M.S. in Data Science

Elmhurst College

Program Description

M.S. in Data Science

Elmhurst College

Careers in Big Data Begin With Data Science - Online Program

Big data is in big demand. According to a report from McKinsey & Company, in 2011, it was estimated that there will be a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with analytical skills as well as 1.5 million managers and analysts with the know-how to use the analysis of big data to make effective decisions. As a result, the need for individuals who can analyze large sets of data to drive decision making has never been higher.

Successful data experts have proven skills in analytics, computer/information science and business, but many graduate programs focus solely on one subject. The master’s in data science at Elmhurst takes a comprehensive approach, with a curriculum that integrates statistics, computer science and business—skill areas crucial to succeeding in the emerging field of big data. This innovative approach is designed to prepare students to acquire the necessary technical skills in statistics, analytical methods and programming tools while simultaneously developing vital business skills, providing an exceptionally strong, comprehensive foundation of knowledge to begin practice in data science.

At Elmhurst, you’ll gain strong practical skills and acquire a fundamental understanding of data science techniques required to analyze datasets. You’ll practice applying theories to a variety of settings and structuring formal analyses to facilitate decision making. And you’ll get hands-on experience with emerging software tools allowing for analytical methods to be applied to large and unstructured datasets.

This unique, part-time program is offered entirely online, and students may complete the program in two years. Elmhurst also offers a graduate certificate in data science for students who currently do not want to complete a full master’s program.

Elmhurst is pursuing accreditation for the master of science in data science to become a Professional Science Master’s (PSM) degree. PSM programs are designed to prepare professionals for present and future career opportunities in technology-based companies, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. Graduates are equipped to understand and manage breakthroughs created by research teams in a variety of scientific disciplines.


The master of science in data science at Elmhurst requires the successful completion of 10 courses for a total of 7.50 credits (30 semester hours). Students complete two project-based courses, providing an environment for integrating lessons learned from the program's multi-faceted approach and for refining skills necessary to put the program's theoretical knowledge to work in realistic and changing circumstances.

Required Courses

  • MDS 546 Quantitative Methods
  • MDS 523 Data Warehousing
  • MDS 534 Data Mining and Business Intelligence
  • MDS 549 Data Mining Project
  • MDS 535 Programming Languages and Environments
  • MDS 556 Analytical Methods
  • MDS 564 Advanced Data Mining and Analytics
  • MDS 576 Research Methods in Data Science
  • Two graduate-level electives

Program Format

The master of science in data science program is a part-time program that can be completed in two years. The program is offered fully online with classes that are flexible enough to accommodate the schedules of professionals with work and family commitments. Students complete coursework through eight-week sessions.

Admission Requirements

The master of science in data science program at Elmhurst College welcomes applications from students who hold an undergraduate degree in any major from a regionally accredited institution. Please note that a basic course in statistics (with a grade of C or better) and prior coursework in programming are prerequisites to the program. Prerequisites can be met at Elmhurst College through the successful completion of MTH 345 Elementary Statistics and CS 200 Programming Fundamentals (online, non-credit). Or prerequisites may be completed as part of the student's undergraduate coursework or transferred from another college/university.

Applicants must also have at least one year of professional experience that may be waived with directors' approval. And an admission interview with the program directors is required for all applicants.

Job Prospects for Graduates

The employment outlook for big-data-related-information science and business analytics occupations is exceptionally strong. The U.S. Department of Labor states that overall growth is expected to increase by 19%, outpacing average growth. Big data is everywhere and companies nationwide are looking to capitalize on it. With emerging technology and a wealth of quality data available to businesses today, new positions in big data will continue to become available and demand will continue to rise. Graduates of the master’s in data science program at Elmhurst will be proficient in the key skill areas required to excel in big data, giving them a competitive edge in the market. With a curriculum combining statistics, computer science and business, Elmhurst’s graduates will be able to leverage their education to succeed in a wide variety of industries.

Career opportunities in data science include, but are not limited to:

  • Data Scientists, Engineers, Analysts
  • Data Mining Specialists
  • Business Analysts
  • Marketing Managers
  • Market Research Analysts
  • Sales Engineers
  • Quality Assurance Analysts
  • Strategic Planning Analysts
  • Web Analytics Managers
  • Risk Managers
  • Predictive Modelers
  • Decision Managers
  • Operations Managers
  • Information Systems Managers
  • Information Security Analysts
  • Operations Research Analysts
  • Software Engineers
  • Network Managers
  • Statisticians
This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated October 23, 2017
Duration & Price
This course is Online
Start Date
Start date
Feb. 2018
Aug. 2018
2 years
Part time
845 USD
USA - Elmhurst, Illinois
Start date: Feb. 2018
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Start date: Aug. 2018
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Feb. 2018
USA - Elmhurst, Illinois
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Aug. 2018
USA - Elmhurst, Illinois
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
per semester hour