Real-World Experience a Key Part of University of Chicago MScA Program

by   |   September 30, 2015 2:33 pm   |   0 Comments

Gleacher Center, Chicago, IL

Gleacher Center, Chicago, IL

The University of Chicago’s Graham School collaborated with faculty in the department of statistics, staff at the National Opinion Research Center – which is headquartered on the campus, and industry experts across the city to establish the school’s Master of Science in Analytics program, launched in late 2014.

Students who want to work in public policy should be especially interested in NORC, one of the largest independent social research institutions in the country. NORC is famous for producing high-quality social science research in the public interest.

“As the MScA program continues to grow, new elective courses were added to meet student demand for expanded knowledge as well as to follow the changing trends within the analytics application space,” said Kim Kieras, the program’s associate director.

She said students can enroll in the school’s MScA graduate program on a full- or part-time basis for a program designed to give them the skills necessary to succeed in the field of analytics.

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“Students are introduced to real-world problems, and then work to provide an analytical answer,” Kieras said. The MScA program “actively solicits” collaboration from industry partners to sponsor student work groups for final capstone research projects, she said.

“Students not only develop the ability to design an analytics research project, but also develop and implement an analytical methodology to produce the knowledge required for the solution.”

Students in the program are introduced to many statistical platforms, including R, SAS, Hadoop, Linux, Python, SPSS, and several data visualization tools. The program’s faculty board introduces new technologies based on changing trends in the marketplace.

Because the program is geared toward working professionals, classes are held on weekday evenings and on Saturday mornings at the Gleacher Center in downtown Chicago. The curriculum consists of 11 courses plus a capstone project. Time to degree completion may range between 12 months to four years.

Applicants are accepted twice each year, offering students the ability to enter the program in the spring and autumn quarters. Applications to the program can be submitted year round, but deadlines apply.

Program Details

11 courses plus a capstone project:

Foundation Courses (7 courses)

Prerequisites: (2)

MSCA 31001 Research Design for Business Applications

MSCA 31007 Statistical Analysis

Core: (5)

MSCA 31005 Database Design and Implementation

MSCA 31006 Time Series and Forecasting

MSCA 31008 Data Mining Principles

MSCA 31009 Advanced Data Mining and Predictive Analytics

MSCA 31010 Linear and Nonlinear Models in Business Applications

Business Strategy/Project Management (2 courses)

MSCA 31004 Leadership and Management I: Projects and Teams

MSCA 31002 Leadership and Management II: Strategy and Communication

Electives (2 courses)

Electives (first offering in January 2015) focus on specific analytic methodologies, techniques, and tools applied to functional and sector-specific issues. Topics change quarterly. Additional electives starting in 2015 include risk analytics; health analytics; and survey design and implementation.

MSCA 32001 Financial Analytics

MSCA 32002 Marketing Science and Predictive Analytics

MSCA 32007 Data Visualization Techniques

MSCA 32010 Linear Algebra and Matrix Analysis

MSCA 32011 Big Data and Text Analytics

Capstone Project

All students must complete a capstone project to satisfy degree requirements. Students are encouraged to work with a partner or in groups, and are given considerable freedom in selecting their topic. Once they have identified a suitable topic, partner, and advisor, students must submit a proposal to the program director, usually after finishing five courses. During the final quarter of study, groups present their findings to panel of program faculty and industry experts.

Upon completion of the program, students will be awarded the Master of Science degree from the University of Chicago Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies.

International applicants are encouraged to apply. If admitted, students will receive University assistance with securing an F-1 or J-1 Visa. The MScA is an OPT/STEM approved program of the University of Chicago.


$4,060 per course

Susan Madrak is a Philadelphia-based writer.

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