According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for qualified data science professionals is expected to increase by 22% through 2030. Employers need data scientists to make sense of all their data and provide valuable insights so they can make effective business decisions. Data scientists can help their employers understand their customer’s behavior and make sense of the data available to them. A bachelor’s degree in data science can give students the skill set needed to make a difference in their organization. Worried about the cost of going back to school? Earning a bachelor’s degree in data science doesn’t have to break the bank. We have created this ranking of the most affordable bachelor’s degree programs in data science. Programs are available:
- through a hybrid model
We considered schools holding regional accreditation who offer a bachelor’s degree in data science or a closely related field. Selected programs have courses taught by experienced faculty and offer hands-on training using cutting edge data science technology. We then ranked our schools by their net price indicated by the National Center for Education Statistics.
#20 -Webster University – Saint Louis, Missouri
Average Net Price: $23,548/year
Webster University features an affordable bachelor’s in data analytics offered by the George Herbert Walker School of Business and Technology and the Mathematics and Computer Science Department. This flexible data science bachelor’s degree program is available online and on-campus. Students will learn a variety of technologies that support effective business decision making and analytically focused strategies. Required courses include:
- Information Analysis
- Database Systems
- Data Warehousing
Students can complete their degree in just two years.
#19 -University of Evansville – Evansville, Indiana
Average Net Price: $23,212/year
The University of Evansville offers an innovative Bachelor of Science in Statistics and Data Science that prepares students to successfully work with Big Data. Students stay engaged through project-driven courses. They will work through the work cycle of predictive modeling while mastering cutting-edge statistical software. Students benefit from a liberal arts education that provides them with a broad foundational knowledge in the arts and sciences. At the same time they’ll build the quantitative and technical skills needed in data science. Course offerings include:
- Statistical Modeling
- Introductory Statistics with R
- Techniques for Large Data Sets
Graduates have the education and skills needed be successful data scientists in any industry.
#18 -Valparaiso University – Valparaiso, Indiana
Average Net Price: $22,500/year
The BS in Data Science from Valparaiso University is a new program integrating:
- computer science
- data science
These give students the skills needed to evaluate and interpret data. Students are encouraged to select a minor or second major in a field of interest to apply their data analysis skills. Data science courses include:
- Data Mining and Applications
- Introduction to Data Science
- Applied Data Science
All students complete a data science capstone project, gaining valuable hands-on experience that prepares them for success after graduation.
#17 -University of California-Berkeley – Berkeley, California
Average Net Price: $19,329/year
The data science major from UC Berkeley was designed in collaboration with faculty from across the university. Students will learn how to draw conclusions from data in context using data management strategies and computational processes. They will understand the role data and data analysis play in our individual and professional lives. Courses include:
- Principles and Techniques of Data Science
- Data Inference and Decisions
- Human Contexts and Ethics of Data
Graduates have the skill set to inform and develop solutions to complex business challenges.
#16 -St. Mary’s University – San Antonio, Texas
Average Net Price: $18,827/year
The BBA in Accounting and Data Analytics from St. Mary’s University features a curriculum designed around industry input. Students complete the 120-credit hour accounting major and an additional 30 credits in data analytics and information systems. Course highlights include:
- Database Management
- Enterprise Resource Planning
- Business Intelligence
Students have obtained internships and employment opportunities at top companies like Liberty Mutual and SeaWorld. Graduates are prepared to sit for the Certified Public Accountant examination.
#15 -Aquinas College – Grand Rapids, Michigan
Average Net Price: $18,812/year
Aquinas College is a Catholic liberal arts college located on the eastern edge of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Aquinas offers a Bachelor’s of Science in Data Analytics focused on hands-on training and professional development. Students must take at least 24 of the 47 required semester hours at Aquinas. Specialized course offerings include:
- Applied Statistics with R
- Linear Regression
- Database Theory
A specialized project and presentation using real world data serves as the culminating experience. Students are encouraged to complete an internship, boosting their resume and building a professional network.
#14 -Salem University – Salem, West Virginia
Average Net Price: $18,753/year
The affordable BS in computer science at Salem University includes a specialized concentration in data science that gives students the training needed to step into the workforce or pursue a graduate degree. Students will learn:
- data security practices and principles
- project management strategies
- development and maintenance of software programs
Courses are offered online or on-campus to meet the needs of diverse learners. This 10-course program accepts applications on a rolling basis with admission decisions made monthly. Graduates are prepared for a variety of career paths including business technology analyst and data scientists.
