python, R, or another language. They should also have basic familiarity with data structures and have strong professional written and spoken communication skills.

These skills can be demonstrated through prior coursework, professional experience, or evidence of self-study such as online training, etc.  Notre Dame emphasizes, however, that students do not need to have significant experience with statistics, mathematics, or computer science to be considered, and welcomes applications from individuals with a variety of backgrounds.  The GRE or GMAT is required. The TOEFL is required for international applicants. A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 is expected.

Program Snapshot

University Name University of Notre Dame
Location South Bend
State Indiana
Niche.com Grade A+
Name of Degree Master of Science in Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics – Data Science
School or Department Administering Program Applied and Computational Mathematics & Statistics
Credits 30
Cost per credit $1,600
Tuition for Entire Program $48,000
Test Requirements
  • GRE or GMAT
  • TOEFL if applicable
Minimum GPA 3.00
Prerequisite Courses and Skills
  • Skills (demonstrated through coursework, work experience, or online self-study) in:
    • Calculus
    • Basic Programming in Python, R or other language
    • Basic familiarity with data structures
    • Professional written and spoken communications
Campus Visit Required? Required program launch ono campus
Typical Time to Complete 21 months
When Can Students Start the Program? August
Program Concentrations None
Synchronous Classes Yes
Required Courses All courses in the program are required courses 

  • Data Science: Process and Practice
  • Systems and Technologies
  • Probability and Statistics for Data Science
  • Introduction to Data Science 
  • Linear Models
  • Data Visualization
  • Behavioral Data Science
  • Statistical Learning for Data Science
  • Storytelling and Communications for Data Scientists
  • Ethics and Policy in Data Science
  • Databases and Data Security
  • Data Science Now: Industry, Cases and Projects
  • Generalized Linear Models
  • Time Series and Forecasting
Does the Program Include a Capstone? No
Does the Program Include a Practicum or Internship? No
Other Features that Make the Program Unique
  • AT & T collaboration
  • Small number of students
  • Optional immersion weekends (including at other locations such as Silicon Valley) at extra cost
  • Course in the final semester on current trends and projects
  • Lots of 1 credit and 1.5 credit courses allow you to study a wide breadth of topics
  • The convenience of a structured cohort model of classes
Program Objectives (quoted directly from the program) A data scientist uses quantitative and computational skills to create value from data – transforming and organizing it; analyzing it using computing, mathematics, and statistics; and converting it into valuable knowledge. But a three-dimensional data scientist complements quantitative and computational data skills with the ability to communicate effectively and act ethically.
Program Description This 30-credit program begins with a required on-campus launch experience introducing students to the program and the field of data science. All courses are required. The program emphasizes the quantitative and computational skills to transform, organize, analyze, and present data and information in order to create valuable knowledge. Students learn to communicate effectively and act ethically. 

What will I Learn?

The Notre Dame program is built on a “lockstep” curriculum, meaning that all students complete all the same courses in the same order. Students begin the program by visiting the Notre Dame campus for an introduction to classmates, instructors, and curriculum. Throughout the program, the curriculum emphasizes communication skills and critical thinking to create valuable meaning from data and information. The aim of the Notre Dame graduate should be to use computational and quantitative skills to enhance decision-making at their organization.

Because the Notre Dame curriculum includes several courses that are worth only 1 or 1.5 credits, students cover a broad range of topics even though all courses are required. A course in Data Science: Process and Practice kicks off the program, followed by foundational courses in Systems and Technologies and Probability and Statistics for Data Science. All students then take Introduction to Data Science to gain an overview of techniques. Specific techniques are addressed more deeply in Linear Models, Generalized Linear Models, Time Series and Forecasting, Data Visualization, Behavioral Data Science, Statistical Learning for Data Science, and Databases and Data Security.

The program’s commitment to ethics and communication is demonstrated in required courses on Storytelling and Communication for Data Science and Ethics and Policy in Data Science. In their final semester, students bring together their prior learning in a capstone-style course called Data Science Now: Industry, Cases, and Projects.  They also have opportunities to practice and deepen their skills at optional immersion weekends in varied locations around the United States. The curriculum was developed in partnership with AT&T, and Notre Dame is committed to teaching the skills that employers are seeking.

How much will the program cost?

Students finish their degree within 21 months and pay $1,600 per credit for a total of 30 credits, or $48,000

How does the program fit into my life?

The Notre Dame program requires students to commit to a more scheduled learning experience than some other programs, presenting both challenges and advantages. All students must attend an in-person launch weekend on the Notre Dame campus at the beginning of the program. Also, some course material is offered at scheduled times, including lectures and class activities. Other materials are presented asynchronously, meaning that students must complete tasks on a flexible schedule within a given timeframe.

Scheduled and in-person interactions provide more opportunities for collaboration, question and answer, and personal connections, but it could be challenging for working adults to balance with other responsibilities.   Students are also able to attend optional immersion weekends, delving more deeply into specific topics and learning from experts in locations such as Silicon Valley. However, these weekends represent an additional cost, and not all students will be able to take advantage of them.

Summary

The Notre Dame data science program offers several appealing features for applicants seeking hands-on, collaborative learning and personalized attention from instructors.  A required visit to the Notre Dame campus, a small number of students in the program, synchronous classes, and optional travel weekends to learn from experts are all features that make the Notre Dame experience stand out. The “lockstep” model of the curriculum can be convenient because it saves time when registering for courses and provides predictability. However, but could be less appealing for students whose family or professional commitments vary over a year since it is more challenging to take a semester off of classes in this structure. Students wishing to delve deeply into one area of data science through focused electives or degree concentrations will not find Notre Dame appealing.