The MCDS program is designed for students with a degree in computer science, computer engineering or a related degree from a highly ranked university. You can pick from three majors in the MCDS program: 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 specifically defined for each major. 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:

  • Standard Timing — 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.
  • Extended Timing — 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.

Major Selection

  1. When you apply to the MCDS program, you must choose one (1) major — Systems, Analytics, or Human-Centered Data Science — which governs the courses you will take if admitted.
  2. To maximize your chance of acceptance and success in the program, you should select the major for which you are best prepared, based on your educational background, work experience, and the areas of interest described in your Statement of Purpose.
  3. You should carefully consider your choice of major before you apply. Due to the large number of applications received by the MCDS program, it is only feasible to evaluate each applicant for a single major. You are strongly encouraged to review the detailed curriculum requirements for each major, in order to determine the best fit given your preparation and background.

Length of Program

  1. All students must complete 144 units of study which satisfy the curriculum requirements of their selected major. It is possible to complete the program requirements in 3 or 4 semesters, depending on the chosen program track:
  2. Professional Preparation Track (3 semesters). This track focuses on core skills development for the data science job market, and requires that students complete 48 units of required coursework per semester. Students may choose 2 electives outside the curriculum requirements.
  3. Research Preparation Track (4 semesters). This track focuses on developing applied research skills in preparation for further graduate study or research-oriented employment, and requires that students complete 36 units of required coursework per semester. In addition to taking two electives outside the curriculum requirements, students enroll in an additional 48 units of directed research and/or independent study on a chosen specialization.