The MCDS program is designed for students with a degree in computer science, computer engineering or a related degree from a highly ranked university. After completing the common MCDS core courses in the first semester, you can pick from three concentrations: Systems, Analytics, and Human-Centered Data Science. All three require the same total number of course credits split among required core courses, electives, data science seminar and capstone courses. The degree can also be earned two different ways, depending on the length of time you spend working on it. Regardless of the timing option, all MCDS students must complete a minimum of 144 units to graduate.
Here are the options:
- Professional Preparation — a 16-month degree consisting of study for fall and spring semesters, a summer internship, and fall semester of study. Each semester comprises a minimum of 48 units. This timing is typical for most students. Students graduate in December.
- Research Preparation — a 20-month degree consisting of study for fall and spring semesters, a summer internship, and a second year of fall and spring study. Each semester comprises a minimum of 36 units. Students graduate in May.
All MCDS students must complete 144 units of graduate study which satisfy the following curriculum:
- 15-513 - Introduction to Computer Systems (undergraduate prerequisite)
- Four (4) MCDS Core Courses (48 units)
- Three courses (3) from one area of concentration curriculum (36 units)
- Two (2) MCDS Capstone courses (11-634 and 11-632) (36 units)
- Two (2) Electives: any graduate level course 600 and above in the School of Computer Science (24 units)
Area of Concentration
- During the first two semesters in the program, all students take a set of four (4) required core courses: Cloud Computing, Machine Learning, Interactive Data Science, and Data Science Seminar.
- By the end of the first semester, all students must select at least one area of concentration — Systems, Analytics, or Human-Centered Data Science — which governs the courses taken after the first semester.
- To maximize your chances of success in the program, you should consider which concentration area(s) you are best prepared for, based on your educational background, work experience, and areas of interest as described in your Statement of Purpose.
- You are strongly encouraged to review the detailed curriculum requirements for each concentration area, in order to determine the best fit given your preparation and background.