100% Online Degree

Delivered on Coursera logo

Ball State University has partnered with Coursera, one of the largest online learning platforms in the world, to bring you the online master of science in data science. The curriculum is designed by Ball State University, courses are taught by our accomplished faculty, and content is delivered through the Coursera platform.

Whether you come from a data science or programming background or not, our performance-based admissions simplify the road toward your career goals.

Try before you decide! Enroll in one, or both, of our introductory courses.

Introduction to Programming Data Visualization

About the Master’s in Data Science 

Data science is not just a popular career path, it’s one that’s here to stay. Employers are searching for those with the skills and knowledge to transform data to push their organizations forward. Ball State's online-only master's in data science will help you gain these big data skills. 

The 33-credit, non-thesis program provides you with 15 credits of core courses and 18 credits to focus your learning experience. The knowledge you gain in these courses can easily expand into several discipline-specific applications in the health, environmental, social, and behavioral sciences.

Who Should Enroll 

The short answer is anyone! This program is built for learners of all educational backgrounds and career experiences. Whether you’re working in an entry-level position and want to advance your career, or you want to change careers entirely, we’ll help you achieve your goals. 

Performance-Based Admissions 

You can gain acceptance into the master’s of data science through our performance-based admissions. No tests, application fees, or transcripts are required. You will complete three 3-credit courses, and if you earn a cumulative 3.0 GPA or better, then you will be fully admitted into the program.

Enroll Now

Current Ball State Data Science Students 

Even though our data science courses will migrate to Coursera, if you are a current Ball State data science student you can continue your course plans through Canvas until you graduate. We will make sure you have access to all the courses you need to graduate on time. If you have any questions, reach out to your Student Success Specialist Dr. Jenny McMath.

Career Outcomes 

Growth projections in data science employment are expected to increase rapidly – nearly 20 percent, nationwide – within the next 10 years (Source: Lightcast™ – lightcast.io).

Data science graduates usually transition into one of the following different occupation groups: 

  • Software Development
  • Network and Systems Engineering
  • Business Analysis
  • Data Analysis and Mathematics
  • Front-end Application Design
  • Health IT Professional
  • Policy Analysis and Planning

You’ll not only gain strong foundations in math, computer science, and statistics, you’ll also experience high-impact practices in big data that you can apply immediately in your current career. The skills you’ll learn are the same ones that are in high demand across the nation.

  • Data SciencePython
  • Machine Learning
  • SQL
  • Apache Hadoop
  • Big Data
  • Data Analysis
  • Predictive Modeling
  • Data Mining
  • SAS®
  • R

In addition to these skills, we will prepare you to earn relevant industry certifications, such as those offered by SAS Institute, Inc. upon graduation.

  • SAS® Certified Specialist: Base Programming Using SAS® 9.4
  • SAS® Certified Professional: Advanced Programming Using SAS® 9.4
  • SAS® Certified Big Data Professional Using SAS® 9
  • SAS® Certified Advanced Analytics Professional Using SAS® 9
  • SAS® Certified Clinical Trials Programmer Using SAS® 9

Why Coursera?

Ball State is intentional about the organizations we work with. Our priority is always our students. Coursera shares the same commitment to bringing flexible, affordable, job-relevant online learning to individuals and organizations worldwide. Since its inception, Coursera has partnered with other accredited and well-known public institutions to offer credit-bearing courses and degree programs that involved rigorous study and proven outcomes for graduates of these programs.

Online, Flexible, Relevant, and Evolving Curricula

The 100 percent online master’s in data science curriculum is built and owned entirely by Ball State and you will still earn a reputable Ball State degree

The degree is designed with the adult learner and working professional in mind. You will complete your course work through the Coursera online learning platform. Ball State is focused on the student experience. Even in an online learning environment, we place an emphasis on smaller class sizes, and greater personal attention from faculty to benefit you most. Courses are asynchronous, meaning you can complete them at a pace that fits into your daily routine without worrying about being late to class. Many students take one or two courses at a time to balance work, classes, and other responsibilities.

Curriculum Overview

View the schedule of upcoming courses (PDF).

