Master of Computer Science in Data Science (MCS-DS) Overview
Earn your Master’s, learn from pioneering Illinois faculty, and gain the data science skills that are transforming business and society. Illinois Computer Science offers a specialized track that includes both MCS degree requirements and data science-focused coursework. This degree is right for anyone who not only wants to learn to extract knowledge and insights from massive data sets, but also wants full command of the computational infrastructure to do so.
The Master of Computer Science in Data Science (MCS-DS) leads the MCS degree through a focus on core competencies in machine learning, data mining, data visualization, and cloud computing, It also includes interdisciplinary data science courses, offered in cooperation with the Department of Statistics and the School of Information Science.
If you select the Data Science track, your courses and projects will focus on:
Machine Learning: Coursework focusing on tool-oriented and problem-directed approaches to machine learning with applications in computer vision, natural language processing, geopositioning, and voice & music.
Data Visualization: Coursework designed to show you how to create effective and understandable data presentations. Learn database visualization tools like Tableau. Use D3.js to develop reactive web pages for narrative data storytelling.
Data Mining: This course shows you how to discover patterns in structured data. You’ll also learn to retrieve information from unstructured data sources, such as natural language text.
Cloud Computing: Coursework on the cloud computing technology, infrastructure and application development that is essential for supporting the discovery and extraction of knowledge from big data.
Students attend live classrooms sessions with professors, work together on group projects using Zoom and Slack, and get access to instructors during live office hours.
Applicants for the degree program must have:
- An eligible bachelor’s degree
- 3.0 or higher undergraduate GPA (from the last two years of bachelor’s degree coursework)
- A strong background in object-oriented computer programming, data structures, and algorithms (this should include a “data structures” course or comparable experience). If you do not have graded and transcripted prerequisite CS coursework in these areas, consider enrolling in our Accelerated Computer Science Fundamentals Specialization that is designed to help you prepare for the Online MCS Entrance Exam which can strengthen your application for admission.
- Not already completed a graduate degree in computer science, computer engineering or a closely related field
Additional Admissions Recommendations
Applicants for the degree program are recommended to have:
- A bachelor’s degree in a computing field (or transcripted coursework in fundamental CS coursework, e.g. data structures)
- 3.2/4.0 undergraduate GPA or higher
- Programming experience with C++ or Java
All applicants must submit an application form, the supplemental form, three letters of reference (not required, but highly recommended), a statement of purpose, resume, and official transcripts from all completed university coursework. TOEFL/IELTS scores may be required for international applicants
In your application, under the “Program Section,” you will be asked if you are interested in enrolling in the Data Science track. Select “Yes” if you would like to enroll in the data science track. Admitted students can decide later whether or not they will utilize the data science track as they work with program advisors on course selection.
The deadline to apply for the current cohort is Oct 15, 2020.
For full details and online application, click the link below.
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