Information and Data Science: MIDS

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

The Master of Information and Data Science (MIDS) is an online, part-time professional degree program that prepares students to work effectively with heterogeneous, real-world data (ranging from tweet streams and call records to mouse clicks and GPS coordinates) and to extract insights from the data using the latest tools and analytical methods. The program emphasizes the importance of asking good research or business questions as well as the ethical and legal requirements of data privacy and security.

The Fifth Year Master of Information and Data Science (Fifth Year MIDS) is a full-time variant of the MIDS program that is designed for students who have just completed their undergraduate education at UC Berkeley. 

Students attend weekly live ("synchronous") sessions with classmates and instructors via an online platform as well as engaging with online ("asynchronous") videos and assignments on their own time. 

The curriculum includes research design and applications for data and analysis, storing and retrieving data, exploring and analyzing data, identifying patterns in data, and effectively visualizing and communicating data. MIDS features a project-based approach to learning and encourages the pragmatic application of a variety of different tools and methods to solve complex problems.

Graduates of the program will be able to:

  • Imagine new and valuable uses for large datasets;
  • Retrieve, organize, combine, clean, and store data from multiple sources;
  • Apply appropriate data mining, statistical analysis, and machine learning techniques to detect patterns and make predictions;
  • Design visualizations and effectively communicate findings; and
  • Understand the ethical and legal requirements of data privacy and security.

The I School also offers a master's in Information Management and Systems (MIMS), a master's in Information and Cybersecurity (MICS), and a Ph.D.

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Admissions

Admission to the University

Minimum Requirements for Admission

The following minimum requirements apply to all graduate programs and will be verified by the Graduate Division:

  1. A bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution;
  2. A grade point average of B or better (3.0);
  3. If the applicant comes from a country or political entity (e.g., Quebec) where English is not the official language, adequate proficiency in English to do graduate work, as evidenced by a TOEFL score of at least 90 on the iBT test, 570 on the paper-and-pencil test, or an IELTS Band score of at least 7 on a 9-point scale (note that individual programs may set higher levels for any of these); and
  4. Sufficient undergraduate training to do graduate work in the given field.

Applicants Who Already Hold a Graduate Degree

The Graduate Council views academic degrees not as vocational training certificates, but as evidence of broad training in research methods, independent study, and articulation of learning. Therefore, applicants who already have academic graduate degrees should be able to pursue new subject matter at an advanced level without the need to enroll in a related or similar graduate program.

Programs may consider students for an additional academic master’s or professional master’s degree only if the additional degree is in a distinctly different field.

Applicants admitted to a doctoral program that requires a master’s degree to be earned at Berkeley as a prerequisite (even though the applicant already has a master’s degree from another institution in the same or a closely allied field of study) will be permitted to undertake the second master’s degree, despite the overlap in field.

The Graduate Division will admit students for a second doctoral degree only if they meet the following guidelines:

  1. Applicants with doctoral degrees may be admitted for an additional doctoral degree only if that degree program is in a general area of knowledge distinctly different from the field in which they earned their original degree. For example, a physics PhD could be admitted to a doctoral degree program in music or history; however, a student with a doctoral degree in mathematics would not be permitted to add a PhD in statistics.
  2. Applicants who hold the PhD degree may be admitted to a professional doctorate or professional master’s degree program if there is no duplication of training involved.

Applicants may apply only to one single degree program or one concurrent degree program per admission cycle.

