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Graduate Studies offers master’s degree in data analytics

ISSUED: 5 October 2017
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Beginning in January 2018, Shepherd University is offering a new master’s degree for those interested in pursuing a career in data analytics. The M.S. in data analytics and information systems, which is a 36 credit hour program that is interdisciplinary in nature, is designed for students to derive knowledge from data and to communicate an understanding of that knowledge.

“I am very excited about this degree,” said Dr. Richard Stevens, acting dean of Graduate Studies. “It adds to the opportunities for post-bachelor experiences at Shepherd and will be attractive to many of our current students as well as the the nearby workforce.”

Dr. Weidong Liao, associate professor of computer and information sciences, said the program will appeal to those who want to pursue a careers as data analysts and data scientists in the fields of finance, healthcare, and government agencies, as well as those interested in traditional information technology and information science jobs that may require an advanced degree.

“Students and alumni who took major or minor programs in the Department of Computer Science, Mathematics, and Engineering have been asking for a master’s program in computing or related areas in recent years,” Liao said. “IT professionals in the local area, such as those who work in Coast Guard facilities, First Data, and Citigroup, showed their interest too. I believe the interest is enormous.”

Liao said the degree is also expected to have a strong appeal to international students.

All students in the M.S. data analytics and information systems program will take a 12-credit data analytics core and a 12-credit information systems core. The remaining 12 credits of electives and special topics courses will provide students with opportunities to conduct research and to participate in collaboratives with Shepherd’s external partners to complete internships that provide valuable practical training in a real-world setting.

For more information, contact Stevens at 304-876-5313 or, or Liao at 304-876-5031 or

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