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Charlotte Initiates A Doctor Of Philosophy In Data Science

UNC Charlotte’s School of Data Science is gearing up to broaden its academic horizons with the introduction of a Doctor of Philosophy in Data Science. Given the green light by the UNC System Board of Governors in May 2024, this groundbreaking program is set to welcome its inaugural cohort in the fall of 2025, pending the stamp of approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Responding to the exponential growth of the data science sector both locally and globally, this innovative doctoral degree will cater to two distinct paths, preparing students for careers in industry as well as academia. With a focus on essential technical skills like machine learning, artificial intelligence, and statistics, coupled with a deep exploration of the ethical dimensions of data usage, this transdisciplinary program is poised to make waves. It builds upon the solid foundation laid by the Master of Science and Bachelor of Science programs already offered by the school, further cementing UNC Charlotte’s commitment to the field of data science.

According to Jennifer Troyer, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, “UNC Charlotte is always working to add and evolve academic programs with an eye toward the future.” She adds, “The creation of the new data science doctoral program is the latest example of our ongoing efforts to align our curriculum to the demands of industry and will allow our thriving School of Data Science to further build on its track record of interdisciplinary innovation.”

The expansion doesn’t stop there. The School of Data Science will formally join the University’s College of Computing and Informatics, a move set to bolster interdisciplinary research and partnerships across the institution. This structural shift not only sets the stage for faculty expansion and student growth but also positions the school to excel in research, solidifying its status as a premier institution in the realm of data science.

As part of this transition, Dongsong Zhang, the school’s current Director of Research, steps into the role of interim executive director. Founding Executive Director Doug Hague will continue to lend his expertise during this period of change, transitioning to a new role as executive director of corporate engagement for UNC Charlotte.

Dean Bojan Cukic of the College of Computing and Informatics expresses his enthusiasm for the future, stating, “With the newly approved data science doctoral program and the evolution of the School of Data Science’s relationship with the College of Computing and Informatics, SDS continues to strengthen its position as a leading data science program.”

The UNC Charlotte Data Science Initiative, born in 2013 and later blossoming into the School of Data Science in 2020, stands as a testament to the institution’s dedication to excellence in education, research, and community engagement. As the school gears up to introduce its 25th doctoral degree program, the future of data science at UNC Charlotte shines brighter than ever before.

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