Launch or advance your data science career with a hands-on Master’s degree from one of the best-ranked universities in the world.
The University of Michigan School of Information’s online Master of Applied Data Science (MADS) degree is designed for people who want to become a data scientist by learning skills from hands-on projects. You’ll work with real datasets to learn how to put data to work to improve everything from business success to people’s lives.
As a MADS degree student, you will learn systems and techniques that help organizations overcome data overload and make sound, smart decisions. Whether you’re looking to create real estate market forecasts or use data to study Russian literature, the MADS degree program teaches you the fundamental principles of data science so you’re equipped to tackle challenges in an ever-changing field.
The MADS curriculum prepares you to be a leader in your field. You’ll master core data science concepts like machine learning and natural language processing. To get prepared to succeed within today’s organizations, you’ll dive deep on key topics such as privacy, data ethics, and persuasive communication. You’ll work with authentic industry data sets from top companies. From your very first course, you’ll start building a work portfolio to showcase your skills for employers.
Applicants are not required to have an advanced technical background — all you need is basic statistics and Python proficiency. These skills can be learned through Statistics for Python and Python 3 Programming, which are available now on Coursera.
What makes this degree unique?
- LEARN FROM THE #1 INFORMATION SYSTEMS SCHOOL IN THE U.S.: The University of Michigan’s School of Information (#1 ranked in Information Systems, U.S. News & World Report 2018) has had a long partnership with Coursera, and are experts at teaching online. More than one million learners have taken courses online from the faculty at UMSI since they launched on Coursera. The University of Michigan is also ranked as the #1 public university in the U.S.
- PROVEN CAREER OUTCOMES: The University of Michigan’s School of Information prepares students to be leaders in the field. Graduates from the on-campus Master of Science in Information program have a 98%+ job placement rate and go on to become Data Scientists at top companies such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon.
- DIVERSE BACKGROUNDS WELCOME: Unlike most Data Science degrees, there are only a few basic technical prerequisites (knowledge of statistics and Python) to join the program. Students are not required to have a bachelor’s degree in a science or math discipline, or work experience in a technical field. Students who need to brush up on statistics and Python are encouraged to take the Statistics for Python and Python 3 Programming Specializations, which are also offered by the University of Michigan through Coursera.
- LEADERSHIP-FOCUSED LEARNING: While other Data Science Master’s degrees focus on Computer Science theory, this degree equips students for leadership with an end-to-end perspective on data science. Students go from contextual inquiry to data visualization and presentation, and become prepared to solve real-world problems.
- RENOWNED FACULTY: University of Michigan professors are among the most respected in the space, and they are passionate about providing the highest-quality instruction to online degree learners. Students get direct access to faculty and graduate students through live office hours and email conversations.
- UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN COMMUNITY: The University of Michigan community provides a wide range of student services, including access to job boards, networks, and library privileges. Students will be invited to participate in graduation ceremonies on campus as they join the 540,000-strong Michigan alumni network.
University of Michigan's Master of Applied Data Science on Coursera
Who is this degree for:
This degree is designed for people who want to take on real-world data challenges and gain a comprehensive understanding of how data is collected, processed, analyzed, visualized and reported across a variety of industries. Applicants should be proficient with statistics and Python. Students will learn how to apply their skills in ways that help organizations become more effective, strategic, ethical, and successful.
Tuition for the School of Information Master of Applied Data Science online degree program reflects the quality and value expected from a Michigan education.
We offer competitive rates for both in-state and out-of-state students. Because U-M is partially state-funded, we offer a lower rate for Michigan residents. For this academic year, the proposed rates* are $932 a credit hour for state of Michigan residents and $1,243 for non-residents, for example, not including fees (currently $165 a semester). The rates are proposed to be the same whether students are taking classes full or part time; as a result, the total 34-credit degree would be $31,688 for in-state students and $42,262 for out-of-state students given this year’s estimated rates before fees.
UMSI is committed to providing education to highly qualified students regardless of financial status. Unlike most online degree programs, the Master of Applied Data Science offers the opportunity for scholarships in addition to other types of financial aid. The information you provide on your application will be used to help determine your eligibility for those scholarships. We expect more than half of our online students will receive some financial support.
