The Online program admits full- and part-time students for entrance in autumn quarter. Online program part-time students may also begin the program in Spring quarter. Please visit the In-Person program page if you are interested in exploring those full- and part-time options for entrance Autumn quarter.
Get ready for what’s next in data science with rigorous classes, expert instructors, leading-edge technology, and an unparalleled network of industry professionals. Learn more about Tuition, Fees, & Aid.
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Our students consistently demonstrate competitive outcomes as a result of graduating from our program. Our career services and external partnerships team is here to help you advance your career in data science whether you are just launching your career, interested in pivoting, or want to move up within your current company. We offer in-house career services advising and coaching, opportunities to network virtually and in-person such as during Immersion Weekends, virtual career fairs where you can connect directly with employers, internship placement support, and more.
A Signature Student Experience
Online program students have access to the same full-service team of student affairs, career services, and instructional services experts. Jointly with faculty and instructors, our Master’s in Applied Data Science team is committed to providing a supportive and enriching student experience. Our team is passionate about supporting students engaging in online education who might also be working full-time like you. Staff who lead our Online program have a background in instructional design and best practices for online learning. We are here to help you reach your potential and make the most of your time in the program and beyond.
Access to Alumni
The Master’s in Applied Data Science program supports an Alumni Board that plans events and programs in Chicago and other U.S. cities. As an Online student, you will have access to program alumni through Immersion Weekend events and virtual career services programs–all of which broadens your network and supports your career advancement goals. Upon graduation, you will also join a prestigious group of Physical Sciences Division and UChicago alumni who live and work all over the world.
Synchronous and Asynchronous Online Learning
Weekly synchronous classes provide opportunities to engage with instructors and peers through live lectures, question-and-answer sessions, demos, workshops, and discussions. Collaborative and interactive learning with your classmates is facilitated by advanced meeting technology during and beyond synchronous classes.
Each week includes asynchronous learning activities to complete when it is convenient for you. These activities prepare you for synchronous classes through lecture videos, readings, and discussions. Flexibility allows you to work on data science projects, group collaborations, and assignments on your schedule.
In-Person Immersion Weekend
The Master’s in Applied Data Science combines online study with a unique on-the-ground immersion weekend in Chicago in both Autumn and Spring quarters.
During the Immersion Weekend, students have the opportunity to
- Network with industry leaders and alumni
- Meet a vibrant and supportive community of like-minded students and faculty
- Get to know, bond, and network with peers from across the country
- Participate in interactive sessions, working to develop industry solutions
- Gain career insights and discuss the latest trends and challenges in AI/ML
- Hear from students about their experience in Capstone Projects
- Tour the Data Science Institute
Future Immersion Weekend dates are:
- Autumn 2023 – September 22-24, 2023
- Spring 2024 – March 22-23, 2024
We look forward to seeing current and incoming online students at the event.
Note for International Students
Students coming from abroad for the immersion program are encouraged to come to the U.S. in visitor/tourist status; using a B-1/B-2 visa or ESTA clearance depending on whether you hold citizenship from a Visa Waiver Country or not.
The immersion days are optional for students and do not carry any course enrollment for the time you are in Chicago. Please be clear when entering the U.S. that while you are a student in an online program at the University of Chicago, your visit for immersion weekend is not to attend credit-bearing classes, but to meet classmates and as a result you are coming to the U.S. as a visitor.
Students earn the Master’s in Applied Data Science by successfully completing 12 courses–7 core courses, 3 elective courses, 2 Capstone Project courses.
Our rigorous curriculum is designed by and for data science innovators and leaders. Courses are reviewed annually to ensure the content keeps pace with the rapidly evolving landscape of data science.
You have the flexibility to pursue the Master’s in Applied Data Science degree on a part- or full-time schedule. Part-time students enroll in two courses each quarter and take their courses in the evenings or on Saturdays. Full-time students take three courses per quarter. Some of their courses may be offered during the day.
Foundational Noncredit Courses
Foundational noncredit courses are designed and taught by Master’s in Applied Data Science faculty and instructors. These required courses provide the basis for the rigorous Applied Data Science degree. Course content undergirds the theoretical, strategic, and practical data science studies you will encounter in the rest of the curriculum.
