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Bachelor of Science inFunctional Data Analytics

Program summary

Prepare for a career in the private and public sectors as a data analyst, decision-maker, and communicator. This online data analytics degree prepares students with the math, science, and computer skills needed to perform detailed data analytics, as well as communication fundamentals required to present data to a variety of audiences in written, visual, and spoken formats.

100% Online

Complete your Penn State course work at your own pace and 100% online.

Application deadline

Apply by October 31 to start January 13

Credits and costs

122 Credits$626/$671 per credit

Nationally Recognized

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Our bachelor's degrees are highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

Gain Analytical Skills and Communication Proficiencies Needed to Succeed as a Data Analyst

  • Understand how to apply problem-solving and critical thinking to answer questions using data and assist in decision-making.

  • Learn to leverage statistics, mathematics, information science, data governance, and programming skills to retrieve, synthesize, and assess raw data.

  • Develop the interdisciplinary skills needed to create data visualizations, detect patterns in data, and draw data-supported conclusions from statistical analysis.

  • Learn to communicate data findings and business analytics to different audiences in the most understandable manner and appropriate format.

Online Courses to Help You Drive Organizational Decisions

Data-based decision-making is core to the success of businesses across all sectors. This bachelor of science degree can help you prepare for a rewarding career as data analyst by studying:

  • programming
  • calculus
  • statistics
  • information technology and information science
  • data analysis
  • communication
  • project management

In addition, you will learn the four data analysis models:

  • Descriptive analytics — what happened
  • Diagnostic analytics — why it happened, including external factors
  • Predictive analytics — what will happen next
  • Prescriptive analytics — what should happen

Entrance-to-Major Requirements

To change your major to functional data analytics, successfully complete 4 entrance-to-major courses with a grade of C or better:

  • CMPSC 121
  • DA 101
  • MATH 110 or MATH 140
  • PSYCH 200 or STAT 200

Prescribed Courses (59 credits)

Students must earn a grade of C or better in all prescribed courses.

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to speech communication: formal speaking, group discussion, analysis and evaluation of messages.

  • 3
    credits

    Introduces students to foundational concepts that are used in the data analytics industry to understand and frame projects

  • 4
    credits

    Introduces students to the core areas of descriptive analytics, where the main objective is to answer "what happened" in a project. Students will learn how to accurately describe the attributes of data variables available to them for their projects. Students will have the opportunity to work on real-life projects and cases throughout the course, learning the importance of communicating findings to different constituents.

    • Prerequisite

      (PSYCH 200 or STAT 200 or STAT 250 or SCM 200) and (DA 101 or DS 200) and (CMPSC 131 or CMPSC 121)

  • 3
    credits

    This course takes descriptive data a step further by examining the relationships between variables through root cause analysis. Students will learn current tools and techniques that allow analysts to explain why the patterns are observed in data and discover relationships between two or more attributes of the data.

    • Prerequisite

      DA 201W

  • 4
    credits

    Helps students learn to predict what will happen in future events based on historical data. Students will learn how to properly examine problem contexts to use the most appropriate method to develop the best predictive model as well as how to evaluate their results and interpret findings to users at different levels of an organization.

    • Prerequisite

      DA 301

  • 3
    credits

    Cultivates awareness of ethical, privacy, and security rules and standards to guide how to use and analyze data and communicate the findings. The course will emphasize ethics at various stages of data analytics, including the communication of the implications of data analysis to stakeholders, how data is collected and stored, as well as how it is analyzed and presented to different stakeholders.

    • Prerequisite

      DA 101

  • 4
    credits

    Introduces students to how data analytics assists in making decisions and advocating for a course of action. Helps students learn to develop a set of viable decision options, rank those decision options to create alternative courses of action, and achieve an optimal decision.

  • 3
    credits

    Offers an overview of data analytics techniques for non-numeric data (e.g., text, videos, or images). Students will explore methodological reasons for a qualitative rather than a quantitative approach, and the underlying challenges with this type of data, depending on the hypothesis or research question. A strong background in statistics is required for this course.

    • Prerequisite

      DA 201W

    • Concurrent

      ENGL 202A or ENGL 202B or ENGL 202C or ENGL 202D

  • 3
    credits

    This course allows students to demonstrate their ability to use industry or organization data to develop a descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive analysis. This portion of the capstone addresses the understanding of the industry data, project scope, data journalism, and descriptive analysis.

  • 3
    credits

    This course continues the industry project (assigned in DA 475) and the remaining three-part analysis of organization-specific analysis (diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive).

  • 3
    credits

    Presents techniques and software used for data visualization. Students will be introduced to complex data sets and learn how to present findings in interactive and innovative ways.

