Saint Peter’s U. Unveils Plans for Data Science Master’s Program

by   |   February 4, 2014 3:12 pm   |   0 Comments

The Mac Mahon Student Center at Saint Peter's University in Jersey City, N.J.

The Mac Mahon Student Center at Saint Peter’s University in Jersey City, N.J.

Administrators at Saint Peter’s University in Jersey City, N.J., are working to make their school a center of business analytics education with a new master’s degree program starting in the fall of 2014.

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The university’s program will offer a Master of Science in Data Science degree with a concentration in business analytics. The program, expected to have as many as 100 students by 2016, is launching the program in response to a need for professionals in a range of industries and functions to lead efforts deriving intelligence from data.

Saint Peter’s is located a short train or Hudson River ferry ride from Wall Street, and Jersey City plays host to a number of financial services offices, such as Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Chase. While the university expects to cater to students from the financial industry, Jeffrey Handler, vice president of enrollment and marketing at Saint Peter’s, said he expects the program will draw students with interest from many industries and from the public sector. He also expects students from the United States, China and India.

An expected continued rising demand from employers feeds high expectations for the program. “We’re in the very early stages of awareness around big data solutions. The greater business community is only beginning to find out about this now,” Handler said. “We’ve already gotten very positive response to [the new program] from a number of people in China and India.”

Students will be able to complete the 12-course, 36-credit program in three semesters (fall, spring, fall) if they attend full time, though part-time enrollment is an option. The university, which has a long-established computer science department, is recruiting faculty for the data science program. Courses include subjects like databases and data warehousing, statistical programming, data mining, big data analytics, predictive analytics and experimental design, machine learning, data visualization and a planned course on business intelligence and ethics.

Marylou Yam, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Saint Peter’s, said the data science program will emphasize simulations of business settings using real-world data. Yam said he program’s applied research approach also includes a capstone project in which teams of students work with real business data to confront and solve problems that businesses face.

Handler said planning for the program originated after conversations with industry experts including representatives of the tech giant Oracle. Saint Peter’s students will be using Oracle software in their coursework, and administrators said this experience also would confer benefits to students as they continue in their careers.

The university is also in the process of forming an advisory board for the program, with members from the technology industry as well as from companies applying data science in their work. The aim is to include representatives from global firms as well as startups on the advisory board.

Program details:

• Program starts: Fall of 2014

• Degree awarded: Master of Science in Data Science, with a concentration in business analytics

• Requirements for admission: Prospective students require a bachelor’s degree. Students are expected to have strong backgrounds in fields such as computer science, mathematics, engineering and statistics with an interest in pursuing a career in analytical fields

• Requirements to graduate: 12 courses, 36 credits

• Costs: $36,000

• Students may enroll full- or part time

Michael Goldberg is the editor of Data Informed. Email him at Michael.Goldberg@wispubs.com.








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