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Data Science Degree Programs Guide - Top Master's Degrees-01

By DSD Staff

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for mathematicians and statisticians is expected to grow by 33% through 2029, much faster than average. This job category includes data science, the study of data to obtain insights and information that can help organizations make decisions. Data scientists use scientific methods, processes, and algorithms to make sense out of different types of data. Earning a master’s degree in data science can provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to be successful in this rapidly growing field.
We created this ranking of the top master’s in data science using information obtained from College Navigator and the program’s individual websites. We used College Navigator to find schools offering traditional campus based programs related to data science. We looked for schools with programs in:

  • business analytics
  • analytics
  • computer science
  • 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 8:1- 4 points
  • 9:1 to 12:1- 3 points
  • 13:1 to 15:1- 2 points
  • 16:1 and above- 1 point

Average Net Price:

  • Less than $10,000- 7 points
  • $10,000 to $20,000- 5 points
  • $20,000 to $30,000- 3 points
  • Greater than $30,000- 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 -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: $54,720/year
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 4
Boston University Metropolitan College features a master’s in computer information systems with a concentration in data analytics. Students will learn a variety of strategies and concepts related to data processing, analysis, and visualization. Both online and on-campus program options are available. Concentration courses include:

  • Data Analysis and Visualization with R
  • Web Analytics and Mining
  • Data Mining

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university, but their background does not have to be in a data science related field.

#29 -Georgetown University – Washington, District of Columbia

Master of Science in Data Science and Analytics

Website
Ratio: 11:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $51,336/year
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 4
The Master of Science in Data Science and Analytics from Georgetown University is a comprehensive program designed for recent grads in math or statistics as well as mid-career professionals. Full time students can complete their degree in two years. Courses are offered during the late afternoon or evening to accommodate working professionals. Course topics include:

  • machine and deep learning
  • interactive and complex visualization methods
  • text mining and natural language processing

Students will use languages like R and Python. Graduates are prepared to work in areas like:

  • business intelligence
  • analytics
  • other data dependent areas.

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

Master of Science in Computer Science (Data Science)


Website
Ratio: 9:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $46,272/year
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 4
The USC Viterbi Department of Computer Science features a top data science master’s program rooted in computer science. Students will gain expertise working with large, complex data sets in real world domains including energy, medicine, and transportation. This 32-credit hour program includes a core set of required courses that include:

  • Analysis of Algorithms
  • Database Systems
  • Foundations of Artificial Intelligence

Students complete elective courses in data systems and data analysis and can choose additional electives based on their professional interests.

#27 -Brown University – Providence, Rhode Island

Master’s Program in Data Science


Website
Ratio: 6:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $57,112/year
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 5
Brown University offers an innovative data science master’s degree program through the Data Science Initiative. The program is offered through a collaboration among four academic departments including:

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Biostatistics
  • Computer Science
  • Mathematics

Students can complete the program in 12 months and all students begin the program in September. Courses include:

  • Data Engineering
  • Hands-on Data Science
  • Data and Society

Students have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in a variety of fields and learn about ethical and social considerations in data science.

#26 -Northwestern University – Evanston, Illinois

Master of Science in Analytics Program (MSiA)


Website
Ratio: 6:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $56,067/year
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 5
The McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University features a Master of Science in Analytics that covers predictive, prescriptive, and descriptive analytics. Students will benefit from rigorous coursework taught by industry experts. Students can complete the program in just 15 months, including a required summer internship. Class size is limited to a cohort of 40 students and classes are held during the week. Hands-on experience allows students to immerse themselves in industry data and solve real-world issues. All Northwestern analytics program graduates have had job offers within three months of graduation.

#25 -Duke University – Durham, North Carolina

Master in Interdisciplinary Data Science (MIDS)


Website
Ratio: 6:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $55,680/year
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 5
Duke University features a Master in Interdisciplinary Data Science ideal for creative problem solvers who want to use computational strategies to help their organizations be innovative and insightful. This two-year program allows students to experience a full range of data science tools and principals while graduating as experts in one or more analytical approaches or area of technology. The 42-credit hour program includes courses in:

  • Unifying Data Science
  • Data Logic, Visualization, and Storytelling
  • Modeling and Representation of Data

Students complete a capstone project that addresses a problem within a company or organization. A Duke researcher, stakeholder, and a project team work to solve the problem. A summer internship is another key feature of the program. Students will gain experience and develop their professional network within the framework of the workplace.

#24 -Johns Hopkins University – Baltimore, Maryland

Master of Science in Data Science


Website
Ratio: 6:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $55,350/year
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 5
The Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins offers a master’s in data science with a balance of theory and application. The program is offered online and through a combination of online/on-campus courses. The rigorous curriculum incorporates real-world examples into areas like:

  • computer science
  • statistics
  • applied mathematics

On-campus courses include:

  • Introduction to Machine Learning
  • Computational Statistics
  • Statistical Methods and Data Analysis

The combination of online and on-site courses provides students with the flexibility of virtual courses with the face-to-face interaction that is so valuable within the classroom.