*Please note the proposed tuition rate is subject to the university’s annual increases, which typically occur during the summer. All final tuition rates must be approved by the University of Michigan Board of Regents in June 2019, so these figures are solely for estimating purposes.
At a Glance
- 12 months minimum; Fall 2019 students will take at least 24 months
- 34 credit hours
- $31,688-$42,262Total Cost
- Completely online
Start your application
The next cohort starts on September 3rd, 2019.
Early Admission Deadline:
April 1st, 2019
June 1st, 2019
Students will need basic proficiency in statistics and Python to start the degree. Students that need to brush up on these skills will be able to do so through open courses offered by the University of Michigan on Coursera, such as Statistics for Python or Python 3 Programming. Excellence in MOOC coursework is considered in the holistic application review process.
Courses cover, in summary:
- Computational methods to deal with big data
- Exploring and communicating data
- Visualizing data using multiple methods
- Analytic techniques (machine learning, network analysis, natural language processing, experiments and causal inference, etc.)
- Data science application in context (search and recommender systems, social media analytics, learning analytics, etc.)
- 3 portfolio-building major projects
Classes are flexible, and offered in one-credit, four-week course modules. Students can take a part-time or full-time workload*, meaning the degree fits in your life -- even if you have a full time job and a family.
Students enrolling in the Fall 2019 cohort will be part-time only, as new courses are launched, with an expected completion date of 24 months.
- 34 credit hours
- 12 months minimum; Fall 2019 students will take at least 24 months
The degree experience is...
The same kind of courses you’ll find on campus, with the flexibility to learn when and where you want.
Collaborate with a global network of classmates, instructors, and alumni.
Innovative courses with lectures from some of the world’s best instructors and hands-on projects.
Practical courses designed to help you master skills that you can start applying to your career right away.
Frequently Asked Questions
The MADS program is a unique degree geared toward building practical experience and creating a portfolio of work geared for professional development. This new program comes from the same #1 ranked Information Science program as the on-campus degrees, and is taught by regular University of Michigan School of Information faculty.
The MADS degree is offered only in online format, but the degree diploma and transcript are identical in form to the other graduate programs from the fully-accredited University of Michigan School of Information and do not differentiate between residential and online.
No, there isn’t an equivalent on-campus program.
This program is specifically designed to be feasible for working adults to complete. The time needed will vary based on your previous experience, the particular course you’re taking, and how many courses you choose to take at one time.
The school year is broken up into three terms of approximately four months each. Courses are typically one month in length and award one credit, with three capstone courses that award 2-3 credits and may last longer than one month. Students can enroll up to half-time for the Fall 2019 cohort, as courses come online. Starting with the Fall 2020 cohort, students will be able to take a full time load, which is equivalent to 16 credits. Students will complete 34 credits to graduate from the program.
Depending on how many courses you take concurrently, you may finish the program in 12, 20, or 24 months. You may choose to take longer. Students enrolling in Fall 2019 will take at least 24 months (or more, at their discretion) based on the rollout of classes.
Graduates of this program will be prepared to become data scientists in the fields of their choice. Graduates from the on-campus Master of Science in Information program have a 98%+ job placement rate and go on to become Data Scientists at top companies such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon.
No. The program has been designed so that you can move quickly through courses where you already have previous experience.
Yes, students get direct access to faculty and TAs through live office hours and email conversations.
Yes, through the courses you will work alongside and on projects with students from around the world. There will be synchronous sessions weekly where you will have the opportunity to attend a virtual classroom and be online with classmates, and our experience suggests that strong bonds and study groups will often arise during your classes.
Yes, your instructors are the same ones that teach on campus in Michigan.
To increase global access to this high-quality degree program, learners will be able to pursue their MADS degree through a 100% online format. Course information is viewed via a web browser.
At this point, no. If you’re in the degree program, there will be a brief add/drop period at the beginning of each course where you can see upcoming material.
Email us anytime for information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please see the program overview. The rigorous curriculum prepares students to be leaders in the field by combining core data science courses (machine learning, natural language processing) with courses on persuasive communication, privacy, and data ethics. Students will work with real-world data sets from top companies.
