As a multidisciplinary field, data science encompasses the study of computer science, statistics, software development, mathematics, and other subjects in order to organize, analyze, and gain insights from big data. Online master's degree programs in data science may offer concentrations and could also require a capstone project. In this article, you can learn about the different Illinois-based data science master's degree programs, including the degree and entrance requirements.
Illinois-Based Online Data Science Master's Degree Programs
In Romeoville, Lewis University has an online Master of Science in Data Science degree program that features 100% online coursework and can be completed in only two years of study. This program requires 33 credits, with core courses in such subjects as statistical programming, machine learning, and data visualization. You are also able to choose a concentration in either computer science or computational biology and bioinformatics. Lastly, you must take a data science project course consisting of a capstone experience that requires you to solve a real-world data problem and report your findings in written form.
Illinois Institute of Technology
If you are working part- or full-time in a data-related field, you can choose to earn your Master of Data Science degree at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago in an online format. With 33 credits required, you would likely take core courses in database organization, mathematical statistics, and big data technology. Possible elective courses include classes on cloud computing, data mining, mathematical modeling, and bioinformatics. While there is no thesis or capstone requirement, you must attend a data practicum in the summer where you will work with peers to solve a real-world data problem for clients.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers an online Master of Computer Science in Data Science degree program that partners with Coursera, which is an open source online course platform. While you receive online lectures through Coursera, you still interact with and learn from University of Illinois faculty. In total, this online program requires 32 semester hours. Your courses could center on topics such as machine learning, data mining, cloud computing, and data curation. You could also choose to complete a data mining or cloud computing capstone course.
Elmhurst College offers an online Master of Science in Data Science degree program that requires 30 total semester hours. This is a part-time program that is designed to be completed in about two years through 8-week class sessions. Your coursework could include classes on such topics as analytical methods, data mining, and data warehousing. Lastly, you are required to complete two project-based courses.
In Chicago, DePaul University has an online Master of Science in Data Science degree program that offers four concentrations in computational methods, health care, marketing, and hospitality. Your exact curriculum will depend on your concentration, but expect to take foundational courses in data analysis and database processing. Elective courses in the realm of data mining, statistics, and database technologies are also required. In this online program, you also get to choose the capstone project you want to complete, which could be a master's thesis, an analytics internship, a predictive analytics capstone course, or a data analytics project.
Admission Information for Online Data Science Master's Degree Programs
To apply to an online master's degree program in data science, you must hold a bachelor's degree, and some programs require a GPA of at least 3.0 or higher. While most programs don't have a requirement for the type of bachelor's degree, if your degree is not in the field of computer science, then a background in computer programming is recommended. Many programs require prerequisite coursework in calculus, data structures, programming, and algorithms. GRE scores aren't generally required, but a limited number of programs could require them. Other schools may require professional experience or an interview. Additional materials you must submit include transcripts, letters or recommendation, a resume, and a statement of purpose.
Online data science master's degree programs generally feature online coursework in a range of topics from machine learning to database management. Most programs also require that you complete some kind of capstone project in order to earn your online data science master's degree.