#23 -Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Cambridge, Massachusetts

Master of Business Analytics


Website
Ratio: 3:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $53,450/year
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 5
The Sloan School at MIT features a 12-month master of business analytics. The program was created in conjunction with MIT’s Operations Research Center to fill the demand for highly skilled data science professionals. Courses include:

  • Machine Learning Under a Modern Optimization Lens
  • Communicating with Data
  • Ethics and Data Privacy

Faculty are experts in their area of instruction and are down-to-earth and approachable. All students work on an analytics capstone project that includes a $22,000 tuition offset for their participation. Students are matched with an organization and faculty advisor to work on real-life data science problem. There is also a host organization, providing valuable hands-on experience.

#22 -Stanford University – Stanford, California

M.S. in Statistics: Data Science


Website
Ratio: 5:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $52,479/year
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 5
The field of data science is rapidly changing with new trends constantly emerging. Stanford University created a master’s in statistics with a focus on data science to keep up with the demand for data science professionals who have their eye on the latest strategies and technology in the field. This top data science residential program includes courses in:

  • Scientific Computing
  • Machine Learning Methods and Applications
  • Mathematical and Statistical Foundations

Hands-on learning is an integral part of this program. Students can choose to complete a capstone project, a master’s research independent study, or a project lab, gaining valuable hands-on experience.

#21 -Harvard University – Cambridge, Massachusetts

Master’s in Data Science


Website
Ratio: 6:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $48,008/year
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 5
The Master’s in Data Science from Harvard University is a joint program offered through the Computer Science and Statistics faculties and administered through the Institute for Applied Computational Science. Students will gain an understanding of topics like:

  • statistical modeling
  • machine learning
  • data acquisition

Students must complete 12 courses to earn their degree. Most students can complete their degree in just three semesters. Either a capstone project course or a thesis can be completed to satisfy the research experience requirement.

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

MS in Data Science


Website
Ratio: 13:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $25,740/year
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 5
With a rigorous curriculum focused on computational and mathematical techniques, the data science master’s program from the University of San Francisco is a great choice for students serious about data science. Courses are offered in seven-week blocks and are not offered in other programs or departments. The technically challenging curriculum covers areas like:

  • SQL and NoSQL database management
  • cluster analysis
  • machine learning

The practicum program gives students real-world experience working on data science problems for local companies. Faculty have experience in the field and share their knowledge of the industry with their students.

#19 -Northeastern University – Boston, Massachusetts

Master of Science in Data Science


Website
Ratio: 14:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $24,793/year
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 5
The Khoury College of Computer Sciences at Northeastern University offers an interdisciplinary master’s in data science offered on their Boston campus. Both full and part-time program options are available, and students can complete their degree in just two to three years. Courses include:

  • Data Management and Processing
  • Machine Learning and Data Mining
  • Presentation and Visualization

Experiential learning opportunities include participation in a successful co-op program. The co-op gives students up to 12 months of professional experience that helps them stand out from other recent grads.

#18 -University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, Michigan

Data Science Master’s Program


Website
Ratio: 11:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $23,890/year in-state and $48,204/year out-of-state
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 6
The University of Michigan offers a unique data science master’s program focused on computer and information sciences and statistical sciences. Students will study these two pillars and learn to apply their skills to solve problems in their area of application. There are no sub-tracks within this program. This allows students to maintain a balance between statistical skills and computational skills. Course offerings include:

  • Data Manipulation Analysis
  • Machine Learning
  • Data Mining: Methods and Applications

Capstone offerings include:

  • independent study
  • directed study
  • case study analysis.

#17 -University of Washington – Seattle, Washington

Master of Science in Data Science


Website
Ratio: 20:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $18,198/year in-state and $32,439/year out-of-state
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 6
Whether you are new to the field or want to advance your career, the top master’s in data science from the University of Washington can help you reach your goals. Both full and part-time program options are available. New students are admitted for the fall quarter and courses are taken during the evenings on the UW campus. The industry relevant curriculum covers areas like:

  • statistical modeling
  • data management
  • data ethics

Graduates have gone on to work for top companies like Amazon, Boeing, and Google and report having a base salary range of $91,000-$186,000.

#16 -University of Massachusetts Dartmouth – North Dartmouth, Massachusetts

Master of Science in Data Science


Website
Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $16,390/year in-state and $29,578/year out-of-state
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 6
UMass Dartmouth features a high-value master’s in data science that prepares students for leadership positions in areas like knowledge engineering and information management. Students will develop strong foundations in:

  • information theory
  • mathematics
  • computer science

They will explore complex data sets using the latest methodologies to enable effective decision making and problem solving. Hands-on learning opportunities include faculty-led projects, collaborations, and the chance to explore independent research interests.

