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CU Boulder debuted online data science master’s degree with UIS assistance

CU Bolder recently launched a new online master’s degree in data science with assistance from UIS.

UIS teams leveraged technical work that helped to build the foundation for CU’s online education efforts to speed the data science degree’s launch. They partnered with CU Boulder on the program’s technical implementation in Campus Solutions and built on past Application Programming Interface (API) development work to support the new program.

“The investments that we made in building a foundation with the (master’s degree in electrical engineering) project paid dividends in allowing us to launch the master’s degree in data science program in a fraction of the time,” said Al Wirtes, Assistant Director of Advanced Technology and Data Architecture. “By partnering with Coursera on the development of their course enrollment APIs, we are able to create a much more streamlined registration user experience than most other universities – even those offered on Coursera.”

The online data science degree offered through Coursera uses performance-based admissions—which means no GRE, transcripts or letters of recommendation.

“We really need to emphasize how radical performance-based admissions is. You do not need a bachelor’s degree to enter the program. You don’t even need a high school diploma. All you need to do is to prove that you can do the work by earning a B or better in certain courses. That’s it,” Wirtes said.

Students in the data science master’s program develop knowledge and skills in interdisciplinary and collaborative data science, including statistical analysis, data structures and algorithms, data mining, machine learning, big data architecture and data visualization. 

The online master’s degree launched in April, and courses started May 3. An on-campus program for traditional students launched simultaneously.

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