Course Planning

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Graduate Programs

Master of Arts in Writing (MA)
The Master of Arts (MA) in Writing program requires successful completion of ten courses to earn the degree. MA students must complete six core courses (four workshops in their genre specialization and two graduate-level literature courses), three elective courses, and a thesis project course (MCW 590). Requirements for the Publishing and Professional Development Specialization are different, and available on the MA in Fiction Curriculum and Specializations page.

The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Prose and Poetry program requires successful completion of fifteen courses to earn the degree. MFA students must complete seven workshops in their genre specialization, one seminar on teaching creative writing, three graduate-level literature courses, two elective courses, and the two-course thesis project series (MCW 589 and MCW 590). The last course of the MFA is tuition-free for students in good-standing. Dual-genre and Publishing and Professional Development specialization requirements are different, and are available on the MFA in Prose and Poetry Curriculum and Specializations page.

Students from either degree program can take courses in any order (outside of the thesis project courses, which are taken at the end of the program). We recommend that new students begin with a workshop course or an elective in the program that is examines an especially interesting topic for them. The teaching seminar and practicum courses should be taken in later terms, once the student has completed at least half of their degree requirements.

We also recommend that you visit the MA Course Schedule page, where you can find the current and upcoming course offerings, course descriptions, and instructor bios. If you have any questions related to your course planning, please contact your adviser for assistance.


Data Science (MSDS)
The Master's in Data Science requires the successful completion of 12 courses to obtain a degree. These requirements cover six core courses, a leadership or project management course, two required courses corresponding to a declared specialization, two electives, and a capstone (498) course or thesis (590) project.
There are separate course planning recommendations for students with prior programming experience and for students with no prior programming experience, at either a one or two class per quarter pace.

MSDS students have the option to complete either MSDS 402 Introduction to Data Science or MSDS 403 Data Science in Practice.

  • Students without a background in data science should select MSDS 402 Introduction to Data Science
  • Students with a background in data science should select MSDS 403 Data Science in Practice
Find answers to new student frequently asked questions.

Students with prior programming experience
One course per quarter - All specializations
  • Quarter 1: MSDS 400
  • Quarter 2: MSDS 402 or MSDS 403
  • Quarter 3: MSDS 401
  • Quarter 4: MSDS 420
  • Quarter 5: MSDS 422
  • Quarter 6: MSDS 460
  • Quarter 7: MSDS 475 or MSDS 480 or MSDS 485
General Track
  • Quarter 8: Elective
  • Quarter 9: Elective
  • Quarter 10: Elective
  • Quarter 11: Elective
  • Quarter 12: MSDS 498 or MSDS 590
Analytics Management
  • Quarter 8: MSDS 480 or MSDS 475 or MSDS 485
  • Quarter 9: MSDS 474
  • Quarter 10: Elective
  • Quarter 11: Elective
  • Quarter 12: MSDS 498 or MSDS 590
Analytics and Modeling
  • Quarter 8: MSDS 410
  • Quarter 9: MSDS 411
  • Quarter 10: Elective
  • Quarter 11: Elective
  • Quarter 12: MSDS 498 or MSDS 590

Artificial Intelligence

  • Quarter 8: MSDS 453
  • Quarter 9: MSDS 458
  • Quarter 10: Elective
  • Quarter 11: Elective
  • Quarter 12: MSDS 498 or MSDS 590
Data Engineering
  • Quarter 8: MSDS 432
  • Quarter 9: MSDS 434
  • Quarter 10: Elective
  • Quarter 11: Elective
  • Quarter 12: MSDS 498 or MSDS 590
Two course per quarter - All specializations
  • Quarter 1: MSDS 400 and (MSDS 402 or MSDS 403)
  • Quarter 2: MSDS 401 and MSDS 420
  • Quarter 3: MSDS 422 and MSDS 460
General Track
  • Quarter 4: (MSDS 475 or MSDS 480 or MSDS 485) and Elective
  • Quarter 5: Elective and Elective
  • Quarter 6: Elective and (MSDS 498 or MSDS 590)
Analytics Management
  • Quarter 4: MSDS 475 and MSDS 480
  • Quarter 5: MSDS 474 and Elective
  • Quarter 6: Elective and (MSDS 498 or MSDS 590)
Analytics and Modeling
  • Quarter 4: (MSDS 475 or MSDS 480 or MSDS 485) and MSDS 410
  • Quarter 5: MSDS 411 and Elective
  • Quarter 6: Elective and (MSDS 498 or MSDS 590)

