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Western Governors University Data Science Degrees

Western Governors University appears in our ranking of the 15 Most Affordable Bachelor’s in Data Science Online

Western Governors University offers a Bachelor of Science in Data Management/Data Analytics that provides students with an understanding of how raw data becomes useable information. Students gain a strong background in database management, data wrangling, analysis, and visualization. They are able to earn many industry-recognized certifications from such noted companies as Oracle, CompTIA, and CIW. In addition, graduates earn a Udacity Nanodegree which provides ongoing support including employment placement, assistance with resumes, networking and LinkedIn guidance. Over 80 percent of graduates complete the degree in 9 to 18 months in a completely online format. Courses required include:

  • Business of IT – Applications
  • Business of IT – Project Management
  • Data Analysis with R
  • Data Analytics
  • Data Management – Applications
  • Data Management – Foundations
  • Data Structures and Algorithms
  • Data Visualization
  • Data Wrangling with MongoDB
  • Database Server Administration
  • Introduction to Data Science
  • Introduction to IT
  • Introduction to Programming in Python
  • IT Applications
  • IT Foundations
  • Machine Learning
  • Network and Security – Foundations
  • Networks
  • Scripting and Programming Applications
  • Scripting and Programming – Foundations
  • Spreadsheets
  • Structured Query Language
  • Technical Communication
  • Web Development Foundations

About Western Governors University

The original university without borders, Western Governors University began when 19 United States Governors joined together to create this unique institute of higher learning. It was the vision of Mike Leavitt, who was then the Governor of Utah, who presented his idea at a meeting of the Western Governor’s Association in 1995. A year later, each state governor who signed the agreement to create the school committed $100,000 toward the creation of an institute of higher learning that was competency-based.

Mitch Daniels, then Governor of Indiana founded the first offshoot of the University when he opened WGU Indiana. In 2011, WGU Texas and WGU Washington were funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Their donation of $4.5 million was also used to improve WGU Indiana. WGU Tennessee was formed in 2013 as was WGU Missouri.

From the beginning, distance learning technologies were recognized as a growing technique for learning at the post-secondary level. Once the first school was established, the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education along with the National Center for Higher Education Management were enlisted to design a new university with the potential for distance learning.

Today, the school still works to deliver higher education using competency-based programs, most of which are in an online format providing flexibility to non-traditional students. The founders demanded that the school not only offer flexible formats but remain affordable so that first-generation college students and those with modest incomes could achieve their higher education goals.

WGU has been awarded the 21st Century Award for Best Practices in Distance Learning by the United States Distance Learning Association for the past several years. Dr. Janet Schnitz, Dr. Robert Mendenhall, and Dr. Phillip Schmidt, all faculty at the University, have received the Outstanding Leadership by an Individual in the Field of Distance Learning. Dr. Mendenhall was also awarded the McGraw Prize in Education for outstanding work in post-secondary education.

Western Governors University Accreditation Details

WGU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Accreditation indicates that the University has the resources to meet its goals and objectives. It also means that parents, students, and employers can be sure that graduates are well prepared for careers in their chosen field of study. In addition, programs throughout the school are accredited by the following organizations:

  • Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education

Western Governors University Application Requirements

Applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED in order and must submit official high school transcripts. Applicants who have earned college credit after high school graduation must also provide official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. All applicants must be at least 16 years of age and they must submit to an interview with an admissions counselor, either in person or by phone.

Graduate students must submit official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended and one must display the conferring of a bachelor’s degree or higher. Teaching program applicants must pass a state-specific basic skills test for the state in which they live prior to teaching while nursing applicants must provide a copy of an unencumbered, current nursing license. Nursing programs also require background checks and they must work in a position that requires nursing knowledge. Graduate applicants for teaching programs must provide a valid teaching license. Applicants to business programs must provide a current resume.

Western Governors University Tuition and Fees

Tuition for the Data Management/Data Analytics degree program is $3,520 per six-month term. Students are able to take as many classes as they feel comfortable taking during the six-month term which helps lower the overall cost of the degree program and allows students to complete their degree faster.

Financial aid is available for all students attending WGU. All students, regardless of income, should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to qualify for assistance. Even students who feel their income is too high for assistance may be eligible for merit-based aid even if they do not qualify for financial-based assistance.

Federal financial aid in the form of Pell, Supplemental Educational Opportunity and Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education grants are available as well as federal direct subsidized and unsubsidized student loans. All programs are approved for Tuition Assistance for active-duty, reserve, and National Guard service members as well as veterans under the Montgomery GI Bill. Students may also pay through corporate reimbursement or self-pay.

Western Governors University is a true university without borders. From the beginning, Western Governors University began offering programs with flexible formats that were designed with working adults and other non-traditional students in mind. At Western Governors University, students are provided online programs that use the same rigorous academics, and are taught by the same faculty, as programs that are taught on the campuses throughout the country.


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