(TNS) — SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame in August 2017 will launch its first ever entirely online master's degree program, in the field of data science.
The university announced the news Tuesday.
The degree program is designed for working professionals to prepare them for careers as data scientists in various fields, including information technology, software, health care and medicine, research, finance and education.
The 21-month program will involve online learning classes scheduled for the evenings in the eastern time zone of the U.S.
"We're trying to fit the needs of working professionals," said Sonia Howell, the program producer in the Notre Dame's Office of Digital Learning. The university hopes to attract about 40 students for the first cohort.
Notre Dame is developing the program in collaboration with AT&T. AT&T employees will be eligible for discounted tuition in the program and other benefits.
The job of a data scientist is to mine large volumes of data and provide insights for businesses, institutions or other organizations.
The degree program is being developed by Notre Dame faculty members. Some of the courses may be taught by those faculty members, Howell said.
Students will take two to three courses per semester over 21 months, including evening live online courses. The program includes an initial long weekend orientation at Notre Dame. There also will be optional weekend immersions with faculty and industry leaders at Notre Dame and in the Silicon Valley region of California.
Some mathematics and programming skills are needed to enter the program, although candidates with any academic or work background may apply. By January, a readiness assessment tool will be available for prospective students, Howell said.
Data science degree programs are growing among colleges and universities.
Saint Mary's College started a master's degree program in data science in 2015. It is a hybrid program, with both online and on-campus sessions required. Indiana University also offers a master's degree program in data science. Students can choose an online, on-campus or hybrid version.
For more information about the Notre Dame online data science master's degree program, see: datascience.nd.edu.
©2016 the South Bend Tribune (South Bend, Ind.), distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.