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In May 2023, the UNC Board of Governors approved the master of applied data science (MADS), the first degree program offered by the UNC School of Data Science and Society. This online master’s degree will be offered to recent graduates and working professionals through a partnership with The Graduate School, the Office of Digital and Lifelong Learning and 2U. The first cohort of students will begin classes in January 2024.

“We are proud to launch our first degree program, one that meets both the needs of students and the demands of industry in a powerful and highly accessible way,” said Stanley C. Ahalt, dean of UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Data Science and Society. “Both the public and the private sector require trained data scientists and data literate citizens. This master’s program will connect working professionals and recent graduates with knowledge and expertise that will propel them to the next level in their career journey.”

The degree provides recent graduates and working professionals with a comprehensive understanding of the data life cycle, technical expertise in areas such as programming and machine learning and opportunities to connect with industry professionals in North Carolina and beyond.

“The UNC Master of Applied Data Science is multidisciplinary at its core,” said Jay Aikat, vice dean at SDSS. “We have had faculty from many different schools and departments, including computer science, mathematics, statistics, information science and biostatistics, thinking through what a professional in the emerging and growing field of data science needs for success.”

The program will be delivered through interactive, live online classes, asynchronous lessons, in-person immersion experience where online students come to campus, in addition to a real-world, team-based capstone project.

SDSS is partnering with 2U to deliver this experience to students no matter their distance from Chapel Hill. Carolina’s partnership with 2U includes a variety of online graduate degree and boot camp programs available through the Kenan-Flagler Business School, Gillings School of Global Public Health and School of Government.

Interested applicants can begin an application online on Wednesday, June 21. The application deadline is Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023. For more details about application requirements and deadlines, visit