    • Prerequisite

      PSYCH 200 or STAT 200

  • 3
    credits

    Students will develop an understanding of the systems, processes, tools, and implications of this field.

    • Prerequisite

      3 credits of programming and 3 credits of mathematics

  • 3
    credits

    Writing for students in scientific and technical disciplines.

    • Prerequisite

      (ENGL 15 or ENGL 15A or ENGL 15S or ENGL 15E or ESL 15 orENGL 30H or ENGL 30T or ENGL 137H or CAS 137H) & and 4th-semester standing

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to formal languages, mathematical logic, and discrete mathematics, with applications to information sciences and technology.

    • Prerequisite

      MATH 110 or MATH 140

  • 3
    credits

    Covers the technical and people skills related to project management within a variety of organizational structures. Students learn the tools and concepts needed to successfully balance schedule, budget, and scope while managing risk and resources during the project life cycle. Leadership and teamwork skills are emphasized and practiced in a hands-on approach.

    • Prerequisite

      5th-semester standing

  • 3
    credits

    In-depth analysis of social media management, digital marketing, SEO/M, and analytics of current digital business practices. Presents an analysis of current issues in digital marketing and the tools needed to assess those issues.

  • 3
    credits

    Using case studies in various business domains, exercises, and projects, this course presents practical dimensional modeling techniques, extract/transformation/load (ETL) logic, ETL design considerations, and report generation. Key concepts related to data warehousing, including dimensional table characteristics, fact table characteristics and granularity, types of dimensions, types of fact tables, dimension attribute hierarchies, consolidated fact tables, slowly changing dimension techniques, and multivalued dimensions and weighting factors are covered in the course.

    • Prerequisite

      MIS 336 or equivalent approved course

  • 3
    credits

    This course provides an introduction to the basic questions of ethics, the major currents in traditional ethical theory (virtue ethics, deontology, consequentialism), and more recent developments (e.g., care ethics).

  • 2
    credits

    This course will introduce students to data computing fundamentals and a reproducible workflow using the R programming language and related tools. R is a powerful, open-source programming language used widely for applications in statistics and data science. Students will be expected to access, join, wrangle, clean, and visualize real data from various sources (e.g., CSV, HTML scraping, web URL, R packages).

    • Prerequisite

      Placement into MATH 21 or higher

Additional Courses (16–17 credits)

Students must earn a grade of C or better in all additional courses.

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to programming techniques design and implementation of algorithms. Structured programming. Problem-solving techniques. Introduction to a high-level language, including arrays, procedures, and recursion

    • Prerequisite

      MATH 110 or prerequisite or concurrent MATH 140

  • 3
    credits

    Prepares students both to understand the communications that surrounds them and to succeed in their own communication efforts. The course focuses specifically on analyzing verbal and visual texts (reading) as well as on producing such texts (writing), always in terms of rhetorical principles.

    • 4
      credits

      Introduces and develops the mathematical skills required for analyzing change, and the underlying mathematical behaviors that model real-life economics and financial applications. Develops student knowledge of calculus techniques, and how to use a calculus framework to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

      • Prerequisite

        MATH 022 or satisfactory performance on the mathematics placement examination

    • or:
      4
      credits

      Introduces and develops the mathematical skills required for analyzing change and creating mathematical models that replicate real-life phenomena. Develops student knowledge of calculus techniques and how to use the calculus environment to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

      • Prerequisite

        MATH 22 and MATH 26 or MATH 26 and satisfactory performance on the mathematics placement examination or MATH 40 or MATH 41 or satisfactory performance on the mathematics placement examination.

    • 3
      credits

      Theory and utilization of database management systems in organizations, including data modeling and applications development.

      • Prerequisite

        MIS 204 or MIS 110 or CMPSC 121 or CMPSC 102

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Introduction to the concept of databases, including the storage, manipulation, evaluation, and display of data, and related issues.

    • 3
      credits

      This course provides an introduction to the descriptive and inferential statistics commonly used in psychology, and to hypothesis testing as a method of scientific investigation. It also explores the ways in which the assumptions of statistical tests place constraints on experimental design and, conversely, how the design of experiments can dictate the statistical test appropriate for data analysis.

      • Prerequisite

        PSYCH 100 and MATH 21

    • or:
      4
      credits

      Descriptive Statistics, frequency distributions, probability and normal distributions, statistical inference, linear regression, and correlation.

      • Prerequisite

        Placement into MATH 21 or higher.

Supporting Courses and Related Areas (18–22 credits)

Select one special interest concentration from the program-approved list of concentrations.

