Academics Overview

The Master of Information and Data Science (MIDS) is designed to educate data science leaders. This professional degree program prepares students to derive insights from real-world data sets, using the latest tools and analytical methods, and to interpret and communicate their findings in ways that change minds and change behaviors. The program features a multi-disciplinary curriculum that draws on insights from the social sciences, computer science, statistics, management, and law.

The MIDS curriculum starts with the importance of asking good questions of data. Students practice defining (and refining) business or research questions that are relevant and tractable, and they learn how organizations use data to inform decision making. You will learn best practices for collection, storage, and retrieval of data — and how these factors affect timeliness, accuracy, and reliability of large-scale storage models. The curriculum prepares students to apply the latest statistical and computational methods for identifying patterns in and extracting insights from complex datasets, as well as for making predictions. Equally important, students learn how to communicate the findings of data analysis effectively using visualization tools, as well as in written and oral presentations, and are exposed to the ethical dilemmas and legal requirements associated with working with real-world data at scale.

The MIDS core curriculum focuses on the following key skill areas:

Master of Information and Data Science graphic

Like all programs offered by the I School, MIDS features a project-based approach to learning and encourages the pragmatic application of a variety of different tools and methods to solve complex problems. The program is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Graduates of the program will be able to:

  • Imagine new and valuable uses for large datasets;
  • Apply disciplined, creative methods to asking questions and interpreting results;
  • Retrieve, organize, combine, clean, and store data from multiple sources;
  • Apply appropriate statistical analysis and machine learning techniques to identify patterns and make predictions;
  • Design visualizations and effectively communicate findings; and
  • Understand the ethical and legal requirements of data privacy and security.

See the full curriculum.

Program Requirements

The MIDS program is 27 units. The program is designed to be completed in 20 months (two courses per semester). Students can also choose a more accelerated path and complete the degree in as few as 12 months (three courses per semester). While all courses are delivered online, students are required to attend at least one, 4–5 day immersion on the UC Berkeley campus.

 

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