The SDSU Big Data Analytics (BDA) Program is a transdisciplinary program across technology, business, engineering, science, and social science domains leading to a Master of Science Degree in Big Data Analytics at San Diego State University. The two-year program is operated in a collaborative and active transdisciplinary educational environment for students and professionals who wish to advance their knowledge and skills in the fast-growing fields of data science and data analytics. It is to meet the strong demand for data analytic jobs in the era of data- and knowledge-economy. We will begin accepting student applications on October 1 each year. This program adopts rolling admissions. Due to limited capacity, we encourage students to submit their application to graduate admissions as early as possible to receive priority consideration for admission.
What is Big Data Analytics?
Big Data Analytics (BDA) is a dynamic approach to uncovering patterns, unknown correlations, and other useful insights from diverse, large-scale datasets. Although BDA is related to data science, statistics, artificial intelligence, and geospatial technologies, its focuses are on business discoveries from big data by using available software tools, such as data mining, machine learning, computational linguistics, geographic information systems (GIS), social network analysis, financial and marketing analytics, spatiotemporal data analysis, and time-frequency analysis.
Why Choose Our Program?
SDSU BDA program is unique in Southern California and admits students with a background in social science, linguistics, arts, business, GIS, biology, and public health, in addition to those with a background in engineering or computer science. Unlike most comparable programs, the SDSU BDA is a low-cost and flexible program that can meet each student’s need by customizing individual graduate Program of Studies (POS). Located in the finest city of America, SDSU continues to ascend its position as a leader in higher education. It is already ranked in the top 140 national universities and in the top 70 public universities in U.S. News & World Report's annual ranking of America's Best Colleges in 2018. FORBES magazine ranked SDSU No. 23 on its list of America's Most Entrepreneurial Universities, while U.S. News and World Report ranked SDS U's entrepreneurship program No. 21 among the nation’s public universities.
The objective of the program is to produce technically competent students with the skills necessary to explore and identify research and business opportunities provided by Big Data across various application domains, such as information technology, geographic information systems (GIS), social and behavioral science, digital humanities, public health, business analytics, and biotechnology. The program has a dual-core design for students to learn both computational skills (programming languages and software) and analytical methods (data mining, statistics, machine learning, spatiotemporal analysis, visualization) for data models and business applications.
Upon completion of our program students will develop competencies in:
the management and analysis of Big Data applications with appropriate programming tools, statistical models, social theories, business concepts, and analytic software,
the use of the outcomes of analytics to formulate research hypotheses and to guide decision-making processes in academic or business settings, and
leading organizations in collecting, cleaning, organizing, analyzing, and modeling data for various applications.
The Master of Science degree in Big Data Analytics consists of the completion of 30 units of coursework. Students must earn a minimum grade point average of 3.00 in these courses and no less than a C in each course. Students admitted conditionally will be required to take courses in preparation for the Master’s degree that does not fulfill degree requirements, if their conditions warrant. Students may fulfill the culminating experience requirement through Plan A (thesis option) by completing BDA 799A, or through Plan B (non-thesis option) by successfully passing a comprehensive examination.
