2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
    Jun 18, 2021  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Data Science (M.S.)

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Program Coordinator/Contact

Kurt D. Cogswell, Department Head
Rong Fan, Statistics Lecturer/MS Data Science Coordinator
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Chicoine Architecture, Mathematics and Engineering Hall 209, Box 2225

Program Information

The SDSU M.S. in Data Science is a one-year program that provides graduates with the statistical, mathematical, and computational skills needed to meet the large-scale data science challenges of today’s professional world.  The curriculum incorporates current techniques in statistics, operations research, predictive modeling, data mining, forecasting, big data programming and management, and data visualization.  The program’s focus is on application and interpretation of modern data analysis techniques of known value in today’s professional world, both private and public sector. It is recommended that this program be started in the summer semester.  Failure to start in the summer may increase the amount of time necessary to complete the program.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Communication: Students will understand the foundations of data science, with a specific focus on the interplay between computational complexity and statistical efficiency. (Communication Skills; Transferable Skill: Ethics - Moral Decision Making/Moral Reasoning)
  • Ethics: Students will understand ethical implications of using data and statistical models for making decisions. (Communication Skills; Transferable Skill: Ethics - Moral Decision Making/Moral Reasoning)
  • Analysis: Students will perform exploratory data analysis and statistical inference in appropriate application areas. (Communication Skills; Transferable Skill: Ethics - Moral Decision Making/Moral Reasoning)
  • Application of methods: Students will apply the methods in artificial intelligence, machine learning, or pattern recognition to real data. (Communication Skills; Transferable Skill: Ethics - Moral Decision Making/Moral Reasoning)
  • Students will proficiently use at least one statistical software among R, SAS, PYTHON, STATA, JMP, or SQL.
  • Students will appropriately communicate the results of their analysis to various audiences.

Course Delivery Format

Courses will typically be delivered in on-campus classrooms, with occasional courses offered online.

Available Options for Graduate Degrees

Master of Science Option C - Coursework Only 30 Credit Hours

Core Requirements


Credits: 12

The following courses will be the default elective curriculum beyond the core courses in the M.S. in Data Science program.

The following courses are available to students with appropriate mathematical and statistical prerequisite knowledge.

Total Required Credits: 30 (Option C)

Additional Admission Requirements

GRE:  Not required.
TOEFL:  Program requirement minimum score of 575paper-based, 90-91 internet-based, OR
IELTS:  Program requirement minimum score of 6.0

In addition to meeting Graduate School admission requirements, applicants for graduate study for the M.S. in Data Science must have:

  • Baccalaureate degree from an institution of higher education with full regional accreditation for that degree.
  • The applicant must have an undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 on 4.0 scale.
  • Transcript should show completion of courses in key areas equivalent to:
    • Database design/programming including familiarity with SQL (STAT 410/510 or equivalent)
    • Understanding of the principles of programming (CSC 150 or INFO 101 or equivalent)
    • Understanding of statistical principles (STAT 441/541 or equivalent)
  • Undergraduate preparatory courses required of entering students include two semesters of calculus, one course in matrix or linear algebra, one introductory course in calculus-based probability and statistics.  SDSU courses that would satisfy these requirements would be:

    • MATH 123 Calculus I
    • MATH 125 Calculus II
    • MATH 215 Matrix Algebra OR MATH 315 Linear Algebra
    • STAT 381 Introduction to Probability and Statistics
  • Students with other educational backgrounds may be admitted conditionally.  They will be required to complete the necessary coursework to eliminate deficiencies in their background during their first semester in the program.

Accelerated Master’s Program

The accelerated Master’s program will be available to eligible SDSU students. Up to 12 credits applied to the undergraduate degree may be used to satisfy graduate credit. Students must follow SDSU Policy 2:22 Use of Graduate Credit for Undergraduate Degree Requirements.

General Requirements

Graduate students should consult with their advisor before registering for graduate coursework.

For additional information refer to the Master’s Degree Requirements .

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