Graduate Programs

Data Analytics and Visualization (MPS)

Mine the data. Find the narrative. Tell the story.

Learn how to translate data and information into graphics, images, and interactive designs that communicate more effectively to more people. Develop design expertise and analytical abilities for a combination of skills in increasing demand.

Program Overview

Virtually everything that we interact with in our lives is driven by or generates some form of data. The dramatic increase in data is the driving force behind innovation, invention, and business efficiencies. This data explosion has resulted in the need to take raw, unorganized data and not only process it but also present it in a meaningful way so that it is insightful and actionable. From infographics and geographic representations to interactive visualizations that assist in decision-making, there’s a growing need for professionals who can present information in a format that is both easy to understand and provides value.

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) developed the Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.) in Data Analytics and Visualization program to teach professionals how to represent information and data in a visual and impactful way with the use of graphics, images, and dynamic interactive features. In this program, you will develop design expertise and analytical skills that are in increasing demand in our data-driven world. According to the recent LinkedIn “Jobs on the Rise” report, data science specialists are some of the most in demand and fastest-growing jobs, reflecting about a 35% average annual growth rate.

The Data Analytics and Visualization program is an online, cohort based graduate program where all coursework is directly related to this expanding field. Completed in just 15 months, the program allows you to earn your degree while working full time. You will explore both the design and technical aspects of information visualization while learning to create powerful, data-driven visual narratives. You will master an array of information visualization practices including employing qualitative and quantitative analysis and applying storytelling methods to data and information, and utilizing design strategies to develop a visual narrative.

Industry Immersive Overview

The 2-day virtual industry immersive occurs at the midpoint of the program and enables you to collaborate with your cohort and network with each other as well as industry professionals. It consists of a mix of workshops, keynotes, and hands-on activities. This two-day experience surveys concepts, tools, and techniques that promote innovation. Students engage in exercises designed to apply and test creative techniques. At the conclusion of the residency, students will have knowledge of and practice with a number of approaches that can be applied through the second half of the program and into their careers.

What is a Master of Professional Studies (MPS) degree?

  • Focuses on an applied field of study

  • Develops practical skills

  • Perfect for current and aspiring professionals

  • Delivered online over just 15 months

  • Residency fosters interdisciplinary collaboration

  • Students maintain a work-life balance

Program Resources

The MICA Canvas environment is a flexible and adaptive platform so students can conveniently access content. Each faculty member holds a weekly live class delivered through Zoom web-conferencing software, whereby students can discuss topics with faculty and classmates. Lectures are recorded so students can revisit them at any time. Students also have access to MICA's web-based resources such as Adobe Creative Suite, LinkedIn Learning, MyMICA, Decker Library and Media Resources Center, and Business Source Premier, the industry's most used business research database.

Who Should Apply

This program appeals to professionals from a wide variety of fields, including business, marketing, research, journalism, and design, who want to reach their audiences using creative and engaging visual solutions. This program is for individuals with a strong interest in and enthusiasm for design, analysis, new technology, creative problem solving, and a willingness to commit to an intensive learning experience.

Featured Course

Designing Visual Information

This course teaches students not only how to create impactful information visualizations, but why they work. Students will be introduced to good practices in organizing space, using type, and using color based on well-established guidance such as Gestalt Laws, universal principles of design, and principles of perception and cognition. Students will also be introduced to ethical issues in data visualization, issues regarding accessibility, and how to practice inclusive design.