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Two UMN Degrees for Big Data Careers

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

At Keller Hall, the College of Science & Engineering delivers a Master of Science (MS) in Data Science for University of Minnesota Golden Gophers to learn the state-of-the-art methods used to extract meaning from database information for research application. Chaired by Dr. Mats Heimdahl, a McKnight Presidential Fellow Award winner, the 31-credit, ABET-accredited curriculum splits into three Statistics, Algorithmic, and Infrastructure tracks. Cohorts attend Twin Cities courses from Nonlinear Optimization to Applied Regression Analysis with a 17:1 student-teacher ratio until the rigorous capstone project. Other opportunities include attending the 24-week Data Visualization & Analytics Boot Camp, researching in the Institute for Mathematics, practicing on Minnesota Population Center data, and joining Analytics Club. Some might choose the 12-credit Post-Baccalaureate Data Science Certificate instead.

Ranked seventh by the U.S. News & World Report, the Carlson School of Management grants the Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) for Minnesota post-grads dedicated to applying numerical insights in the corporate world for results-driven leadership. Directed by Dr. Gediminas Adomavicius, a 2017 Informs Distinguished Fellow Award recipient, the 45-credit, STEM-designated Minneapolis program has full-time and part-time tracks available. Expect rigorous 1600-level courses, such as Data Warehousing and Econometric Inference, that include hands-on Carlson Analytics Lab experience. Graduates also form teams of six for 14-week consulting projects and enter the PricewaterhouseCoopers Data & Analytics Insurance Advisory Practice competition. The Class of 2018 had 100 percent job placement at McKinsey, Amazon, Google, Ford, Optum, Capital One, Deloitte, Microsoft, and more.

A Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Data Science is also offered.

About the University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota originated in 1851 when the Territorial Legislature started a coed college preparatory school in Minneapolis seven years before statehood. Closed in 1861 for the Civil War, it was revived in 1867 with funding from philanthropist John S. Pillsbury. In 1869, President William Watts Folwell organized its first post-secondary courses. In 1888, the University of Minnesota started graduate education in the Law School. In 1915, William James and Charles Horace Mayo notably launched their Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research here. In 1919, the University of Minnesota debuted its business school. By 1986, Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame inductee Curt Carlson donated $25 billion to aid business education. In 1998, the Carlson Funds Enterprise was created with $19 million in assets. On July 1, 2010, UMN formally founded the College of Science & Engineering.

Budgeting $3.8 billion yearly, the University of Minnesota now employs 3,804 faculty teaching 30,975 undergrad and 16,389 post-grad Golden Gophers from 130 countries online or at the 165-building Minneapolis-Saint Paul campus with 800+ organizations like Data Science Club. In 2016, UMN won the APLU Institutional Award for Global Learning, Research, and Engagement. In 2015, Minnesota accepted its first Insight Into Diversity Higher Education Excellence Award. UMN earned a 2019 Minnesota Campus Compact Award too. The Wall Street Journal placed the University of Minnesota 71st worldwide. Forbes declared UMN the 24th top public college and 57th best research institution. On Niche, UMN boasts America’s 38th best business school, 47th top math department, and 50th best engineering college. WalletHub named UMN 98th for student selectivity and 107th for education outcomes. Poets & Quants ranked the Carlson School of Management 21st nationally. PayScale calculated the 180th highest ROI of $449,000 at UMN.

University of Minnesota Accreditation Details

On February 12, 2016, the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA) Institutional Actions Council formally informed the University of Minnesota that the Level VI accreditation was successfully reaffirmed through 2025-26 under its 17th president, Dr. Joan Gabel, who received the ALSB Holmes-Cardozo Award for Legal Studies Research. Located 406 miles southeast via Interstate 94 in Chicago, this large 11-state Upper Midwest Region accreditor is authorized by the U.S. Education Department to evaluate UMN’s 151 bachelor’s and 289 graduate offerings. Further, the College of Science & Engineering has been accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) since October 1, 1936. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) also approved the Carlson School of Management again on March 22, 2019.