Core Courses (15 credits)

Pathway Courses (9 credits)

If you have no prior background in data science, you’ll be able to cover essential topics in these pathway courses. 

  • CS 617 Introduction to Programming (3 credits) — Offered Fall 2024
  • DSCI 601 Introduction to Data Science (3 credits) — Offered Fall 2024
  • DSCI 605 Data Visualization (3 credits) — Offered Fall 2024

You will also have the option to earn credit by completing eligible programs from Google, IBM, and other industry partners through Coursera. Request information to learn more about the pathways to earn a master's degree in data science.

Additional Core Courses (6 credits)

Through the core courses, you’ll establish your understanding of statistical methods and programming.

  • DSCI 602 Statistical Methods for Data Science (3 credits) — Offered Fall 2024
  • CS 654 Machine Learning and Data Mining (3 credits)

Computational Analytics (6 credits, choose two courses)

The two courses in computational analytics will further round out your education.

  • CS 621 Data Analytics (3 credits) — Offered Fall 2024
  • CS 636 Advanced Database Systems (3 credits) — Offered Fall 2024
  • DSCI 604 Data Storage and Management (3 credits)
  • DCSI 669 Special Topics in Data Science (3 credits)

Statistical Computing and Modeling (6 credits, choose two courses)

The two courses in statistical computing and modeling will further round out your education.

  • DSCI 612 Statistical Programming: Base SAS 9 (3 credits)
  • MATH 624 Introduction to Statistical Learning (3 credits) — Offered Fall 2024
  • MATH 628 Computational Methods in Statistics (3 credits)
  • DSCI 686 Categorical Data Analysis (3 credits)

Application Electives (6 credits, choose two courses)

In your two elective courses, you’ll develop specialized knowledge and skills so you can stand out to employers as you pursue a career in the field.

  • DSCI 607 Data Analytics for Environmental Sciences (3 credits) — Offered Fall 2024
  • DSCI 608 Data Analytics for Bioinformatics (3 credits)
  • DSCI 609 Data Analytics for Social Sciences (3 credits)
  • DSCI 610 Data Analytics for Health Sciences (3 credits)
  • DSCI 679 Research Topics in Data Science (3 credits)

Pathways to Credit

To earn a Master of Science in Data Science through Coursera and Ball State University, you will earn 33 graduate credits.

Courses are offered in fall, spring, and summer semesters. However, students have options to begin learning right away, including:

  • Registering for course in an upcoming term
  • Open Content from Ball State University
  • Industry Content from Coursera partners including as Google, IBM, and more

Diagram showing how student work in open content courses will apply to degree courses

Ball State University currently offers two open courses on Coursera:

Benefits include:

  • Start today: you can enroll in the open course at any time; you don’t have to wait for the semester start date.
  • Low cost: you may earn a certificate and add it to your LinkedIn profile.
  • Same quality: the open courses are designed by the same faculty who teach our degree course
  • Get a head start: completed work in open course Introduction to Programming transfers to CS 617. Completed work in open course Data Visualization transfers to DSCI 605. When you enroll in the degree course CS 617 or DSCI 605, you don’t have to resubmit projects you’ve already completed in open content courses.

Animated graphic showing industry content for credit

Animated graphic showing additional industry content for credit

Some designated courses offered through Coursera count toward elective credit in the Master of Science in Data Science. Elective credits earned through Industry Content courses do not apply toward performance-based admission.

You may earn up to nine credits after you successfully complete the approved Coursera certificates and specializations below:

Benefits include:

  • Start today: you can enroll in industry content at any time; you don’t have to wait for the semester start date.
  • Learn in-demand skills: you will receive professional-level training from a notable company like Google or IBM and earn an employer-recognized certificate.
  • Flexible schedule: learn at your own pace.
  • Earn degree credit: students who complete eligible industry content may earn credits toward elective courses. (credits do not count toward PBA requirements)

After you have completed any of the Coursera programs listed above, submit the prior learning credit form. Your request will be reviewed by the graduate program director.

Want to Learn More?

Do you have questions about this program or online learning? We’re here to help! You may request more information using our online form, or feel free to reach out directly to one of our staff.

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