FAQ for CADS

Click on the links below for answers to specific questions, or read all the Q&As in order.

What will I gain from the Certificate in Applied Data Science?

Who is eligible to pursue the Certificate in Applied Data Science?

Who is not eligible to pursue the Certificate in Applied Data Science?

Are there any prerequisites for the Certificate in Applied Data Science?

What if I have skills in a prerequisite topic but haven’t taken the prerequisite UNC course?  Can I still apply?

How many credit hours are required to earn the Certificate in Applied Data Science?

How many terms will it take to complete the Certificate in Applied Data Science?

What classes will I take for the Certificate in Applied Data Science?

What order should I take the required classes?

Do the classes in the Certificate in Applied Data Science satisfy any Gen Ed requirements?

Can courses for the Certificate in Applied Date Science count towards my major/minor?

Who will mentor/supervise my practicum project?

Will the practicum count towards UNC’s Experiential Education requirement?

What will my faculty mentor/supervisor do?

What are the practicum requirements?

Where will the practicum take place?

How do I apply for the Certificate in Applied Data Science?

What material does the application for the Certificate in Applied Data Science require?

When can I apply to the Certificate in Applied Data Science?

Will I be charged extra tuition or fees for the Certificate in Applied Data Science?

Q&As

What will I gain from the certificate in Applied Data Science?

  • Tools and methods required for data science
  • Best data science project practices
  • The complex ethical and societal issues associated with data-driven approaches

Who is eligible to pursue the certificate in Applied Data Science?

  • Matriculated UNC-Chapel Hill undergraduate students with non-data majors (i.e., not pursuing degrees in information, computer science, or statistics) who apply and are accepted to the CADS program.

Who is not eligible to pursue the certificate in Applied Data Science?

  • Students pursuing degrees in information science, computer science, or statistics.

Are there any prerequisites for the certificate in Applied Data Science?

  • As a prerequisite for admission to CADS, students must earn a B or higher in STOR 155 or demonstrate equivalent knowledge, and a B or higher in COMP 110 or INLS 560 or be able to demonstrate equivalent knowledge. These prerequisites are in place to ensure that CADS students have sufficient introductory training in computer programming and statistics to succeed in the certificate program.  As a general rule, a grade of B or higher in these classes is required for admission.

What if I have skills in a prerequisite topic but haven’t taken the prerequisite UNC course? Can I still apply?

  • Students who have mastered a prerequisite topic through other means (e.g., work experience, a different UNC course, or training outside of the university) can still apply. In this situation, students must apply for a prerequisite waiver as part of the admissions process. Students seeking a prerequisite waiver must provide documentation explaining why they feel a waiver should be granted. This should include, for example, a syllabus for an alternate course or a detailed description of the work experience through which students obtained the required skills. Approvals for waivers will be made on a case-by-case basis as part of the CADS admissions process.

How many credit hours are required to earn the certificate in Applied Data Science?

  • CADS requires 12 credit hours.  The certificate curriculum consists of 9 credits of data science coursework and a 3-credit Practicum.
  • The coursework portion of the program consists of:
    •  Four online 1.5-credit accelerated courses
    •  One online 3- credit course
    •  One in person 3- credit practicum

How many terms will it take to complete the certificate in Applied Data Science?

  •  Students can complete the certifcate in three or four terms depending on when students begin their CADS coursework. Students can refer to the plan of study for the Certificate in Applied Data Science for more information on timing.  

What classes will I take for the certificate in Applied Data Science?

What order should I take the required classes?

  • Students must take INLS 761 Data Analysis before INLS 772 Applied Statistics, Machine Learning, and Data Communication.

Do the classes in the certificate in Applied Data Science satisfy any Gen Ed requirements?

  • The Data Science Practicum course will satisfy the Experiential Education (EE) requirement.

Can courses for the certificate in Applied Date Science count towards my major/minor?

  • The certificate program allows for course overlap between the certificate’s requirements and those of the student’s undergraduate major or minor. However, students should check with their major/minor advisors to determine if their degree programs also allow this form of “double counting.”

Who will mentor/supervise my practicum project?

  • Your practicum will be advised by dual faculty mentors, with one advisor each from SILS faculty and your home department faculty.
  • The day-to-day project work will be overseen and guided by a project organization supervisor. This is in addition to the dual UNC faculty advisors.

Will the practicum count towards UNC’s Experiential Education requirement?

  • Yes, students will be able to complete their practicum during a regular academic semester, and students will be allowed to use the CADS practicum course to fulfill the UNC Experiential Education requirement.

What will my faculty mentor/supervisor do?

  • Faculty advisors will guide students through the process of identifying matching projects that relate to their major or minor area of study.
  • Faculty advisors will also review the project report which you will be required to submit at the end of the practicum experience.

What are the practicum requirements?

  • Students must work on a data science project that is relevant to their major or minor discipline.  
  • Students will be expected to write a report about the project and present it to their faculty. advisors. This report and evaluations from practicum supervisors will constitute the basis for a student’s grade in the practicum course.

Where will the practicum take place?

  • The practicum will take place in partnership with a project organization. These project organizations may be not-for-profit, government, academia, or industry organizations.
  • Students will be required to identify their own project settings and partners. However, the CADS administrative team has relationships with a variety of project organizations and may be able to help students identify productive partnerships.
  • All practicum projects must be approved by the UNC faculty advisors before work can begin.

How do I apply for the certificate in Applied Data Science?

  • Review and confirm you have met the prerequisites and submit the online application
  • Decisions regarding admission will be announced via email once the CADS admission committee has completed its review of all completed applications.

What material does the application for the certificate in Applied Data Science require?

  • Students applying for the program will be required to submit:
    • A short application form with typical demographic and academic information.
    • Current unofficial academic transcript and any record of other relevant academic work (e.g. courses taken at a different institution and transferred to UNC-Chapel Hill).
    • A statement of interest in the program in the form of a short (500 words) essay.

When can I apply to the certificate in Applied Data Science?

  • Applications for admission will be reviewed twice per year to allow students to start their CADS coursework in either fall or spring. Application deadlines are October 15 for spring enrollment and March 15 for fall enrollment. 
  • Students must submit their application in the semester prior to their intended enrollment in the program. For example, to take classes in the spring, students should apply by October 15 the previous fall. To take classes in the fall, students should apply by March 15 in the spring.

Will I be charged extra tuition or fees for the certificate in Applied Data Science?

  • Undergraduate students admitted to the program will be charged tuition based on current UNC-Chapel Hill undergraduate tuition rates – there will be no additional program-specific tuition/fee charges for this category of program students.