Select six credits from any major field or course, except STAT 100, MATH 200, MATH 201, any ENGL course below ENGL 15, any KINES (GHW) courses, and any MATH course below MATH 83.

Petitions for exceptions are available through the applicable program chair. The Supporting Course Requirements encourage students to develop a distinctive competency in a related field such as finance, program evaluation, or another program-approved area that will differentiate them upon graduation. This section also gives the students flexibility to explore course work outside of their discipline. Students are strongly encouraged to discuss their options with their academic adviser.

Financial Analytics Concentration (12 credits)

Financial analytics is the use of tools and processes to combine and analyze data sets to gain insights into the financial performance of your organization. Bringing together data from all your systems gives you a holistic view of your business and broader insights that help you to predict and improve performance.

  • 3
    credits

    Nature of finance function; risk and return concepts; working capital; dividend policies; mergers; security markets; acquisition and management of corporate capital; analysis of operations; forecasting capital requirements; raising capital; and planning profits. Available to baccalaureate students only.

    • Prerequisite

      (ENGL 15 or ENGL 30) and ACCTG 211 and (ECON 102 or ECON 104) and (SCM 200 or STAT 200)

  • 3
    credits

    The course focuses primarily on the development of spreadsheet applications and the use of the case method to apply decision-making procedures to real-world problems in finance areas.

  • 3
    credits

    Investment and risk, types of security investments, sources of investment information, the broker, the stock market, portfolio management.

    • Prerequisite

      FIN 301

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    6–10 case studies demonstrating types of studies in financial analytics

Program Evaluation Concentration (12 Credits)

Program evaluation is a systematic method for collecting, analyzing, and using information to answer questions about projects, policies, and programs, particularly about their effectiveness and efficiency.

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to general psychology; principles of human behavior and their applications.

  • 4
    credits

    Introduction to methods of psychological research, with special attention to hypothesis formation and testing, threats to validity, and data presentation.

    • Prerequisite

      PSYCH 100 and PSYCH 200 or STAT 200

  • 3
    credits

    Identify and understand the normative assumptions specific to organizations about their basic program design, implementation, and assessment processes.

  • 3
    credits

    6–10 case studies demonstrating types of studies in program evaluation

General Education Requirements

Some General Education requirements may be satisfied by courses required for the major. Students should work with an adviser to select courses.

  • Foundations: 15 credits  
    All courses require a grade of C or better. Inter-Domain courses may not be used for foundations requirements. 
    • Writing/Speaking: 9 credits 
    • Quantification: 6 credits 
      3-6 credits are selected from mathematics, applied mathematics, and statistics; 3 credits may be selected from computer science or symbolic logic. 
  • Knowledge Domains: 15 credits  
    Inter-Domain courses may not be used for knowledge domain requirements.
    • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits 
    • Natural Sciences (GN): 3 credits 
    • Arts (GA): 3 credits 
    • Humanities (GH): 3 credits 
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 3 credits  
  • Integrative Studies: 6 credits
    • Inter-Domain course work: 6 credits  
  • Exploration: 9 credits 
    • Natural Sciences (GN) (may be Inter-Domain): 3 credits
    • GA, GH, GN, GS, and Inter-Domain courses: 6 credits  
      May include 3 credits of World Language course work beyond the requirements of the student’s degree program or at the 12th credit level, whichever is higher.

These General Education Requirements are for students who started in summer 2023 or later. Students who started earlier can review the prior version of the general education requirements

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.

Start or Advance Your Career

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You can use the knowledge gained from this program and the support of Penn State career resources to pursue careers in a variety of fields, depending on your goals.


Job Titles Related to This Degree

Skilled professionals who can collect and analyze data, as well as communicate their findings and anticipate future performance, are in demand, with continued growth of “big data” and the data analytics field expected for the foreseeable future.

The following roles are often held by people with this type of degree:

  • Budget Analyst
  • Business Analyst
  • Business Intelligence Analyst
  • Credit Risk Analyst
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Planning Analyst
  • Statistical Analyst
  • Technical Analyst

Employment Outlook for Occupational Fields Related to This Degree

Estimates of employment growth and total employment are provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and are subject to change. While these occupations are often pursued by graduates with this degree, individual outcomes may vary depending on a variety of factors. Penn State World Campus cannot guarantee employment in a given occupation.