Upon acceptance into the program, you will have an opportunity to complete online Foundational Skill Assessments. These required assessments help faculty and advisors understand how to best support you once you begin in the program. You may choose to opt-out of taking the Foundational Skill Assessments and instead register for all four Foundational courses. The four Foundational noncredit courses are listed below. Please note that Introduction to Statistical Concepts and R are considered pre-quarter courses and therefore take place during the 5 weeks leading up to your first quarter in the program. All Foundational courses are completed virtually for all students regardless of enrollment in the In-Person or Online Program.
You will complete seven core courses toward your Master’s in Applied Data Science degree. Core courses allow you to build your theoretical data science knowledge and practice applying this theory to examine real-world business problems.
Explore advanced analytics strategies and applications. You will complete three required electives toward your 12-course degree program. We continually add electives to evolve with the data science landscape. Past electives include Advanced Computer Vision with Deep Learning, Advanced Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, Bayesian Methods, Data Science for Algorithmic Marketing, Data Visualization Techniques, Digital Marketing Analytics in Theory and Practice, Financial Analytics, Health Analytics, Machine Learning Operations, Natural Language Processing and Cognitive Computing, Real Time Intelligent Systems, Reinforcement Learning, Supply Chain Optimization.
Data Science Capstone Project
The required Capstone Project is completed over two quarters and covers research design, implementation, and writing. Full-time students start their Capstone Project in their third quarter. Part-time students generally begin the Capstone Project two quarters before their projected graduation quarter.
Foundational Noncredit Courses
Introduction to Statistical Concepts
If you are required to take this course it will be held the 5 weeks leading up to the start of your first quarter. This course provides general exposure to basic statistical concepts that are necessary for students to understand the content presented in more advanced courses in the program.
R for Data Science
If you are required to take this course it will be held concurrently with the second five weeks of your first quarter in the program. This course is an introduction to the essential concepts and techniques for the statistical computing language R.
Python for Data Science
If you are required to take this course it will be held concurrently with the first five weeks of your first quarter in the program. This course in Python starts with an introduction to the Python programming language basic syntax and environment.
Advanced Linear Algebra for Machine Learning
If you are required to take this course it will be held the 5 weeks leading up to the start of your first quarter. The advanced linear algebra course is focused on the theoretical concepts and real-life applications of linear algebra for machine learning.
Brush up on the Basics
If you would like to gauge your preparation in these Foundational course topics, we recommend specific Coursera courses that cover very similar topics.
We have identified four Coursera courses which cover very similar topics. You can review the Coursera curricula to see if you are already well-prepared, or if you like, study their materials to brush up on some or all of these topics.
MS in Applied Data Science Career Course
This course will help you navigate your career in data science and land a job that fits your needs and desires. It will lead you through a deeper discovery into who you are, clarifying what you want to do with your career, and navigating the market to find the right company and job match. This noncredit course will be required for all students starting in Autumn 2024. Students with more extensive work experience, may be eligible to waive this course.
- Introduction to Statistical Concepts
Time Series Analysis and Forecasting
Time Series Analysis is a science as well as the art of making rational predictions based on previous records. It is widely used in various fields in today’s business settings.
This course provides a comprehensive and practical introduction to statistical data analysis. The statistical techniques taught in this course will enable students to analyze complex datasets and formulate and solve real- world problems to facilitate data-driven decisions.
Data Mining Principles
Drawing on statistics of collecting and analyzing data, and machine learning algorithms that learn from experiences, data mining is a process of applying statistics and machine learning algorithms to discover patterns and rules that can generate business values.
Machine Learning and Predictive Analytics
This course in advanced data mining will provide a practical, hands-on set of lectures surrounding modern predictive analytics and machine learning algorithms and techniques.
Linear and Nonlinear Models for Business Application
This course concentrates on the following topics: Review of statistical inference based on linear model, extension to the linear model by removing the assumption of Gaussian distribution for the output (Generalized Linear Model), extension to the linear model by allowing a correlation structure for the model residuals (mixed effect models), and extension of the linear model by relaxing the requirement that inputs are combined linearly (nonparametric regression, regime switches).
