From May 12-13, the Data Science Institute celebrated 200 new graduates of its Master’s in Data Science program. 185 finished in December and 15 more completed coursework in May. This class is the tenth ever to graduate from the program, and is a special one in a number of ways.

Countries Represented

Reflecting Columbia’s highly international composition, this class of students was roughly 75 percent international. Most international students came to Columbia from China and India. Other students came from Australia, France, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Romania, Singapore, Taiwan, and Switzerland, and of course the United States.

Students Received Awards from DSI

Each year, the Data Science Institute Student Affairs Team recognizes student excellence with three awards. Eklavya Jain received the Patricia J. Culligan Award for Academic Achievement. Sushant Prabhu received the DSI Community Catalyst Award for contributions to the community, and Vrinda Bhat, Yi Zhuang, and Hugo Ginoux received Data Science Course Assistant Awards.

Graduates Will Work in Government or Public Service

Columbia-trained data scientists make their mark across a range of fields in both the private and public sectors. Shrujan Varma Penmetsa is working for the New York City Administration for Children’s Services. Devan Samant is at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Like many alumni, their paths model DSI’s “Data for Good” tagline.

Research Projects Were Advanced through Capstones

Through an intensive semester spent applying classroom knowledge to important research questions, each DSI master’s student contributed to one of 44 projects sponsored by either a DSI Industry Affiliate or a Columbia faculty member. The Capstone Program is a signature feature of Columbia’s MS in Data Science program.

Students Participated in the DSI Scholars Program

Through the DSI Scholars Program, students contribute to innovative Columbia faculty research projects across a spectrum of domain areas. DSI Scholars receive mentorship from faculty through this program which places a strong emphasis on ethics. This cohort of students contributed to projects where their areas of focus included deep learning models for gene editing technology, reinforcement learning to improve self-driving cars, and using LLMs to improve detection of disease.

Internships Were Completed

The MS in Data Science Program puts a heavy emphasis on applying knowledge for real-world impact. This class participated in more than 150 internships across a range of industries, from finance to health to beauty tech, and more.

Students Studied Part Time

While some students came right from undergraduate programs, nine arrived with impressive CVs that already reflected years of professional experience and even advanced degrees. Seasoned software developers, engineers, data and risk analysts, and business strategists were members of the Class of 2024.

Students Finished in Under a Year

While most students in DSI’s master’s program study full time and finish in 18 months, and some study part time at their own pace while balancing full-time jobs, others fast-track their studies to graduate and get out into the professional world. This year, six students managed to complete the program in less than a year.


New Graduates Will Pursue Doctoral Studies

At least 10 members of the December cohort of graduate are planning to pursue PhDs in areas including computer science and systems engineering.

Columbia Employee Was Amongst the Graduates

Chao Pang first earned a certificate in Data Science before enrolling in the Master’s Program. His growing data science expertise helps in his full-time work as a software developer and data engineer at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, and adds to his outstanding credentials, which already include a PhD in Medical Informatics.

Students Transferred from the DSI Certification of Professional Achievement in Data Sciences Program

In addition to degree programs, the Data Science Institute has a part-time certification program with four required courses covering foundational data science skills. While certification allows students to change career paths or advance on their current trajectories, each year some certification candidates (or graduates) decide to delve deeper into data science through the master’s program.

Alumni Worldwide

This year’s 200 graduates join an alumni network of data science innovators who lead the development of their rapidly-changing field. Some will build successful startups, others will be leaders of industry, and still others will carve out new paths in the public sector, in academia, and more, bringing data-driven insights to every field, profession, and sector. The tenth class to graduate from Columbia’s Master’s in Data Science program makes the DSI community proud. We look forward to celebrating their many successes in the years ahead.