Artificial Intelligence

  • Quarter 4: (MSDS 475 or MSDS 480 or MSDS 485) and MSDS 453
  • Quarter 5: MSDS 458 and Elective
  • Quarter 6: Elective and (MSDS 498 or MSDS 590)
Data Engineering
  • Quarter 4: (MSDS 475 or MSDS 480 or MSDS 485) and MSDS 432
  • Quarter 5: MSDS 434 and Elective
  • Quarter 6: Elective and (MSDS 498 or MSDS 590)
Students with NO prior programming experience
One course per quarter - All specializations
  • Quarter 1: MSDS 430
  • Quarter 2: MSDS 400
  • Quarter 3: MSDS 402 or MSDS 403
  • Quarter 4: MSDS 401
  • Quarter 5: MSDS 420
  • Quarter 6: MSDS 422
  • Quarter 7: MSDS 460
General Track
  • Quarter 8: MSDS 475 or MSDS 480 or MSDS 485
  • Quarter 9: Elective
  • Quarter 10: Elective
  • Quarter 11: Elective
  • Quarter 12: MSDS 498 or MSDS 590
Analytics Management
  • Quarter 8: MSDS 475 or MSDS 480 or MSDS 485
  • Quarter 9: MSDS 474
  • Quarter 10: MSDS 475 or MSDS 480 or MSDS 485
  • Quarter 11: Elective
  • Quarter 12: MSDS 498 or MSDS 590
Analytics and Modeling
  • Quarter 8: MSDS 475 or MSDS 480 or MSDS 485
  • Quarter 9: MSDS 410
  • Quarter 10: MSDS 411
  • Quarter 11: Elective
  • Quarter 12: MSDS 498 or MSDS 590

Artificial Intelligence

  • Quarter 8: MSDS 475 or MSDS 480 or MSDS 485
  • Quarter 9: MSDS 453
  • Quarter 10: MSDS 458
  • Quarter 11: Elective
  • Quarter 12: MSDS 498 or MSDS 590
Data Engineering
  • Quarter 8: MSDS 475 or MSDS 480 or MSDS 485
  • Quarter 9: MSDS 432
  • Quarter 10: MSDS 434
  • Quarter 11: Elective
  • Quarter 12: MSDS 498 or MSDS 590
Two course per quarter - All specializations
  • Quarter 1: MSDS 430 and (MSDS 402 or MSDS 403)
  • Quarter 2: MSDS 400 and MSDS 401
  • Quarter 3: MSDS 420 and MSDS 460
General Track
  • Quarter 4: MSDS 422 and (MSDS 475 or MSDS 480 or MSDS 485)
  • Quarter 5: Elective and Elective
  • Quarter 6: Elective and (MSDS 498 or MSDS 590)
Analytics Management
  • Quarter 4: MSDS 422 and (MSDS 475 or MSDS 480 or MSDS 485)
  • Quarter 5: MSDS 474 and (MSDS 475 or MSDS 480 or MSDS 485)
  • Quarter 6: Elective and (MSDS 498 or MSDS 590)
Analytics and Modeling
  • Quarter 4: MSDS 422 and MSDS 410
  • Quarter 5: MSDS 411 and (MSDS 475 or MSDS 480 or MSDS 485)
  • Quarter 6: Elective and (MSDS 498 or MSDS 590)

Artificial Intelligence

  • Quarter 4: MSDS 422 and (MSDS 475 or MSDS 480 or MSDS 485)
  • Quarter 5: MSDS 453 and Elective
  • Quarter 6: MSDS 458 and (MSDS 498 or MSDS 590)
Data Engineering
  • Quarter 4: MSDS 422 and MSDS 432
  • Quarter 5: MSDS 434 and (MSDS 475 or MSDS 480 or MSDS 485)
  • Quarter 6: Elective and (MSDS 498 or MSDS 590)
[Note: MSDS 590 thesis projects are rarely completed in one term.]

We also recommend that you visit the MSDS Course Schedule page, where you can find the current and upcoming course offerings, course descriptions, and instructor bios. If you have any questions related to your course planning, please contact your adviser for assistance.


Global Health (MSGH)

The Master of Science in Global Health program requires twelve courses to earn the degree. MSGH students must complete eight core courses (including the Leadership 481 course), three elective courses, and the practicum course (MSGH 580).