Market research analysts and marketing specialists

13.4%
employment growth (10 years)
798,620
total employment

Management analysts

9.7%
employment growth (10 years)
808,860
total employment

Data scientists

35.2%
employment growth (10 years)
159,630
total employment

Financial and investment analysts

7.6%
employment growth (10 years)
291,370
total employment

Statisticians

31.6%
employment growth (10 years)
30,780
total employment

Budget analysts

3.3%
employment growth (10 years)
48,430
total employment

Statistical assistants

-1.7%
employment growth (10 years)
6,710
total employment

Credit analysts

-4.3%
employment growth (10 years)
71,960
total employment

Career Services to Set You Up for Success

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From the day you're accepted as a student, you can access resources and tools provided by Penn State World Campus Career Services to further your career. These resources are beneficial whether you're searching for a job or advancing in an established career.

  • Opportunities to connect with employers
  • Career counselor/coach support
  • Occupation and salary information
  • Internships
  • Graduate school resources 

Ready to Learn More?

Get the resources you need to make informed decisions about your education. Request information on this program and other programs of interest by completing this form.

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Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State bachelor's degree?

Apply by October 31 to start January 13. How to Apply 

Costs and Financial Aid

Learn about this program's tuition, fees, scholarship opportunities, grants, payment options, and military benefits.

Costs and Financial Aid

Undergraduate Tuition

Undergraduate tuition is calculated based on the number of credits for which you register and the number of total credits you have accrued at or transferred to Penn State.

Tuition is due shortly after each semester begins and rates are assessed every semester of enrollment.

2023–24 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2023, spring 2024, and summer 2024 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester?If you have 59 or fewer creditsIf you have 60 or more credits
11 or fewer$626 per credit$671 per credit
12–19$7,602 per semester$8,206 per semester

Undergraduate students taking more than 19 credits will be charged the flat tuition rate plus the regular per credit hour rate for each credit above 19. 

2024–25 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2024, spring 2025, and summer 2025 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester?If you have 59 or fewer creditsIf you have 60 or more credits
11 or fewer$632 per credit$678 per credit
12–19$7,678 per semester$8,288 per semester

Undergraduate students taking more than 19 credits will be charged the flat tuition rate plus the regular per credit hour rate for each credit above 19. 

Financial Aid and Military Benefits

Some students may qualify for financial aid. Take the time to research financial aid, scholarships, and payment options as you prepare to apply. Military service members, veterans, and their spouses or dependents should explore these potential military education benefits and financial aid opportunities, as well.

To view the detailed list of cost of attendance elements, select “World Campus” as the location on the tuition site.

Set Your Own Pace

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Whether you are looking to finish your program as quickly as possible or balance your studies with your busy life, Penn State World Campus can help you achieve your education goals. Many students take one or two courses per semester.

Our online courses typically follow a 12- to 15-week semester cycle, and there are three semesters per year (spring, summer, and fall). If you plan to take a heavy course load, you should expect your course work to be your primary focus and discuss your schedule with your academic adviser. 

To Finish Your Degree in Two to Three Years

  • Take 6 courses each semester

To Finish Your Degree in Three to Four Years

  • Take 4–5 courses each semester 

To Finish Your Degree in Five or More Years

  • Take 2–3 courses each semester

Convenient Online Format

This program's convenient online format gives you the flexibility you need to study around your busy schedule. You can skip the lengthy commute without sacrificing the quality of your education and prepare yourself for more rewarding career opportunities without leaving your home.

A Trusted Leader in Online Education

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Penn State has a history of more than 100 years of distance education, and World Campus has been a leader in online learning for more than two decades. Our online learning environment offers the same quality education that our students experience on campus.

How to Apply to Penn State

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Apply by October 31 to start January 13

Application Instructions

Deadlines and Important Dates

Complete your application and submit all required materials by the appropriate deadline. Your deadline will depend on the semester you plan to start your courses.

  • Spring Deadline

    Apply by October 31 to start January 13
  • Summer Deadline

    Apply by March 15, 2025, to start May 19, 2025
  • Fall Deadline

    Apply by June 30, 2025, to start August 25, 2025

New students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA by March 1. Please visit the Office of Student Aid website for more information about applying for financial aid and recommended deadlines.

Steps to Apply

  1. To apply for this program, you must be a high school graduate, or have completed your GED.

    This degree program includes Entrance-to-Major requirements (ETMs). After you are admitted to Penn State, you’ll complete them during your first few semesters to officially become a Bachelor of Science in Functional Data Analytics major. If you satisfy these requirements with transfer credits, you’ll be admitted directly into the major.

  2. You will need the following items to complete your application:

    High school transcripts or GED transcript — First-year applicants are required to submit Self-Reported Academic Records (SRAR) when applying. Official high school transcripts for first-year applicants will only be required at the time a student accepts an offer of admission to Penn State.

    Transfer international students will need to submit their high school transcript before their application can be reviewed.

