For students who are not yet ready for the master of science degree program in data science, UMass Dartmouth offers a preparatory bridge program consisting of five courses in data science fundamentals. Offered through UMassD's Online & Continuing Education Programs, the preparatory curriculum is comprised of both online and in-person courses and may be completed within one year.
The program will prepare you to successfully study data science at the graduate level by introducing fundamental concepts and skills. However, the bridge courses listed below can be adjusted and are not a rigid requirement for entry into the data science program . For example, if you have studied linear algebra or a closely related area at the undergraduate level at another school you should not feel obligated to enroll in MTH 221.
Prerequisites: A standard calculus I/II sequence
The program consists of the following courses:
- 1 core course in programming: CIS 183 (online) or CIS115 or CIS190
- 1 core course in data structures and algorithms: CIS 322 (online) or CIS 360.
- 1 core course in linear algebra: MTH 221
- 1 core course in probability: MTH 331
- 1 core course in data science concepts of visualization and statistical analysis: DSC 101 or DSC 201. DSC 101 is focused on statistics with the R programming language while DSC 201 is focused on visualizations with Python. Either course will serve as a project-based introduction to data science.
However, even after meeting these requirements, students may need to study some undergraduate material on their own while taking graduate courses in data science.
The purpose of these preparatory courses is to prepare you to enter the MS program in data science. If a student has already taken a preparatory course through another university and is comfortable with the material, they will not need to repeat the course at UMassD. A grade of a “B” or higher is considered good in the application reviewing process, but all factors in a student's application will be considered for admission to the program.
Frequently Asked Questions
When is the start date? What is the minimum and maximum duration of the program?
There are no start and end dates, and no maximum or minimum duration. Rather, students are able to complete the classes at their own pace.
What is the cost of this program?
The cost is determined by the office of continuing education (OCE) and can be found here. When consulting the OCE webpage, please note that all of the Bridge program courses are 3-credit and undergraduate-level.
How do I apply for the Bridge program?
There is no formal application. Interested students are suggested to email the data science department to discuss the bridge program and for course selection advice. To register for coursework you need to be at least a Non-Degree student of UMassD, which can be accomplished by a call to the Registrar's Office.