#13 -Washington State University – Pullman, Washington
Average Net Price: $17,931/year
Students seeking advanced training in statistics, data and computer science can reach their career goals with a Bachelor of Science in Data Analytics from Washington State University. Nine unique domain tracks allow students to develop specialized analytics skills in:
- Actuarial Science
- Agricultural and Environmental Systems
- Data Visualization
- Life Sciences
- Physical Sciences
- Social Sciences
Students will learn how to analyze and communicate different types of data from start to finish. They will understand their legal and ethical responsibilities along with the concepts of privacy and security in data. Graduates are prepared for entry and mid-level roles in data science.
#12 -Colorado State University – Fort Collins, Colorado
Average Net Price: $17,609/year
The College of Natural Sciences at Colorado State University features a data science bachelor’s degree program offering five different concentration areas. Students can choose to focus on:
- Computer Science
Students move through this four-year program as a cohort team, getting to know their peers as they complete their coursework. During the final year, students complete a hands-on capstone project to gain professional experience.
#11 -University of Michigan Ann Arbor – Ann Arbor, Michigan
Average Net Price: $17,832/year
The University of Michigan College of Engineering offers a joint data science program with the Department of Statistics in the College of LSA. The program strives to train well-rounded data scientists with the skills needed to succeed in a data driven world. Courses emphasize both the practical use of data science methods and the theoretical properties behind those methods and algorithms. Students must choose electives from three areas including:
- Machine learning and data mining
- Data management and applications
- Data science applications
Students complete a capstone experience consisting of either an approved capstone course or an approved data science-oriented project.
#10 -University of Iowa – Iowa City, Iowa
Average Net Price: $17,452/year
The best value bachelor’s in data science from the University of Iowa gives students the analytical and computational skills they need to handle complex organizational problems. The program is offered in partnership with the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science and the Department of Computer Science. Students will use software to collect, extract and transform raw data into usable information. Core courses include:
- Discrete Structures
- Statistical Methods and Computing
- Database Systems
Students complete two capstone courses that emphasize communication and teamwork, preparing students to be effective, team-oriented data science professionals.
#9 -Iowa State University – Ames, Iowa
Average Net Price: $16,105/year
Do you want to change the world through data science? Iowa State University offers a data science bachelor’s degree that allows students to challenge themselves and engage their quantitative and create sides. Iowa State offers students eight unique application areas that include:
- Big Data
- Engineering Applications
- Software Analytics
- Computational Biology
- Numerical Analysis
Students complete a capstone course that allows them to apply various data science concepts to an application area while working as part of a multidisciplinary team.
#8 -Bellevue University – Bellevue, Nebraska
Average Net Price: $15,629/year
Bellevue University offers a bachelor’s in business analysis and management available in an online or on-campus format. Students who transfer in with an associate’s degree can be part of an accelerated cohort, taking one course at a time with the same group of peers. Course offerings include:
- Strategic Management
- Managing and Using Information Systems
- Process Mapping and Project Design
Interested in a career in business analytics? The curriculum includes the required courses needed for students to sit for the Certified Business Analysis Professional credential, boosting their resume.
#7 -Oklahoma State University – Stillwater, Oklahoma
Average Net Price: $14,763/year
Oklahoma State University offers a bachelor’s degree in statistics that provides students with experience collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data across a variety of disciplines. The program emphasizes statistical methodology and technology. Students can pursue a second major in another discipline to apply statistical applications and concepts. Required courses include:
- Statistical Methods
- Computer Science
Students can gain valuable hands-on experience working in the Statistical Learning and Instructional Laboratory.
#6 -Arizona State University – Tempe, Arizona
Average Net Price: $14,653/year
The low-priced bachelor’s in data analytics from Arizona State University is a flexible program offered on-campus or online. Students will learn both organizational and technical competencies to implement a variety of data analysis. Course content covers areas like:
- data warehousing
- dimensional modeling
- big data analytics methods
ASU offers a three-year accelerated program option for students who want to fast-track their studies. Students can also take advantage of an accelerated bachelor’s to master’s degree option which lets students earn both degrees in just five years.
#5 -Indiana University – Bloomington, Indiana
Average Net Price: $13,191/year
Indiana University created their top data science bachelor’s program to improve the way the world uses data. Students will become holistically trained data science experts who can solve problems and transform industries. This affordable bachelor’s in data science offers five different specialization areas including:
- Foundational Data Science
- Data Systems
- Network and Applied Data Science
- Data Science Design
- Biological and Health Science
Students can choose elective courses to further customize their degree. Graduates are making a big difference at companies like Amazon and Microsoft.
