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February 23, 2022

USJ to offer new computer and data science program as part of upside-down curriculum

HBJ PHOTO | STEVE LASCHEVER University of St. Joseph President Rhona Free inside Mercy Hall at the college’s West Hartford campus.

The West Hartford-based University of St. Joseph announced this week that it will be offering a new computer and data science degree track that will allow students to complete the majority of their required courses in their first 21 months.

Such a program is known as an upside-down curriculum and it’s unique because it allows students to start with classes in their field of study. Most four-year colleges require students to take general courses of study in their first few semesters before taking more specialized courses in their majors. 

As part of the new program students will also have the opportunity to work in the university’s Information Technology office and work up to 29 hours a week in a paid position.

There has been a trend in recent years among higher-ed institutions in the state offering data science programs. The University of Connecticut’s board of trustees earlier this year approved a new data science master’s degree program that will kickoff in the fall of 2022; Quinnipiac University began offering a data science bachelor’s degree last fall; and the University of Hartford launched its undergraduate data science degree program in fall of 2021.

Students who enroll at the University of St. Joseph in the fall of 2022 can complete their required courses for computer and data science in their first four semesters. The university said that within 21 months, those students will be ready to enter the workforce in a professional IT setting and then go on to finish their general education and capstone requirements.

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