Data Engineering Platforms for Analytics or Big Data Platforms
Data Engineering Platforms teaches effective data engineering—an essential first step in building an analytics-driven competitive advantage in the market.
Big Data Platforms teaches students how to approach big data and large-scale machine learning applications. There is no single definition of big data and multiple emerging software packages exist to work with it, and we will cover the most popular approaches.
Leadership Skills: Teams, Strategies, and Communications or Data Science for Consulting
In Leadership Skills: Teams, Strategies, and Communications, students learn how to work effectively in teams to identify, structure, and communicate the business value of data analytics to an organization. In Data Science for Consulting, The demand for analytics and data-driven decision making creates a market demand for expertise driven leadership – evidenced in knowledgeable consultants that bring data science and results-driven impact to clients.
- Time Series Analysis and Forecasting
Sample Elective Courses
Advanced Computer Vision with Deep Learning
Computer vision is the field of computer science that focuses on creating digital systems that can process, analyze, and make sense of visual data in the same way that humans do. Deep learning is a subset of machine learning and a branch of Artificial Intelligence (AI). It involves the training, deployment, and application of large complex neural network architectures to solve cutting-edge problems. Deep Learning has become the primary approach for solving cognitive problems such as Computer Vision and Natural Language Processing (NLP) and has had a massive impact on various industries such as healthcare, retail, automotive, industrial automation, and agriculture. This course will enable students to build Deep Learning models and apply them to computer vision tasks such as object recognition, detection, and segmentation. Students will gain an in-depth understanding of the Deep Learning model development process, tools, and frameworks. Although the focus of the course will primarily be computer vision, students will work on both image and nonimage datasets during class exercises and assignments. Students will gain hands-on experience in popular libraries such as Tensorflow, Keras, and PyTorch. Students will also learn to apply state of the art models such as ResNet, EfficientNet, RCNNs, YOLO, Vision Transformers, etc. for computer vision and work on datasets such as CIFAR, ImageNet, MS COCO, and MPII Human Poses.
Advanced Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
Since the era of big data started, challenges associated with data analysis have grown significantly in different directions: First, the technological infrastructure had to be developed that can hold and process large amounts of data from different sources and of multiple not always well formalized formats. Second, data analysis methods had to be reviewed, selected and modified to work in distributed computational environments like combinations of in-house clusters of servers and cloud. But the biggest challenge of all is learning to think differently in order to ask new types of questions that could not be answered by analyses of less complex data streams with less complex technological infrastructure. In recent years significant progress has been achieved in creating technological ecosystems for big data analysis. Innovative technologies such as open source projects MapReduce, Hadoop, Spark, Storm, Kafka, TensorFlow, H2O, etc. allowed us to look at depths of data unseen before. We now have a growing number of sources and educational courses introducing these new tools. However, developing new data analysis methods appropriate to these new data ecosystems is more difficult than it appears.
Bayesian inference is a method of learning in which Bayes’ theorem is used to combine the previous knowledge with the new evidence in the data to form an improved posterior knowledge. Another name for such methods is probabilistic inference. Probabilistic Bayesian models form the foundation of the most modern algorithms of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. The focus of this course is an introduction to the Bayesian approach. Many methods learned by students in Statistical Analysis, Linear and Nonlinear Models, Data Mining and Machine Learning will be reviewed from the point of view of probabilistic inference. We will look at hierarchical, mixture, robust, and non-parametric Bayesian models and learn how to use them in practical applications. Content will include using probabilistic models to make business decisions under uncertainty, analyzing causation in the data, using probabilistic inference to assess the risk of black swan events, accounting for uncertainty in project management and other applications. Students will learn necessary facts of probability theory, Bayesian reasoning, Markov chain Monte Carlo using JAGS, STAN and PyMC. The course contains large number of interactive demonstrations, and workshops with examples through which the lecturer shares his own hands-on experience with the students.