#4 -Arkansas Tech University – Russellville, Arkansas
Average Net Price: $11,277/year
The Department of Management and Marketing at Arkansas Tech University offers a hands-on program that prepares students to actively contribute to their organization’s bottom line on day one. The four-year curriculum includes courses in:
- Business Intelligence
- Marketing Research and Analysis
- Management Information Systems
Students can choose unique electives that align with their professional goals. Graduates have the skills needed to analyze large and small data sets to help guide decision making.
#3 -University of Florida – Gainesville, Florida
Average Net Price: $10,075/year
The data science bachelor’s degree at the University of Florida combines computer science and statistical methodology. Courses cover mathematical foundations of areas like data science and algorithms. They also also focus on statistical methods for data science. Students can boost their resume with a minor in actuarial science which prepares them for to sit for the beginning examinations to become an actuary. Data science majors will explore data science in practice in a variety of different subject matter areas. Students can complete this 62 credit hour program in about two years.
#2 -Northern Kentucky University – Highland Heights, Kentucky
Average Net Price: $9,664/year
The College of Informatics at Northern Kentucky University designed their Bachelor of Science in Data Science to prepare students to help organizations use their data effectively. Students will develop effective solutions to problems using analytics software and data life cycles. They will have the soft skills needed to communicate effectively in a variety professional contexts. Full-time and part-time program options are available, and all courses are offered during the daytime and evening hours. Some courses are offered online or in a hybrid format to accommodate working professionals. Students have access to a variety of professional development opportunities including internships and co-ops.
#1 -Brigham Young University – Rexburg, Idaho
Average Net Price: $6,871/year ($3,435 for LDS members)
The Department of Mathematics at Brigham Young University features a low-cost data science bachelor’s degree program that prepares students for a variety of exciting careers in data science. Students will learn to program with, visualize, and interpret data vital to the success of their organization. Courses cover areas like:
- data driven consulting
- programming languages including Python, R, and SQL
- industry leading tools like Git/Github and R-Studio Suite
Students are encouraged to complete two to three internships during their time in the program. Courses are currently available on-campus. Students can complete their degree in two years.
Is a bachelor’s in data science a good degree?
Data science is an interdisciplinary field that incorporates training disciplines in:
- computer science
As one of the country’s fastest growing industries, a degree in data science can open doors to exciting career opportunities. Data science professionals are needed to help businesses and other organizations make sound, strategic decisions using as much information as possible. Data scientists collect and organize data from a variety of sources and help business leaders make sense of the information they collect. Data scientists are beneficial to organizations by providing:
- real time intelligence-
Data scientists can help business leaders by creating automated dashboards that display real-time analytics. This real time analysis helps stakeholders identify and respond to challenges.
- integrated data analysis-
Data scientists have the skills to collect and analyze data from different departments within an organization. They can provide business leaders with valuable insights as to what’s happening across their entire organization.
- improvements in data security-
Businesses need to make sure their data is secure. Data scientists can identify fraud, correct issues with access, and identify issues with data architecture to improve overall security within an organization.
Can I earn a bachelor’s in data science online?
Absolutely! Online data science programs are a popular choice for:
- working students
- students with busy schedules
- those who want an alternative to a traditional brick and mortar program
These programs offer the same level of rigor as their traditional counterparts and can cost considerably less.
How much money can you make after earning a data science bachelor’s degree?
Almost every industry can benefit from the expertise of a data science professional. Businesses recognize their value and compensate accordingly. As with most roles, data scientists with advanced education and training tend to be paid better than those just starting out. Some of the best paying jobs in data science according to payscale.com include:
- Data Analyst: $59,333/year (average salary)
- Data Scientist: $76,513/year (average salary)
- Business Analyst, IT: $67,968/year (average salary)
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the demand for data science roles like Database Administrator and Data Architect are expected to grow by 8% through 2030. Entry level positions pay new graduates well due to the relevant nature of their skill set.
How much does it cost to get an bachelor’s in data science?
According to information published through the Education Data Initiative, the average cost of college in the US is $35,720/year.
As a general guideline, public schools are more affordable ($25,615/year) than private school ($53,949/year) and in-state tuition rates are lower than those charged to out-of-state students. Students may be able to save money by choosing an online data science bachelor’s degree program. Or they can take their general education courses at a less expensive junior college before transferring to a larger, four- year university.
Online students can save a considerable about of money if they work while going to school. Since online students can complete coursework from home, they don’t incur the added expense of on-campus housing and pricey meal plans. Many online data science programs offer online textbooks and use open-source software to keep costs low.
