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Data Science Degree Programs Guide - Top Certificate Programs-01
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By DSD Staff
June 2019

A data science certificate can be a great way to add a valuable skill set to expand employment opportunities or venture into a new career. Certificate programs are often less time consuming than earning a degree and much more affordable. The best programs feature hands-on, practical training that is easily transferable to the workplace. There is no “one size fits all” certificate program. Programs can be offered online or on-campus (or as a hybrid) and may or may not require a graduate degree in a related field. Some programs are very specific and have a set list of courses to complete. Others are more fluid and allow students to have flexibility in designing their program of study through elective coursework. Most data science certificate programs have a specific target audience and experience level. Students who are interested in continuing onto a master’s program after completing their certificate should select a program with coursework that can apply to their degree. Our list highlights the best data science certificate programs from accredited institutions that have received recognition by the Data Science Council of America. Our editors also considered the following factors in the decision process.

1. Programs with rigorous coursework rooted in applied data science. We included programs with a curriculum designed by industry experts so students and potential employers can be confident their skills are at a level consistent with modern technology and strategies associated with data science

2. Programs with hands-on training (whether in person or in a virtual environment) that is easily applicable to the workplace

Below, in no particular order, are the schools and programs we feel are the top 20 data science certificate programs in the U.S. for 2019.

20. Columbia University – New York, New York

Certification of Professional Achievement in Data Sciences

Website
Format: Online
Number of Credits: 12
Elective Coursework: No
DASCA Recognized: Yes
Courses transfer to master’s program: Yes
Columbia University features a Certification of Professional Achievement in Data Sciences. It’s designed for students who want to enhance their career prospects or change their current role. To be considered for admission, students should have completed their bachelor’s degree. They should have prior coursework in computer programming and quantitative areas like calculus or linear algebra. Courses cover:

  • algorithms for data science
  • probability and statistics
  • machine learning for data science
  • exploratory data analysis and visualization

New students are admitted to the program each fall.

19. University of Utah – Salt Lake City, Utah

Big Data Certificate

Website

Format: On-campus/Online
Number of Credits: 15
Elective Coursework: Yes
DASCA Recognized: Yes
Courses transfer to master’s program: Yes
The Big Data Certificate at the University of Utah is a professional certificate available online or on-campus. Courses cover:

  • advanced algorithms
  • database systems
  • data mining
  • machine learning
  • visualization

On-campus students attend class during the evening or late afternoon. Online students will have access to class recordings shortly after each class is complete. Graduates of this top data science certificate program will have the technical skills and experience for positions with data or software companies.

18. Arizona State University – Scottsdale, Arizona

Online Applied Business Data Analytics Undergrad Certificate

arizona-state-university

School Profile

Format: Online
Number of Credits: 18
Elective Coursework: Yes
DASCA Recognized: Yes
Courses transfer to master’s program: No
Arizona State University features an online applied business data analytics undergrad certificate. The program prepares non-business students to be successful with evidence-based decision making processes. The certificate takes six courses to complete including:

  • computer applications and IT
  • advanced excel in business
  • business process management
  • business project management
  • business intelligence
  • statistics

Graduates of this top data science certificate program have found success working as:

  • database administrators
  • management analysts
  • statisticians
  • search engine strategists.

17. University of California – Irvine, California

Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing Specialized Studies Certificate

School Profile

Format: Online
Number of Credits: 9
Elective Coursework: No
DASCA Recognized: Yes
Courses transfer to master’s program: No
The University of California Irvine features a redesigned certificate in Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing. This online certificate program can be completed in six to nine months. The curriculum is designed for professionals who need to take data from different sources and create a single repository for analysis and reporting. Students will be able to uncover key information and trends by combining various sources of data for analysis. Courses include:

  • business intelligence and the data warehouse development process
  • designing ETL processes for data warehousing
  • data structures and algorithms.

16. University of Massachusetts – Amherst, Massachusetts

Certificate in Statistical and Computational Data Science

School Profile

Format: On-campus
Number of Credits: 15
Elective Coursework: Yes
DASCA Recognized: Yes
Courses transfer to master’s program: A maximum of six credits
The University of Massachusetts-Amherst Center for Data Science features a certificate in Statistical and Computational Data Science. It’s in partnership with the Statistics and Computer Science departments. The certificate is 15 credit hours and can be completed in just one year. Students complete at least two computer science courses and two statistics courses. Course offerings include:

  • algorithms for data science
  • data visualization and exploration
  • deep learning for natural language processing.

