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Data Science Degrees Offered at California University of Pennsylvania

California University of Pennsylvania appears in our ranking of the Top 30 Most Affordable Online Certificates in Business Analytics.

There are a few different paths students can take to study data science at California University of Pennsylvania (Cal U). At the undergraduate level, the Bachelor of Science in Statistics and Data Science prepares students to enter fields like business intelligence, predictive analysis, and informatics. The program generally takes four years to complete and requires 60 credit hours in the major with half of the classes available only online. Advanced math education is a key component of this major, and all students must complete Statistics in their first semester, followed by Calculus I and II and Linear Algebra at a minimum. In addition, students learn computer science and programming concepts in courses like Big Data Tools and Python Programming Language. Other coding courses cover R and Tableau. Prior to graduation, all students finish a major project incorporating everything they have learned throughout the program in a capstone class.

As part of the curriculum for the B.S. degree, students also earn their SAS Data Science Certificate. The five required courses are all offered online and include Data Preparation and Cleaning, Data Visualization, and the capstone mentioned above. While this series is a built-in part of the undergraduate data science program, students in other majors can also enroll in this track as a certificate program. SAS analytical software is used in a myriad of industries including politics, business, marketing, and video production, and these skills are increasingly in demand throughout the workforce. At the graduate level, there is a related SAS certificate program that covers much of the same coursework but geared toward more advanced applications. Upon completion of either program, students are eligible to take the examinations needed to earn the SAS Certified Big Data Professional designation. Cal U is one of the first schools to offer this type of certification program at both levels.

Graduate students can also pursue an entire degree in the field with the Professional Science Master’s (PSM) in Applied Mathematics which consists of 30 credit hours taken all online in a minimum of 13 months. The coursework covers a variety of topics and includes Optimization and Operations Research I, Advanced Multivariate Statistics, and Applied Cryptography. In addition, students learn less technical skills in courses like Project Management and Leadership and Professional Development and also complete three electives along with a capstone which generally consists of an internship and presentation. The other programs at Cal U that relate to data science include the Business Analytics concentration of the Master of Business Administration and the Business Analytics graduate certificate. Both require 15 credit hours and include one programming elective along with a four-course statistics track featuring Quantitative Methods, Forecasting and Predictive Modeling, Business & Analytics for Big Data, and Decision Support Systems.

About California University of Pennsylvania

Located in the rural town of California, Pennsylvania, Cal U began in 1852 when the town opened its first educational center that offered classes at the kindergarten through college levels. Over the years, the school narrowed its focus to educating elementary and high school teachers and then diversified again at the college level. Today, over 7,000 students are enrolled in more than 150 programs, and the institution is a key member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The California University of Pennsylvania is listed on the Top Performers on Social Mobility list which is published by the U.S. News and World Report, and individual programs are also ranked on various lists including the Best Online Programs for Veterans and Best Online Graduate Business Programs.

California University of Pennsylvania Accreditation Details

Cal U first earned accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) in 1951, a designation last renewed in 2015. The MSCHE is responsible for evaluating colleges and universities in the five mid-Atlantic states along with Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands to ensure that they meet quality standards. These reviews examine all aspects of an institution including the educational programs, social structure, and support systems on campus, faculty expertise, financial standing, transparency, administration, and ethical considerations. Accreditation is an important benchmark because it allows a school to accept federal financial aid payments and ensures students that they will be adequately prepared for professional life upon graduation. Some organizations accredit specific programs or departments. For example, at Cal U, the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (ACBSP) has approved the M.B.A. and graduate certificate in data analytics.

California University of Pennsylvania Application Requirements

To apply for admission, all applicants can submit the application found on the Cal U website, but incoming freshmen also have the option of using the Common Application. For undergraduate admission, other required documentation includes official high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores unless the applicant has been out of school for at least two years. A personal statement and letters of recommendation are accepted but not required. For admission to the graduate data science program, a completed bachelor’s degree in a related field with a GPA of at least 3.0 is required. Students with lower GPAs are encouraged to apply and may be admitted on a conditional basis. All that is required for admission to the undergraduate certificate program is concurrent enrollment in a bachelor’s program or successful completion of an associate’s degree or higher. For the graduate certificate, applicants need to demonstrate a final undergraduate GPA of at least 2.8 in any major.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition at California University of Pennsylvania depends on residency status and education level. In-state undergraduate students can expect to pay around $4000 in tuition for full-time study, while those living out of state will owe almost $6000 per semester. Graduate tuition is $516 per credit hour for Pennsylvania residents and $774 per hour for everyone else. There are a variety of scholarships and grants available through the university, and 90% of enrolled students receive assistance. All undergraduates are eligible for the renewable Vulcan Merit Scholarship of up to $4000 per semester as long as they meet GPA and test score requirements. In addition, graduate students can apply for one of about 200 assistantships at California University of Pennsylvania where students help teach or do research in exchange for tuition waivers.


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