University of Virginia

MSDS: Master of Science in Data Science



Program Information

Degrees Offered:

MSDS: Master of Science in Data Science

Format: Online

Program Description:

To meet the growing demand for skillful, agile data scientists, the Master of Science in Data Science (MSDS) degree at the University of Virginia offers a rigorous 11-month professional master’s program on Grounds.

The MSDS program includes courses taught by faculty from the Departments of Computer Science, Statistics, and Systems and Information Engineering.

The MSDS program offers distinctive advantages:

  • An integrated curriculum that focuses on hands-on learning
    A concluding capstone project that gives students real-world experience
    An interdisciplinary focus that spans across the University into numerous fields of study
    A vibrant cohort experience
    A powerful preparation for and connection to industry-leading careers
    Funding for professional development
    A historic university blazing the trail to the future through advanced research and education

A two-year professional master's program is also offered online.

What does the curriculum look like?

The MSDS program necessarily exists outside the traditional curricular structure, but in its unorthodoxy, the program is a forward-looking blueprint for a world in which data science plays an increasingly larger role.

The curriculum is tightly prescribed, with about 80% of the material common to all students. Several large, complicated data sets are woven across courses to increase the program’s cohesion. And students will consistently work together in teams, building strong relationships and practical skills in the process.

The Master of Science in Data Science program uses the spiral learning framework: Students begin by acquiring a foundation in languages, computation and linear modeling and then build on those skills to begin the practice and application of data science.

At the conclusion of the program, students will address an important data science challenge with their capstone projects. Before presenting their projects, students will create a proposal outlining their objectives and will be mentored and evaluated by faculty members from different disciplines.


Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

Facts & Figures

Classification: Doctoral/Research University—Extensive

Locale: Midsize City

Size & Settings: 20,000-39,999

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