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Data Science Degrees at USC

University of Southern California appears in our ranking of the 20 Best Data Science Certificate Programs.

At the University of Southern California, students wishing to pursue business analytics can complete the graduate certificate in business analytics. For the more adventurous students, there is a Master of Science in Business Analytics. There are other specialty graduate business programs, too, like the Master of Medical Science, Master of Business for Veterans, and 10 others. The Ph.D. program ties in, as well, by focusing on statistics, computer science, and other branches of mathematics.

The undergraduate level of data sciences comprises three separate branches at USC: statistics, information systems, and operations management. The gist of most of these courses is that the world of business is an uncertain place and that business leaders must respond decisively even in uncertain situations.

The course loads of each of the three branches are designed to overlap so that each student receives a balanced approach no matter the selected focus. There are 30 faculty members in the department, so students will experience multiple points of view during their studies.

As far as online studies go in these fields, students may complete graduate degrees in many fields of business, including the Master of Business Administration and the Master of Business Taxation, and a Master of Computer Science with a Data Science specialty.

About USC

Los Angeles didn’t even have paved streets or a reliable system of firefighting in the 1870s, but that’s when the germ of an idea that was to become the University of Southern California 10 years later first sprouted. The first class admitted to the university comprised 53 students and 10 professors. Even in the 21st century, that philosophy of as low a student-to-faculty ratio still holds: The ratio at USC is currently 8-to-1.

The school didn’t stay tiny for long. By the turn of the 20th century, the school had added a law program, a medical school, a dentistry subsection of the medical school, and a prestigious athletic program. In 1904, one of USC’s athletes earned a bronze medal in the 800 meters at the St. Louis Olympics.

Throughout the 20th century, the university expanded and added both departments and research facilities and has grown to more than 44,000 students. Today, it is the No. 22 school in the nation as ranked by U.S. News and World Report. Veterans get an especially fair shake at the university, too, as it has earned the No. 5 ranking in that regard. USC is also ranked No. 37 among “Best Value Schools.” For online students studying data sciences and computers, the ranking news is even better: USC is the No. 1 school in the country for those online programs!

USC Accreditation Details

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges first awarded USC with its regional accreditation in 1949, and the university has kept it ever since. The departmental accreditations include:

  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education
  • American Bar Association
  • American Dental Association
  • American Occupational Therapy Association
  • American Psychological Association
  • Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education
  • Commission on English Language Program Accreditation
  • Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs
  • Council on Education for Public Health
  • Liaison Committee on Medical Education
  • National Association of Schools of Music
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
  • American Physical Therapy Association
  • Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration
  • Council on Social Work Education Office of Social work Accreditation
  • Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System
  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
  • American Society of Landscape Architects
  • Planning Accreditation Board
  • Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications
  • Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology Inc.

USC Application Requirements

Undergraduates applying to USC must take the SAT, ACT, or both. All students must also submit at least one letter of recommendation and all applicable transcripts from any secondary school where credits were earned. Some programs require further letters of recommendation, portfolios of work, audition tapes, and the like. Students should contact their chosen department to determine which additional requirements apply if any.

Graduate students must take the GRE or GMAT, depending on their chosen field of study. Some fields even require both. Students must also have earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university or college. Transcripts are required from any institution where the student matriculated. Letters of recommendation requirements vary by degree program, but all graduate applicants must submit a resume or CV.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Annual undergraduate tuition is $55,320. Room and board cost $15,395. Assorted other costs come to about $4,000, which makes the annual total almost $75,000. Room and board for graduate students is $17,800, and the fees are higher. The cost for master’s candidates is more than $80,000 annually. Ph.D. students must pay an additional $30,000 while writing their dissertations.

When it comes to financial aid, all students, regardless of level, must begin with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The school and the government will use all the data provided on the form to determine a student’s eligibility for the different kinds of aid, which include grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study. Technically, work-study money is classified as a grant.

USC provides many scholarships itself, and students may elect to go outside the university to obtain other money. There are many grants and scholarships available. Most of them have rigorous criteria for not only obtaining them in the first place but also for keeping them once they have been awarded.

Loans may be subsidized or unsubsidized. Subsidized loans are those for which the government pays the interest while the student is enrolled. Unsubsidized means that the loan accrues interest during the student’s studies. There is also interest on the interest with unsubsidized loans. In cases where a student receives a grant or scholarship with academic requirements, failure to uphold those requirements could mean that the awarded funds would convert to an unsubsidized loan. Students should ask as many questions as necessary to feel comfortable with their financial aid.

The University of Southern California is one of the top research universities in the country. It is No. 1 for online data science studies and in the top 20 for a dozen other categories.


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