Find Your Degree
Sponsored Schools
Data Science Degree Programs Guide - Top Master's Degrees-01

By DSD Staff
April 2019

According to IBM, in 2019, businesses are creating and storing almost 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. Big Data is big business and businesses are swimming in oceans of valuable data. As one of the fastest growing, multibillion-billion dollar industries, corporations and organizations are trying to make the most out of the data they already have and determine what data they still need to capture and store. Earning a master’s in data science from a top data science school is a great way to gain the skills and experience needed to stand out in this competitive field and give your employer an edge over the competition.

We created a ranking of the top master’s in data science using information obtained from College Navigator and the program’s individual websites. We searched College Navigator for schools offering traditional campus based programs related to data science such as business analytics, analytics, computer science, and data science. We narrowed our list down to accredited programs directly related to big data, offering coursework designed to maximize data analysis and understanding. From there we created a ranking system to determine the 30 best on-campus programs at both public and non-profit universities in the United States.


Ranking is as follows:
Student/Faculty ratio:

  • Less than 10:1- 5 points
  • 11:1 to 15:1- 3 points
  • 16:1 and above- 1 point

Average Net Price:

  • Less than $13,000- 3 points
  • $13,000 to $20,000- 2 points
  • Greater than $20,000- 1 point

Concentration Areas:

  • Yes- 3 points

Where there are ties, schools are ranked according to in-state average graduate tuition rates per College Navigator.

#30 -University of Washington – Seattle, Washington

Master of Science in Data Science

Website
Ratio: 19:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $15,510/year in-state and $27,801/year out-of-state
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 3
The University of Washington in Seattle offers a top master’s in data science. IT features a comprehensive, interdisciplinary curriculum. The program was developed in partnership with:

  • the Department of Applied Mathematics
  • Department of Biostatistics
  • Department of Computer Science and Engineering
  • Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering
  • Department of Statistics
  • Information School

Courses are offered during the evening, with full-time students taking courses two evenings a week on the UW Seattle Campus. The program consists of nine core courses and a capstone project. Graduates are prepared to advance in their field in areas such as:

  • statistical modeling
  • machine learning
  • software engineering
  • data management

#29 -Stanford University – Stanford, California

M.S. in Statistics: Data Science

Website
Ratio: 12:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $50,703/year
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 4
The top master’s in data science at Stanford University is offered in collaboration with the Department of Statistics and the Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering (ICME). Students are trained in data science with a computational focus through coursework in:

  • mathematics
  • statistics
  • programming
  • data sciences

There is no thesis requirement and students will be prepared for the workforce as well as for advanced doctoral study. Specialized electives are available in areas such as:

  • machine learning
  • mining massive data sets
  • data driven medicine
  • business intelligence from Big Data

#28 -Georgetown University – Washington, District of Columbia

Master of Science in Analytics-Data Science

Website
Ratio: 11:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $49,560/year
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 4
The top master’s in analytics from Georgetown University is offered through a partnership with the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. This rigorous program provides students with training in mathematical, computational, and statistical methods. The program is open to recent grads and professionals looking for advancement or a new career. Full time students can earn their degree in just two years (less with transfer credit or summer coursework). Classes are typically offered during the late afternoon or evening to accommodate working professionals. Students have the opportunity to participate in unique events like the Data Visualization Challenge, the Deloitte Core Consulting Series, and the Analytics Student Showcase.

#27 -Southern Methodist University – Dallas, Texas

Applied MS in Statistics and Data Analytics Program (MASDA)

Website
Ratio: 11:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $40,896/year
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 4
The Applied MS in Statistics and Data Analytics program at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas is designed to prepare students with a strong statistical foundation and analytical skills to solve complex problems. Students can complete their degree in just 18-24 months. The applied MS in Statistics and Data Analytics offers courses focused on:

  • statistical methods in epidemiology
  • time series analysis
  • data base management
  • statistical computing,
  • computational statistics

Faculty are world-class, with extensive experience in data analytics. Students develop statistical computing competence in SAS and R, with many able to pass SAS Certification exams. Consulting practicum experiences are available through the Center for Statistical Consulting Services, giving student the chance to work with actual clients.

