Apr 14, 2024  

Data Science Graduate Certificate

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Graduate Certificate (GCDS)

This certificate program in Data Science aims to provide interdisciplinary training in the important aspects of the rapidly emerging area of Data Science. With large volumes of data being generated every day from multiple sources (including business data, biomedical data, educational data, science data, engineering data, and personal data), the importance of systematic and rigorous approaches to understanding and putting these large volumes of data to good use is now well recognized. Job growth in this area is in overdrive. The Data Science certificate is being proposed to help train a workforce of future data scientists able to tackle the challenges and reap the promising benefits of vast amounts of data available in all parts of the economy, society, and government. At the end of the program, students will exhibit a deep understanding of how to manage large volumes of data, discover patterns and make inferences from data, use models to make predictions about potential solutions, and quantify the reliability and effectiveness of the outcomes. Equipped with such knowledge and skills, the graduates will make significant contributions towards improving the products, processes, and services offered by commercial and non-commercial organizations as well as the government. The Data Science certificate program will be administered by the Computer Science Department, although some courses may be taught by different departments, and any graduate student meeting admission requirements to the certificate program will be eligible to join it from any other areas.

The specific objectives of the certificate program are to:

  • Provide training on data collection, storage, manipulation, visualization, and privacy;
  • Provide a strong background in programming, algorithms and methods for statistical analysis in data mining and machine learning;
  • Train students in the use of software tools and systems for processing big data;
  • Educate students on ethical, management, policies and legal requirements in the field of data science.

Admission Requirements

The certificate program in Data Science may be pursued concurrently with other graduate programs offered by the university. In particular, students currently admitted to any graduate program at the U of M may join this certificate program. To apply, students must submit the application form and transcripts of prior graduate study.

Non-degree graduate students may also pursue this certificate program of study. For example, professionals who have a BS in computer science, computer engineering, mathematics, or other fields and who are proficient with a programming language such as Java or a statistical package such as R, are eligible for admission into the program. Applicants satisfying these requirements are required to submit a brief (one- to two-page) statement of relevant educational and work experience in data analysis in addition to the requirements above. Prospective students must apply for admission both to the program and to the Graduate School.

GRE scores are not required for non-degree students’ admission into the Data Science certificate program. Acceptance to the certificate program does not imply acceptance into any other graduate in Computer Science.

Program Requirements

The certificate program requires completion of 12 semester credit hours (6 from the list of core courses and 6 from the list of electives) after admission into the certificate program.


COMP 6001 - Intro to Python Programming  or equivalent is required for taking any of the core courses.


In order to continue in the program, students must maintain a GPA of at least 3.0.


To obtain the certificate, a student must complete four of the above-mentioned courses (2 core courses and 2 electives), with an average grade of 3.0 (B) or higher, for a total of 12 credits, at least three of which must be from the 7000 level or higher.


A maximum of 15 credits may be transferred from certificate programs to non-related graduate degrees, subject to approval by the graduate program. Moreover, all credits from a certificate program may be transferred to a relevant graduate degree where the entire content of the given certificate could satisfy some of the requirements of a graduate degree. See specific department requirements for additional information and the Graduate School policy.

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