The Graduate Assembly’s committee on graduate students approved new programs Thursday during their regular assembly meeting.

The approved programs include a proposal for a Master of Science in data science degree and an executive certificate in business analytics.

The proposal for the data science degree states that the national economy is shifting in how it uses information and large data sets in decision-making, creating demand for a degree program.

In a supporting letter to the graduate assembly program creation committee, Erick Jones, College of Engineering associate graduate affairs dean, said there is a demand in the Metroplex for this kind of degree.

“I feel that this type of degree represents the future type of graduate degree that supports the future of U.S. [Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics] workforce,” Jones said.

A similar need exists for an executive certificate in business analytics, said Sridhar Nerur, information systems and operations management professor in a supporting letter.

“Organizations are scrambling to develop business analytics capabilities that will enable them to derive greater value from vast amounts of data that they have,” Nerur said. “As a consequence, efforts are underway to foster a data-driven culture that requires employees to acquire new analytical skills.”

Nerur noted that the certificate could also serve as a feeder program for the master’s degree at UTA.

In other news, the graduate assembly’s committee on graduate students has been tasked with making a recommendation to the Undergraduate Assembly regarding the use of graduate credits in undergraduate degrees.

Undergraduates are allowed to take a graduate course for the last remaining hours of their degree, but the credit hours aren’t allowed to be used in subsequent graduate programs, said Raymond Jackson, graduate studies associate dean.

He said this could potentially harm students who have already taken the course and have to figure out how to fulfill the requirement or take the course again.


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