Program Overview

Master of Applied Data Science (online)

The University of Michigan School of Information’s online Master of Applied Data Science is a flexible and practical degree for students with diverse backgrounds who want to apply rigorous data science in their jobs or chart new courses by launching careers in data science.

We welcome and encourage applicants from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences. We seek applicants who have demonstrated academic and/or professional success, who are interested in real-world applications of data science, who exhibit innovation and creative problem solving and who show traits of leadership, persistence and initiative.

We expect a wide range of students will pursue this degree, as it teaches both wide and deep skills applicable to existing and new careers in data science.

Program Overview

The Master of Applied Data Science Program equips students with thorough preparation for managing data science from beginning to end in any number of real world contexts. It blends theory, computation, and application in a flexible online format. The program includes study and application in data collection, processing, analysis, visualization, reporting, and intervention. It will enable students to learn how to draw conclusions and inform decisions with data, while being attuned to ethical considerations of data use.

The courses in the program are between one and three credits each and take one to two months to complete. Courses are offered in the fall, winter and spring/summer semesters and are taught by core University of Michigan School of Information faculty. 

Courses cover:

  • Computational methods to deal with big data
  • Exploring and communicating data
  • Visualizing data using multiple methods
  • Analytic techniques (machine learning, network analysis, natural language processing, experiments and causal inference, etc.)
  • Data science application in context (search and recommender systems, social media analytics, learning analytics, etc.)
  • 3 portfolio-building major projects

This flexible online curriculum will be offered in one credit, four-week course modules, so students can take as little as one credit per month and as many as three credits per month. The program is well suited to part or full-time students including those who are participating while employed. For example, full-time students may complete the program in one year (12 months)*. Part-time students may complete the program in two years (24 months) or three years (36 months).

Students will have access to renowned University of Michigan faculty and resources. They will also have opportunities to build community within and beyond cohorts of other University of Michigan School of Information students.


The next live informational webinar on the the MADS program will be Thursday, January 16, 2020 at 3:00 pm/1500h (US Eastern Time). Register to attend. 

View a recorded webinar that answers many of the most frequently asked questions about the program, presented by the program's directors and faculty. 

View a live Q&A on admissions and other topics with staff for the program.


* Please note that the first cohort of students who start in September, 2019 will complete the program in at least two years (24 months) as the curriculum launches.