15. Harvard University – Cambridge, Massachusetts

Data Science Certificate

School Profile

Format: Online
Number of Credits: 12
Elective Coursework: Yes
DASCA Recognized: Yes
Courses transfer to master’s program: Yes
Harvard University features a data science certificate through its Extension School. Students will master key areas of data investigation and learn to implement foundational concepts of data computation. Students choose four courses from three groups, including:

  • one statistics course
  • two electives
  • one data science course

Students can earn their certificate in just 18 months, but have up to three years to finish if needed. Certificate courses can count towards electives for degree programs such as information management systems and data science.

14. Indiana University – Bloomington, Indiana

Data Science Certificate Online

School Profile

Format: Online
Number of Credits: 12
Elective Coursework: Yes
DASCA Recognized: Yes
Courses transfer to master’s program: Yes
The School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering at Indiana University Bloomington features an accredited online data science certificate with flexible course offerings and online content. Courses can count toward the online master’s in data science if students decide to apply to the program after earning their certificate. Course topics cover areas like:

  • cloud computing
  • health and medicine
  • high-performance computing
  • data analysis

Students can choose their courses from an approved list in the master’s curriculum. This allows them to tailor their course selections to meet their personal and professional goals.

13. Pennsylvania State University World Campus – University Park, Pennsylvania

Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics

School Profile

Format: Online
Number of Credits: 9
Elective Coursework: Yes
DASCA Recognized: Yes
Courses transfer to master’s program: Yes
Pennsylvania State University World Campus offers a an online graduate certificate in business analytics. It’s in partnership with their AACSB accredited Smeal College of Business. Students will learn to explore and analyze data to help make data-driven business decisions. Students will learn to be descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive with their analytic activities. Courses cover:

  • business strategies for data analytics
  • predictive analytics for business
  • prescriptive analytics for business

This nine credit hour program offers a competitive tuition rate of $975/credit hour. Courses can be applied toward the Master’s in Data Analytics.

12. University of Maryland – College Park, Maryland

Graduate Certificate of Professional Studies in Data Science

School Profile
Format: On-campus
Number of Credits: 12
Elective Coursework: No
DASCA Recognized: Yes
Courses transfer to master’s program: Yes
The Graduate Certificate of Professional Studies in Data Science is offered through the Department of Computer Science at the University of Maryland. It provides students with a broad introduction to this exciting field. Courses cover :

  • machine learning
  • statistics
  • databases
  • visualization

The program is designed for working professionals with courses offered in the evenings during the fall and spring semesters. Students can complete the program in just one year by taking two courses each semester.

11. Stanford University – Stanford, California

Data Mining and Applications Graduate Certificate

School Profile

Format: Online
Number of Credits: 9
Elective Coursework: Yes
DASCA Recognized: Yes
Courses transfer to master’s program: Yes
The Data Mining and Applications Graduate Certificate program at Stanford University’s Center for Professional Development was created for a broad audience including:

  • strategy managers
  • medical researchers
  • social sciences researchers
  • data analysts and consultants

This top online data science certificate program prepares students to use statistical methods to:

  • make sense of large data sets
  • develop and use predictive models
  • understand strategic decision making applications

Most students can earn their certificate in one to two years, but can take up to three years if needed.

10. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, Michigan

Graduate Data Science Certificate Program

School Profile

Format: On-campus
Number of Credits: 12
Elective Coursework: Yes
DASCA Recognized: Yes
Courses transfer to master’s program: Yes
The Michigan Institute for Data Science (MIDAS) at the University of Michigan offers a graduate data science certificate program. It includes three courses and experiential training and a written report. New students are admitted on a rolling basis, but the program is only available to current U-M graduate students. The program is designed to provide students with core experiences in:

  • analysis methods
  • data management
  • algorithms and applications

MIDAS faculty provide mentoring and advising to students in the certificate program.

9. University of Colorado – Denver, Colorado

Biomedical Data Science Graduate Certificate Program

School Profile

Format: On-campus
Number of Credits: 15
Elective Coursework: Yes
DASCA Recognized: Yes
Courses transfer to master’s program: Yes
The Biomedical Data Science Graduate Certificate Program at the University of Denver focuses on the use of data in biomedical research. Students will:

  • learn the basics of computer programming
  • use relevant tools and programs to analyze data sets
  • understand and apply machine learning techniques
  • communicate with other researchers in a team environment

This 15 credit hour certificate starts in the fall semester and takes one year to complete. Applicants should have a BA/BS degree in a STEM discipline and a basic senior undergraduate level understanding of statistics/mathematics.

8. University of Pennsylvania – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Certificate in Data Analytics

School Profile

Format: Online
Number of Credits: 16
Elective Coursework: No
DASCA Recognized: Yes
Courses transfer to master’s program: No
The Certificate in Data Analytics at the University of Pennsylvania is a four course sequence for students who want to gain expertise in data science. Courses are offered online in an accelerated eight-week format that includes a weekly synchronous session. Courses cover:

  • data analytics
  • statistical methods
  • intermediate data analytics
  • advanced topics in data analytics

Courses are taught by industry experts, so you can feel confident you are getting a relevant education.