The MSGH program is designed to be completed in 2-3 years of part-time study, but students have up to five years to complete their program. Students who are planning to complete the program as quickly as possible must plan carefully to meet the prerequisites listed for the practicum. Students must meet the stated prerequisites prior to enrolling in the practicum course.

In your first term, we recommend registering for MSGH 405 or MSGH 408.  For students who are planning on taking a full course load of two courses at a time, we recommend registering for MSGH 405 and MSGH 408.

We also recommend that you visit the MSGH Course Schedule page, where you can find the current and upcoming course offerings, course descriptions, and instructor bios. If you have any questions related to your course planning, please contact your adviser for assistance.


Health Analytics (MSHA)

The Master of Science in Health Analytics program requires twelve courses to earn the degree. MSHA students must complete one entry course:  MSHA 401(students without an analytics background e.g., nursing, respiratory therapy, physical therapy, physicians) or MSHA 402 (students without a clinical background e.g., engineering, economics, statistics ) and 11 core courses. Students with neither an analytics nor clinical background should take MSHA 401, Programming for Health Analytics.

The MSHA program is designed to be completed in two to two and a half years (eight to ten academic quarters), but students have up to five years to complete their program (twenty academic quarters). If you have a more aggressive timeline to completion, please contact your adviser to discuss how and if the goal can be achieved. 

There is not a sequenced order to the courses (with the exception of the Capstone and/or Thesis course, which is taken in the final term of the program), and they do not need to be taken in numerical order. However, many MSHA students do take them in roughly numerical order depending on the timing of course offerings.  As there are some courses that have prerequisites, (MSHA 410, MSHA 411, and MSHA 412), we recommend taking MSHA 405 and MSHA 409 within the first two quarters of your program.

For your first term, we recommend the entry course for your program (MSHA 401 or MSHA 402). We recommend waiting to enroll in the Health Analytics Leadership course (MSHA 480) for later in your program, as it adds the greatest degree of flexibility in your scheduling of your courses in your final terms.

We also recommend that you visit the MSHA Course Schedule page on the SPS website, where you can find the current and upcoming course offerings, course descriptions, and instructor bios. If you have any questions related to your course planning, please contact your adviser for assistance.


Health Informatics (MHI)

The Master of Science in Health Informatics program requires twelve courses to earn the degree. MHI student must complete five core courses (MHI 401, MHI 403, MHI 407, MSHA 480 or LEADERS 481, and the Capstone or Thesis course), and seven courses within their chosen specialization (the four required specialization courses, and three elective courses in the specialization area). The three areas of specialization are Clinical InformaticsHealth Administration Informatics, or Health Technology Informatics.

The MHI program is designed to be completed in two to two and a half years (eight to ten academic quarters), but students have up to five years to complete their program (twenty academic quarters). If you have a more aggressive timeline to completion, please contact your adviser to discuss how and if the goal can be achieved. 

There is not a sequenced order to the courses (with the exception of the Capstone and/or Thesis course, which is taken in the final term of the program), and they do not need to be taken in numerical order. However, many MHI students do take them in roughly numerical order depending on the timing of course offerings

In your first term, we recommend a core course for the program (e.g. MHI 401 or MHI 403, which are offered nearly every quarter, or MHI 407). After you have some of the core requirements completed, we encourage students to start pursing the classes required for your specialization. We recommend waiting to enroll in the Leadership course (MSHA 480 or LEADERS 481) for later in your program, as it adds the greatest degree of flexibility in your scheduling of your courses in your final terms.

We also recommend that you visit the MHI Course Schedule page on the SPS website, where you can find the current and upcoming course offerings, course descriptions, and instructor bios. If you have any questions related to your course planning, please contact your adviser for assistance.



Information Design and Strategy (IDS)

The Master of Science in Information Design and Strategy program requires twelve courses to earn the degree. IDS students must complete eight core courses, three elective courses corresponding to the student’s declared specialization, and either the capstone project (498) or thesis (590) course.

In your first term, it is best to begin the program with one of the following core courses: MS_IDS 403 Effective Communication, MS_IDS 405 User Research, or MS_IDS 411 Info Design and Architecture. If you are planning to take more than one course, enroll in a specialization course in addition to either MS_IDS 403, MS_IDS 405, or MS_IDS 411.

