Data Visualization Curriculum

In this graduate certificate program, you will take electives from other Agnes Scott graduate programs, including data analysis and communication, evaluation and assessment methods, health communications, technology leadership and management, and writing and digital communication.

Complete our DataVis program either fully online or as a blend of online, hybrid or in-person instruction.

  • Each class connects once a week in the evening.
  • Online classes meet synchronously once a week for 75 minutes, Monday through Thursday.
  • Hybrid classes meet once a week in-person for up to 75 minutes, Monday through Thursday, and include online content.
  • In-person classes meet once a week after 6:00pm, Monday through Thursday.

Graduate Certificate

Complete this program in one year, with a total of six classes (18-credit hours).

Core Courses (12 hours)

DVS-600: Principles of Data Visualization (3.00)

This course covers the fundamental elements of the database, semi-structured data, and unstructured data. Students will gain familiarity with data visualization concepts, techniques, and tools, including acquisition, augmentation, and restructuring; data storage and aggregation; access to parallel and distributed computing; high-volume data, disparate sources, and performance; and streaming data and dynamic queries. The student will learn to use several programming languages and software packages to create a range of data analyses and visualizations.

DVS-640: Advanced Visualization Design (3.00)

This course focuses on designing effective, compound data visualizations that contain information-rich graphics and multiple elements in order to tell a story or create an argument. Emphasis will be placed on static and dynamic dashboards and report card style visualizations that are often utilized in organizational and management settings. Students will gain working knowledge of R, Python, and other Cs+ languages.

Course requisites: Nine credit hours of DVS courses or permission of the instructor.

EAM-630: Data Analysis I (3.00)

This course provides an overview of the theoretical foundations of qualitative and quantitative data analysis, and teaches practical skills related to data management, analysis, and theory development. Students will learn to code and interpret qualitative data and to interpret statistics most commonly used in evaluation sciences.

WDC-630: Visual Thinking & Web Design (3.00)

Students will learn to expand their digital design skills to resolve visual problems, implementing line, texture, color, spatial illusion, materiality, compositional frameworks and subject matter. Emphasis is on the design process and conceptual development relating to web and mobile platforms. This course equips students with a working knowledge of industry-standard creative software and Cascading Style Sheets and acquaints them with principles of accessibility and UX.

Electives (6 hours)

DVS-615: Visualizing Time and Place (3.00)

This course incorporates temporal and spatial dimensions into data visualizations. This includes a range of both static and dynamic visualizations designed to include time as well as geospatial mapping. This course will include designing composite graphics with maps as a component. Using computational methods, students will create drawings, graphs, indices, and maps that explore the database as repositories of information.

DVS-625: Interactive Visualizations (3.00)

This course focuses on interactive data visualizations, including web-based applications.
Students will design interactive visualizations with the primary purpose of exploring data.
Emphasis will be placed on the unique aspects of user interaction with the data.

DVS-630: Communication of Data (3.00)

In this course, students will develop the oral and written presentation skills demanded in data-driven environments. Students will learn to identify and articulate business questions and then translate data into compelling and effective narratives for decision-making. This course will introduce students to a variety of media that can be used in the analysis, interpretation, creation, and transfer of information. The importance of understanding the context, the audience, and the intended use of the data are emphasized.

DVS-695: Topics in Data Visualization (3.00)

Topics courses allow faculty to develop unique courses that reflect their individual research and interests and that represent important current directions in the field of data visualization. The course topic, requirements, and learning outcomes will be determined by the instructor. The course will incorporate, when appropriate, problem based learning as applied to the topic area and a lab component to allow for experimentation of the different technologies associated with the topic.

APT-615: Ethical Use of Technology and Data (3.00)

In this course students will research, identify, formulate perspectives, and discuss ethical challenges in the use of technology and data. Ethical challenges investigated may include, but are not limited to: environmental impacts, privacy considerations, public safety, workplace exposure, data gathering and sharing, and intellectual property. Students analyze a range of case studies related to ethical issues in emerging technologies and data collection and use.

APT-695: Topics in Applied Technology (3.00)

Topics courses allow faculty to develop unique courses that reflect their individual research and interests and that represent important current directions in the field of applied technology. The course topic, requirements, and learning outcomes will be determined by the instructor. The course will incorporate, when appropriate, problem based learning as applied to the topic area and a lab component to allow for experimentation of the different technologies associated with the topic.

EAM-610: Principles of Evaluation Design (3.00)

This course will examine the role of evaluations in organizations, policy making, programmatic decision-making and fundraising. It will introduce research designs commonly employed to monitor ongoing programs and measure outcomes. The course will also address strategies for engaging stakeholders in evaluations. By the end of the course, students will be able to identify the appropriate research design for a specific evaluation need, taking into consideration financial and logistical constraints. Students will also design logic models to guide evaluation planning.

EAM-620: Data Collection (3.00)

This course prepares students to use both quantitative and qualitative research methods, and will address, how, when, and why different methods are deployed. In this course, students will learn about quantitative and qualitative data collection methods, sampling strategies for quantitative research, how to design effective survey questions, conduct focus groups and in-depth interviews, understand the role of sample size, select categories of quantitative variables, and assess the reliability and validity of their measurement tools. (See advisor prior to registration.) 

EAM-635: Data Analysis II (3.00)

This course introduces students to a variety of statistical methods for multivariate data. Multivariate analyses are complex methods that build upon the univariate analyses covered in EAM-630 Data Analysis I. Topics will include methods for hypothesis testing (multivariate analysis of variance [MANOVA]), multiple regression, data reduction (factor analysis, principal components) and classification (cluster analysis). Course prerequisite is EAM-630.

Course requisites: EAM-630, Data Analysis I

EAM-640: Project Management (3.00)

Successful interventions and evaluations depend on strong planning and project management skills. This course covers skills and strategies related to budgets, planning, stakeholder engagement, staff supervision, and fundraising. Additionally, students will learn about different leadership styles and will work to develop leadership skills.

EAM-695: Topics in Evaluation and Assessment (3.00)

Topics courses allow faculty to develop unique courses that reflect their individual research and interests and that represent important current directions in the field of evaluation and assessment. The course topic, requirements, and learning outcomes will be determined by the instructor. May be repeated as topics change.

WDC-615: The Craft of Analytical Writing (3.00)

In this workshop-style course, students will hone the writing and speaking skills necessary for success in their academic and professional careers. Reading assignments will focus on developing sophisticated critical analysis and argumentation skills adaptable for different purposes and audiences. Writing assignments will focus on developing clear, persuasive prose at the sentence, paragraph, and essay levels, culminating in drafting and revising an original research paper, which students will adapt for a 10-15 minute oral presentation.

WDC-626: Journalism in the Digital Age (3.00)

This writing-intensive course explores the evolution of narrative nonfiction feature stories from magazine articles to long-form stories produced for native online formats. Students will develop advanced skills in journalistic research techniques and writing craft while producing a professional quality feature story suitable for digital publication.

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