UC Berkeley Data Science Masters Degree Program

University of California Berkeley School of Information Graduate Programs

The MIDS program appears in our ranking of the 30 Best Online Data Science Masters Degree Programs 2022

Online Master of Information and Data Science (MIDS)

The UC California Berkeley School of Information offers one of the top online Master of Information and Data Science (MIDS) programs in the country.  The program is taught by experienced faculty from top companies.  The purpose of the program is to develop data science leaders and address the shortage of well-educated data scientists.

A Flexible Program

The UC Berkeley online masters data science program is a 27-unit, online program that prioritizes flexibility.  Students have three paths to choose from:

  • Accelerated
  • Standard
  • Decelerated

The UC Berkeley MS data science accelerated program allows students to earn their degree in just 12 months.  Students take three courses each semester.

The standard path is perfect for working professionals.  Students can take two courses each semester.  The standard path allows students to complete their degree in 20 months.

For data science program students who would like to work at a slower pace, the decelerated path offers additional flexibility.  Students can complete one course each semester after their first term in the program.  Most students can complete their degree in less than 32 months.


Since the MIDS is one of the top programs in the country, admission is competitive.  Applicants need to submit:

  • A completed online application
  • Official transcripts from all schools attended
  • Statement of Purpose and additional admissions statements
  • Two professional letters of recommendation
  • Current resume
  • Application Fee

Students are encouraged to submit GRE or GMAT scores if they feel doing so would add strength to the application packet.

Applications are reviewed as soon as they are received.  The UC Berkeley School of Information’s MIDS program has three start dates each year (January, May, and September).

Prospective students need to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.  Most admitted students have an undergraduate GPA well above a 3.0.  Prospective students should also have a high level of quantitative ability and a problem-solving mindset.  Applicants may have an undergraduate degree data science or in a related area like computer science or information technology.  While a background in data science is not required, it is helpful. Students are expected to have a working knowledge of fundamental concepts in areas like:

  • data structures
  • algorithms and analysis of algorithms
  • linear algebra

Students who meet all the other requirements except this foundational knowledge will need to complete a bridge course prior to beginning the course in Applied Machine Learning.

Students are also expected to be proficient in programming languages like Python or Java.  If this requirement is missing, students should take Introduction to Data Science Programming in their first term.

Course Offerings

Data science students complete 12-15 units of foundational courses, nine units of advanced courses, and a capstone course.  Students also complete an immersion experience on the UC Berkeley campus.  Foundation courses include:

  • Intro to Data Science Programming
  • Research Design and Application for Data and Analysis
  • Statistics for Data Science
  • Fundamentals of Data Engineering
  • Applied Machine Learning

Advanced course offerings include:

  • Experiments and Causal Inference
  • Behind the Data: Humans and Values
  • Deep Learning in the Cloud and at the Edge
  • Statistical Methods for Discrete Response, Time Series, and Panel Data
  • Machine Learning at Scale
  • Natural Language Processing with Deep Learning
  • Data Visualization
  • Computer Vision
  • Machine Learning Systems Engineering

Online Learning at UC Berkeley

Students can complete the UC Berkeley MS Data Science program entirely online.  The web-based platform allows students to work at their own pace.  Online course work and live seminars keep students engaged in a rich learning environment.  UC Berkeley data science masters students are able to collaborate with faculty and peers while participating in lectures and workshops.

Online UC Berkeley masters in data science students have access to a variety of supports.  Academic advisors, technical support staff and career services support are available online to students when needed.

Graduates Stay Connected

UC Berkeley data science master’s graduates are employed by many of the top companies in the data science industry including:

  • Apple
  • Amazon
  • Facebook
  • Google

Graduates are working in well paid roles like data scientist and data engineer.

Alumni stay connected to UC Berkeley through a unique program called MIDS for Life.  MIDS for Life provides graduates with all previously completed coursework and class sessions.  Graduates also have access to new asynchronous course content.

Graduate Certificate in Applied Data Science

UC Berkeley’s School of Information also offers a Certificate in Applied Data Science for Berkeley grad students.  This three-course certificate exposes students to the challenges of working with Big Data.  Students have the opportunity to learn about new tools and techniques for data analysis like data mining and machine learning.

Graduate students must take three courses.  These courses include:

  • An introductory course in data science
  • A course in analytical methods and techniques of data science
  • An elective course that can be a domain-specific data science course or an additional methods course

Students must pass each course with at least a grade of a B to receive certificate credit.

Students can apply for this certificate no sooner than the second half of the semester in which they complete their coursework.

About University of California Berkeley

UC Berkeley was founded in 1868 following the California Gold Rush that brought thousands to the state. In 1868, the College of California in Oakland and the Agricultural Mining and Mechanical Arts College, a land-grant institution, merged to form the University of California. In 1919, with the merger of the Los Angeles State Normal School, a statewide university system was established. Today, there are over 30,000 undergraduate and 11,000 graduate students attending the University of California Berkeley. U.S. News & World Report ranks UC Berkeley as the number one public university and the number four global university in the country.

University of California Berkeley Accreditation Details

The University of California Berkeley is accredited by the Western Association of Schools & Colleges. The school has held the accreditation since 1949 and it was reaffirmed in 2015. Accreditation indicates that the school agrees to voluntary review periodically in order to determine if degrees offered have meaning and quality. The review also:

  • determines if graduates obtain skills necessary to achieve career goals
  • confirms adequate graduation and retention rates
  • determines the university’s sustainability and strategic planning

University of California Berkeley Application Requirements

Students who have not earned college credit after high school graduation are considered freshmen at the University of California Berkeley. Students must have a 3.0 GPA in required courses during their sophomore and junior year of high school. Students must provide official high school transcripts as well as official SAT or ACT scores. Students may submit two letters of recommendation, although they are not required for admission.

Students who have earned college credit after high school graduation are considered transfer students. They must complete applications on both the campus application portal and the University of California website. Students must provide transcripts from all colleges and universities attended as well as official SAT and ACT scores.

Graduate students must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university. They must also have a 3.0 GPA in undergraduate studies. Students must provide official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. Students must provide official GRE, GMAT or MCAT test scores. At least three letters of recommendation are required.

University of California Berkeley Tuition and Financial Aid

The average net price for a year of undergraduate study at UC Berkeley is $17,652. Based on information provided by the National Center for Education Statistics, the average cost of graduate student tuition and fees is $14,160/year for in-state students and $29,262/year for out-of-state students.  The master’s in data science at Berkeley cost is in line with the national average of $30-$40,000/year.

Financial aid is available, and more than 61 percent of UC Berkeley’s undergraduate students receive some type of financial assistance. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to qualify for aid. Students must also complete the Cal Grant Application through the California Student Aid Commission in order to qualify for Cal Grants. Financial aid is available in the form of:

  • grants
  • scholarships
  • loans
  • work-study programs

UC Berkeley has offered excellence in education for more than 150 years. Today, the University of California Berkeley offers online programs as well as evening or weekend classes so that working adults are able to meet their higher education goals.

More information about data science master’s degree programs at The University of California Berkeley can be found on the website.

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