M.S. in Data Science


UNCW Data Science Practicum

The UNCW Data Science Program strives to train students in technical proficiency as well as business acumen. While course work  and research projects are sufficient to satisfy the first goal, a team-based professional experience, with organizations external to the university, is preferred to meet the second goal.  In order to achieve this, the program seeks partnerships with industry, non-profits, and other groups to provide such an experience in the form of a Practicum.

The Practicum is a project sponsored by an external organization that involves teams of 4-5 students working on a data analysis problem posed by the sponsoring organization. The project spans eight months and is co-managed by the sponsoring organization and the UNCW Data Science faculty. The financial commitment of sponsoring organizations is limited to any potential travel costs for students to visit their organization for a kick-off meeting.

More detailed information is available in the Practicum Guide and the Sample Nondisclosure Agreement(NDA) .

To submit an idea for a Practicum please fill out this Practicum Proposal Form

2020  Data Science Practicum Timeline

• Call for Proposals - February 4th
• Initial Proposal Review/Proposal Submission Deadline - March  24th
• Practicum Sponsors selected - April 7th
• NDA agreements signed and Data Security finalized - April 24th 
• Practicum kick-off meetings - May 1st - 7th
• Summer - conference and skype calls at convenience of sponsor
• Bi-weekly meeting with team and sponsor beginning August 1st
• Midpoint review meeting by September 15th
• Final Presentations by Dec 8th


2019 Practicum Partners

CastleBranch.PNG Castle Branch

Students cleaned and merged data to create a database used for reporting and visualizations.
They used the data to find trends in operations, sales and employee efficiency.

GEHitachi.PNG GE- Hitachi

Students modeled and analyzed supply chain behaviors and/or processes using quantitative data modeling to align inventory-purchasing-manufacturing schedules to optimize cash. They used predictive analytics to forecast bill of materials demand and forecasts to minimize costs associated with orders.

GEHitachi.PNGGE- Nuclear Fuel

Students  worked on improving the fidelity of the adaption process in boiling water nuclear reactors. Data analytics and machine learning were performed on the traversing in-core probe instrumentation alignment data to have an assessment for a goodness metric. 


Students worked on  developing a pet food recall database using data from the FDA, provided insight on what trends may exist in the data and began developing models to help predict future recalls.

combomark_primary_sm.png  Prometrics

Students identified Oncology patient populations from  real world Medical and Prescription claims data sets using industry standard diagnosis, procedure, and drug codes. They developed methods to automatically identify distinguishing characteristics of a patient population through feature selection, etc.

Tillium.PNGTrillium Health

Students developed predictive analytic methodology using medical data. They predicted elevated risks of hospitalization and clinical intervention for patients with a serious and persistent mental illness diagnosis and were not taking psychotropic medications.


2018 Practicum Partners

 Live_Oak_Bank.jpg Live Oak Bank

Students performed time series forecasting of bank liabilities including savings, cd and money market accounts.  

 nCino_Logo-Full_color-Light_bg.png nCino

Students assisted nCino in automating banking spreads technology to reduce manual input and processing time through machine learning and text classification methods.

combomark_primary_sm.png Prometrics-

Students manipulated and analyzed medical claims data to find the optimal time-to-delivery post diagnoses of disease specific pharmaceuticals.

IRP_UNCW.PNG UNCW Office of Institutional Research and Planning

Students usee SAS 9.4 to create an interactive dashboard analyzing and visualizing teaching space utilization at UNCW. Not under NDA so  product may be viewed here Campus Map Room Use.