Data Scientist, Northwestern University MSDS Program, Northwestern University MSPA

Northwestern University’s Masters of Science in Predictive Analytics (MSPA) becomes the Masters of Science in Data Science (MSDS)

Starting in the Spring Quarter of 2018 the MSPA (Masters of Science in Predictive Analytics)  program became the MSDS (Masters of Science in Data Science) program.  This was announced in January of 2018 and the name change become official in the Spring Quarter of 2018.  Existing MSPA students had the options of staying in the MSPA program with it’s requirements, or transferring over to the MSDS program.  I elected to transfer to the MSDS program.  There is a webex on the MSDS program – click here for the webex.

In the webinar, Dr. Thomas Miller, the faculty director of the MSPA and now the MSDS programs, related that Northwestern University’s MSPA program started in the fall of 2011, before the term data science was a widely known or used term.  However, since then it has become mainstream, and has emerged as a discipline in it’s own right.   Therefore the decision to change the name of the program.

Data science was described by Dr. Miller as “an emerging, integrative academic discipline” encompassing Business needs (strategy, management, leadership, communication skills), Modeling (statistics, machine learning, and model building), and Information Technology (databases, etc).  Each of these is covered in the MSDS program.

Dr. Miller also commented that the main programming language moving forward would be Python.   Initially when the program was formed, SAS and SPSS were the main languages.  Python and R were brought in at a later date.   R will still be used in some courses in the Analytics and Modeling Specialization courses.   He did not make it clear whether SAS would still be an option though.

MSDS Program Overview

You need to successfully complete 12 courses.  There are core courses, elective courses, and specialization options.

Core Courses

MSDS 400 – Math for Data Scientists

MSDS 401 – Statistical Analysis

MSDS 402 – Introduction to Data Science

MSDS 420 – Database Systems and Data Preparation

MSDS 422 – Practical Machine Learning

MSDS 460 – Decision Analytics

MSDS 475 – Project Management or MSDS 480 Business Leadership and Communications

MSDS 498 – Capstone or MSDS 590 – Thesis

 

A new elective was created for students with limited programming background:

MSDS 430 – Python for Data Science

Specializations

 

Analytics and Modeling Specialization

Designed for data scientists seeking technical roles as data analysts, applied statisticians, and modelers. Courses focus on statistical inference and applications of predictive models.

Required Courses:

MSDS 410 – Regression and Multivariate Analysis

MSDS 411 – Generalized Linear Models

Plus 2 electives

 

Data Engineering Specialization

Designed for students seeking technical positions focused on designing, developing, implementing, and maintaining systems for data science.

Required Courses:

MSDS 432 – Foundations of Data Engineering

MSDS 434 – Analytics Application Development

Plus 2 electives

 

Analytics Management Specialization

Designed for students seeking technical leadership and data science management positions.

Required Courses:

MSDS 474 – Accounting and Finance for Analytics Managers

MSDS 475 – Project Management

MSDS 480 – Business Leadership and Communications

(Students in this specialization have to take both 475 and 480)

Plus 2 electives

 

*Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning Specialization

*This has not been officially announced – this information is from comments that Dr. Thomas Miller made during  a MSDS 422 Sync session.  He said that this specialization is being developed – so take these comments as being preliminary.  I personally am really excited about this specialization, as I just finished MSDS 422 – Practical Machine Learning – and realize the growing importance of machine learning now and in the future.

Required Courses:

MSDS 453 – changing from Text Analytics to Natural Language Processing

MSDS 458 – Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning

Plus 2 electives

These new electives are being created:

Computer Vision

Software Robotics

 

Listing of all current elective courses:

MSDS 410 – Regression Analysis

MSDS 411 – Generalized Linear Models

MSDS 413 – Times Series Analysis and Forecasting

MSDS 430 – Python for Data Science

MSDS 432 – Foundations of Data Engineering

MSDS 434 – Analytics Application Development

MSDS 436 – Analytics Systems Analysis

MSDS 450 – Marketing Analysis

MSDS 451 – Financial and Risk Analytics

MSDS 452 – Web and Network Data Science

MSDS 453 – Text Analytics – soon to become Natural Language Processing

MSDS 454 – Data Visualization

MSDS 456 – Sports Performance Analytics

MSDS 457 – Sports Management Analytics

MSDS 458 – Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning

MSDS 459 – Information Retrieval and Real-Time Analytics

MSDS 470 – Analytics Entrepreneurship

MSDS 472 – Analytics Consulting

MSDS 474 – Accounting and Finance for Analytics Managers

MSDS 490 – Special Topics in Data Science

 

 

 

 

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