MSc Data Science for Business: Joint Degree with Ecole Polytechnique Program Details

The key aim of the teaching in this Joint Degree is to provide students with the tools needed to solve real problems, using structured and unstructured data masses, teaching them to ask the ‘right’ questions (both from statistics and ‘business’ perspectives), to use the appropriate mathematical and IT tools to answer these questions.

Students will be equipped to shift constantly from data to knowledge, from knowledge to strategic decision, and from strategic decision to operational business implementations.

All these shifts carry with them numerous challenges that each require an interdisciplinary approach involving mathematics, IT, business strategy, and management skills.

Year 1 at Ecole Polytechnique

Ecole Polytechnique Classroom, Joint Degree Big Data for Business, HEC Paris / Ecole Polytechnique

‘Data science’ is based on the statistical processing of information (Statistics / Numerical statistics and Machine learning).

A wide range of statistical methods will be explored throughout the program, along with methods derived from applied mathematics.

The program aims to sharpen students’ understanding of how these methods link basic, essential theories that play a considerable role in practice.

The teaching will focus largely on the data produced by ‘real-life’ cases obtained in association with the program’s industrial partners. We will teach students the newest and most commonly used tools in this industry.

The program will also tackle the topics of data storage, as today’s companies need to rethink constantly the structure of their information systems without compromising performances and security. In particular, it is necessary to master Big Data’s latest tools, mainly Hadoop and MapReduce (Pig Latin, Hive, etc.)

Mathematics Refreshers Courses

Depending on the profile of the students, they will have access to mathematics foundation courses (mathematics, statistics and probabilities).

Core Courses

  • Statistics
  • Machine Learning
  • Regression
  • R for Data Science
  • Data Camp Projects
  • Database Management
  • Statistics in Action
  • Python for Data Science


A 4-month compulsory internship with a company in a data-related sector. Recent examples include Microsoft, Facebook, Orange, Capgemini...

Year 2 at HEC Paris

HEC Paris offers a sharp focus on Data for Business for the second year of the curriculum through a range of business challenges and courses on how to create business value using data. 

Data for Business Courses

Core courses 

  • Introductory Supercase
  • Digital Transformation
  • Making sense of the technology ecosystem
  • Acquisition strategy growth hacking and full stack marketer
  • Regulations and Compliance in Data Science
  • Data Analytics for Business Strategy
  • Deep Learning 
  • Time Series and Financial Data
  • ...

Business Challenges

3 Challenges from 1.5 to 3 weeks will let students work on complex real-life business issues using sophisticated and up-to-date data sets.

  • Data 1 and 2
  • Entrepreneur

3 Tracks

  • Data Entrepreneur: students will join the HEC Startup Launchpad and create their startup
  • Data Manager: students will join a data science department of a company
  • Data Consultant: students will join a consulting firm to help clients develop business using data

Learning Expeditions

Two learning expeditions are organized to discover a data and startups ecosystem in London and in New York. 

Research paper

The second year is completed with a compulsory research paper. Students will work on a specific subject during 4 months with the help of a tutor.

Academic Team

Message from the Directors

In the Digital Age, everything has become information: data from social media, email exchanges, consumption habits, GPS data, bank transactions… All kinds of organizations are converting this vast amount of information into strategic resources. How should these data be stored? How can they be used? These questions impact the profit contributions of many functions within companies (marketing, sales, logistics, risk management) and, therefore, must be addressed.

HEC Paris and École Polytechnique, 2 globally-recognized institutions, have united forces to create a joint degree specifically aimed at providing students with strong skills in both Data Science and Business. This 2-year MSc program has been designed to combine high-level expertise in the engineering field, to train students in data sciences, with proficiency in the business field, to form data managers capable of taking strategic decisions based on data resources.

Profiles specialized in Big Data are in such high demand that often companies recruit students even before they graduate.  This degree will give you an invaluable asset so that you may become a key stakeholder in the digital transformation and evolve successfully in your business career.


Julie Josse
Scientific Director,
École Polytechnique

Vincent Fraitot,
Scientific Director,
HEC Paris

Program Faculty

HEC Paris and École Polytechnique both boast world-class faculty.

HEC Paris’ permanent faculty all come from the world’s leading research universities such as Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Stanford, UCLA, Wharton, Yale, etc. They regularly share their work in top academic journals and international conferences. 64% are non-French and represent 29 different nationalities.

École Polytechnique has 670 full-time faculty, including 39% of international.

Evolve in a Dynamic Research Ecosystem

Pushing the frontier of knowledge is a shared priority between HEC Paris and École Polytechnique. Both institutions have created specialized research units in order to provide major interdisciplinary contributions to management, innovation, science, technology, and society. École Polytechnique has for example 22 joint laboratories with the CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research) or other research institutions, such as the CEA, INRIA, INSERM, Université Paris-Sud, ENSTA ParisTech and UPMC.

HEC Paris has launched chairs with major companies on contemporary issues such as leadership, innovation, and sustainability, but also interdisciplinary research centers:

  • the Society and Organizations Center, which aims at offering new ways of understanding the world and helping organizations to reconcile economic priorities with a new series of imperatives
  • the Entrepreneurship Center, which promotes entrepreneurship through innovative HEC Paris programs, start-ups support, academic and business partnerships
  • the Digital Transformation Center, which addresses the challenges of digital transformation, and brings together businesses and students to work directly on such issues.