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Big Data

Virginia Tech's 100% online graduate certificate in Big Data is offered by the online Master of Information Technology program (VT-MIT). This three-course certificate can be earned as a stand-alone credential or as part of the full degree program.


The Graduate Certificate in Big Data is designed to teach students the fundamentals of "big data" which include creating and analyzing large-scale data sets (i.e., larger than 1 terabyte) that cannot be analyzed by traditional computer programs and strategies. Students will learn to manage data sets using object-oriented programming (e.g., Java). Students will also learn how to program computers to use computational models and algorithms that teach computers to identify patterns in social media data and to predict future outcomes (i.e., machine learning). Graduates will be able to: 1) program computer software to analyze social media data, 2) input data into software computer programs, and 3) interpret computer analysis output.


The curriculum requires coursework to develop student knowledge of programming computers to analyze large-scale data sets from social media platforms. Students will gain an understanding of principles and techniques for big data analytics, including methods for storing, searching, retrieving, and processing large data sets. Students will learn how to gather and analyze data from social media networks (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, Linkedln) and program the computer to use the resulting information to make predictions of future outcomes.


9 credit hours of graduate level courses:

  • CS 5044: Object-Oriented Programming with Java (3 credits)
  • CS 5644: Machine Learning with Big Data (3 credits)
  • CS 5664: Social Media Analytics (3 credits)


Take your first step by requesting information or attending an information session.

(CIP 30.7101)

Program Website: 
Big Data

Program Director: 
Parviz Ghandforoush