Required Documents for Applications

  1. Transcripts: Applicants may upload unofficial transcripts with your application for the departmental initial review. If the applicant is admitted, then official transcripts of all college-level work will be required. Official transcripts must be in sealed envelopes as issued by the school(s) attended. If you have attended Berkeley, upload your unofficial transcript with your application for the departmental initial review. If you are admitted, an official transcript with evidence of degree conferral will not be required.
  2. Letters of recommendation: Applicants may request online letters of recommendation through the online application system. Hard copies of recommendation letters must be sent directly to the program, not the Graduate Division.
  3. Evidence of English language proficiency: All applicants from countries or political entities in which the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency. This applies to applicants from Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Middle East, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, most European countries, and Quebec (Canada). However, applicants who, at the time of application, have already completed at least one year of full-time academic course work with grades of B or better at a US university may submit an official transcript from the US university to fulfill this requirement. The following courses will not fulfill this requirement:
    • courses in English as a Second Language,
    • courses conducted in a language other than English,
    • courses that will be completed after the application is submitted, and
    • courses of a non-academic nature.

If applicants have previously been denied admission to Berkeley on the basis of their English language proficiency, they must submit new test scores that meet the current minimum from one of the standardized tests. Official TOEFL score reports must be sent directly from Educational Test Services (ETS). The institution code for Berkeley is 4833. Official IELTS score reports must be mailed directly to our office from the British Council. TOEFL and IELTS score reports are only valid for two years.

Where to Apply

Visit the Berkeley Graduate Division application page

Admission to the Program

Applications are evaluated holistically on a combination of prior academic performance, GRE/GMAT score, work experience, statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation.

The UC Berkeley School of Information seeks students with the academic abilities to meet the demands of a rigorous graduate program.

To be eligible to apply to the Master of Information and Data Science program, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree or its recognized equivalent from an accredited institution.
  • Superior scholastic record, normally well above a 3.0 GPA.
  • Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores.
  • A high level of quantitative ability as demonstrated by scores in the top 15 percent in the Quantitative section of either the GRE or GMAT, five years of technical work experience, or significant work experience that demonstrates your quantitative abilities.
  • A high level of analytical reasoning ability and a problem-solving mindset as demonstrated in academic and/or professional performance.
  • A working knowledge of fundamental concepts including: data structures, algorithms and analysis of algorithms, and linear algebra.
  • Programming proficiency as demonstrated by prior work experience or advanced coursework. (For example: Python, Java, or R.)
  • The ability to communicate effectively, as demonstrated by strong scores in the Verbal and Writing sections of either the GRE or GMAT, academic performance, or professional experience.
  • A Statement of Purpose that clearly indicates professional career goals and reasons for seeking the degree.
  • Official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores for applicants whose academic work has been in a country other than the US, UK, Australia, or English-speaking Canada.

Note: Admission to the Fifth Year Master of Information and Data Science program requires that the applicant complete their undergraduate education at UC Berkeley in the year prior to starting the program. Consequently, applicants are not required to submit GRE or GMAT scores. However, applicants are required to submit three letters of recommendation and additional short answer essays.

For more information and application instructions, please visit the datascience@berkeley Admissions Overview.

Master's Degree Requirements

Unit Requirements

The Master of Information and Data Science is designed to be completed in 20 months, but other options are available to complete the program. You will complete 27 units of course work over an average of five terms, taking a maximum of 9 units each term. Courses are divided into foundation courses (15 units), advanced courses (9 units), and a synthetic capstone (3 units). You will also complete an immersion at the UC Berkeley campus.

The unit and coursework requirements for the Fifth Year Master of Information and Data Science are identical. However, as the program is full-time, it is intended to be completed in 12 months or three terms. 

Curriculum

Foundation Courses
DATASCI W200Python Fundamentals for Data Science3
DATASCI W201Research Design and Applications for Data and Analysis3
DATASCI W203Statistics for Data Science3
DATASCI W205Fundamentals of Data Engineering3
DATASCI W207Applied Machine Learning3
Advanced Courses
DATASCI W209Data Visualization3
DATASCI W231Behind the Data: Humans and Values3
DATASCI W241Experiments and Causal Inference3
DATASCI W251Deep Learning in the Cloud and at the Edge3
Not Available to Fifth Year MIDS
DATASCI W261Machine Learning at Scale3
Not Available to Fifth Year MIDS
DATASCI W266Natural Language Processing with Deep Learning3
DATASCI W271Statistical Methods for Discrete Response, Time Series, and Panel Data3
Not Available to Fifth Year MIDS
Capstone Course
DATASCI W210Capstone3