7. University of Arizona – Tucson, Arizona

Business Intelligence and Analytics Online Graduate Certificate

university-of-arizona

School Profile

Format: Online
Number of Credits: 9
Elective Coursework: No
DASCA Recognized: Yes
Courses transfer to master’s program: Yes
University of Arizona offers The Business Intelligence and Analytics Online Graduate Certificate at the Eller College of Management. It teaches students the strategies and skills needed to turn Big Data into business impact. This 100% online program includes three courses focused on:

  • database mining
  • analysis
  • design
  • implementation

Graduates are prepared for positions in data management, possessing an in-demand skill set.

6. Michigan State University – East Lansing, Michigan

Graduate Certificate in Computational Modeling

School Profile

Format: On-campus
Number of Credits: 9
Elective Coursework: Yes
DASCA Recognized: Yes
Courses transfer to master’s program: Yes
The Graduate Certificate in Computational Modeling at the College of Natural Science at Michigan State University was designed for students without experience in programming or computational modeling. This three course program includes:

  • two computational mathematics science and engineering (CSME) courses
  • one or more courses in either CMSE or from an approved list of non-CMSE courses

This certificate in computational modeling is for students without a strong foundation in programming or computational modeling.

5. Northwestern University – Evanston, Illinois

Advanced Data Science Certificate Program

School Profile

Format: Online
Number of Credits: 12
Elective Coursework: Yes
DASCA Recognized: Yes
Courses transfer to master’s program: No
The Advanced Data Science Certificate is offered by the School of Professional Studies at Northwestern University. It’s designed for students with a graduate degree in data science or a related field and who want to explore industry-based applications of their skillset. Students can choose to focus on:

  • analytics management
  • analytics and modeling
  • data engineering
  • artificial intelligence

All courses are taught by the same industry experts who teach the data science master’s program.

4. University of Southern California – Los Angeles, California

Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics

School Profile

Format: On-campus
Number of Credits: 15
Elective Coursework: Yes
DASCA Recognized: Yes
Courses transfer to master’s program: Possibly
The Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics is offered by the University of Southern California. It provides students with the optimization and statistical skills needed to make sense of both large and unstructured datasets. Students learn through case studies and relevant projects that expose them to a wide variety of analytical tools. Extensive course offerings cover areas like:

  • regression analysis
  • modern statistical learning methods
  • discrete-event simulation for process management
  • data warehousing

Both full-time and part-time students are welcome. Courses are offered during the day and evening. Full-time students can complete the program in just one semester.

3. Virginia Tech – Blacksburg, Virginia

Graduate Certificate in Data Analytics

School Profile

Format: On-campus
Number of Credits: 12
Elective Coursework: Yes
DASCA Recognized: Yes
Courses transfer to master’s program: Yes
Virginia Tech offers a top graduate certificate in data analytics. It’s for students who want to learn the fundamentals of data analytics and the in-depth technical skills needed for a successful data science career. Students complete two core courses in either data analytics or advanced machine learning and two approved electives. Courses are taught at both the Blacksburg and National Capital Region Campuses. Most students complete the program in one year.

2. University of Minnesota – Minneapolis, Minnesota

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Data Science

School Profile

Format: On-campus or Online
Number of Credits: 12
Elective Coursework: Yes
DASCA Recognized: Yes
Courses transfer to master’s program: Yes
The Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Data Science at the University of Minnesota is a four-course program. It’s  a great choice for students who don’t want to take on a full master’s program. Most students can complete the program in two semesters. Options are available online and on-campus. Students take:

  • one course from the statistics track
  • one from the algorithmic track
  • one from the infrastructure track
  • an elective

If you decide to pursue the master’s data science program, all courses taken as part of the certificate program will transfer!

1. Purdue University – West Lafayette, Indiana

Certificate in Applied Statistics

School Profile

Format: On-campus
Number of Credits: 12
Elective Coursework: Yes
DASCA Recognized: Yes
Courses transfer to master’s program: Yes
The Department of Statistics at Purdue University features a top data science certificate. It’s for students who are not already enrolled in a master’s or Ph.D. level program in statistics. The Graduate Certificate in Applied Statistics is a 12 credit hour certificate in applied statistics through the Department of Statistics. Students can expect to increase their skills in statistics and statistical thinking ability. Four courses are required for the certificate. Students can choose from approved courses covering areas like:

  • experimental design
  • basic probability and applications
  • statistical inference
  • sampling and survey techniques
  • time series and applications,
  • applied multivariate analysis
  • advanced statistical methodology

The program is offered online and courses can be applied to the MS program in Statistics.

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