We recommend waiting to enroll in the Leadership course (LEADERS 481) for later in your program, as it adds the greatest degree of flexibility in the scheduling of your courses in your final terms.

We also recommend that you visit the IDS Course Schedule page, where you can find the current and upcoming course offerings, course descriptions, and instructor bios If you have any questions related to your course planning, please contact your adviser for assistance.


Information Systems (MSIS)
The Master of Science in Information Systems program requires eleven courses to earn the degree. MSIS students must complete four core courses (CIS 413, CIS 414, CIS 417, and CIS 498 Capstone or CIS 590 Thesis) and seven courses within their area of specialization (students in the Data Science specialization complete three core courses and eight specialization courses).

Students in the Artificial Intelligence specialization follow a slightly different course plan. The MSIS: AI core is CIS 413, MSDS 430, CIS 417, and CIS 498 or Thesis 590. 

Students in the Data Science specialization follow a slightly different course plan. The MSIS: DS specialization core is MSDS 430, CIS 417, and CIS 498 or Thesis 590. 

For all MSIS students, we recommend that in your first term you begin with one of the program’s core courses: CIS 413, CIS 414, or CIS 417. If you are planning to take more than one course, core courses can be paired with a specialization course.

Please review your admissions letter to confirm your selected specialization. We also recommend that you visit the MSIS Course Schedule page, where you can find the current and upcoming course offerings, course descriptions, and instructor bios. If you have any questions related to your course planning, please contact your adviser for assistance.



Liberal Studies (MALS)
The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program requires nine courses to earn the degree. MALS students must complete two core courses (IPLS 410 and IPLS 401), six elective courses (in subject areas such as philosophy, religion, history, art history and literature), and the Thesis project course (IPLS 590). 

MALS students have the option to structure their elective coursework to complete a specialization, if they choose. Students complete four thematically linked courses to earn a specialization within the MALS degree.

Students can take courses in any order except for the thesis course, which must be taken as the final course in the program. We recommend taking IPLS 410: Introduction to Cultural Analysis early in your program, in the first quarter that it is offered.

We also recommend that you visit the MALS Course Schedule page, where you can find the current and upcoming course offerings, course descriptions, and instructor bios. If you have any questions related to your course planning, please contact your adviser for assistance.


Literature (MALit)
The Master of Arts in Literature program requires nine courses to earn the degree. MALit students must complete a core courses (Lit 410), seven elective Literature courses, and the Thesis project course (Lit 590).

MALit students have the option to structure their elective coursework to complete a specialization, if they choose. Students complete four thematically linked courses to earn a specialization within the MALit degree.

Students can take courses in any order except for the thesis course, which must be the final course in the program. We recommend taking LIT 410: Introduction to Graduate Study early in your program, in the first quarter that it is offered.

We also recommend that you visit the MALit Course Schedule page, where you can find the current and upcoming course offerings, course descriptions, and instructor bios. If you have any questions related to your course planning, please contact your adviser for assistance.


Public Policy and Administration (MPPA)
The Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration program requires thirteen courses to earn the degree. MPPA students must complete nine core courses, three specialization courses, and either a capstone course (MPPA 498) or individual thesis research project (MPPA 590). Planning your schedule is of critical importance, as all classes are not offered every quarter.

Courses can be taken in any order, with the exception of the final capstone course or individual thesis research project. We recommend begin taking specialization courses after completing two to three core courses, as specialization courses are offered on a yearly rotation.

In your first term, it is best to begin with MPPA 403 or MPPA 407. If these two options are unavailable, MPPA 408 would be a good alternative. If you plan to take more than one course per term, you could pair either MPPA 401 with MPPA 403, or MPPA 402 with MPPA 407. MPPA 408 can also be paired with MPPA 401, MPPA 402 or MPPA 403.

As you plan your coursework, it is important to note that enrollment in the capstone course requires the completion of 11 courses; the capstone must be taken in the final term of the program, and only one course may be taken concurrently. For students who must be enrolled in at least two courses for financial aid purposes, the odd number of courses in the program requires especially careful planning. If you have any questions, please contact your adviser.

We also recommend that you visit the MPPA Course Schedule page, where you can find the current and upcoming course offerings, course descriptions, and instructor bios. If you have any questions related to your course planning, please contact your adviser for assistance.


