UNC Launches New Master’s of Applied Data Science

UNC students can begin taking courses toward a master’s of applied data science degree in January 2024.

This new, primarily online degree is in partnership with the Graduate School, the Office of Digital and Lifelong Learning and 2U, a for-profit, education technology company that already administers UNC-branded boot camps in coding, data analytics and technology project management, according to a 2022 feature in the Carolina Alumni Review.

The program, part of Carolina’s new School of Data Science and Society, which launched in the fall of 2022, aims to provide graduate students and working professionals with opportunities to expand their knowledge and experiences in data science.

Applications for the program are available online, and the submission deadline is November 14.

Stanley Ahalt, dean of the School of Data Science and Society, said the master’s of applied data science program allows professionals who are looking to improve their resume and develop their data science skills the opportunity to do so.

“To me, the most important aspect of this is that it allows people who are currently in the workforce to have the options of either adding another degree to their resume or to just get some classes,” Ahalt said in The Daily Tar Heel.

The school will offer live and asynchronous classes to allow students a choice on how they complete the degree.

“This is for people who are already in the industry and who would like to find new types of tool and techniques and methodologies which are useful for them to deal with their data problems,” said Arcot Rajasekar, a professor in the School of Information and Library Science who will teach an introductory course for the master’s of applied data science degree.

The MADS program will also provide students the opportunity to participate in an immersion experience, which includes a two-to-three-day campus stay and a meet-and-greet with peers and professors. Students will solve real-world problems through their capstone projects, which could include working with companies in the Triangle.

Program applicants do not need to have a data science degree; however, the program will require fundamental mathematics, an understanding of programming and some basic knowledge of data science modeling.

Cameron Hayes Fardy ’23

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