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New online graduate degree receives final approval

MADS announcement lobby

Friday, 10/12/2018

It’s official! The new Master of Applied Data Science (MADS) degree to be offered by the School of Information received approval from the Michigan Association of State Universities at its October 12 meeting. The program has been in development for eight months and was approved earlier by the UMSI faculty and by the University of Michigan Board of Regents. This was the final approval step in the process of making the new degree.

This will be the first online degree offered by the School of Information and one of the first offered by the University of Michigan. The degree will be offered on the Coursera platform, an online learning portal that already features dozens of University of Michigan and UMSI courses, as well as courses and degrees from other top-rated universities. 

The MADS degree was developed in collaboration with the U-M Office of Academic Innovation to meet the growing demand for people with experience in applied data science.  According to Coursera officials, in the few short months since the degree was announced, there have been over 30,000 expressions of interest in the program. 

“The final approval of this new degree moves us toward our goal of extending access to professional education outside the conventional residential environment,” said UMSI Dean Thomas A. Finholt. “The demand for data scientists has grown dramatically in the past decade and it will continue to grow far beyond our capacity to accommodate students in a traditional classroom setting. The fact that we have had such interest in the program since it was announced five months ago is a powerful indication that there is huge body of prospective students whom we could not reach or serve before.”

With the way now clear to enroll its first class of students in Fall 2019, UMSI plans to open applications in early 2019.

Prospective students: To be added to the interest list, visit

- UMSI News Service