Regulatory Compliance (MSRC)
The Master of Science in Regulatory Compliance program requires completion of eleven courses to earn the degree. MSRC students must complete four core courses (MSRC 401, MSRC 405, MSRC or MSHA 409, and MSRC 435), four track (specialization area) courses, one cross-elective track course (any elective outside of your track/specialization area), a leadership course (LEADERS 481) and either the capstone course (498) or individual thesis research project (590).

In your first term, we recommend beginning the program any of the MSRC core courses (MSRC 401, MSRC 405, MSRC or MSHA 409, or MSRC 435). If you are planning on taking two classes in your first quarter, plan on taking a course in your track/specialization area in addition to the MSRC core course. For students in the Quality Systems track, it is highly recommended that you take Biostatistics (MSRC or MSHA 409) prior to QARS 420 and QARS 421. We recommend waiting to enroll in the LEADERS 481 course until later in the program because it is offered every quarter, giving you more flexibility to schedule it around other requirements that are not offered as frequently.

We also recommend that you visit the MSRC Course Schedule page, where you can find the current and upcoming course offerings, course descriptions, and instructor bios. If you have any questions related to your course planning, please contact your adviser for assistance.



Sports Administration (MSA)

 The Master of Arts in Sports Administration program requires successful completion of eleven courses to earn the degree. Students must complete seven core courses, three elective courses, and a capstone class (498) or thesis project (590).

MSA students can take courses in any order (outside of the Capstone or Thesis course, which is the final course in the program). Most students are encouraged to begin with MSA 401 Sports Research Methods or MSA 402 Sports Marketing. Students in the Sports Analytics specialization should start with MSDS 400 Math for Data Scientists as one of their first courses. The Requirements for the Sports Analytics track are slightly different, and available on the MSA Curriculum and Specializations page. Note that MSA 401 Sports Research Methods is not required for students in this track.

We recommend that you visit the MSA Course Schedule page, where you can find the current and upcoming course offerings, course descriptions, and instructor bios. If you have any questions related to your course planning, please contact your adviser for assistance. Planning your schedule is of critical importance, as all classes are not offered every quarter.


Undergraduate & Post Baccalaureate Programs

Undergraduate Degree Programs
The courses you take to complete your degree will generally fall into three categories: distribution requirements, major/minor area of study, and electives. All undergraduate students are required to take an English Composition course (e.g. English 111 or 205). The Credit Evaluation included in your admissions packet outlines the requirements for your degree, and can serve as a road map toward completing your program.
We recommend that you visit the Search Courses page on the SPS website, where you can find the current and upcoming course offerings, course descriptions, and instructor bios. If you have any questions about what courses to take, please contact your academic adviser.


If you have been admitted under Performance-based Admission (PBA) guidelines, you are required to speak with your adviser before registering.



Professional Health Careers Post Baccalaureate Programs (ProHealth)
New students starting in the fall are encouraged to take the following courses for each program, in order to meet prerequisite requirements for each sequence:
 
Pre-Medicine
  • CHEM 110 Quantitative Problem Solving in Chemistry
  • PHYSICS 130-A College Physics I (with lab, Physics 131-A)
  • PRO HLTH 396-A Professional Health Careers Proseminar I (a no-cost, non-credit course)
Pre-Nursing
  • CHEM 110 Quantitative Problem Solving in Chemistry
  • PSYCH 110 Introduction to Psychology
Pre-Clinical Psychology
  • PSYCH 110 Introduction to Psychology
  • PSYCH 201 Statistical Methods in Psychology
Pre-Physical Therapy
  • BIOL SCI 313 Human Anatomy
  • PHYSICS 130-A College Physics I (with lab, Physics 131-A)
Pre-Physician Assistant
  • BIOL SCI 217 Physiology
  • CHEM 110 Quantitative Problem Solving in Chemistry
  • PRO HLTH 396-A Professional Health Careers Proseminar I (a no-cost, non-credit course)

Pre-Medicine Completion
Remaining courses are dependent on previously completed coursework. If unsure of remaining requirements, email your adviser for guidance.

Pre-speech Pathology

  • CSD 318 Introduction to Audiology (also available in winter, but students needing to meet Financial Aid requirements should take it in fall)
  • CSD 392 Language Development and Usage
  • CSD 465 Hearing Impairment

Recommended courses for the Pre-speech and Pre-med completion programs are variable based on what the student needs to complete. If you have any questions please email your adviser with any questions about course planning.

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