UC San Diego launches graduate degree programs in data science

BY Meghan MalasJanuary 10, 2022, 8:29 PM
The Geisel Library, at the University of California San Diego, in February 2021.
Bing Guan—Bloomberg/Getty Images

The data science industry is growing, and so too are options for prospective students. The University of California San Diego recently announced plans to launch master’s and doctoral degree programs in data science, and the university expects to welcome 20 to 25 students to each of these programs in the fall. 

The graduate programs are offered by the school’s Halıcıoğlu Data Science Institute (HDSI) and consist of a traditional and online master of science in data science program and a doctor of philosophy in data science program. The university expects cohort sizes will grow to meet a rising demand in graduate-level data science education. 

“The graduate program will produce the next generation of teachers, the next generation of researchers, and people who advance the field itself,” Rajesh Gupta, the founding director of HDSI, tells Fortune. The three programs join an existing undergraduate degree program offered at the institute.

Applications for the traditional master of science in data science program and doctor of philosophy in data science program are now open. The application process for the self-paced, online master of science in data science program opens on Jan. 15. 

The master’s program targets working professionals looking to prepare for a career in data science. The program’s core courses include data ethics, computing, statistics, machine learning, and more. 

Gupta says the doctorate program is seeking professionals with quantitative experience in fields such as economics, neuroscience, statistics, and math. He also notes that the program is fitting for those people who have a curiosity about the field and an interest in data science research—though applicants don’t need a master’s degree in data science. 

“The graduate program is designed to provide access ramps to people who come from very different backgrounds,” Gupta says. 

The programs place students into categories depending on their academic preparation. There are designated course paths for people with computing backgrounds, math or statistics backgrounds, or economics, computational social sciences, natural or biological sciences backgrounds.

“The new degree programs are a reflection of the continued investment and academic leadership by UC San Diego in the growing area of data science,” chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla said in a Dec. 22 press release. 

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