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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Online Master of Computer Science in Data Science (MCS-DS) Track

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Department of Computer Science (CS@Illinois) offers a Master of Computer Science in Data Science (MCS-DS) program that targets professional skills in the areas of data mining, machine learning, cloud computing, and data visualization. The Data Science Track is a cross-disciplinary degree program designed and taught by faculty from the university’s School of Information Science and the Departments of Computer Science and Statistics. It includes coursework in statistical analysis and the IT systems used by data scientists. Students are required to complete 32 credit hours of graduate coursework (the equivalent of eight classes), which can be accomplished in as little as one year of full-time enrollment. Part-time students have a five-year window to work toward completing the degree. The Data Science track does not require students to attend any campus-based programming.

CS@Illinois employs a unique system of online education that integrates Coursera’s massive open online course (MOOC) platform with the university’s considerable teaching resources. Each of the semester-long, four-credit classes required in the MCS-DS program consists of two four-to-six week MOOCs in the subject area, which include lectures and other video lessons, as well as peer and auto graded quizzes and assignments. This is followed by a “high-engagement” component in which CS@Illinois faculty and teaching assistants oversee a more rigorous set of assignments, projects, and exams in order to confer university credit. This asynchronous approach to online learning allows students to view lectures and access course materials on-demand, 24/7.

The MCS-DS degree does not have a thesis or independent research requirement. Instead, students take a four-credit capstone class in Data Mining or Cloud Computing toward the end of the program. The remaining 28-credit hours of coursework must include at least one course in four core Data Science subject areas: Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning; Databases/Information Systems; Graphics/Data Visualization; and IT Networks/Cloud Computing. Students then have the option of choosing three courses in advanced topics like Practical Statistical Learning, Multivariate Analysis, Foundations of Data Curation, and Theory & Practice of Data Cleaning.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Department of Computer Science, iSchool & Department of Statistics

Programs Offered: Data Science (Master of Computer Science in Data Science (MCS-DS))
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Instruction Methods: Program uses asynchronous instruction through the Coursera MOOC platform where students view lectures and lesson videos.
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Online Master of Computer Science in Data Science (MCS-DS) track

Program Overview
Program Type: Data Science
Degree Conferred: Masters
Program Structure: Online instruction with no campus visits required
Example Courses: Introduction to Data Mining, Data Visualization, Applied Machine Learning, Methods of Applied Statistics, Cloud Computing Concepts
Program Website:
Degree Requirements
Credits Required: 32 credits needed to graduate
Campus Visits Required: 0
Program Options
Program Start Dates: Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Curriculum Options: Full-time and Part-time
Length of Program: Full-time: program can be completed in 1 year (full-time program starts Fall 2017); Part-time: program can be completed in 2 years (students have up to 5 years to finish the program)
Admission Requirements and Tuition Costs
Degree Required for Admission: Bachelor's Degree
GPA Requirements: Minimum GPA 3.0 (greater than 3.2 recommended)
Testing Requirements: Not required
Work Experience: Not required for admission
Tuition Costs: ~$19,200 + fees
Cost per Credit Hour: $600 per credit hour
Eligibility Information: Program currently accepts students from all 50 states

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