Graduate Certificate in Data Science

A post-baccalaureate certificate in Data Science could be taken by students in current technical MPS degrees like Cybersecurity and Engineering Management as well by students who want to gain a solid introduction to emerging field of data science. The four certificate courses are:

  • DATA 601 – Introduction to Data Science

  • DATA 602 – Introduction to Data Analysis and Machine Learning

  • DATA 603 – Platforms for Big Data Processing

  • DATA 604 – Data Management

Please visit our program website to read course descriptions. More detailed information can be found here.

Important Note: Students need to get a B or better grade in all of the courses.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should apply for the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate (PBC) in Data Science?

Anyone interested in learning the fundamentals of data science is encouraged to apply.

What is the procedure if I decide to continue and get my Master’s degree?

You just need to complete the degree-seeking application. We can go ahead and pull the supplemental materials from your Post-Baccalaureate Certificate application submitted previously.

What are the eligibility requirements for PBC in Data Science?

Successful applicants should have:

  • An undergraduate degree

  • GPA of 3.0 (out of 4.0) or higher

  • Competency in Calculus, Statistics, and basic programming.

  • International Candidates Only: English proficiency score

How is applicants’ competency in calculus, statistics, or basic programming assessed?

We examine students’ transcripts and expect a grade of B or higher in courses related to these three subjects.

What can applicants do if they do not meet some of the requirements?

Candidates, without previous education on calculus, statistics, or basic programming, might consider taking such courses at UMBC, or nearby schools, or even online platforms such as edX and Coursera.

We also have three foundational data science courses to teach these subjects. These courses are:

  • Statistical Analysis and Visualization with Python
  • Data Structures and Algorithms in Python
  • Mathematical Foundations of Machine Learning

If an applicant is missing one of these subjects, then they can take the corresponding course in their first semester at UMBC.

Does UMBC offer undergraduate level courses that will satisfy the prerequisites for the program? If so, what are these courses?

If the candidate is interested in taking these courses at UMBC, we recommend them to take Math 151, Stat 355, and CMSC 201 (Python section) to meet the pre-requirements. Some other recommendations (including online courses) can be found at our GitHub page: https://github.com/UMBC-Data-Science/Welcome .

Where can I take the prerequisite undergraduate level courses if I can’t take them at UMBC?

Due to their lower fees, community colleges might be a good alternative. Near our main campus, the Community College of Baltimore Country offers Math 251 and Math 153, which help students to meet our calculus and stats prerequisites. Similarly, Montgomery College offers MATH 181 and MATH 117 near our Shady Grove campus. Students, who are interested in taking online courses, might consider the University of Maryland University College’s MATH 140 and STAT 200 courses.

Will you accept courses taken on sites like Coursera and edX in fulfillment of the prerequisite requirements?

Yes, we will accept online courses with a verified certificate in fulfillment of the prerequisite requirements. Visit our GitHub page: https://github.com/UMBC-Data-Science/Welcome for some recommendations.

Do you admit students for summer sessions?

No. We only admit students for the Fall and Spring semesters.

Is GRE required?

No.

Is work experience required?

No.

If I am denied admission, can I apply again?

Yes, you may apply again by submitting a new application and supplemental material.

If I am admitted, can I defer admission?

Students can defer their admission for a semester. Please contact datascience-mps@umbc.edu for additional details.

What kind of documents are required for application?

Your application should include the following documents: (Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. If you already have started an application, you can finish up)

  • Statement outlining your goals and expectations in the program. This also is an opportunity for you to further explain your background and qualifications for the program and provide any additional information about you or your experience which will help with the evaluation of your application.

  • Current resume (When applying online, upload your resume to the graduate school application.)

  • Transcript(s) from each college & university attended

  • Local Students: Completed application including residency form (Residency form determines in-state tuition eligibility)

  • International Students: TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE test score

  • Non-refundable application fee ($50 online)

How do I apply?

By submitting an online application. Here’re the specific steps:

  • Go to the application website

    • Select proposed program Data Science >> Data Science (PRST PBC)

    • Choose the campus you want to study.

