Introduction to Data Science Certificate

This 3 course certificate introduces students to the key elements of Data Science: Python programming, SQL & database design, data processing, and analysis & visualization. This certificate will add a valuable skillset to any professional and the skills and training that a student can develop by completing this certificate are widely applicable and transferrable.

Coursework explores the topics of data ethics and digital ethics, helping to prepare the student for a challenging, dynamic career in data analytic work. Students may be interested in this certificate if they are seeking to grow in their existing careers, switch to a career within the data science realm, or explore data science as a field before committing to a degree program or advanced study in the topic.

This certificate can be taken as a stand-alone or in partnership with a SCPS degree.

Total Number of Courses


(4 if completing an optional course)

Total Number of Credit Hours

9 credit hours

(10-12 credit hours if completing the optional course)

Start Term & Time to Completion

Once started, you will take 1 course each 8-week session for 3 sessions and complete within 7-12 months.

Schedule for students starting in Fall I (August):

Fall I – CPST 291, Fall II – COMP 251, Spring I – CPST 325

Please note that this certificate only offers a Fall I start.

Schedule Format Courses are offered in an online, 8-week format.
Transfer Credit Accepted Toward Certificate 3 credit hours (1 course). Transfer credit must be from the last five years and can’t be applied toward CPST 325.
Course Locations

Online with weekly synchronous meetings held in the evening.

Application and Admission Requirements

Completed Application

Students must demonstrate knowledge in introductory level object-oriented programming and statistics either through prior academic coursework or through professional experience. Students without this background may be asked to complete additional coursework.

Tuition and Fees


Certificate Requirements

  • COMP 251 Introduction to Database Systems
  • CPST 291 Dynamic Programming Languages
  • CPST 325 Data Processing, Analysis, and Visualization


CPST 265 Special Topics – 1-3 credits of directed study. Student will solve a data science problem for a community non-profit organization under the guidance of a faculty member.

Program Outcomes

  • Students will be able to: Design, implement, test, and debug a program that uses each of the following fundamental programming constructs: basic computation, variables, expressions, I/O, standard conditional and iterative structures (loops), the definition of functions, parameter passing, and recursion.
  • Students will be able to: Apply the relational model to solving real-world problems and implement those models using SQL on standard DBMS platforms and to use a declarative query language (SQL) to elicit information from a database.
  • Students will be able to: Evaluate, clean, and prepare datasets for analysis, and report the results of analyses using clear, accessible language and appropriate visualizations.
  • Students will be introduced to working with data using a standard industry language (Python or R).
  • Students will be introduced to ethical considerations relevant to data analysis and reporting.

For more information

Contact us at or 312-915-6501 to schedule a meeting with one of our admissions counselors.

Course Descriptions

Course descriptions are available on LOCUS

Select the “Guest Access to LOCUS” link found directly below the “Sign In” button and choose “Browse the Course Catalog” link to search for a course and view the description.