Monday, February 6, 2023

MTSU unveils new bachelor’s degree as part of new data initiative


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Story by Megan Tracy / Contributing Writer

Photos courtesy of James Cessna

Middle Tennessee State University officials announced the Tennessee Data Initiative at a news conference this Tuesday. 

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee conducts an interview Tuesday, Feb. 18, with WKRN-TV News 2 at the university’s kickoff of the Tennessee Data Initiative held at the Nashville Technology Council’s headquarters. (MTSU photo by James Cessna)

University President Sydney McPhee said, “The demand for data scientists is intense and predicted to soar nationwide by 28 percent this year alone…In Middle Tennessee, tech workforce growth is projected to outpace national growth by an eye-popping 78 percent over the next five years. 

This bodes very well for the economic vibrancy of our communities and demonstrates the critical need for more technology-focused programs,” he continued. 

Charlie Apigian, director of MTSU’s Data Science Institute and NTC Data Scientist of the Year, said the university’s data initiative includes five key components. 

These additions include a bachelor’s degree, a graduate certificate, a data science track in the computational science Ph.D. program and research and partnerships in the K-12 school system to introduce students to data science. 

MTSU information systems and analytics major Cayson Seipl said,

“With the opportunities in Nashville, with companies like Amazon and others, MTSU is in the perfect place.”  

According to a press release, applications are now being accepted for the new bachelor’s degree program and enrollment is also now open for fall for the graduate certificate.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, center, is joined by university faculty and staff as well as other supporters at the kickoff of the university’s Tennessee Data Initiative held Tuesday, Feb. 18, at the Nashville Technology Council’s headquarters. (MTSU photo by James Cessna)

The certificate is a four-course, two-semester program that will provide students with online content in data understanding, data exploration, predictive modeling and modeling optimization.

To contact News Editor Savannah Meade, email

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