Study Data Science at UM

In the past ten years, revolutionary changes in technology, science, and industry have led to the creation of a new science aimed at extracting information from data--data science. Some of the innovations born from data science are self-driving cars, automated language translators, recommendation engines, target acquisition from imagery, credit card fraud detection, and directed marketing. Many of the challenges facing society in this century will be solved by data science. Every day data science expands into new and unanticipated areas.  Consequently, the demand for data scientists in business, science, and government is not being met. Applications and opportunities are expanding more rapidly than universities are training data scientists.  There's no better time to get into data science and make a difference. The University of Montana has built a cutting-edge interdisciplinary program with top businesses to prepare graduates for the jobs of the future. If you study data science at UM, you'll have the knowledge and the skills to make an impact. It's a great opportunity to be involved in an exciting, vibrant, and constantly changing area. What's more, it's a great way to land an exciting well-paid job when you graduate.

Graduate - Masters in Business Analytics

The MS in Business Analytics prepares graduates for successful careers working with data across a wide range of organizations. Students build a strong foundation at the intersection of business, statistics, and computing. In addition to a firm grounding in analytical techniques and applications, students gain the ability to effectively communicate and use the results of data analytics for innovative solutions to catalyze business growth.

Graduates are deeply engaged with the private and public sector, acquiring relevant skills to provide immediate value to employers.  

Undergraduate - Big Data Analytics Certificate


Massive amounts of data are being produced by today’s businesses and organizations by new types of instrumentation and communication. Financial markets, social media sites, web transactions, and similar applications are generating huge data sets. Some of this data arrives so fast and in such great quantity that the that it can't be stored--it has to be analyzed as it arrives if it is to be useful.  There's information and value in the data but extracting it requires new methods built from mathematics, statistics, and computer science.

Data science consists of three major areas: foundations, computational methods, and applications. Applications focus on producing value from data--the stuff that organizations and businesses can use. Understanding the problems to be solved, getting the right information from the data, and communicating the solutions are critical skills. People that can do this are hugely important for today's technology-oriented businesses. Computational methods deal with transforming data to information. Foundations provide the knowledge and understanding of how the computational methods work so that the right methods can be used. People that understand the foundation are the innovators and creators of new products and methods. At UM, the Business School focuses on applications of data science in business, Computer Science focuses on computational methods, and Mathematics focuses on foundations.

The Big Data Analytics Certificate is designed to provide students with key elements and knowledge from the three areas.  Students take two elective courses and two required courses, the last of which is a projects course. In the projects course, students work in teams on data science problems brought to the class from businesses and researchers. It's a great way to begin the transition from academia to the professional world.

Undergraduate - Cybersecurity Certificate

The Network and Information Security Professional Certificate is designed to prepare computer and networking professionals for a career in the emerging field of computer security by providing advanced experience in the areas of business continuity, computer system design, risk assessment and mitigation techniques, contingency planning, data integrity, security investigation, and troubleshooting.

Students will apply security procedures used by IT professionals in computer forensics, information assurance, cryptography, enterprise security, access control, network security, software development security, and disaster recovery.

This certificate is offered at Missoula College.

Recommended High School Coursework

Think you want to predict erosion in rivers or model protein interactions? Enjoy the challenge of securing cyberspace? Below is a short list of knowledge, skills, and abilities that go a long way toward preparing for a career in data science. Check the Montana Digital Academy for online offerings state-wide.

Computer literacy

  • Able to use standard spreadsheet and word processing programs
  • Familiar with modern programming languages (for example, python or R or java or C, C++, C#)

Mathematical literacy

  • Pre-calculus
  • Statistics or probability


  • Curiosity
  • Entrepreneurial spirit
  • Adventurous spirit
  • Independent thinker