#26 -University of San Francisco – San Francisco, California

MS in Data Science

Website
Ratio: 13:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $24,930/year
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 4
The College of Arts and Sciences at the University of San Francisco features a top master’s in data science that takes just 12 months to complete. This rigorous program uses a state-of-the-art open source curriculum for students to develop the skills needed to be successful in one of the fastest growing fields in the world. Course topics include:

  • machine learning
  • regression
  • web scraping
  • SQL and NoSQL database management
  • cluster analysis

This 35 credit hour program features a summer analytics boot camp designed help students learn, or brush up on, the skills needed to work as a data scientist. A practicum program allows students to work part-time in the field to gain professional work experience for nine months of the program. Students Courses are held during the weekdays with two days set aside for practicum work.

#25 -The University of Texas at Austin – Austin, Texas

Master of Science in Business Analytics

Website
Ratio: 18:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $11,742/year in-state and $22,564/year out-of-state
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 4
The McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas Austin features a top master’s in business analytics that takes just 10 months to complete. Students benefit from unique networking opportunities and industry connections not typically found with other data science programs. Courses cover areas like supply chain analytics, text analysis, decision analysis, and data analytics programming. Students work with a career development team who help ensure success after graduation.

#24 -University of Colorado – Boulder, Colorado

MS in Computer Science with emphasis in Data Science & Engineering

Website
Ratio: 18:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $11,484/year in-state and $30,384/year out-of-state
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 4
The University of Colorado features an innovative top master’s in data science that offers the breadth of knowledge in demand by employers as they try and make sense of Big Data. The program is available both online and on-campus and courses are taught by experienced faculty. Courses cover areas like design and analysis of data systems, datacenter scale computing, data mining, and machine learning .

#23 -Arizona State University – Tempe, Arizona

Master of Science in Business Analytics

Website
Ratio: 20:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $11,406/year in-state and $25,160/year out-of-state
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 4

The W.P. Carey Master of Science in Business Analytics is a nine month program comprised of 10 courses in data and analytics. It’s a great program for recent grads with a strong quantitative background. The program begins each August and classes are offered online or during the weekdays on campus. Full-time students can earn their degree in just nine months of study. It’s a designated STEM program so international students qualify for up to 36 months of full-time employment in the U.S. after graduation. The W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University is considered one of the best graduate schools for business and information systems according to U.S. News and World Report in 2019.

#22 -University of Central Florida – Orlando, Florida

Master of Science in Data Analytics (Big Data)

Website
Ratio: 30:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $6,916/year in-state and $25,759/year out-of-state
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 4
The University of Central Florida features a 30 credit hour interdisciplinary master’s in data analytics offered through the College of Engineering and Computer Science and the College of Sciences. Students can complete their degree in just 16-20 months. Instruction is in a face-to-face format with courses offered evenings and weekends. Students move through the program in a cohort, resulting in strong peer support and interaction. Courses are offered during the evening or weekend to accommodate working professionals. Courses for this top data science master’s program include:

  • parallel and cloud computation
  • network science
  • machine learning
  • parallel and distributed database systems
  • data mining
  • statistical analysis

#21 -University of Oklahoma – Norman, Oklahoma

Master’s in Data Science and Analytics

Website
Ratio: 18:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $5,683/year in-state and $20,342/year out-of-state
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 4
The University of Oklahoma features a top master’s in data science and analytics program offered in conjunction with the Schools of Computer Science and Industrial and Systems Engineering. Full-time students can earn their degree in just 14 months. Part-time opportunities are also available for students unable to commit to a full time schedule. Courses are offered online, on campus, or a mixture of both. A practicum experience is offered to students after all core coursework has been completed. Core coursework covers computing structures, algorithm analysis, intelligent data analytics, and engineering statistical analysis. A thesis option is available for students who plan to continue their education in doctoral study.

#20 -Oklahoma State University – Stillwater, Oklahoma

M.S. in Business Analytics (MSBAN)

Website
Ratio: 20:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $5,531/year in-state and $21,034/year out-of-state
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 4
The top master’s in business analytics program offered by the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University is a four semester program available both online and on-campus. The program is highly competitive with a 21% average acceptance rate each year. The master’s in data science has received STEM classification. This allows international students an additional 17 months of optional practical training in the U.S. Coursework comes from a variety of areas such as:

  • analytics
  • machine learning
  • statistics

This top master’s in data science also offers students the chance to publish and present research papers at a variety of conferences.

