The Master of Science in Healthcare Data Science is a cross-disciplinary joint degree program offered by the Keck School of Medicine and the Viterbi School of Engineering.
Data science for addressing healthcare needs is an increasingly important area for creating novel devices, advancing biomedical research, and developing innovative processes that require integrative approaches linking data systems, analytics, business processes and decision support. Large amounts of health data are becoming available across all components of the healthcare ecosystem - big data is becoming the norm. Advances in data acquisition, storage, processing and interpretation are blurring the boundaries between traditional health care provision and into mobile devices and the Internet of Things. As more personal health data are collected, there are more opportunities for disease prevention and monitoring. As life expectancy grows, there is increasing demand for devices and services that support independence and quality of life. From health organizations to startups, there is unprecedented demand for healthcare data science professionals with clinically-grounded experience relevant to current health system needs.
The USC Master of Science in Healthcare Data Science will provide students with the knowledge and skills to:
- Understand the requirements and techniques to manage health and healthcare process data collected by healthcare providers and organizations, use it to improve patient care, and analyze it to improve the business processes in and between hospitals, insurance companies, public health agencies, and other components of the healthcare ecosystem
- Understand the use of data science in clinical research and translational medicine
- Understand the design and development of personal devices and mobile apps to collect health data and to monitor health-related variables
- Understand the use of emerging technologies in data science and their application to health and healthcare delivery processes
- Gain direct experiences in finding and articulating challenges in healthcare settings that can be met through integrative engineering solutions
Upon graduation, students will have not only data science skills but will be uniquely qualified to join and lead data science teams at health companies and healthcare provider organizations, perform data analytics in health-related startups and tech companies, and develop emerging technologies revolving around health data.
The degree consists of a set of required core courses in both data science and healthcare supplemented by electives chosen from more focused courses in data science and health. On the data science side, students will learn about artificial intelligence (particularly machine learning and semantic data models), data management, privacy, and data visualization. On the health side, students will be integrated into teams working with medical students in healthcare settings. Capstone, real-world projects will motivate elective choices and enable students to acquire practical experience with a data science project based in a healthcare service setting.
The curriculum is designed to be accessible to students with any background, including students with a biomedical background and no computer science knowledge as well as students with a computer science background and no biomedical knowledge. Students with undergraduate degrees in computer science, engineering, science or mathematics will acquire the necessary knowledge to analyze health data with diverse sources and purposes, and can request to replace introductory data science courses with more advanced ones. Students with undergraduate degrees in biology, biochemistry, and other sciences will acquire formal and practical data science skills, and can request to substitute introductory courses in health with more advanced ones.
A minimum of 32 units with an overall cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 is required for the Master of Science in Healthcare Data Science. Students should consult with an academic adviser prior to registering for any classes. For course descriptions, please visit this page. To apply, please visit this page.
International Students: This program is eligible for the OPT STEM extension.
Please Note: Requirements for graduation, course offerings, course availability, track offerings and any other degree requirements are subject to change. Students should consult with an academic advisor prior to registering for any classes.
Detailed Program Curriculum and RequirementsSchedule of Classes
|Spring 2023 ||September 15, 2022
|Fall 2023 ||December 15, 2022*
|* DEN@Viterbi (Online Delivery) Deadline Extension: An application extension for Fall 2023 is available for online DEN@Viterbi applicants who intend to pursue their entire degree program online and do not require a visa sponsorship. Please email email@example.com to request an application extension.
On-campus students who apply by published deadlines will be considered for scholarships if admitted.
Online DEN@Viterbi applicants can view the Master's Scholarships (DEN@Viterbi) page for scholarship opportunities.
Visit our Ready to Apply
for more information.
- An undergraduate degree in science, technology, engineering, math or healthcare from a regionally-accredited university.
- Programming experience or a strong math background are required for admission.
- Satisfactory cumulative undergraduate GPA (grade point average)
- Satisfactory GRE test scores(waived for summer and fall 2021 applicants-see below)
The following materials are required to be included with your online application:
- Transcripts: Upload Electronic Transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. A mailed hard copy or official e-transcript is not required for admission to our programs.
