Academic FAQs

What is the difference between an MS and a PSM degree?

Students graduating from the PSM will earn an MS degree, but because it is a PSM there are some important differences. First, this degree does not require a thesis. The focus of the degree is on applied research, with a stress on hands-on problem-solving. Students work directly with industry leaders on real world problems. The courses in the program and the direction of this program is determined by an advisory board of professionals in the analytics industry.

What types of jobs are available with the Professional Science Master's degree in Data Science and Business Analytics?

It is expected that students will develop or hone their specific career/industry interests during their studies, however, a sample of specific job titles includes data scientist, data analyst, business analyst, statistician, consultant, developer, manager, researcher, and entrepreneur.

I am interested in taking a couple of courses, but I'm not sure if I want to commit to a master's degree. Do I have an option?

Yes. If you have obtained a bachelor’s degree, you may be able to take a couple of courses as a post-baccalaureate.  You can also apply for the Graduate Certificate in DSBA.  The certificate mirrors the foundation and core curriculum and you are in the same classes as the professional science master's students.  If you choose to apply to the PSM at a later date all15 credit hours can be transferred into the degree as long as you have earned a minimum 3.0 in each class. To apply for post- baccalaureate or certificate admission, please apply online through the Graduate School's Admissions website. 

Can I attend the program part-time?

Yes, we admit part-time and full-time students. One caution, under the Graduate School requirements there is a 6-year time limit to complete the master's program, and a 4-year to complete the graduate certificate.

Are classes available online?  

The Data Science and Business Analytics degree is intended as a face-to-face program. We value the personal interaction between students and faculty.  Occasionally some courses may be offered online but most classes will meet in-person.  

I work full-time; are evening classes available?

The program is intentionally designed to accommodate working professionals.  The majority of the classes are in the evening, usually after 5 pm and meet once a week. 

Where are the classes taught?

The majority of the classes are taught off the main campus in Center City Charlotte.  This allows easy access to the program for professionals working in the financial, retail, energy and health sectors. 

What is the average class size?

 Core classes usually have 30-40 students while elective classes tend to be around 20-30 students.  Classes offered in the summer tend to be smaller.

How do I know what classes are available?

The course schedule is available online.  Visit the UNC Charlotte website at  Click on the Current Students tab in the green bar at the top of the page.  Then click on Course Schedule under the Academics and Advising section.  Select the term you are interested in and submit.  Under the Subject heading select Data Science and Analytics and perform a Class Search.

Is there any financial support available from the University?

While there is some funding for graduate students is available- it is limited.  US Citizens enrolled in the professional science master's (PSM) degree or the Graduate certificate can qualify for unsubsidized federal loans.  Full-time students enrolled in the PSM can also apply for graduate assistantships.  The assistantships are highly competitive, and the majority are awarded through academic departments. There are also a handful of academic grants and scholarships available.  Details on potential graduate support at the University level can be found through the UNC Charlotte Graduate School at Graduate School Funding.

When do I apply for an assistantship?

 You can apply for an assistantship once you are accepted into the program. Most assistantship opportunities are emailed to students during the beginning of the new semester. More information can be found at the graduate school's website.