#19 -Kennesaw State University – Kennesaw, Georgia

Master of Science in Applied Statistics (MSAS)

Website
Ratio: 21:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $5,520/year in-state and $18,810/year out-of-state
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 4
Kennesaw State University offers a master’s in applied statistics designed to help students learn to analyze real world data to develop data driven solutions. This 36 semester hour program differentiates itself from most traditional master’s in statistics programs. It utilizes statistical programs such as SAS and JMP to analyze data and create summaries starting in the first semester of study. Students then complete an applied project using real-world data from their job or internship to demonstrate their skills and knowledge. The program is focused on communicating the results in a clear and concise manner to various levels of stakeholders. Students also have the unique opportunity to earn their Six Sigma Black Belt during their second year to enhance career opportunities after graduation.

#18 -Seattle University – Seattle, Washington

Master of Science in Business Analytics

Website
Ratio: 11:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $19,055/year
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 5
Seattle University has developed a top master’s in business analytics program to meet the growing demand for qualified business data and intelligence analysts. Conveniently located near one of the fastest growing tech hubs in the nation, SU is able to partner with some of the most creative and up-and-coming businesses in the country. Courses cover areas such as:

  • data wrangling, visualization and communication
  • mathematical models for decision making
  • Big Data analytics

New students begin the program each fall and applications are reviewed twice per year. The program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

#17 -University of Virginia – Charlottesville, Virginia

Master of Science in Data Science (MSDS)

Website
Ratio: 15:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $16,018/year in-state and $26,830/year out-of-state
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 5
The Data Science Institute at the University of Virginia offers a top data science master’s degree program. It can be completed in just 11 months. The program begins each July and finishes the following May. Courses are taught by faculty from a variety of areas including:

  • computer science
  • statistics
  • systems and information engineering

Students move through the program as a cohort, completing and following an integrated curriculum focused on hands-on learning. At the conclusion of the program, students complete a capstone experience focusing on a data science challenge to gain real-world experience. Students receive mentoring and guidance from faculty during their capstone experience. The program boasts a 100% employment rate for MSDS graduates.

#16 -University of Chicago – Chicago, Illinois

Master of Science in Analytics (MScA)

Website
Ratio: 5:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $57,759/year
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 6
The Master of Science in Analytics program at the Graham School at the University of Chicago Graham School welcomes students from all over the world to become leaders in the field of analytics. Courses cover areas such as:

  • machine learning and predictive analytics
  • Bayesian methods
  • time series analysis and forecasting

Students can earn their degree attending part-time or full-time, with full-time students completing their degree in just five quarters. Graduates will have advanced proficiency in the data engineering and software skills needed for success in the field.

#15 -Brown University – Providence, Rhode Island

Master’s Program in Data Science

Website
Ratio: 7:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $54,320/year
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 6
The top master’s in data science program at Brown University is offered through a collaboration between four academic departments. The program can be completed in just 12 months. Courses cover areas such:

  • as data engineering
  • data and society
  • statistical learning
  • machine learning

A data practicum allows students to work on a real-world data project in either industry or academia. Students gain exposure to ethical and societal considerations that affect the field of data science. New students begin the program in September.

#14 -Northwestern University – Evanston, Illinois

Master of Science in Analytics Program (MSiA)

Website
Ratio: 6:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $54,120/year
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 6
The McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University offers a master’s in analytics. It combines mathematical and statistical studies with advanced IT and data management. Students complete an eight month practicum project, a three month summer internship, and a 10-week capstone design project, making them well equipped for the work force. The program follows a cohort format, with about 40 students in each cohort. Students attend full-time, on-campus and can expect to earn their degree in 15 months. This master’s in data science is taught by faculty from:

  • the McCormick School of Engineering
  • the Kellogg School of Management
  • the Medill School of Journalism, Media, and Integrated Marketing Communications

#13 -Boston University – Boston, Massachusetts

Master of Science in Computer Information Systems concentration in Data Analytics

Website
School Profile
Ratio: 10:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $52,816/year
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 6
Ranked 6th in the nation by U.S. News and World Report for its master’s in Computer Information Systems, Boston University is a leader in the area of CIS and innovation. The master’s in data analytics exposes students to a variety of topics including:

  • data mining
  • text mining,
  • web mining

This 40 credit hour program includes both a core curriculum and concentration coursework in:

  • probability and statistics
  • web analytics and mining
  • data analysis and visualization with R

Offered in both an online and traditional format, the program is flexible enough for working professionals.

