Master of Public Informatics

About the Program

The Bloustein School’s Master of Public Informatics STEM-designated program provides the vehicle for educating professional student cohorts in the competencies needed in public informatics: statistics, programming, data management, data analytics, visualization, spatial analysis, applications and the integration of these skills. Graduates of the program will bring a critical voice and a deep understanding of context to an emerging field.


Recent Projects in Data Analytics and Informatics

Bikeshare use in New York City dropped substantially during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic, but by summer of 2020 had largely recovered to pre-pandemic levels. The patterns of usage, however, have changed. In “Changes in the Pattern of Bikeshare Usage Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic,” published in the January 2021 issue of Transport Findings, research associate Haoyun Wang MCRP ’20, MPI ’20 and Robert Noland, Distinguished Professor and director of the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center, examined bikeshare usage in New York City during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Ride-hailing is frequently used for social, leisure, and recreational trips to destinations such as retail stores, restaurants, and sports and entertainment facilities.  This is more likely in the evening when users are dropped off at these locations and then late at night they also return home. A paper by Bloustein School doctoral candidate Sicheng Wang and Distinguished Professor Robert B. Noland looks at the elasticities of demand for ride-hailing service provider DiDi in Chengdu, China. 

In an effort to understand how changes in mobility are associated with the spread of the coronavirus, distinguished professor Robert Noland used mobility data from Google correlated with estimates of the effective reproduction rate, a measure of viral infectiousness, in “Mobility and the Effective Reproduction Rate of COVID-19,” published in the Journal of Transport and Health. The Google mobility data provides estimates of reductions in mobility for six types of types of activities and is available for all states and the District of Columbia.

As bikesharing systems have proliferated, few studies have examined the trips made on these systems. Researchers examine trips between origin-destination pairs during three months in 2015 on New York City’s Citi Bike system. Findings suggest considerable variation across user types, across months, and across times of day. Principal findings indicate that bikesharing is used for transit access and egress during rush hours, and that stations located along the same high-quality bicycle route see far more trips than do other station pairs. 

Cities around the world and in the U.S. are implementing bikesharing systems, which allow users to access shared bicycles for short trips, typically in the urban core. Yet few scholars have examined the determinants of bikeshare station usage using a fine-grained approach. Researchers examine the of effects bicycle infrastructure, population and employment, land use mix, and transit access separately by season of the year, weekday/weekend, and user type (subscriber versus casual). We find that bikeshare stations located near busy subway stations and bicycle infrastructure see greater utilization, and that greater population and employment generally predict greater usage.

Using data from anonymized mobile devices and building footprints, we examined how mobility patterns changed in NJ for the period of March 1, 2020, to May 17, 2020. This two and half month span includes the period with the maximum restrictions on individuals and businesses.

This cyberinfrastructure captures real-time or close-to real-time data on social and economic effects of COVID-19, and brings data streams on different sectors together to support decision-making by local and regional governments and private companies in a holistic fashion for a robust recovery.

Why a Master of Public Informatics from Rutgers?

The Rutgers MPI program is suitable for students with undergraduate degrees in any field.  Applicants must demonstrate competency in one or more programming languages and skills in data management (with coursework, work experience, or by examination).  Students with appropriate backgrounds may substitute more advanced courses* for topics already mastered.

It is anticipated that full-time students may complete the 36 credit hours required for the degree in three (3) semesters (18 months).

Model Schedule

(following a fall entrance, full-time, 3-semester plan)

Fall (Semester 1)

Spring (Semester 2)

  • 34:816:501 Theory & Practice of Public Informatics (3)
  • 34:970:527/833:525 Applied Multivariate Methods (3)
  • 34:970:590 Graphical Communication for Planners (3)
  • Elective
  • 34:833:633 Data Analytics: Using Big Data (3)
  • Planning: 34:970:510/511 Studio OR
    Policy: 34:833:640 Policy Practicum I
  • Planning: Elective OR
    Policy: 34:833:641 Policy Practicum II
  • 34:970:591 Intro to GIS for Planning and Public Policy (3)

Fall (Semester 3)

  • Topics in GIS (3)
  • Planning: Studio II (3) OR Policy: Elective (3)
  • Elective (3)
  • Elective (3)

* If a student has had a course similar to Intro to GIS or Graphical Communication for Planners, he/she may be advised/required to take more advanced level course within subject matter:

  • Data Visualization for Policy and Administration  (3 credits)
  • Remote Sensing (3 credits)
  • Web Programming (3 credits)
  • Graduate Seminars on Advanced Topics (3 credits), such as participatory GIS, open-source informatics, sensors & drones, or public database management
  • Directed Study in Public Informatics (3 credits)

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Public and Urban Informatics

Careers for Data Scientists and Data Analysts

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the 2014-24 job outlook for data analysts is expected to grow by 30% (much faster than the average), with almost 28,000 new jobs needing to be filled in this area. Management analysts will add an additional 103,400 jobs (a 14% increase). A report by the National Science and Technology Council of the Executive Office of the President stated “…a national Big Data innovation ecosystem needs a strong community of practitioners across Federal agencies to facilitate rapid innovation, ensure long-term propagation of ideas, and provide maximal return on research investments.”

New Jersey Big Data Workforce Roadmap: An Examination of the Challenges and Opportunities for New Jersey’s Workforce to Successfully Compete in the Data-Driven Economy

In addition, prospective employers routinely express interest in students to fill positions related to public informatics. The following organizations have recently posted job openings with the Bloustein School’s Student and Academic Services Office and Rutgers University that require a public informatics background:

  • AARP
  • Applied Energy Group
  • Deloitte
  • Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission
  • Eurostat
  • Federal Transit Administration
  • Johnson and Johnson
  • Mathematica Policy Research
  • MDRC
  • Port Authority of New York New Jersey
  • United Nations
  • United Nations Development Programme
  • UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
  • World Bank
  • World Economic Forum

Applicant Requirements

Prospective students apply online and submit all application materials before the Bloustein School will review your credentials for admission.

• The deadline to apply to the Master of Public Informatics program is August 1 for fall admission.

  • Online application form
  • Application fee
  • Baccalaureate degree from a nationally/internationally accredited program
  • Official transcripts from all institutions
  • Resume/CV
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • GRE general, GMAT or LSAT test
  • TOEFL/IELTS required for non-U.S. applicants. Scores will be accepted up to five years from their issuance.
  • Personal statement (approximately 750 words)
    Why do you want to study public informatics and what are your professional goals? Why are you particularly interested in the public informatics program at Rutgers Bloustein School? Describe your professional/user experience and background in following areas: graphics, statistics and computer science?