Required Core Courses (12 units)
All students must complete the following courses:
BDA 594 / GEOG 594 Big Data Science and Analytics Platforms (3)
BDA 572 / LING 572 Python Scripting for Social Science (3)
MIS 686 Enterprise Data Management (3)
BA 623 Statistical Analysis (3)
Electives (6-12 units)
Please choose four from the following:
ACCTG 621 Accounting Information Systems (3)
ACCTG 673 Accounting Information Systems (AIS) Development (3)
BA 625 Financial and Management Accounting (3)
BIOMI 600 Methods in Bioinformatics and Medical Informatics (3)
CS 503 Scientific Database Techniques (3)
CS 514 Database Theory and Implementation (3)
CS 653 Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery (3)
ENGL 560 Literature in the Digital Age (3)
ENGL 562 Digital Methods in Literacy Studies (3)
GEOG 581 Data Visualization (3)
GEOG 583 Internet Mapping and Distributed GIServices (3)
GEOG 584 Geographic Information Systems Applications (3)
GEOG 593 GIS for Business Location Decisions (3)
GEOG 780 Seminar in Techniques of Spatial Analysis (3)
LING 571 Computational Corpus Linguistics (3)
LING 581 Computational Linguistics (3)
LING 583 Statistical Methods in Text Analysis (3)
MATH 524 Linear Algebra (3)
MIS 620 Electronic Business and Big Data Infrastructures (3)
MIS 687 Data Communications and Distributed Data Processing (3)
MIS 691 Decision Support Systems (3)
MIS 748 Multi-Variate Analytics (3)
MIS 749 Business Analytics (3)
SOC 607 Advanced Quantitative Methods (3)
SOC 730 Seminar in Social Institutions (3)
STAT 510 Applied Regression Analysis (3)
STAT 550 Applied Probability (3)
STAT 551A Probability and Mathematical Statistics (3)
Prior approval of electives by the graduate advisor is required for their application towards the degree. Students should be aware that many electives require prerequisites that will not fulfill degree requirements.
Research (3-6 units)
BDA 798 Special Study (3) repeatable for up to 6 units
BDA 797 Research (3) repeatable for up to 6 units
Capstone and Culminating Experience (3-6 units)
Students may fulfill the culminating experience requirement through Plan A (thesis option) by completing BDA 799A, or through Plan B (non-thesis option) by successfully passing a comprehensive examination.
BDA 600 Big Data Analytics Capstone Seminar (3)
BDA 799A Thesis (3): Plan A only
BDA 799B Thesis or Project Extension (0): Plan A only
BDA 799C Comprehensive Examination: Plan B only
Prerequisite: Completion or concurrent enrollment in degree program courses.
Registration required of students whose only requirement is the completion of the comprehensive examination for the master’s degree. Registration in 799C limited to two semesters.
Estimated Cost of Attendance (2020-21)
The total estimated cost of attendance includes tuition expenses for which you are billed, housing expenses, which include food and housing, and transportation, and additional expenses, such as books, supplies, and personal expenses. Costs of attendance are subject to change by the Trustees of the California State University without prior notice. The amounts indicated are the estimated minimum costs required to attend SDSU full time for the 2020–21 academic year (9 months):
Basic Tuition and Fees
Estimated Off-Campus Housing and Food†
Books, Supplies, Transportation, Personal Expenses‡
*Undergraduate nonresident tuition is based on 15 units each semester at $396 per unit. Graduate nonresident tuition is based on 9 units each semester at $396 per unit.
†Freshmen from outside SDSU's local admission area are required to live on campus for two years. Be sure to review the on-campus food and housing payment schedule on the Rates web page of the Housing and Residential Education website. Your total cost and payments will vary depending on the meal plan and room type (double, single) you request. The cost listed for an upper-division transfer is based on a student living off-campus.
‡Plan for additional expenses that will increase your cost of attendance. For domestic undergraduates, we estimate the average annual cost of books and supplies to be $1,969, transportation to be $1,587, and personal expenses to be $1,704. For domestic graduate students, we estimate the average annual cost of books and supplies to be $1,969; transportation to be $2,316, and personal expenses to be $1,704. For international freshmen, the average annual cost of books and supplies is $1,969, transportation is $1,587. For international upper-division transfers, the average annual cost of books and supplies is $1,969, transportation is $2,038. For international graduate students, the average annual cost of books and supplies is $1,969, transportation is $2,316.
††Basic tuition and fees for first-time teacher credential students are $8,428. Graduate business students in selected degree programs pay an additional $270 per unit. Doctoral programs have different tuition and fee costs.
Graduate Business Programs
Basic Tuition and Fees
Estimated Off-Campus Housing and Food†
Books, Supplies, Transportation‡
*‡Based on one academic year of JCB student health insurance.