Master of Information and Data Science

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MIDS Curriculum

The MIDS program incorporates foundation courses, advanced courses, and a culminating capstone in its 27-unit interdisciplinary curriculum. Students are prepared to make data-driven decisions and creatively apply methods of data collection and analysis to solve complex challenges.

Data is increasingly cheap, ubiquitous, and valuable. We are digitizing analog content, much of it created over centuries, and collecting myriad new types of data from web logs, mobile devices, sensors, instruments, and transactions. Powerful technologies are emerging to organize and analyze this avalanche of data. The rise of parallel processing and cloud-based storage permit real-time, interactive analysis of large-scale data sets.

The Master of Information and Data Science, or MIDS, prepares students to be data-savvy professionals and managers in both private and non-profit organizations. Working with data at scale requires distinctive new skills and tools.

The MIDS is distinguished by its disciplinary breadth. Unlike existing programs that focus on advanced mathematics and modeling alone, the curriculum provides students insights from social science and policy research, as well as statistics, computer science and engineering. The required core courses focus on:

  1. the importance of asking good research or business questions and of developing plausible narratives to describe the relationships in large and complex systems;

  2. the need to communicate findings from vast datasets in ways that make them intuitive and comprehensible to others, typically using information visualization; and

  3. the need to be deeply conversant with the legal and ethical dimensions of information privacy and security – issues that are likely to grow in importance over the coming decade.

MIDS is uniquely designed to empower you with the knowledge and relationships you’ll need to accelerate your career wherever you may work and live. It combines the best of on-campus and online education, in an intimate, collaborative environment that emphasizes personal interaction with I School faculty and fellow students. The program includes multiple learning environments:

  • Weekly, live online class sessions delivered face-to-face by UC Berkeley School of Information faculty, with a maximum of 15 students to each faculty member

  • Clear explanatory videos and assignments produced by School of Information faculty in order to prepare students for richer discussion, interaction, and learning in the scheduled weekly live sessions.

  • Hands-on learning through a capstone project and development of a portfolio as you progress through the program

  • A week-long on-campus program with opportunities for networking, intensive career services and interviewing, and advanced in-person seminars and mini-courses with Berkeley experts.

All of these learning environments are instilled with Berkeley’s values and culture, creating a community that brings the best of the on-campus experience to the online experience through familiar social networking, group and organizational tools. Get to know fellow classmates through intimate online class discussions, break-out sessions and case studies. Outside of class, discuss topics and exchange ideas on course-related wall posts, hold digital study groups and even create online clubs to connect with other MIDS students who share common goals and interests.

Reach Your Career Goals

MIDS graduates are working around the world to solve complex social, economic, and health problems at top companies such as Airbnb, Fitbit, and LinkedIn.

In a survey of recent MIDS graduates, 45 percent reported receiving a promotion and 76 percent reported receiving a salary increase.

Read Alumni Success Stories

Student Community

The MIDS program attracts intelligent, creative data professionals who work for top companies in computer software, finance, and health care. As a datascience@berkeley student, you will learn alongside these professionals, who are balancing their coursework with demanding career and personal commitments.

Learn About Our Students

The Online Experience

MIDS students are part of a vibrant community at the forefront data science innovation. Students attend live, face-to-face online classes and in-person immersions that seamlessly bring the on-campus UC Berkeley experience online.

Learn About the Online Experience

“Data science is an amazing job where you get to be a detective, an artist, and a coder all at once. It’s challenging. There are always new technologies to learn, and every day you iterate through umpteen ‘shoot, that didn’t work’ moments before you get your result. You have to be tenacious. You have to lean in to learning new things when you’re tired and want to stick with what you already know. But the results are so worth it — getting to work on fascinating problems, and the appreciation after you find a solution.”

—Leanne Bradley
MIDS 2016
Senior Data Scientist, LinkedIn

Last updated:

September 29, 2017