professionals smiling at each during a meeting

Bachelor of Science inFunctional Data Analytics

Program summary

Prepare for a career in the private and public sector 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 March 15 to start May 13

Credits and costs

122 Credits$626/$671 per credit

Nationally Recognized

US News and World Report Bachelor's badge
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, critical thinking, and evaluation to answer questions using data and assist in decision-making.
  • Learn to leverage statistics, mathematics, information science, critical thinking, and programming skills to retrieve, synthesize, and assess data.
  • Develop the interdisciplinary skills needed to create data visualizations, detect patterns in data, and draw data-supported conclusions.
  • Learn to communicate data findings to different audiences in the most understandable manner and appropriate format.
  • Complete your learning using real-world data in a two-semester capstone experience.

Learn to Drive Organizational Decisions Using Four Data Analysis Models

  1. Descriptive analytics — what happened
  2. Diagnostic analytics — why it happened, including external factors
  3. Predictive analytics — what will happen next
  4. Prescriptive analytics — what should happen

A Trusted Leader in Online Education

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. 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.

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.

Courses

Data-based decision-making is core to the success of businesses across all sectors. 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. Prepare for a rewarding career as data analyst by studying:

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

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 encourages 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.

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.

How to Apply

Deadlines and Important Dates

Your degree application, including receipt of all transcripts, must be received by the following deadlines to be considered complete.

  • Summer DeadlineApply by March 15 to start May 13
  • Fall DeadlineApply by June 30 to start August 26
  • Spring DeadlineApply by October 31, 2024, to start January 13, 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.

Admissions Help

Thank you for your interest in applying to this program. Contact an admissions counselor to discuss your educational goals, financial aid options, and application deadlines.

Admission Requirements

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

Entrance-to-Major Requirements

Entry to the data analytics major requires the successful completion of 4 entry-to-major courses:

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

Each course requires a C or better grade for successful completion.

What You Need

Applications are submitted electronically and include a nonrefundable application fee. You will need to upload the following items as part of your application:

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

Official college or university transcripts, if you attended another institution, 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. Please send your transcripts by mail or electronically through Parchment, eScrip-Safe, or the National Student Clearinghouse directly to Penn State from the college/university where course work was attempted.

Submit official documents by mail to:

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

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.

Start Your Application

Former Penn State students may not need to complete the admissions application. Please visit our Returning Students page for instructions.

If this is your first time applying to Penn State, you'll need to complete the following steps:

  1. Review the application instructions before beginning.
  2. Complete the online application and submit all official documents.
  3. Pay the application fee.

Checking Your Status

You can check the status of your application by using the same login information established for the online application form and choosing "MyPennState — Check Application Status." Your decision letter (confirming your acceptance or denial) will be mailed four to six weeks after receipt of all application materials. An admissions counselor will contact you if additional information is required.

Technical Requirements

Review the technical requirements for this degree program.

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.

* required1/3

I agree to be contacted via phone, email, and text by Penn State World Campus and affiliates. I understand my information may also be shared with select providers to offer ads that may be of interest to me.Privacy Policy. reCAPTCHA protected. Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Learn more about this program

Download Program Brochure All my programs

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

Apply by March 15 to start May 13. How to Apply 

Start or Advance Your Career

Two business professionals reviewing numbers

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

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

Student having a virtual meeting on a laptop with a career counselor

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 

Contact Us

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

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


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

Apply by March 15 to start May 13. How to Apply 

Chat with an Admissions Counselor

Chat with an Admissions Counselor

Recaptcha

or Chat