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Graduate Certificates | Data Science Foundations

Data Science Foundations

Entrance Exam: Not Required
College of Engineering

Offered jointly by the Departments of Computer Science and Statistics, the Graduate Certificate in Data Science Foundations is an online program intended primarily for working professionals. We welcome students who have some formal training in computer science and/or statistics and wish to acquire a basic understanding of data science to improve their on-the-job experience and career prospects. Four courses (12 credit hours) are required. At least one course must be in computer science and one course in statistics. Students must take at least two core courses and at least one elective course. By enrolling in one or two courses per semester, students can complete the program in two to four semesters.


The applicant must meet ONE of the following admission requirements:

  • Hold a B.S. degree in Computer Science or Statistics from an accredited four-year college or university with an overall (or major) GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale;
  • Hold a B.S. degree in the sciences or engineering from an accredited four-year college or university with an overall (or major) GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale AND have relevant experience in Computer Science and/or Statistics; or
  • Be a degree-seeking student in good standing in an NC State University graduate program in the sciences or engineering.

International applicants who are not degree-seeking students in an NC State University graduate program must provide valid TOEFL or IELTS scores.

Career Prospects

The Graduate Certificate in Data Science Foundations provides the expertise in math, statistics, programming, communication and problem-solving required to work as a data scientist. This highly technical, specialized field is in demand.

Data collected by a growing number of stakeholders is used for a multitude of purposes, ranging from marketing to risk analysis. Data scientists translate data into usable statistics that are then used for forecasting, planning and preparation in a variety of fields and settings. As the collection and use of data increases, the need for data scientists who can interpret data also grows.

This rapidly growing amount of data translates into a variety of data science careers in almost every industry, from government to community service organizations, and from agriculture to retail. The big data now available must be distilled into practical guidance, and only professionals trained in the algorithms and methodology of data science are equipped to provide the advice and consultation necessary to render this data useful. Build a challenging and rewarding career in data science through this graduate certificate program.

Additional Resources

For detailed information regarding engineering online programs and how to apply and enroll, please visit the Engineering Online website.