Large data analysis is a new area that uses computer science, statistics, and mathematics for handling, processing, and extracting information. It has a wide range of applications, such as weather forecasting, seismic data, identifying groups of people via Facebook, understanding the genome, and searching for the causes of diseases and ways of preventing, controlling, or curing them.

The Large Data Analysis certificate complements a bachelor's degree and demonstrates to potential employers or graduate schools that you have interest and ability in this important and growing area. Students will learn about the formal computational and analysis tools that are useful for collecting, managing, and mining data sets.

The Departments of Statistics and Actuarial Science, Computer Science, and Mathematics collaborated to establish the undergraduate certificate in large data analysis. Technical expertise involves skills from all three departments: computer science to know how to handle the large amounts of data and how to implement the algorithms to process them, statistics to see what can and cannot be legitimately inferred from the data, and mathematics for the algorithms and methods to connect these things.

This certificate is offered through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) and is open to all undergraduates, although the stringent math and science requirements make it more suitable for computer science, mathematics, and statistics majors.

Course Work

The certificate course work does not duplicate any existing major or minor, but includes statistics, mathematics, and computer sciences courses as well as additional course work specific to data management and big data analysis. The certificate requires 21 semester hours and courses may be tailored to a student's area of interest. Because some prerequisite courses apply, it is strongly recommended that students work closely with their advisers in planning course work for this certificate.

A capstone course gives students experience working in teams to apply the methods they have learned in certificate courses to real data sets and in communicating their results to others.

Visit the Department of Computer Science website at for more details about this certificate and course requirements.

Admission Requirements

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Student Opportunities

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Iowa graduates have job placement rates ranging from 86-100 percent, depending on their area of study, and our Pomerantz Career Center offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs.


The Office of Admissions and the Office of Student Financial Aid are great resources for students seeking scholarships.

Application Process

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Large Data Analysis