#12 -Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Cambridge, Massachusetts

Master of Business Analytics

Website
Ratio: 3:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $51,520/year
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 6
The MIT Sloan School of Management is one of the top management schools in the world. With more than 136,000 alumni in 90 different countries, the MIT network is vast and impressive. This is a specialized one year master’s in business analytics. It’s designed for recent college grads or current students who want to use cutting edge data science to solve business challenges. Courses cover areas such as:

  • communicating with data
  • analytics software tools in R, Python, SQL, and Julia
  • machine learning

MIT offers additional data science opportunities at the doctoral level for those who plan to continue past the master’s level.

#11 -University of Southern California – Los Angeles, California

Master of Science in Computer Science (Data Science)

Website
Ratio: 9:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $44,712/year
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 6
The USC Viterbi Department of Computer Science offers a top master’s in data science preparing students to work in domains including:

  • energy
  • the environment
  • health
  • medicin,
  • transportation

The Department of Computer Science is home to more than 40 faculty members from the Information Sciences Institute and the Institute for Creative Technologies. The 32 credit hour program combines courses in both data systems and data analysis. Included are unique electives such as:

  • information visualization
  • building knowledge graphs
  • optimization theory and techniques

#10 -DePaul University – Chicago, Illinois

MS in Data Science

Website
Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $19,032/year
Concentration Areas: Computational Methods, Healthcare, Hospitality, Marketing
Points: 6
DePaul University has a long standing tradition of offering quality programs. Its master’s in data science program is no exception. Students can choose from four different concentration areas including:

  • computational methods
  • health care
  • marketing
  • hospitality

Students have access to the Center for Data Science as well as the DePaul Analytics Student Group. Students in this top data science master’s program deal with real world analytics problems through collaborations with industry and nonprofits. Foundational courses cover areas including:

  • Python programming
  • advanced data analysis
  • web data mining
  • advanced machine learning

An extensive offering of electives is available to further tailor the degree.

#9 -Georgia Institute of Technology – Atlanta, Georgia

Master of Science in Analytics

Website
Ratio: 22:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $13,788/year in-state and $28,568/year out-of-state
Concentration Areas: Analytical Tools, Business Analytics, Computational Data Analytics
Points: 6
Georgia Tech is a well respected institution and it is no surprise that it appears in our list of the top master’s in data science programs. U.S. News and World Report ranked Georgia Tech:

  • #1 for its graduate program
  • #6 in business and quantitative analysis
  • #7 in statistics and operational research
  • #9 in computer science

Georgia Tech offers both an on-campus and online interdisciplinary master’s in analytics. The on-campus program can be completed in just one year. Students can choose from several program tracks including:

  • analytical tools
  • business analytics
  • computational data analytics

Offered in a cohort format, students complete several courses together before branching out into their area of specialization.

#8 -North Carolina State University – Raleigh, North Carolina

Master of Science in Analytics

Website
Ratio: 13:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $8,917/year in-state and $25,405/year out-of-state
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 6
The Institute for Advanced Analytics at North Carolina State University is considered one of the premiere institutions for data science according to the Harvard Business Review. The 10 month cohort-based master’s in analytics provides students with teamwork and personalized coaching. The curriculum is reviewed on a regular basis to reflect the changing needs of business. In terms of graduate employability, NCSU has almost a near perfect job placement rate by graduation and an average base starting salary for recent grads of over $98,000/year.

#7 -University of Iowa – Iowa City, Iowa

Full-time Master of Business Analytics

Website
Ratio: 15:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $8,856/year in-state and $26,460/year out-of-state
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 6
The Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa offers a three-semester full-time master’s in business analytics. Students apply classroom learning to solve actual business problems through an analytics consulting capstone course and an internship experience. Courses for this top master’s in data science program cover areas such as:

  • data and decisions
  • data management and visual analytics
  • advanced analytics
  • data programming in R
  • data science

#6 -Colorado State University – Fort Collins, Colorado

Master of Science in Applied Statistics (MSAS)