    Official college or university transcripts and/or official military transcripts (if applicable) — All college or university transcripts are required regardless of the length of time that has passed, the grades earned, or the accreditation of the institutions attended. Acceptance of transfer credit toward your degree is subject to final approval by the academic department. For detailed information, see the Transfer Students page.

    Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation.

    English Proficiency — The language of instruction at Penn State is English. With some exceptions, international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum test scores and exceptions are found in the English Language Proficiency section on the Undergraduate Admissions International Requirements page. Visit the TOEFL website for testing information. Penn State's institutional code is 2660.

  3. To begin the online application, you will need a Penn State account.

    Create a New Penn State Account

    If you have any problems during this process, contact an admissions counselor at [email protected].

    Please note: Former Penn State students may not need to complete the admissions application or create a new Penn State account. Please visit our Returning Students page for instructions.

  4. Accessing MyPennState

    The MyPennState Portal provides access to our online admissions services. Before accessing MyPennState, you must have a Penn State account that will be used to access all Penn State systems. After creating an account, you will receive a unique Penn State User ID. You will need to enter your User ID followed by @psu.edu when signing in to MyPennState and other Penn State sites. For example, you should be entering something like '[email protected]' in the Sign In field.

    The application consists of six sections:

    1. Application Setup
    2. Program of Study
    3. Citizenship and Residency
    4. Academics and Experience
    5. Miscellaneous
    6. Review and Submit
    Application Setup
    • Be sure to select "Online" for the "How would you like to complete your degree" question if you plan to attend Penn State World Campus.

    • The rest of this section will ask some basic questions about your education experience and military affiliation.

    Program of Study
    • You will choose the degree type and then the starting semester.

    • Your starting campus will be selected as Penn State World Campus by default as long as you picked "Online" in your Application Setup. Click Continue.

    • On the Choose a Program page, select your intended major from the list.

    • Review your selection on the summary screen and click Continue to move on to the Citizenship and Residency section.

    Citizenship and Residency
    • Complete the series of questions about your citizenship status, demographic information, Pennsylvania residency status, and family history.

    Academics and Experience
    • You will need to enter academic experience information about your high school and any attempted courses at a college or university after high school.

    • The Education Gap Statement offers a place to explain any time that has elapsed between your high school graduation and your anticipated enrollment at Penn State. Please provide a summary of why that gap occurred. Some examples that would explain a gap in your education include work, family, attending another college or university, etc.

    Miscellaneous
    • In the Miscellaneous section, you will provide any program-specific requirements (e.g., a personal statement), information about activities, and financial aid information.

    Review and Submit

    Review your information, digitally sign your application, and provide payment for the application fee ($65 domestic or $75 international).

    High School Transcripts and Academic Record
    • After your application is completed, you will also need to self-report your high school course work before the application deadline. You will be directed to fill out the Self-Reported Academic Record (SRAR). It is helpful to have a high school transcript available when completing this section. In the third section, you'll select your program of study and campus.

    • Official high school transcripts or GED transcript, along with records from high school, are required, regardless of the length of time that has passed.

    • Include any college/university transcripts (required), military transcripts, and Proof of English Language proficiency (if applicable). SAT/ACT scores are not required if you are identified as an adult learner or transfer student.

    All official documents should be sent to: 

    Undergraduate Admissions Office
    The Pennsylvania State University
    201 Shields Building
    University Park, PA 16802

    You can also have your transcripts sent electronically through Parchment, eScript-Safe, or the National Clearinghouse directly to Penn State from the college/university where course work was attempted.

    Acceptance

    After receiving your application, application fee, and all required materials, your application will be evaluated for admission. You can check your application status online. This will provide the most up‐to‐date information about the status of your application and is updated once daily, before 8:00 a.m. (ET). Once a decision has been made regarding your application, it will be available to you through the MyPennState portal.

    For information on when you can expect an admissions decision, visit the Dates and Deadlines page of the Undergraduate Admissions website. Make sure you click the "+" sign to see these dates for World Campus Applicants (First-Year and Transfer).

  5. 5. Complete the application.

Admissions Help

If you have questions about the admissions process, contact an admissions counselor at [email protected].

Contact Us

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Have questions or want more information? We're happy to talk.

World Campus Admissions Counselors
Phone: 814-863-5386
[email protected]

Learn from the Best

This program is brought to you in partnership by Penn State World Campus; the Penn State Behrend Black School of Business; and the Penn State Behrend Schools of Engineering, Humanities and Social Sciences, and Science. You will learn from the same well-regarded faculty who teach on campus.


Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State bachelor's degree?

Apply by October 31 to start January 13. How to Apply