Accelerated Graduate Degree Program in Data Science


Accelerated Graduate Degree Program in Data Science

The Accelerated Graduate Degree Program (AGDP) allows undergraduate students in data science and other majors (as discussed below) an opportunity to complete the requirements for the master’s degree at an accelerated pace. These undergraduate students may count up to 12 credit hours of 5000 or 6000 level courses taken during their undergraduate studies toward a master’s degree in data science within 24 months after completion of their bachelor’s degree in data science. This program will then allow an undergraduate student majoring in data science (or any other major while having all AGDP in Data Science prerequisites) to complete an accelerated master’s in data science by completing 152 combined graduate/undergraduate credit hours.

Application to the AGDP Program

Applicant must complete an application to the AGDP program before their first term of the senior year. Prior to registering for any graduate coursework while still an undergraduate student, the Accelerated Graduate Degree Course Approval Form must be on file with the Registrar’s Office. Courses that can be counted for both the undergraduate and graduate degrees will be set and approved by the department offering the accelerated program.

Twelve credit hours taken while still and undergraduate student also apply to the accelerated graduate degree.

A prospective student who meets the eligibility requirements (see Criteria for Admission) must set up a meeting with a data science undergraduate advisor and a data science graduate advisor to develop Plan of Graduate Work for the bachelor’s and master’s degree programs.

The prospective student must be given a copy of these guidelines.

Before admission to an AGDP program can be finalized, students must submit the standard application for admission to the Office of Admissions/graduate admissions including:

  • an application
  • application fee
  • a copy of all transcripts
  • a Plan of Graduate Work, signed by the prospective student, the undergraduate advisor and the graduate advisor

The Plan of Graduate Work for the master’s degree must clearly indicate:

  • the 5000 or 6000 level courses (a maximum of 12 graduate credit hours) that will be counted for both bachelor’s and master’s degrees,
  • the graduation date for the master’s degree that meets the time limit for the AGDP (i.e. obtaining a masters degree in statistics within 24 months of completing the bachelor’s degree). Any changes to the AGDP Plan of Graduate Work must be submitted in writing and approved by the graduate advisor and the graduate dean.

Criteria for Admission to the AGDP program

Permission to pursue an AGDP does not guarantee admission to the Graduate College. Admission is contingent on meeting the following eligibility requirements at the time of entering the graduate program:

  1. Transfer students must have completed a minimum of 30 credit hours as a full-time student at WMU.
  2. Students must have a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 at WMU.

Requirements for Participation and Graduation

Students must complete the bachelor’s degree prior to entering the master’s program. Students in the AGDP may not elect to by-pass the bachelor’s degree.

Students will be allowed to count up to a maximum of 12 credit hours of 5000 or 6000 level courses taken during their undergraduate studies toward their master’s degree. These credits will be waived toward their master’s degree.

No more that 12 credit hours of graduate work may be counted towards the requirements of the student’s bachelors degree.

Students must complete the master’s degree within 24 months from the completion of the bachelor’s degree. If the master’s program is not completed within these time limits, none of the 5000 or 6000 level courses specified in the Plan of Graduate Work can be counted toward the master’s degree. Extension to this time-line may be granted by the graduate advisor only in special circumstances.

Continuing Eligibility

It is the responsibility of the student to recognize their eligibility status.

A student completing the bachelor’s degree requirements with an accumulated GPA of less than 3.25 is automatically terminated from the AGDP.

A student who does not follow the approved Plan of Graduate Work may become ineligible to participate in the AGDP program.

A student who is ineligible to participate in (or withdraws from) the AGDP can no longer qualify for waiving any of the courses specified in the Plan of Graduate Work toward a  master’s degree. These courses, however, may be counted toward the student’s bachelor’s degree upon the discretion of the undergraduate advisor.

A student who becomes ineligible to participate in the AGDP, shall be informed by the graduate advisor in writing of the ineligibility. A copy of this letter to the student shall be sent to the Graduate College.


A student may at any time withdraw from an approved AGDP by informing the director of undergraduate programs and the graduate advisor in writing. A copy of this request to withdraw must be sent to the Graduate College for approval.

An Alternate Undergraduate Major

Students with an undergraduate major which includes MATH 1220 (Calculus I), MATH 2300 (Linear Algebra), STAT 2600 (Data Analysis Using R), and a course in an object-oriented programming language such as JAVA, C#, or C++ might also be eligible to enroll in this accelerated program. They would first need to obtain permission from their major department that the identified 5000 level courses are available to use as electives or to complete the 122 required hours. They would follow the same admission procedure to the accelerated program and would then work with the data science advisor to get the required paperwork, outlining the accelerated degree courses, filed with the registrar’s office. In this way, for example, a student could obtain an undergraduate degree in another major and a master’s degree in data science.

A Typical Plan of Study

For a student planning an undergraduate major in data science, it is recommended that the student selects additional courses from the list of STAT and CS courses that are approved for both the undergraduate major in data science and the master’s program in data science.

Recommended plans include one of the sequences (a) or (b) below and two courses selected from (c).

1. (a) Stat 6620 (3 credit hours) and STAT 5860 (3 credit hours).

2. (b) CS 6100 (3 credit hours) and CS 5821 (3 credit hours).

3. (c) Select 2 courses from the list of elective courses for the MS in Data Science Program, as stipulated in their course plan, to complete their MS in Data Science.


Elective Courses for the MS in Data Science Program

  • STAT 5610 - Applied Multivariate Statistical Methods Credits: 3 hours
  • STAT 5630 - Sample Survey Methods Credits: 3 hours
  • STAT 5660 - Nonparametric Statistical Methods Credits: 3 hours
  • STAT 5820 - Time Series Analysis Credits: 3 hours
  • STAT 5850 - Applied Data Mining Credits: 3 hours
  • STAT 6500 - Statistical Theory I Credits: 4 hours
  • STAT 6600 - Statistical Theory II Credits: 4 hours
  • STAT 6640 - Applied Mixed Models Credits: 2 hours
  • STAT 6650 - Advanced Statistical Inference Credits: 3 hours
  • CS 5260 - Parallel Computations Credits: 3 hours
  • CS 5300 - Artificial Neural Systems Credits: 3 hours
  • CS 5310 - Algorithms Credits: 3 hours
  • CS 5560 - Network Programming Credits: 3 hours
  • CS 6260 - Advanced Parallel Computations Credits: 3 hours
  • CS 6430 - Database Management System Implementation Credits: 3 hours
  • CS 6530 - Data Mining Credits: 3 hours