Students should make sure to complete the FAFSA to be considered for financial aid awards that can include low interest loans or grants. Scholarships and employer tuition reimbursement programs can further reduce the cost of education.
How long does it take to complete a bachelor’s in data science?
A bachelor’s degree typically takes four years to complete. The first two years are spent focused on general education courses while the last two years are spent working on major courses.
Accelerated programs are becoming more common as students push to complete their degree faster and join the workforce. Accelerated programs allow students to complete the 2nd half of their degree in just 12-22 months. These programs are a great choice for students with considerable experience in data science and have the time available to pursue their degree on a full-time basis.
Many students choose to work on their degree on a part-time basis. Some part-time programs offer shorter courses (eight weeks is common) to allow students to complete two courses each term and finish their degree in two years.
What are the requirements for a bachelor’s in data science degree program?
Each school has its own unique admission requirements. Applicants should have earned their high school diploma or GED to be admitted to the university. Schools may have a minimum GPA requirement (often a 3.0) and SAT or ACT scores. Data science programs can be competitive. Applicants should be prepared to submit evidence that they can successfully complete a rigorous data science program. High school students interested in a career in data science should take courses in:
High school graduates can strengthen their application by taking applicable undergraduate courses before declaring their major in data science. Programs may require students to complete prerequisite coursework to get them caught up with their more technical peers.
Will I need to complete an internship to get a bachelor’s degree in data science?
An internship can certainly be helpful for students without professional work experience in the field. They may not be required as part of a data science bachelor’s degree but, instead, offered as an elective. Students should look for a data science bachelor’s degree program that emphasizes hands-on, practical training. This type of training can help students easily transition their skill set from the classroom to the workplace.
What are some examples of courses needed for a bachelor’s in data science?
While each program requires a unique set of core courses, popular course offerings for data science programs include:
- Data Structures and Algorithms
- Data Mining and Text Mining
- Business Intelligence
Will I need any licenses or certificates to get a job in data science?
There is no specific data science certificate or license needed to get a job in data science. While certificate programs are available, a bachelor’s in data science is often sufficient evidence of competency.
Are there any professional organizations for people with a career in data science?
Data scientists are supported by a number of different professional organizations.
- Association of Data Scientists:
The Association of Data Scientists (ADaSci) considers itself to be the “premier global professional body of data science and machine learning professionals.” The ADaSci encourages continuing education and professional development in the field while promoting high professional industry standards. The ADaSci is responsible for publishing several different peer reviewed scholarly journals. They organize national and international conferences and provide certification and continuing education opportunities to members and others in the field.
- The American Statistical Association:
The American Statistical Association (ASA) is a Boston based organization created in 1839 to promote the quality and practice of the profession of statistics. ASA offers the highly respected Accredited Professional Statistician certification to professionals with an advanced degree and significant professional experience. The ASA has a global impact with over 19,000 members working in areas like:
- The Data Science Council of America:
The Data Science Council of America (DASCA) offers professional certifications for:
- Big Data Engineers
- Big Data Analysts
- Data Scientists
DASCA is an independent organization created to elevate the quality of data science professionals. They are on the forefront of professional development by:
- setting data science standards
- developing knowledge frameworks and certifications
- creating knowledgeware that reflects industry-leading initiatives to advance the profession
University of Saint Joseph – West Hartford, Connecticut
Bachelor’s in Computer and Data Science
The bachelor’s in computer and data science from the University of Saint Joseph is a hands-on program that prepares students to work in both computer science and data science. Students complete coursework and an internship to develop practical skills in areas like:
- computer programming
- data analysis
- data mining
Required courses include:
- Python Programming
- Data Analysis with R
- Database Design and Development
University of Maryland Global Campus – Adelphi, Maryland
Online Bachelor’s in Data Science
The University of Maryland Global Campus offers an online data science bachelor’s degree designed with insights from employers and industry experts. Students will study all stages of data science methodology from data extraction to transformation. They will learn how to incorporate best practices of areas like data security and risk management into the development of data science solutions. Required courses include:
- Cybersecurity for Leaders and Managers
- Data Ethics
- Artificial Intelligence Solutions
All students complete a project-based data science capstone to showcase their data science expertise.
City University of Seattle – Seattle, Washington
Bachelor of Science in Data Science
City University of Seattle features a flexible data science bachelor’s degree program available:
- a hybrid format
Students can complete their degree at their own pace, balancing their education with other obligations. Data science courses include:
- Artificial Intelligence
- Data Analysis and Presentation
- Mathematics for Machine Learning
Applicants need a minimum of a high school diploma or GED.