University of Minnesota Application Requirements

Admission to the University of Minnesota is classified “moderately difficult” by Peterson’s since only 22,525 of the 43,444 Fall 2017 applicants were chosen for 52 percent acceptance. Post-grad Golden Gophers seeking the MS in Data Science must have completed 120+ semester credits for an accredited bachelor’s degree. Preference is given for STEM majors, such as statistics, mathematics, and computer science. Eight prerequisite courses like Multivariable Calculus and C++ Programming are listed. Cumulative undergrad GPAs of 3.5 and higher are mandated. GRE scores in the upper 50th percentile are necessary. International students from non-English countries need a minimum 79 TOEFL iBT, 6.5 IELTS, or 80 MELAB score. The Carlson School of Management chooses MSBA cohorts with bachelor’s GPAs of 3.0 and better. At least 24 months of full-time business experience are preferred. The Class of 2018 presented a median 3.46 GPA, 321 GRE, and 703 GMAT mark. Part-time students have slightly lower averages of 3.2 for GPA and 660 for GMAT scores.

The University of Minnesota considers MS in Data Science candidates from November 15th to March 1st for annual Fall starts. Post-Baccalaureate Data Science Certificate students can file until March 1st or October 1st. The MS in Business Analytics has four full-time application rounds ending on November 1st, January 4th, February 1st, and March 15th. The Part-time MSBA has round deadlines of December 1st, February 1st, April 1st, June 1st, and July 15th. Accordingly, complete the UMN Application online for $75 ($95 if international). Forward official transcripts to 101 Pleasant Street SE in Minneapolis, MN 55455. Directly submit testing results via GRE/TOEFL code 6874 or GMAT code D2N-VJ-05. Attach supplemental materials, including the three recommendations, research description, diversity statement, paper or video essay, and employment resume or CV. Contact (612) 625-4002 or datascience@umn.edu with questions.

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2019-20, the University of Minnesota Graduate School is charging general in-state tuition of $8,532 each semester full-time. Non-resident MS in Data Science majors pay $13,206 by term. Taking six or less credits incurs $1,422 to $2,201 apiece. Residing at the Twin Cities campus’ housing like the West Bank Townhouses adds $13,778 for annual room and board. UMN budgets $1,000 for books, $1,000 for travel, $512 for loan fees, and $2,000 for miscellaneous. Annual post-grad attendance equals about $36,472 in-state and $45,820 out-of-state. The Carlson School of Management follows a unique pay structure though. Minnesota MSBA cohorts spend $960 per credit or $43,200 total. Non-resident MS in Business Analytics study costs $1,370 per credit or $61,650 overall.

According to the NCES College Navigator, the One Stop Student Services Center in Robert H. Bruininks Hall Room 333 connects 81 percent of new UMN Golden Gophers to financial aid averaging $9,521 each for $36.67 million combined. Carlson School funds include the Hinman Scholarship, Burnham Scholarship, David & Shirley Hubers Scholarship, John & Jane Clark Scholarship, Eileen Russell Scholarship, Thomas Leary Scholarship, and Jennifer Houle Memorial Scholarship. College of Science & Engineering options like the 3M Diversity Scholarship, Robert Anderson Scholarship, Norman Family Scholarship, Glen Ullyot Scholarship, Lee Whitson Scholarship, and Robert Hartmann Scholarship can help. The Thomas H. Shevlin Fellowship gifts $23,000 annually to post-grad STEM majors who apply before November 9th. Federal resources, such as the Stafford or Graduate Plus loans, require FAFSA applications coded 003969. External Big Data programs from Acxiom, Microsoft, IBM, MinneAnalytics, Google, and others would also reduce costs.

Keep reading about the University of Minnesota at the Graduate Program in Data Science website.


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