ORONO — The University of Maine will offer a new graduate program for aspiring and practicing data science and engineering professionals starting in spring 2021. The first-of-its-kind in Maine DSE program, which draws upon faculty and courses from across UMaine and other University of Maine System campuses, is designed to accommodate students from a wide range of backgrounds. It also offers options for specialization in domains such as spatial informatics, bioinformatics, engineering analytics, and social and behavioral data science.


The transdisciplinary data science and engineering program meets the growing demand for graduates with core skills in managing and analyzing complex data and analytics challenges. It provides pathways for students from diverse fields to transition to multiple data science and engineering careers with core graduate-level courses across the spectrum of the data life cycle.

The 30-credit Master of Science, which can be completed online or on-campus, will train students in the management, analysis and visualization of large and complex data sets. A 15-credit graduate certificate also can be completed online or on-campus. A four-plus-one option is available to qualifying undergraduate students in any UMaine degree program, enabling them to complete their bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in DSE in five years. 

“The multiple paths to graduation make the new program highly flexible in meeting individual student needs,” says Harlan Onsrud, UMaine professor of spatial computing. “Our students will have the opportunity to become familiar with various data science, data mining, data engineering, business analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence topics. Computer programming, statistics germane to data science, and systems knowledge may be picked up as part of the program if applicants don’t already have these foundations.” 

As a host of new technologies (advanced computer modeling, smart sensor networks, high-precision lab instruments, wireless telecommunications, smart devices and social media) generate data collections at unprecedented rates, data science and engineering has become a critical field for the 21st century, addressing the challenges of capturing, curating, managing, processing, analyzing and translating massive, complex and dynamic data into manageable forms, new information and insights. 

The private, public and research sectors rely heavily on data science and engineering to better understand phenomena and guide decision-making. The advanced knowledge gained through graduate-level data science and engineering programs is needed across a wide range of commercial, nonprofit, government and academic settings. 

More information about UMaine’s data science and engineering graduate programs is online.