No. There are themes and varied applications within the curriculum, where students will be able to use data sets that are relevant to their interests.
Students in the Fall 2019 cohort may enroll approximately half time to complete in 24 months. Starting with the Fall 2020 cohort, students may take a full time load. A total of 34 credits will be needed to complete the program, with multiple credits included in three capstone course series.
There will be several asynchronous sessions per week, designed to accommodate a variety of student schedules in different time zones.
Internships are not a required part of the program, but students will have opportunities and support for internships during the degree.
- The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or other graduate exams are NOT required for application.
- Non-native English speakers will need to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and submit scores to the school. A score of at least 100 on the Internet-based Test (IBT) is required for admission.
- A good basic knowledge of Python programming language and introductory statistics is required. We’re looking for people who have through schoolwork, work responsibilities or self-study learned the basics of programming with Python and using statistics. These skills can be learned through Statistics for Python and Python 3 Programming, which are available now on Coursera. All applicants will take two assessments before being fully admitted.
- See the rest of the application requirements.
Applicants are not required to have an advanced technical background — all you need is basic statistics and Python proficiency. These skills can be learned through Statistics for Python and Python Fluency, which are available now on Coursera. All applicants will take two assessments before being fully admitted.
A bachelor's degree is required. There is no minimum GPA requirement, but the university encourages 3.0 and above. No GRE is required. Work experience in a technical field is not required.
We are interested in students with a passion for self-directed learning and a commitment to lifelong learning in all forms. If you lack certain requirements, taking and succeeding in online courses such as those offered on Coursera can help make your application stand out.
Our application process is holistic, which is to say that we consider all aspects of your experience prior to applying, including both scholastic and career achievement. Specific work experience is not required, but it will be considered in your favor if included in the application. Basic statistics and Python proficiency are required, but you may learn these through traditional or online classes, rather than through employment.
The application fee for the MADS degree is the same for other University of Michigan School of Information master’s degrees. This year, those fees are $75 for U.S. residents and $90 for international applicants.
Yes. Unlike most online degree programs, the University of Michigan School of Information will offer scholarships to a significant number of its online students. The information you provide in your application will be used to determine whether you are offered those scholarships.
For the 2019-2020 academic year, the proposed rates* are $932 a credit hour for state of Michigan residents and $1,243 a credit hour for non-residents, not including fees (currently $165 a semester).
The rates are proposed to be the same whether students are taking classes full or part time. As a result, the total 34-credit degree would be $31,688 for in-state students and $42,262 for out-of-state students, given this year’s estimated rates before fees. While courses are typically one month in duration, tuition is billed on a traditional semester basis including all courses that you would take during those four months, and billed roughly three times a year.
* Please note the proposed tuition rate is subject to the university’s annual increases, which typically occur during the summer. All final tuition rates must be approved by the University of Michigan Board of Regents in June 2019, so these figures are solely for estimating purposes.
Students will have access to the 540k strong alumni network, as well as resume assistance and job boards. Students will also have access to corporate partnerships that the program has built with top companies.
All students will have school email addresses, as well as access to support from UMSI. All students will be invited to graduate alongside other students on-campus when they complete the program.
Students will be invited to formal activities such as UMSI Convocation and Commencement. MADS students may join UMSI student clubs and activities.
Frequently Asked Questions for International Students
Non-native English speakers will need to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and submit scores to the school. A score of at least 100 on the Internet-based Test (IBT) is required for admission. For information, see the admissions critera.
We require one scanned or electronic transcript uploaded to the online application or mailed directly to us for all undergraduate and/or graduate programs from which you have degree(s). We will accept unofficial transcripts for application review, and will require official transcripts if offered admission.
If you have not yet completed your baccalaureate degree, you may submit a current (in-progress) transcript now, and a final transcript showing degree conferral upon graduation.
Other than the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) requirement for non-native speakers of English, international students have the same application requirements as domestic students. For details, see the admissions criteria.
Coursera does not grant credit, and does not represent that any institution other than the degree granting institution will recognize the credit or credential awarded by the institution; the decision to grant, accept, or transfer credit is subject to the sole and absolute discretion of an educational institution. We encourage you to investigate whether this degree meets your academic and/or professional needs before applying.