Website
Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $10,214/year in-state and $25,040/year out-of-state
Concentration Areas: Data Science, Statistical Science
Points: 7
The top master’s in applied statistics program at Colorado State University is designed as a full-time program that students can complete in just one year. Courses are taught by experienced CSU statistics faculty and are available online. Students will learn advanced statistical procedures to enhance:

  • market research
  • product development
  • quality control

This top master’s in data science program concludes with a practicum in consulting techniques designed to help students utilize their communication and statistics skills with a real-world client. Courses are available in:

  • business visual application development
  • applications of machine learning
  • quantitative reasoning
  • regression models and applications

#5 -Columbia University in the City of New York – New York, New York

Master of Science in Data Science

Website
Ratio: 6:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $46,216/year
Concentration Areas: Entrepreneurship
Points: 9
The Data Science Institute at Columbia University offers a top master’s in data science program. The program builds upon coursework offered through the Certification of Professional Achievement in Data Sciences program. Students are engaged in research including a final capstone project. The program can be completed by both full-time and part-time students, with full time students earning their degree in just three semesters. Courses cover areas such as:

  • probability and statistics
  • algorithms for data science
  • statistical inference and modeling
  • machine learning for data science

Concentration areas include, but are not limited to:

  • entrepreneurship
  • computing systems for data-driven science
  • data, media, and society
  • health analytics
  • financial and business analytics

#4 -Carnegie Mellon University – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Master of Computational Data Science

Website
Ratio: 10:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $43,815/year
Concentration Areas: Systems, Analytics, or Human-Centered Data Science
Points: 9
The top master’s in data science at Carnegie Mellon University is housed in the Language Technologies Institute. Courses are taught by faculty members from the School of Computer Science. Courses offered through the Master’s in Computational Data Science program allows students to take a deep dive into:

  • cloud computing
  • machine learning
  • interactive data science

Students complete both an industry internship experience and a capstone project which helps develop both knowledge and experience in the field. Students choose one of three concentrations in the master’s of data science program, depending on their professional interest and work experience. Concentrations are offered in:

  • systems
  • analytics
  • human-centered data science

Students with a desire to pursue research opportunities can apply to work directly with a faculty member.

#3 -New York University – New York, New York

MS in Data Science

School Profile
Ratio: 10:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $39,936/year
Concentration Areas: Data Science, Data Science Big Data, Data Science Mathematics and Data Track, Data Science Natural Language Processing Track, Data Science Physics Track, Data Science Biology Track, Data Science Biomedical Informatics
Points: 9
The data science top master’s program at New York University is a highly selective two year program designed for students who excel in areas of mathematics, computer science, and applied statistics. A key feature of the program is the capstone project. Students will use their knowledge and skills to develop and implement a solution to solve a real-world problem. Students may pursue this top accredited master’s in data science either full-time or part-time. However, they must complete at least 24 credits in residency. Specializations are available in:

  • data science
  • data science big data
  • data science mathematics and data
  • data science natural language processing
  • data science physics
  • data science biology

#2 -University of Rochester – Rochester, New York

Master of Science in Data Science

School Profile
Ratio: 10:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $36,696/year
Concentration Areas: Computational and Statistical Methods, Health and Biomedical Sciences, Business and Social Science
Points: 9
The University of Rochester Goergen Institute for Data Science features one of the best master’s in data science programs in the country. Full time students can complete it in just two or three semesters of full time study. Many students secure internship opportunities between semesters to gain additional professional experience. Prospective students should have experience in programming and can come from a variety of backgrounds including science, engineering, math, and business. Concentrations are available in:

  • computational and statistical methods
  • health and biomedical sciences
  • business and social science

New students are admitted each fall. Courses are offered during the day and in-person attendance is required.

#1 -Purdue University – West Lafayette, Indiana

Master of Science in Business Analytics and Information Management

School Profile
Ratio: 13:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $9,208/year in-state and $28,010/year out-of-state
Concentration Areas: Supply chain
Points: 9
Our top master’s in business analytics and information management program is offered by the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University. This is a full-time, 11 month program. It’s designed to teach students state-of-the-art information technologies, analytic techniques and software tools used in the industry. Courses cover areas such as:

  • Six Sigma and quality management
  • Big Data technologies
  • optimization modeling and spreadsheets

This STEM certified program does not require previous work experience for admission, although it does strengthen the application. Admission decisions are made are made once per year and the program starts each summer.

More Rankings


Find Your Degree
Sponsored Schools