About the School of Data Science and Analytics

Sherrill W. Hayes, PhD Kennesaw State University


Welcome to the School of Data Science and Analytics at Kennesaw State! The School of Data Science and Analytics (SDSA) is a “one-stop shop” for education and research. We achieve this by offering a “full-stack” of academic programs including general education courses, an undergraduate major and minor, online certificates, a masters degree, and the first PhD in Data Science and Analytics in the US. Here’s a brief rundown of some recent accomplishments over the past year.

  • We were approved to offer a Bachelor of Science in Data Science and Analytics beginning in Fall 2023! This was a year-long effort on behalf of the faculty and many of our partners around the university.
  • We changed the names of all of our programs and the Center to reflect the name of the school, so now the Minor, MS, and PhD are all in Data Science and Analytics.
  • Enrollments in our general education and service courses remained strong in 2022-23, and were up over 21% since our founding in AY ‘20-21:
      STAT 1401 - 5,294
      DATA 1501 - 734 (+410 since 21-22)
      STAT 2332 – 1,429
      STAT 3125 – 501
  • We held two of our largest and most successful Analytics Day events in November 2022 and May 2023, bringing in hundreds of partners, visitors, and students from across the region.
  • The Master of Science in Data Science and Analytics has a 99% job placement rate within the first 6 months after graduation, with almost all those students going directly into analytics and data science jobs. Our MS and PhD programs are consistently ranked as Top 50 Best Value Big Data Graduate Programs.
  • The PhD in Data Science and Analytics was founded in 2015. Our PhD students have produced 4 patents and over 250 publications so far. Approximately 40% of our PhD students are female.
  • The Center for Data Science and Analytics (CDSA) has generated over $3 million in research funding by working with more than 15 companies on REAL data science research projects. These projects are carried out by interdisciplinary teams of faculty, PhD, MS, and sometimes undergraduate students in collaboration with partners.
  • Our on-line, on-demand certificate programs (OPEN TO ANYONE) are providing needed skills to boost the data science and analytics workforce in Georgia. You can learn more about R, Python, or Rapid Miner with these programs.
  • The DS 7900 and STAT 8940 classes are sponsored every semester by companies like Southern Company, IHG, Equifax, SPANX, and Coke One North America. Students work on an analytics problem, present their solutions to company executives, and have a chance to win a prize!
  • Alums of our programs have gone on to work in data science and analytics roles in places like Equifax, Home Depot, Coke One North America, HP Innovation, the Atlanta Braves, Americold, Truist, University of Pennsylvania, Tennessee Technological University, and University of New Hampshire.
  • Our undergraduate minor in Data Science and Analytics can be included in ANY major. It typically has around 150 students, making it one of the most popular minors at KSU. Our undergraduate researchers have presented at Posters at the Capitol (Atlanta) and Posters on the Hill in Washington, DC multiple times.
  • Industry, government, and organizations continue to partner with us to find solutions to their data-centric problems by collaborating with faculty and students through the Center for Data Science and Analytics (CDSA), the Human Studies Lab, and the Care Informatics Lab. Faculty research expertise spans healthcare, credit scoring, medical research, epidemiology, AI Ethics, program evaluation, process improvement, and more. Faculty and graduate students are well versed in well-established statistical and analytical methods, as well as techniques like machine learning, facial recognition, neural networks, and deep learning.

Please feel free to reach out to me or any of our faculty and staff with questions about the School, research, teaching, or opportunities to learn and partner with us.

Best regards,
Sherrill W. Hayes, PhD
Director, School of Data Science and Analytics