Housed in the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences at Northwestern University, this full-time, 15-month professional master’s degree immerses students in a comprehensive and applied curriculum exploring the underlying data science, information technology, and business of analytics. Supplemented by an internship and industry supplied projects, graduates will be exceptionally well equipped to harness and communicate the full value of data to the organizations they serve.
The goals of our program are for students to acquire the necessary skills so that they may:
- Identify and assess the opportunities, needs, and constraints of data usage within an organizational context
- Integrate information technology and data science to maximize the value of data
- Design innovative and creative data analytics solutions
- Communicate clearly and persuasively to a variety of audiences
- Lead analytics teams and projects
The MSiA faculty is drawn from:
- The Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences in the McCormick School of Engineering
- The Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the McCormick School of Engineering
- The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern
- The Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern
- Industry experts from Chicago-area companies
The director of the Master of Science in Analytics program is Diego Klabjan. Visit Professor Klabjan's blog to read his insights in the realm of analytics.
Many programs focus on just one aspect of analytics, producing graduates who are trained primarily in either modeling or data mining. The MSiA program provides students with a rigorous course of study in all three areas of analytics: predictive, prescriptive, and descriptive. Coursework in statistics, modeling, operations research, quantitative analysis, decision analysis, databases, and data management form the core of the curriculum. Each course builds upon previous courses and is complemented by case studies, team projects, and guest speakers from industry, ensuring an academic experience that’s grounded in business reality. This comprehensive curriculum provides a broader perspective and teaches the skills necessary to effectively solve business challenges.
Students leave the program with the ability to lead via our three-pronged approach:
- Business: Students integrate strong business acumen, communication skills, and management ability into their work.
- IT: Students train in Java, Python, and R, preparing them for high-tech roles.
- Data science: Students explore all three areas of data analysis—predictive (forecasting), descriptive (business intelligence and data mining), and prescriptive (optimization and simulation), using industry-leading tools such as SAS, SQL, Hadoop, Pig, Hive, Mahout, Tableau, D3.
The Cohort experience
To further enhance the academic experience, the program is limited to approximately 35 students per year. This small size ensures that students receive a high degree of individualized instruction and also have the opportunity to form close friendships and bonds with their fellow participants, which often transcend academia and continue into the workplace.
The MSiA program enhances in-class learning with industry practice. The program emphasizes hands-on experience and utilizes numerous case-study discussions to provide students with the technical and business foundation they need to become leaders in the field. Other pivotal knowledge-building experiences include:
Practicum and Capstone Projects
Students complete two applied projects with both data and a business problem provided directly by companies. Under the guidance of Northwestern business and technical advisers, each team provides effective solutions for the client while demonstrating their extensive analytical skills. Practicum projects are expected to last three quarters and capstone projects one quarter.
Students are required to apply their skills in a professional setting over the summer quarter of their 15-months on campus.