Apr 25, 2024  
Graduate Catalog 2023-2024 
Graduate Catalog 2023-2024

Analytics, M.S.

Program Description

The Master’s of Science in Analytics (Master’s of Science in Analytics and Applied Artifical Intelligence, effective AY 24-25) program at DSU will prepare graduates with the skill set necessary to transform them into analytics and data science professionals. These professionals are needed to solve crucial data-driven business problems and assist with analytics-driven decision making that is needed in the work force as the progression of big data jobs continues to grow.

Use of information technology (IT) and statistical analysis continues to grow in business and industry and, along with that growth, comes a need for individuals with advanced training. Graduates of these programs may find careers such as analytics professionals, data scientists, data architects, data governance specialists, predictive modelers, business intelligence/analytics developers, data visualization specialists, business analysts, market analysts, financial analysts, supply chain analysts, data analysts, computational scientists, or machine learning software engineers in technical, industrial, business, health care and financial companies of all sizes, as well as in the public sector.

Program Delivery

Courses in the MSA program may be offered using a variety of instructional delivery methods:

  1. Face-to-face on site in Madison, SD in a traditional classroom setting;
  2. At a distance via Internet, using a combination of both live and/or encoded streaming videos of classes, interactive course web boards, course web sites, and e-mail. All courses are web-enhanced.

Program Goals

Upon graduation, graduates of the program will:

  • be able to prepare and transfer big data sets into actionable information in an easy-to-understand format to support analytics through the use of advanced data processing tools.
  • be able to select the appropriate analytics techniques and apply advanced analytical tools to solve data analytics problems.
  • be able to demonstrate a good understanding of using information technology and computing languages to implement analytics solutions.
  • be able to assess alternative approaches and infrastructures for implementing big data analytics.
  • be able to manage data analytics projects to ensure delivery of a successful data analytics initiative throughout its life cycle.
  • be able to interpret the results of the analysis.

Program Completion

The program can be completed on a full or part-time basis, with classes offered in three academic terms, fall, spring, and summer. Time to complete really depends upon the number of credit hours taken per semester and the number of knowledge requirements needed. Full-time students (6 credit hours per semester) can complete the program in four semesters (assuming two knowledge support courses are required). The program must be completed within 5 years of the date the program is started (first course taken).

Admission Requirements Specific to the MSA

Entering students will be required to have a baccalaureate degree from institutions with full regional accreditation for that degree. International students must have an undergraduate (bachelor’s) degree that is the equivalent to a four-year undergraduate degree in the U.S.

  • Minimum undergraduate grade point average of 2.70 on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent on an alternative grading system)
  • Transcripts should show completion of courses in key areas equivalent to:
    • Database design/programming including familiarity with SQL (INFS 760 or STAT 410/510)
    • Understanding of the principles of programming (INFS 605 or equivalent)
    • Understanding of statistical principles (INFS 608 or (STAT 281 and STAT 441/541))

Students who have not had appropriate coursework or acceptable experience to meet the knowledge requirements will be admitted to the program if they meet the other minimum requirements.   However, these students will be required to meet the knowledge requirements by satisfactory completing the specified knowledge support courses as part of their program Plan of Study (POS).

Program Faculty

Jun Liu, Program Coordinator

Dorine Bennett, Omar El-Gayar, Chris Olson, Ronghua Shan, Daniel Talley

Program Requirements

Required courses are to be taken by everyone admitted to the program, they include six core courses (18 credit hours), two required courses (6 credit hours) and two track or elective courses (6 credit hours). Core courses build upon the knowledge support courses or appropriate experience.

Knowledge Courses (9 Credits)

Individuals who do not meet knowledge requirements may be required to take up to 9 additional hours.


Electives are divided into five tracks that students may follow.  These include Artifical Intelligence, Business, Healthcare Analytics, Information Systems and General.

Healthcare Analytics

  • 3 credits
  • 3 credits

    Students who already have US healthcare delivery knowledge or experience will be able to substitute HIMS 701 with HIMS 745 Legal and Ethical Aspects of Health Informatics (3 credits) to gain an understanding of HIPAA requirements and ethics of working with healthcare data. 


    Students who have had undergraduate or graduate level courses in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, and disease process will be able to substitute HIMS 702 with HIMS 750 Exploration of Population Health Data in Health Informatics (3 credits).

General (select two courses)

With the consent of advisor students can choose two elective courses (6 credits hours) from the INFS, ECON, HIMS and BADM disciplines outside.

Assessment/Evaluation Activities

All candidates for graduation must participate in an assessment activity. Students will be provided with specific information to MSA exam during their final semester. The MSA students will complete a comprehensive exam.

The results of the exam are used as one means of evaluating the MSA curriculum by providing information to the faculty who teach the courses.

Course Grades

Course Grades are used as an indirect measure of student attainment of specific program goals and objectives. DSU Program Guidelines require students to maintain a 3.0 GPA in the program, receive no grades below a C, and have no more than 2 grades of a C. If you do not maintain the required “B” average you will be placed on academic probation and given the opportunity to raise your GPA to 3.0 within the next nine credit hours. If you do not raise your GPA to 3.0 you will be suspended from the program. If you receive more than 6 credits of “C” or any grade lower than a “C” you will be suspended from the program. You may appeal the suspension. If students have questions regarding grading, they should review the “Satisfactory Progression” Program Guidelines or speak with their advisor.

MSA Course Rotation

Course Rotation Schedule