Data Science for Algorithmic Marketing
This course focuses on marketing science methods and algorithms for undertaking competitive analysis in the digital landscape: market segmentation, mining databases for effective digital marketing, design of new digital and traditional products, forecasting sales and product diffusion, real time product positioning, intra omni-channel optimization and inter omni-channel resource allocation, and pricing across both omni-channel marketing effectiveness and ROI. The course will use a combination of lecture, in-class discussions, group assignments, and a final group project. The course lays special emphasis on algorithms. Hence it draws heavily from the fields of optimization, machine-learning based recommendation systems, association rules, consumer choice models, Bayesian estimation, experimentation and analysis of covariance, advanced visualization techniques for mapping brand perceptions, and analysis of social media data using advanced NLP techniques.
Data Visualization Techniques
In today’s data driven enterprise, data storytelling using effective visualization strategies is an essential skill for analytics practitioners in almost every field to explore and present data. This course focuses on modern data visualization technologies, tools, and techniques to convert raw data into actionable information. Modern data visualization tools are at the forefront of the “self-service analytics” architectures which are decentralizing analytics and breaking down IT bottlenecks for business experts. Moreover, with its foundations rooted in statistics, psychology, and computer science, data visualization shows you how to better understand the data, present clear evidence of your findings to your intended audience and tell engaging data stories through charts and graphics. This course is designed to introduce data visualization as a medium of effective communication using strategic storytelling, and the basis for interactive information dashboards.
Digital Marketing Analytics in Theory and Practice
Successfully marketing brands today requires a well-balanced blend of art and science. This course introduces students to the science of web analytics while casting a keen eye toward the artful use of numbers found in the digital space. The goal is to provide marketers with the foundation needed to apply data analytics to real-world challenges they confront daily in their professional lives. Students will learn to identify the web analytic tool right for their specific needs; understand valid and reliable ways to collect, analyze, and visualize data from the web; and utilize data in decision making for their agencies, organizations or clients. By completing this course, students will gain an understanding of the motivations behind data collection and analysis methods used by marketing professionals; learn to evaluate and choose appropriate web analytics tools and techniques; understand frameworks and approaches to measuring consumers’ digital actions; earn familiarity with the unique measurement opportunities and challenges presented by New Media; gain hands-on, working knowledge of a step-by-step approach to planning, collecting, analyzing, and reporting data; utilize tools to collect data using today’s most important online techniques: performing bulk downloads, tapping APIs, and scraping webpages; and understand approaches to visualizing data effectively.
This course concentrates on the following topics: review of financial markets and assets traded on them; main characteristics of financial analytics: returns, yields, volatility; review of stochastic models of market price and their statistical representations; concept of arbitrage, elements of arbitrage pricing approach; principles of volatility analyses, implied vs. realized volatility; correlation, cointegration and other relationships between various financial assets; market risk analytics and management of portfolios of financial assets. The course puts special emphasis on covering main steps of building analytics from visualizing data and building intuition about their structure and patterns to selecting appropriate statistical method to interpretation of the results and building analytical models. Topics are illustrated by data analysis projects using R. Basic familiarity with R is a requirement.
Given the breadth of the field of health analytics, this course will provide an overview of the development and rapid expansion of analytics in healthcare, major and emerging topical areas, and current issues related to research methods to improve human health. We will cover such topics as security concerns unique to the field, research design strategies, and the integration of epidemiologic and quality improvement methodologies to operationalize data for continuous improvement. Students will be introduced to the application of predictive analytics to healthcare. Students will understand factors impacting the delivery of quality and safe patient care and the application of data-driven methods to improve care at the healthcare system level, design approaches to answering a research question at the population level, become familiar with the application of data analytics to impacting care at the provider level through Clinical Decision Systems, and understand the process of a Clinical Trial.