- Submit an electronic copy of official transcripts (.pdf recommended) and other degree related documents through the online graduate application (International applicants, visit USC Graduate Admission’s Country Requirements page for details on required documents)
- Unofficial transcripts from university student portals are not acceptable
- If the transcript includes a separate grading scale, make sure it is also uploaded
- For upload purposes, all transcript related documents for a single school must be submitted as one document
- If you are admitted, you will be given specific instructions on submitting your hard copy transcripts
- Personal Statement: The personal statement should describe succinctly your reasons for applying to the proposed program at the Viterbi School of Engineering, your preparation for this field of study, study interests, future career plans, and other aspects of your background and interests which may aid the admissions committee in evaluating your aptitude and motivation for graduate study.
- GRE: General GRE test scores are not required for 2023
- Letters of Recommendation (2 Highly Recommended): Letters of recommendation should be from faculty or others (supervisors, professional colleagues, etc.) qualified to evaluate your potential for graduate study.
ADDITIONAL MATERIALS FOR INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS
English Language Proficiency: In addition to application requirements above, international students whose first language is not English are required to take the TOEFL or IELTS. There is no minimum TOEFL or IELTS score required for admission to the Viterbi School. For possible exemption from additional language requirements, you must achieve an Internet Based TOEFL (iBT) score of 90, with no less than 20 on each section or an IELTS score of 6.5, with no less than 6 on each band score. Please review USC Graduate Admission – Proficiency in English.
IMPORTANT: USC does not accept Duolingo and TOEFL Essentials test scores.
APPLY NOW - USC GRADUATE APPLICATION
The following is an overview of the tuition & fees for graduate engineering students. Both on-campus and DEN@Viterbi students pay the same tuition.
Per Unit Rate
|Fall 2022 - Summer 2023*|
|Fall 2021 - Summer 2022*|
|* Tuition is the same for on-campus and online students
ESTIMATED COST OF ATTENDANCE – 32 UNIT PROGRAM
MANDATORY STUDENT FEES - 2022/23
|Student Health Center Fee|
|Norman Topping Student Aid Fee|
|ENGR Computing Access Fee (On-Campus students)|
|ENGR Computing Access Fee (DEN@Viterbi students)|
$40 - $100 per course
|Health Insurance (U.S.-based health insurance is required, but it does not have to be through USC)|
Fall 2022: $805
Spring 2023: $1,468
Visit Tuition & Fees for more information
What were the main reasons you chose to pursue this graduate program at USC?
Coming from a non-engineering and a non-computer science background, I needed for my graduate program to be rigorous but at the same extensive to help me learn all the necessary knowledge and skills to become a data scientist in the healthcare industry. I find USC Viterbi, School of Engineering, is exactly that program. The interdisciplinary data science programs, like Healthcare Data Science, was carefully designed to teach and train data science skills relevant to their respective domains. Additionally, what better school than one of the top-ranking engineering schools of the country.
Tell us about an exciting and unforgettable experience from your two years at USC.
Not to sound cliché, but all my courses and professors have been unforgettable. The relationships I have built with my professors and knowledge I have acquired from them is one the greatest gifts from USC. Learning from experts of their crafts and connecting with them beyond the classroom made attending their classes much more exciting.
What are some personal achievements or experiences you’d like to share?
One of my personal achievements was overcoming imposter syndrome. Being surrounded by classmates with much more extensive engineering and coding knowledge, I often left alienated from the rest of the class. But, through the welcoming classroom environment, detailed explanations of concepts from my professors I struggled to grasp, and the additional instructions of the TA's, I now feel as ready and knowledgeable as my peers.
Which organizations/activities have you been involved with outside of the classroom?
I have been involved in clinical research in ophthalmology with researcher physicians at the Roski Eye institute and participated on Datafest organized by USC CKIDS (Center for Knowledge-Powered Interdisciplinary Data Science). I highly recommend in participating in Datafest as well as any of the many data science projects available.
What is one characteristic or quality about yourself that would surprise others?
I am fluent in Spanish. It never fails to surprise people when I order tacos in flawless Spanish.
What advice would you give future Viterbi students?
Aim high, experiment, and reach out first.
This degree is not available on DEN.