    • Submit your statement of goals as an attachment in the “Academic Goals and Research Interests” section

    • Complete residency information to be reviewed for in-state tuition rates.

  • Request official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions to be sent to our mailing address provided below or emailed to gradschool@umbc.edu.

  • Submit resume as an attachment in the “Additional Admissions Documents” section or submit to gradschool@umbc.edu.

Mailing Address

UMBC Graduate School, MPS: Data Science

1000 Hilltop Circle

Baltimore, MD 21250, USA

When is the application deadline?

Typically, August 1 and December 1 are the application deadlines for the Fall and Spring semesters, respectively.

How long does the program take to complete?

Most of our certificate students take 2 courses per semester and get their certificates in 2 semesters (9 months). If you want to take one course per semester, we recommend you to take a summer class so that you can earn your certificate in 16 months.

Will students’ schedules be flexible?

All the Data Science classes are held in the evenings or taught online so that working professionals have a great flexibility in terms of choosing their courses. If a student is available only for evening classes, then s/he can complete the program with courses offered by MPS (i.e. Data Science, Cybersecurity, Project Management, Management Science, Bioinformatics and Health IT). Other pathway courses (offered by Computer Science, Information Systems, and Public Policy) might take place during the daytime; so students need to adjust their schedules.

Are there some online classes?

Yes, we offer at least one online section of all the data science courses required for the transcript (e.g. Data 601-604).

What is the expected class size?

25 students or less.

What does the class schedule look like?

Classes run during the evenings Monday through Thursday.

Are summer courses offered?

Yes, we generally offer a few courses (either 6, 8, or 12 weeks) over the summer session. Consult the Schedule of Classes for information on times and locations. Summer courses may meet more frequently due to the shortened summer schedule.

Can I take courses both at UMBC’s Main Campus and the Universities at Shady Grove?

Yes.

Is there a difference between the coursework and the faculty that is provided at the main and Shady Grove campuses?

The same set of courses is taught by different faculty members. However, sometimes a faculty who teaches a course on the main campus teaches the same course at the Shady Grove campus (or vice versa) next semester.

Where can I find the MS in Data Science curriculum?

Visit our “Course Descriptions” page.

What are the programming languages used in the program?

The main programming language of the program is Python.

What is the total cost of the program? Is financial aid available?

Our program requires 12-credits to obtain the certificate. The tuition and fees differ based on students’ residency and where they take courses (i.e. at Main Campus or at Shady Grove campus). Please visit Student Business Services’ website for up-to-date information.

Does the program offer any scholarships?

No.

Does the program offer teaching assistantships or research assistantships?

No.

When is my tuition payment due?

Your bill for your tuition and fees each semester is only generated when you register for classes. You can use the billing calendar to see the schedule of when your bill will be generated, and when it is due, based on when you register each semester.

  • Please note that bills are only generated in your MyUMBC account – you will not receive a paper bill in the mail. You can see your bill by logging into your MyUMBC account, and under the Topics menu, choose Billing and Personal Finances. You can click on Payments and Billing to see your bill, or click on Account Inquiry to see a live balance, which will reflect recent transactions before your actual bill is updated.

  • Bills can be paid in a number of ways, including those listed here on SBS’s website.

  • If your family or another individual should have access to your bill, you can set up a “parent PIN” that allows another person to have access to your bill. PIN stands for Personal Identification Number. Log in to your MyUMBC account, click on Topics, then Billing and Personal Finances, then Payments and Billing, then click on “create new” under the Parent PIN section.

  • If your bill is paid by an outside organization, such as a scholarship from your home government, you can learn more about connecting your financial sponsor to UMBC here.

I’m planning to pay my tuition costs using a bank loan, but my bank will only grant me a loan after I receive admission. What can I do?

There is no problem from our end. If you meet the admission criteria, then we’ll admit you and you will have time to take care of such issues.

If I decide to drop off a course or leave the program, can I get my money back?

The answer depends on the timing of your decision. If you apply for a refund in the first week of that semester, you will get a full refund. Later in the semester, the less refund you will get. Please visit Student Business Services’ website for details.