Master of Science in Data Science


Programme Description

Master of Science in Data Science

The data science master's degree program educates students to collect, analyse, visualize, and communicate actionable insights for data-driven business decisions. A master's degree in the data science field can be a valuable asset in acquiring employment in many types of companies ranging from insurance to security firms.

Apply online for the MS in Data Science today for free. Applications are currently being accepted for entrance into the Fall 2019 cohort beginning August 2019. The priority application deadline is March 31, 2019. Applications will be accepted after this date only as space is available.

Data scientists collect, analyse, and model information for decision-makers in businesses, non-profits, and government agencies. Business analytics can be used to maintain competitiveness, adapt business strategies, increase sales, or enhance security.

The Ridge College data science graduate program educates students as professional data scientists and data analysts who produce, visualize and communicate actionable competitive intelligence for data-driven business decisions in both the public and private sectors.


As a result of globalization and advances in technology during the 21st century, the complexity and variety of data have evolved while the volume of data continues to increase daily. This phenomenon has been dubbed “The Big Data Revolution.” The world is inundated with data and information, stemming from, but not limited to, social media platforms, business transactions, Internet sources, cellular data usage, and file sharing.

Industry and governmental organizations collect, organise and analyse data and information for several reasons whether they're trying to maintain their competitive edge, alter business strategies in order to increase sales or to enhance national security.

Data science at the Ridge College is a cornerstone of cross-disciplinary learning, featuring a comprehensive, challenging curriculum that emphasizes:

  • Programming
  • Data visualization
  • Machine learning
  • Database skills
  • Quantitative analysis
  • Communication skills

The master's degree in data science is a STEM major (CIP code 30.0801).

Learning Outcomes

The Master of Science in Data Science program at the Ridge College will educate students as professional data scientists who will serve as key informants for decision-makers in both the public and private sectors.

Graduates will be able to:

  • Assess, evaluate, and respond to decision-maker needs and requirements.
  • Collect, clean, store, and query data from a variety of private and public data sources.
  • Apply appropriate analytic techniques to provide estimates that support decision-making and action.
  • Communicate actionable information and findings in easy-to-understand written, oral, and visual formats.

Those interested in receiving additional information about the data science master's program at the Ridge College, including an application packet, should complete the online inquiry form.

Programme Entrance Requirements

  • 3.0 Undergraduate GPA
  • GRE score of 150 in verbal and quantitative and 3.5 in writing

Degree Requirements

To obtain a data science master's degree at the Ridge College, the graduate students must complete 36 graduate hours of study that includes eight core courses and four elective courses.

Classes in the Graduate Programme

Computing & Information Science (3 courses; 9 credits)

  • CIS 500: Computing & Information Science Concepts (3)
  • CIS 501: Probability and Statistics (3)
  • CIS 510: Algorithm Development (3)

Data Science (6 courses; 21 credits)

  • CIS 550: Relational & Non-relational Databases (3)
  • CIS 551: Big Data Analytics (3)
  • CIS 552: Database Security (3)
  • CIS 570: Artificial Intelligence (3)
  • CIS 571: Machine Learning (3)
  • CIS 572: Social Media Mining (3)
  • CIS 580: Data Visualization (3)

Culminating Experience (2 courses; 6 credits)

  • CIS 598: Research Methods (3)
  • CIS 599: Research Projects (3)

Veterans and the Yellow Ribbon Programme

Veterans are encouraged to apply to the data science and intelligence programs. Mercyhurst University is a participant of the Yellow Ribbon Programme, a provision of the Post-9/11 GI Bill that allows veterans to attend graduate programs which cost more than the state tuition cap.

Last updated Sep 2019

About the School

Located in Erie, Pennsylvania, on a hill overlooking Lake Erie, our 75-acre campus is known as one of the most beautiful in the region. Elements of English Gothic architecture are carried throughout o ... Read More

Located in Erie, Pennsylvania, on a hill overlooking Lake Erie, our 75-acre campus is known as one of the most beautiful in the region. Elements of English Gothic architecture are carried throughout our Old Main, academic buildings and student residence halls. Grounded in the ideals of service, hospitality, and entrepreneurship that inspired our founders, a Mercyhurst education encourages the development of lifelong passions and engagement with the larger world. Inspired by our motto, "Carpe Diem," our faculty and students embrace innovation and leadership in service, as they make a difference within our gates and around the world. Read Less