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A U.S. degree at CMU-Australia surprised me

Posted 3rd April 2019

Yuening Zhao was determined to do a post-graduate technology degree at Carnegie Mellon University.

So, she was excited to receive an offer for CMU’s Master of Science in Information Technology degree.

And surprised to discover she could do a degree recognised in the US at CMU’s Australia campus.

An information systems and management graduate, Yuening knew that she needed to undertake further study to deepen her knowledge and understand more about analytics and data science.

“I love the CMU brand as it’s the top University in the world for computer science”, said Yuening Zhao, an information systems and management graduate from Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China.

“Once I decided to go to graduate school, I really wanted to get a place at CMU, but I thought I’d be going to the USA.


I was very surprised to discover that CMU had an Australian campus and that they offered the same US degree. For me, I absolutely had to go to CMU, the location of the campus didn’t matter!

Yuening Zhao at the CMU-A library

Students undertaking the Masters degrees in Australia study under the same renowned faculty and can take the same classes available to US-based students. Australian-based students can also apply to study for one semester on exchange in the USA.

“In fact, studying in Australia has turned out to be even better for me than going to the US”, said Yuening.

“Adelaide is a lovely, peaceful city. I feel it’s safe and friendly - and there’s a Chinatown very close to campus where we can get authentic Chinese food.

“Importantly, because Adelaide is a small, welcoming city my parents don’t worry about my safety while I am away from home”, she said.

Yuening has elected to study the Business Intelligence and Data Analytics track in the MSIT degree, as her passion is data analytics and she wants a career as a data scientist.

“Having studied business and technology, my undergraduate degree is quite broad. When I graduated, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be a software developer, a data analyst, a data-base manager or an IT consultant.”

Yuening Zhao at CMU-A study area

Since coming to CMU Yuening has discovered an aptitude for working with data and has decided on a career as a data analyst. Some of the courses she is undertaking are Data Analytics in Python, Un-structured Data Analytics, Machine Learning and Data Mining.

Why data analytics?

“I like exploring and finding interesting insights. Data analytics is very logical. I love studying the models and choosing the parameters - and understanding the data.

“It’s very fulfilling to find the answers in the data, this really inspires me, and I’ve discovered it’s something I’m very good at”, she said.

Yuening applied to Carnegie Mellon University to study the Master of Information Systems Management in the US. Due to limited places in this degree she was offered a place in the Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT) degree in Australia.

She also had offers from Brandeis University, Purdue University and Fordham University, but chose the Australian-based MSIT degree because of CMU’s international reputation and global brand.

Yuening hopes to undertake an Exchange Semester at CMU’s Pittsburgh campus, where she plans to study Data Structures and Algorithms, Exploring and Visualizing Data, R for Data Science, and Project Management.

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