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What to Expect When You Earn Your Master’s in Data Science Online

April 8, 2024

Data shapes how modern businesses and other institutions work, communicate, and make decisions. That helps explain why data science ranks among today’s most in-demand professions; the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 35 percent increase in data science employment by 2032.

A data science master’s degree can prepare professionals for roles in database architecture, machine learning, and data engineering. These jobs typically pay well; data scientists earn a mean annual income of $103,500. Whether you are considering a new career or looking to learn new skills, the online Master of Science in Data Science (MSDS) program from Tufts School of Engineering can help you achieve your goals. This article provides tips for building a compelling application and reviews the program curriculum.  

What to Expect When You Earn Your Master’s in Data Science Online

The online MSDS at Tufts School of Engineering offers the same academic rigor as the school’s on-campus program. You’ll develop essential skills in data mining, systems analysis, data structure, optimization, statistical decision-making, information theory, and machine learning through data science courses that include Big Data, Database Systems, and Artificial Intelligence. 

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Tufts School of Engineering Online MSDS Admissions Requirements

Admission to the Tufts online MS in Data Science program is competitive but does not require a specific college major or minimum undergraduate GPA. According to the admissions office, the strongest candidates hold a STEM bachelor’s, have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher, and have completed mathematics, statistics, or data science courses.

Online MSDS applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree. The admissions committee strives to identify candidates who can lead data-centric problem-solving initiatives across industries, an approach that ensures candidates with promising academic results or limited professional experience receive fair and equal consideration. The following tips can help you strengthen your application. 

Request Three Letters of Recommendation

Tufts requires three letters of recommendation from all candidates except those with particular affiliations with the university or its bridge schools, for whom only two letters are required. Recommendations should “provide a candid and honest assessment of the applicant’s academic background or professional work experience and convey their abilities and candor.” Professors and professional supervisors best fit the brief. To help ensure they highlight your most relevant skills and qualifications, share your current resume with them and discuss how your career goals align with the program. 

Write a Compelling Personal Statement

Your personal statement offers an opportunity to explain why you want to pursue your MS in Data Science at Tufts and how it will help you achieve your goals. Keep your statement to five pages (about 2,500 words). Ask someone you trust to proofread your work before you submit it.

Update Your Résumé or Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Include relevant experience and achievements on your resume only. List all STEM- or data science-related jobs, coursework, or accolades first. Then, report your academic history, related skills, and activities. Ask someone you trust to proofread your resume before you submit it. 

Satisfy International Applicant Requirements

If you’re an international student or non-native English speaker, you must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the Duolingo English Test and earn a minimum required score. Applicants who meet certain criteria are exempt from this requirement.

Utilize the Optional Components to Support Your Candidacy

Submitting optional application components, such as a digital portfolio and GRE scores, can provide further evidence of your skills and interests to the admissions committee. 

  • The digital portfolio should include a two-minute video presentation showcasing an original design, product, or research project. If you’re a non-native English speaker, the digital portfolio is a good opportunity to demonstrate your English language skills. 
  • If you have an undergraduate degree from an accredited U.S. or Canadian institution, GRE scores are not required. However, it may still be worthwhile to submit them if your quantitative reasoning score is in the 90th percentile or higher. GRE scores are still required for applicants who do not have a degree from a U.S. or Canadian school.

Online MS in Data Science Curriculum and Learning Outcomes

The Tufts online MSDS program curriculum prepares students to perform these in-demand and industry-aligned job functions:

  • Formulating specific, complex problems using data science tools and practices
  • Collecting, interpreting, and organizing data to draw conclusions
  • Applying data analysis techniques to determine solutions
  • Evaluating solutions to identify risks and potential errors

Through courses including Web Programming and Engineering, Introduction to Machine Learning, and Probabilistic Systems Analysis, you’ll build the skills needed to lead technical innovation and solve complex problems. 

Why Choose to Earn Your MSDS Online at Tufts?

You can earn an MS in Data Science online from Tufts in less than two years while continuing to work full time. With a focus on such in-demand areas as big data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, the program can help you master data, interpret its meaning, and communicate actionable insights to key decision-makers.

If you’re ready to pursue your MS in Data Science from Tufts, apply today or contact an enrollment advisor. Enrollment advisors can guide you through the application process and help you understand how to succeed in the program. They can also answer questions about the curriculum and tuition and financial aid

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