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Be Smart

Become a change maker who can unleash data-driven decisions at every level

Chief Data Officer Certificate

Training the next generation of Chief Data Officers to transform organizations with leading data science and advanced technology expertise from the birthplace of AI.

CRO program seal

Data is being created and collected at an unprecedented volume. Chances are your organization is sitting on troves of data but unsure how to use it! Converting data into real value takes the right skills and savvy leadership to drive a culture of data-driven decision making.

Carnegie Mellon University's Chief Data Officer Certificate Program (CDataO) provides current and future CDOs with the critical strategic insight, management techniques, and analytical capabilities you need to set up a 21st century data governance program.

Success in today’s world is increasingly dependent on the ability to manage large, diverse, and rapidly changing data. But being data-driven is about more than just amassing huge datasets—it requires a shift in organizational culture at every level. It requires the attitude that data is not a “nice-to-have” byproduct buried in spreadsheets, but rather a key asset central to every decision.

This six-month program, which blends the value of on-campus sessions with the flexibility of synchronous distance learning, will prepare you to recognize business opportunities afforded by new data sources and the latest data science; match the right data to the right problem; ensure compliance with evolving regulations around security, privacy, and bias; understand the role of emerging technology; and achieve buy-in from stakeholders throughout your organization.

As part of this certificate program, you will develop an enterprise data strategy roadmap for a project organization. All students admitted to the CDataO Certificate Program will have at least seven years of relevant experience managing projects and/or people, giving you the chance to collaborate with similarly experienced peers and build exciting new relationships and networks with your cohort.

My Story: Chas

The CDataO program gave Chas Murphy, the Senior Vice President of Data and Analytics, Disney Streaming, at Disney Entertainment, the confidence to build roadmaps for corporate analytics strategy.

In a post-pandemic world, every business is a digital-first and data-first business. Strong data leadership is a crucial ingredient for companies to maximize value from innovation, minimize risk, and evolve their data culture. The Chief Data Officer Certificate Program at CMU—taught by practicing CDOs and data thought leaders—provides aspiring data leaders with the necessary tools, skills, thought provoking ideas, and mentorship. Krishna Cheriath | VP, Head of Digital, Data, and Analytics | Zoetis
Historically, the role of the Chief Data Officer focused on compliance and stewardship, but that focus is evolving. CDOs are now also expected to be strategists who can identify and manage increasingly diverse data-driven opportunities and risks. The instructors in Carnegie Mellon's CDataO Certificate Program, many of whom have been CDOs themselves, understand this shift. David Steier | Distinguished Service Professor | CMU's Heinz College


Program Costs

  • $16,250 for the entire program

  • $13,000 discounted rate for Carnegie Mellon alumni—including CIO, CISO, CRO, and CDigitalO programs—U.S. government employees, veterans, and employees of non-profit organizations

  • Fee includes program materials, daily continental breakfast, lunch, and refreshments during on-campus sessions.

  • Optional credit card installment payment plan is available

Please note: Due to the non-credit bearing nature of the CDataO Certificate Program, students are unable to apply for tuition assistance, scholarship, or VA benefits.

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  • Formal deadline for Cohort 6 is April 30, 2024. Please submit your application as soon as possible for consideration.

  • If space remains after the deadline, we will accept applications on a first-come, first-serve basis.


A non-refundable, non-transferable deposit of 1/5 of the total program cost is required to reserve a seat in the program.

Should a student withdraw from the program after the deposit has been paid but prior to the program start date, students may have 4/5 of the program costs either refunded to them or transferred to the following cohort of the program.

After the program start date, no refunds will be issued. However, under extenuating circumstances and with program director approval, students may petition to postpone their attendance to a future cohort and have 4/5 of the program costs applied accordingly.


Applications are currently being accepted for Cohort 6, which begins May 2024. 

  • Cohort 6 (Spring 2024) Program Dates & Schedule
    Virtual Orientation: 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. EDT
    May 7-9, 2024
    Virtual Modules: 4:00 - 9:00 p.m. EDT
    (Note: all virtual class dates are Mondays)
    May 20 (2024)
    June 3, 10, 17 (2024)
    July 15 (2024)
    Mid-Session: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. EDT (Pittsburgh, PA; virtual option available)
    July 23-25, 2024
    Virtual Modules: 4:00 - 9:00 p.m. EDT
    (Note: all virtual class dates are Mondays)
    August 5, 12, 19, 26 (2024)
    September 9, 16 (2024)
    Practicum: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. EDT (Pittsburgh, PA; virtual option available)
    October 2-3, 2024

C-Data-O Curriculum

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Graduates of the CDataO Certificate Program will have access to new CDataO Program modules created in the future, providing you with continuing education after the program ends. Approval is required.

Please note: This benefit does not extend to future CIO, CISO, CRO, CDigitalO, or PITC program modules, unless the student is also a graduate of those programs.


Students who complete the CDataO Certificate Program and who subsequently apply for and are admitted into the Heinz College MSIT Degree Program are eligible for a tuition discount scholarship. Program costs that have been paid for completing any or all of the Heinz College Executive Education certificate programs (up to $40,000) by the individual student or their sponsor/employer will be matched with a tuition discount from the MSIT program—reducing the cost to complete the MSIT degree by up to $40,000.

In order to be considered, applicants to the MSIT program should indicate their enrollment status with the CIO, CISO, CRO, CDataO, CDigitalO and/or PITC program(s) on the Application for Admission.

Please note: The tuition discount is only available once a student has completed all of the certificate program’s requirements. Completion of a certificate program does not guarantee admission to the MSIT program.