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Walden University Online Master of Science in Data Science

Why Walden University?

The online Master of Science in Data Science offered by Walden University provides a structured thirty-credit preparation for data science careers. Walden, a large, private for-profit university based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, offers only graduate-level professional degrees in a limited range of fields.  Applicants to the Walden MSDS program should hold an undergraduate degree in Bachelor’s degree in data science, computer science, information technology, or an equivalent subject. Proficiency in at least one modern programming language such as Python or Java is highly recommended but not required.  Standardized test scores are not required (except the TOEFL for international applicants), and a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.50  is expected.

Program Snapshot

University Name Walden University
Location Minneapolis
State Minnesota
Niche.com Grade Not rated
Name of Degree Master of Science in Data Science
School or Department Administering Program Information Technology
Credits 30
Cost per credit $880
Tuition for Entire Program $26,400
Test Requirements TOEFL if applicable
Minimum GPA 2.50
Prerequisite Courses and Skills
  • Bachelor’s degree in data science, computer science, information technology, or equivalent subject
  • Proficiency in at least one modern programming language is highly recommended
Campus Visit Required? No
Typical Time to Complete Five semesters
When Can Students Start the Program? Fall, Spring, Summer
Program Concentrations None
Synchronous Classes No
Required Courses All courses in the program are required courses

  • The Global Technology Environment
  • Foundations of Intelligent Systems
  • Cloud Computing
  • Advanced Database Systems
  • Big Data
  • Data Mining
  • Statistical Concepts for Big Data
  • Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence
  • Predictive Analytics for Decision Making
  • Data Visualization
Does the Program Include a Capstone? No
Does the Program Include a Practicum or Internship? No
Other Features that Make the Program Unique
  • B corp
  • 25 years of online learning 
  • National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education
  • Curriculum developed in collaboration with IBM
Program Objectives (quoted directly from the program) None provided
Program Description This 30-credit program consists of entirely required courses covering critical skills in data science. Students learn about the social and technical contexts for data science. Courses in data management, big data, predictive analytics, and data visualization prepare them for careers across a range of organizations. 

What will I Learn?

All students in the program must complete the same courses, and there are no elective options.  An understanding of social contexts for data science is provided in the required course on The Global Technology Environment. Students learn about crucial systems in Foundations of Intelligent Systems, Advanced Database Systems, and Cloud Computing. Data management and stewardship are the focus of Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence. A course in Statistical Concepts for Big Data introduces students to the statistical skills and approaches needed for data science. They then get a chance to hone these skills and practice on real data problems in Predictive Analytics for Decision Making and Data Mining.  Finally, they practice communicating about their results and exploring data further in a course on Data Visualization.

The Walden University curriculum was developed through consultation with the National Security Agency and with IBM. The Department of Homeland Security has designed Walden as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education.

How much will the program cost?

Students finish their degree within five semesters and pay $880 per credit for a total of 30 credits, or just under $26,400

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.  This structure can make organizing your workload easier as you balance online education and personal and professional responsibilities. The program can be completed in five semesters. Students can enter in Fall, Spring, or Summer. Walden University has educated tens of thousands of students during its over twenty-five years of online education, so students can be assured that the university is very familiar with the challenges and unique features of the online platform.

Summary

The Walden University program will appeal to students who are looking for a highly structured and efficient means to advance their career goals and gain foundational skills and knowledge in data science. As well, students who have less academic preparation may find the degree more welcoming than some other programs.  Aspiring data scientists who are seeking a research-intensive approach or who have a rigorous background in statistics and math may find the curriculum less relevant to their needs.