ONLINE DEGREE PROGRAM

Master of Computer Science in Data Science

Master of Computer Science in Data Science

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Logo

A flexible and affordable degree from one of the top Computer Science programs in the world, focused on one of the hottest fields of the new millennium.

Enroll in the Master of Computer Science in Data Science (MCS-DS) and gain access to the computational and statistical knowledge needed to turn big data into meaningful insights. Build expertise in four core areas of computer science—data visualization, machine learning, data mining, and cloud computing—while learning key skills in statistics and information science. This completely online degree is an affordable gateway to one of the most lucrative and fastest growing careers of the new millennium.

The MCS-DS is offered by CS @ ILLINOIS, a U.S. News & World Report top five CS graduate program, in collaboration with the University’s Statistics Department and top-ranked iSchool. Join our alumni network of entrepreneurs, educators, and technical visionaries, who have revolutionized the way people communicate, shop, conduct business, and are entertained. From the ILLIAC to Blue Waters, OpenMP to MPI, Mosaic to YouTube, and the first vectorizing compilers to LLVM, CS @ ILLINOIS has long been at the forefront of excellence in computing and education.

Who is this degree for:

Professionals who want to use big data to understand the world, discover new insights, and optimize their decision-making will find value in the MCS-DS program. Analyzing the rising tide of data has become important to a wide range of fields, including the humanities, medicine, and business, as well as engineering and the sciences. Students will gain a strong foundation that will enable them to bring data science to bear on these areas. The program is designed so that students can complete it at their own pace as they balance their personal and professional commitments. Most students complete the degree in less than three years, though it can be completed in as little as one year or, if needed, as many as five years.

AT A GLANCE
  • 12-36 months
  • 8 16-week courses
  • $19,200 plus fees
  • Completely online

Start your application

The next cohort starts on January 16th, 2018

Final Deadline:

October 15th 2017

See Admissions Requirements

Applications are open three times per year, for cohorts starting in the fall, spring, and summer.

Want to learn more before applying?

After answering a few short questions, we’ll be able to help you find out if you’re qualified to apply and give you more information about the degree program.

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Academics

The MCS-DS is a non-thesis degree that requires 32 credit hours of coursework. Students can complete the eight courses required for the MCS-DS at their own pace, in as little as one year or up to five years. Students receive lectures through the Coursera platform, but are advised and assessed by Illinois faculty and teaching assistants on the rigorous set of assignments, projects, and exams required for university degree credit.

  • 8 16-week courses
  • 4 projects
  • 12-36 months

What Every MCS-DS Student Learns...

Machine Learning

The core Applied Machine Learning course focuses on tool-oriented and problem-directed lessons in machine learning. Application areas include computer vision, natural language processing, interpreting accelerometer data, and understanding audio data.

Data Visualization

The core Data Visualization course shows how to present data effectively for human understanding, starting with database visualization tools like Tableau and concluding with programming with D3.js to create reactive web pages for narrative data storytelling.

Data Mining

The core Data Mining coursework can be focused on discovering patterns in structured data or retrieving information from unstructured data in the form of natural language text, and the program is flexible enough to allow students interested in data mining to study both.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is essential for learning, visualizing, and mining big data. The cloud computing coursework can be focused on the cloud programming for infrastructure or for applications, but students interested in cloud computing can study both.

The degree experience is...

100% ONLINE
100% ONLINE

The same courses you’ll find on campus, with the flexibility to learn when and where you want.

INTERACTIVE
INTERACTIVE

Collaborate with a global network of industry leading classmates, instructors, and alumni.

ENGAGING
ENGAGING

Innovative courses with lectures from some of the world’s best instructors and hands-on projects.

CAREER-FOCUSED
CAREER-FOCUSED

Practical courses designed to help you master skills that you can start applying to your career right away.

When you graduate, you’ll be able to:

  • Success

    Utilize cloud computing to learn, visualize, and mine new insights from big data.

  • Success

    Analyze available data to inform critical decisions.

  • Success

    Study data scientifically, and use it to prove hypotheses.

  • Success

    Program effectively, using the right tools for the job.

Admissions

Requirements

Applicants for the degree program must have:

  • a bachelor’s degree
  • 3.0/4.0 undergraduate GPA or higher (from the last two years of bachelor’s degree coursework).
  • sufficient background in object-oriented computer programming, data structures & algorithms (e.g. including a “data structures” course or comparable knowledge).
  • not already completed a graduate degree in computer science. (Those who already hold a graduate degree in computer science can complete the program to earn a Master’s Certificate in Data Science that they can list alongside their existing graduate degree in CS.)

Recommendations

Applicants for the degree program are recommended to have:

  • a bachelor’s degree in a computing field,
  • 3.2/4.0 undergraduate GPA or higher,
  • programming experience demonstrated by employment or a list of programming projects, and
  • programming experience with C++ and/or Java.

Start your application

The next cohort starts on January 16th, 2018

Final Deadline:

October 15th 2017

About University of Illinois

24

Nobel Laureates

450,000

Global Alumni Network

7th

Most Graduates Hired by Silicon Valley Employers (2016)

Faculty

Bertram Ludaescher

Bertram Ludaescher

ChengXiang Zhai

ChengXiang Zhai

David Dalpiaz

David Dalpiaz

Indranil Gupta

Indranil Gupta

Jiawei Han

Jiawei Han

John C. Hart

John C. Hart

Reza Farivar

Reza Farivar

Roy H. Campbell

Roy H. Campbell

Ready to start your application?

The next cohort starts on January 16th, 2018

Final Deadline:

October 15th 2017

Want to learn more before applying?

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Yes. Students admitted to the degree program, who complete all degree requirements, will earn a Master of Computer Science degree and diploma from the University of Illinois. Transcripts will only indicate “Master of Computer Science,” and will not mention data science or the mode of delivery. You are free to refer to the degree as Master of Computer Science in Data Science on your resume, LinkedIn, or anywhere else that would be helpful.

  • MCS-DS topics include data visualization, machine learning, data mining, cloud computing, statistics, and information science.

  • Yes, each course or Specialization is available separately.

  • Enroll at the University of Illinois to earn official university credit through relevant enhanced courses while completing Specializations on Coursera.

  • We expect Masters-level CS students to be able to learn new languages in order to use the best tool to solve a problem, but we try to be flexible with languages when possible to allow students to program in the language they are most comfortable with. Students should already be proficient in at least one object-oriented programming language. Cloud Computing Concepts is best suited for C++ programming, whereas Cloud Computing Applications is best suited for Java. Applied Machine Learning and Statistical Programming use the R programming language, whereas Data Visualization uses JavaScript for web programming.