Darden, Data Science Institute Unveil New Dual-Degree Program

As “big data” plays a growing role in business decisions around the world, graduates who combine solid business strategy with an in-depth knowledge of computer science, statistics and analytics will be uniquely positioned to make an impact.

That’s the premise of a new University of Virginia dual-degree program announced Monday, a joint venture from its Darden School of Business and its Data Science Institute.

The new MBA/Master of Science in Data Science aims to provide the robust training and cutting-edge tools ideal for students who plan to pursue a variety of career fields, from technology to entrepreneurship to consulting.

By combining Darden’s top-ranked general management program and unparalleled education experience with the cutting-edge, data-intensive curriculum of UVA’s Data Science Institute, students will gain broad understanding of business leadership opportunities and challenges. They will also develop a deep knowledge of data science tools that can turn data into action-oriented business insights. 

“This new dual degree represents an incredibly exciting development for the Darden School and prospective students,” said Darden professor Raj Venkatesan, who will lead the program for Darden. “There is a clear demand from students for this kind of analytics-driven curriculum and from organizations for employees who can harness the almost limitless power of ‘big data’ to develop new business models. These graduates will be coveted hires and become indispensable leaders.”

The new dual degree – which will enroll a limited cohort of students this summer, with a fuller launch in 2018 – will deliver both the Darden curriculum of core and elective courses and the 11-month master’s curriculum offered by the Data Science Institute over a two-year span. Tuition for the new program will be the sum of the stand-alone MBA and data science programs.

The Darden core curriculum provides students with an integrated perspective on general…

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