Immersion

As a Master of Information and Data Science (MIDS) student, the immersion is your opportunity to meet faculty and peers in person on the UC Berkeley campus. You will have the opportunity to gain on-the-ground perspectives from faculty and industry leaders, meet with data science professionals, and soak up more of the School of Information (I School) culture. Offered three times a year, each four- to five-day immersion will be custom crafted to deliver additional learning, networking, and community-building opportunities.

Please refer to the datascience@berkeley website for more information.

Courses

Please note: DATASCI courses are only available for Information and Data Science (MIDS) students.

Information and Data Science

Faculty and Instructors

Faculty

Daniel Gillick, Assistant Adjunct Professor. Natural Language Processing, machine learning, artificial intelligence, statistics, speech recognition.

Douglas Alex Hughes, Assistant Adjunct Professor. Experiments and Causal Identification, Social Networks, Political Behavior and Outcomes.

Paul Laskowski, Adjunct Assistant Professor. Information economics, telecommunications policy, network architecture, innovation.

Deirdre Mulligan, Associate Professor. Privacy, fairness, human rights, cybersecurity, technology and governance, values in design.

David H. Reiley, Adjunct Professor. Field experiments, advertising, auctions and other pricing mechanisms, charitable fundraising, and electronic commerce .

Steven Weber, Professor. Political science, international security, international political economy, information science.
Research Profile

Lecturers

Morgan Ames, Lecturer. Science, technology, and society studies.

Fereshteh Amini, Lecturer.

Lefteris Anastasopoulos, Lecturer.

Prabhakar Attaluri, Lecturer.

Gerald Benoît, Lecturer.

Amit Bhattacharyya, Lecturer.

Mark Butler, Lecturer.

Daniel Cer, Lecturer.

Kevin Crook, Lecturer.

Ryan DeJana, Lecturer.

Brad DesAulniers, Lecturer.

Micah Gell-Redman, Lecturer.

Noah Gift, Lecturer.

Nathaniel Stanley Good, Lecturer.

Annette Greiner, Lecturer.

John Alexis Guerra Gómez, Lecturer.

Kyle Hamilton, Lecturer.

Darragh Hanley, Lecturer.

Daniel Hedblom, Lecturer.

Todd Michael Holloway, Lecturer.

Richard Huntsinger, Lecturer.

Corey Jackson, Lecturer.

Stanislav Kelman, Lecturer.

Gunnar Kleemann, Lecturer.

James Kunz, Lecturer.

Bum Chol Kwon, Lecturer.

Christopher Llop, Lecturer.

Alex Marrs, Lecturer.

Taylor Martin, Lecturer.

Mark Mims, Lecturer.

Esteban Arias Navarro, Lecturer.

Eric Penner, Lecturer.

Joachim Rahmfeld, Lecturer.

Sid J Reddy, Lecturer.

Dmitry Rekesh, Lecturer.

Michael Rivera, Lecturer.

Yacov Salomon, Lecturer.

Doris Schioberg, Lecturer.

James Shanahan, Lecturer.

Juanjie Joyce Shen, Lecturer.

David Steier, Lecturer.

Alberto Todeschini, Lecturer.

Ilyas Ustun, Lecturer.

Puya H. Vahabi, Lecturer.

Jeff Yau, Lecturer.

James York-Winegar, Lecturer.

Anna Zaitsev, Lecturer.

Contact Information

School of Information

102 South Hall

Phone: 510-642-1464

Visit School Website

Student Affairs

Student Affairs Team

studentaffairs@ischool.berkeley.edu

Admissions

Phone: 855-678-MIDS

admissions@datascience.berkeley.edu

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