Machine Learning Operations
The objective of this course is two-fold: first, to understand what Machine Learning Operations (MLOps) is and why it is a key component in enterprise production deployment of machine learning projects, and second, to expose students to software engineering, model engineering and state-of-the-art deployment engineering with hands-on platform and tools experience. This course crosses the chasm that separates machine learning projects/experiments and enterprise production deployment. It covers three pillars in MLOps: software engineering such as software architecture, Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery and data versioning; model engineering such as AutoML and A/B experimentation; and deployment engineering such as docker containers and model monitoring. The course focuses on best practices in the industry that are critical to enterprise production deployment of machine learning projects. Having completed this course, a student understands the machine learning lifecycle and what it takes to go from ideation to operationalization in an enterprise environment. Furthermore, students get exposure to state-of-the-art MLOps platforms such as allegro, xpresso, Dataiku, LityxIQ, DataRobot, AWS Sagemaker, and technologies such as gitHub, Jenkins, slack, docker, and kubernetes.
Natural Language Processing and Cognitive Computing
Extracting actionable insights from unstructured text and designing cognitive applications have become significant areas of application for analytics. Students in this course will learn foundations of natural language processing, including: concept extraction; text summarization and topic modeling; part of speech tagging; named entity recognition; semantic roles and sentiment analysis. For advanced NLP applications, we will focus on feature extraction from unstructured text, including word and paragraph embedding and representing words and paragraphs as vectors. For cognitive analytics section of the course, students will practice designing question answering systems with intent classification, semantic knowledge extraction and reasoning under uncertainty. Students will gain hands-on expertise applying Python for text analysis tasks, as well as practice with multiple IBM Watson services, including: Watson Discovery, Watson Conversation, Watson Natural Language Classification and Watson Natural Language Understanding.
Real Time Intelligent Systems
Developing end-to-end automation and intelligent systems is now the most advanced area of application for analytics. Building such systems requires proficiency in programming, understanding of computer systems, as well as knowledge of related analytical methodologies, which are the skills that this course aims to teach to students. The course focuses on python and is tailored for students with basic programming knowledge in python. The course is partially project based. During the first three sessions, we will review basic python concepts and then learn more advanced python and the ways to use python to handle large data flows. The later sessions are project based and will focus on developing end-to-end analytical solutions in the following areas: Finance and trading, blockchains and crypto-currencies, image recognition, and video surveillance systems.
This course is an introduction to reinforcement learning, also known as neuro-dynamic programming. It discusses basic and advanced concepts in reinforcement learning and provides several practical applications. Reinforcement learning refers to a system or agent interacting with an environment and learning how to behave optimally in such an environment. An environment typically includes time, actions, states, uncertainty and rewards. Reinforcement learning combines neural networks and dynamic programming to find an optimal behavior or policy of the system or agent in a complex environment setting. Neural network approximations are used to circumvent the well-known ‘curse of dimensionality’ which has been a barrier to solving many practical applications. Dynamic programming is the key learning mechanism that the system or the agent uses to interact with the environment and improve its performance. Students will master key learning techniques and will become proficient in applying these techniques to complex stochastic decision processes and intelligent control.
Supply Chain Optimization
“Big Data” continues to grow exponentially in our large-scale transactional world where 100,000s of SKUs and millions of customers are interacting with 1:1 offers that include differential pricing, shipping timing/costs and even made to order “custom” product configurations. These consumer behaviors are quickly advancing the availability of new data and techniques within the discipline of Data Science. This elective course will give students the opportunity to apply their skills in data visualization, data mining tools, predictive modeling, and advanced optimization techniques to address Supply Chain challenges. The course focuses on the use of Advanced Predictive Modeling, Machine Learning, AI and other Data Science insight and activation tools to automate and optimize the performance of the Supply Chain. Students will also learn how to optimize the performance of the Supply Chain from the lens of multiple related disciplines including: Sales Forecasting, Warehousing/Inventory Management, Promotion, Pricing, Logistics Network Optimization, Freight Cost Management, Manufacturing, Retail POS Information, Ecommerce, Consumer Data, and Product Design/Packaging. After completing this course, you will be prepared to work in any of the numerous specialty areas possible in the world of Supply Chain Management.
Data Science Capstone Project
The required Capstone Project is completed over two quarters and covers research design, implementation, and writing. Full-time students start their capstone project in their third quarter. Part-time students generally begin the capstone project in their fifth quarter.
- Advanced Computer Vision with Deep Learning