Strong Fall Enrollment in UMD’s Machine Learning and Data Science Programs for Working Professionals

The University of Maryland’s Science Academy saw major enrollment growth this fall in its machine learning and data science programs for working professionals.

The programs, which are only in their second year, enrolled 54 new students, including 24 UMD alumni. The incoming class ranged in age from 20 to 54 years old and was 39% female. 

“The growth we’ve seen in our professional programs validates our commitment to diversifying educational offerings that are both of high value and of academic excellence,” said Amy Chester, director of the Science Academy. “As we navigated a new reality this fall, shaped in part by COVID-19, we shifted our programs from in-person to hybrid and online to meet our students’ needs.”

The master of professional studies program in machine learning welcomed 16 new students, while thirty-eight new students enrolled in the data science and analytics master of professional studies and graduate certificate programs

Students in the machine learning program master the methods and techniques of creating models and algorithms that learn from and make decisions or predictions based on data. They also explore advanced topics such as deep learning, optimization, big data analysis and signal/image understanding.

Students in the data science programs learn to design, conduct, interpret, and communicate data analysis tasks and studies using methods and tools of statistics, machine learning, computer science and communications. 

Science Academy courses are taught on weekday evenings to accommodate working professionals. With this schedule, students have the opportunity to earn a master's in less than two years, while continuing to work. Instructors include faculty members in UMD’s Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Computer Science, and Mathematics. Fall course topics included probability and statistics, principles of data science, deep learning, and research methods and study design. 

The application deadline for Fall 2021 enrollment in the machine learning or data science programs is March 12, 2021 for international students and June 30, 2021 for domestic students.

The Science Academy plans to expand its offerings in 2021 with executive education programs on climate finance and quantum computing.

“These new offerings will be short, high-impact experiences where participants can gain skills quickly and then apply what they learn to their professional work,” Chester said.

This is adapted from an original story by Abby Robinson.

Published December 9, 2020