#15 -University of Colorado – Boulder, Colorado

MS in Applied Mathematics with a specialization in Statistics and Data Science


Website
Ratio: 18:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $11,826/year in-state and $31,284/year out-of-state
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 6
The College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder features a professional master’s with a specialization in statistics and data science. Students primarily study two main areas including:

  • Probability and Statistics Theory
  • Statistical Modeling and Data Science

Data science students can complete their culminating experience project through the Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis. Full-time students can complete their degree in about two years (not including summers). Graduates are ready to pursue jobs in:

  • applied mathematics
  • statistics
  • data science.

#14 -University of Rochester – Rochester, New York

Master of Science in Data Science


School Profile
Ratio: 10:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $51,705/year
Concentration Areas: Computational and Statistical Methods; Health and Biomedical Sciences; Business and Social Science
Points: 7
The Goergen Institute for Data Science at the University of Rochester has a data science master’s that is rigorous and comprehensive. Students can complete the program in either two or three semesters of full-time study. Recent graduates and mid-career professionals are encouraged to apply. Core courses include:

  • Computational Introduction to Statistics
  • Data Mining
  • Intermediate Statistical and Computational Methods

All students complete a data science practicum in their final semester. Students will work in small teams using data from a sponsoring organization to:

  • understand business problems
  • clean the data
  • develop solutions.

#13 -New York University – New York, New York

MS in Data Science


School Profile
Ratio: 9:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $33,408/year
Concentration Areas: Data Science; Data Science Physics; Data Science Biology; Data Science Biomedical Informatics
Points: 7
The Center for Data Science at NYU is focused on educating the next generation of data scientists. They offer a top master’s in data science. It’s highly selective and open to students with a strong background in areas like computer science or applied statistics. This unique 36 credit hour program features specialized tracks that allow students to customize their degree. Courses include:

  • Machine Learning
  • Big Data
  • Probability and Statistics for Data Science

The capstone project is a key feature of this program. Students work through the process of solving a real-world problem identical to what they might encounter in:

  • industry
  • government
  • academia

Both full and part-time students are considered for acceptance into the program.

#12 -University of Virginia – Charlottesville, Virginia

MS in Data Science


Website
Ratio: 15:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $16,578/year in-state and $27,770/year out-of-state
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 7
Calling all creative thinkers and inventive leaders! The University of Virginia features a high-value master’s in data science that can prepare you to tackle some of the biggest problem facing organizations today. Students from a variety of backgrounds are welcome, adding to the vibrant community of learners. The program includes an integrated curriculum focused on hands-on, experiential learning. A capstone project gives students valuable real-world experience. Courses are taught by faculty in the Department of Computer Science, Statistics, and Systems and Information Engineering. Students can complete this professional master’s program in just 11 months of study. An online MSDS program is also available.

#11 -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: $47,600/year
Concentration Areas: Entrepreneurship
Points: 8
The Data Science Institute at Columbia University offers an MS in data science that includes the opportunity to:

  • conduct original research
  • prepare a capstone project
  • work with some of the best data science faculty in the country

The program is open to students from a variety of backgrounds and those changing career paths. Most students can complete the program in three semesters. One of the highlights of the program is the Data Science Institute Student Capstone Project. This unique experience allows students to work in teams and use advanced AI and machine learning techniques to take on challenges suggested by Institute affiliates.

#10 -Carnegie Mellon University – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Master of Computational Data Science


Website
Ratio: 5:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $45,037/year
Concentration Areas: Systems; Analytics; Human-Centered Data Science
Points: 8
Carnegie Mellon University features a top Master of Computational Data Science housed in the Language Technologies Institute. The program is designed for students with an undergraduate degree in computer science, computer engineering, or another closely related degree from a top university. Three concentrations are available including:

  • Systems
  • Analytics
  • Human-Centered Data Science

All students complete a summer internship which provides valuable hands-on training in a professional environment. A capstone project in data science or an industry-sponsored project serve as the culminating experience.

#9 -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: 8
If you are passionate about Big Data, the master’s in data analytics from the University of Central Florida may be a great choice! Students can graduate from this top data science master’s program in just four semesters. The cohort model provides students with strong peer support. Classes are offered during the evening and weekend, ideal for working professionals. Students can take advantage of paid internship opportunities with Fortune 500 companies. Worried about finding a job after graduation? 100% of UCF grads have received a job offer or promotion!

#8 -University of Oklahoma – Norman, Oklahoma

Master’s in Data Science and Analytics


Website
Ratio: 17:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $6,583/year in-state and $21,242/year out-of-state
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 8
The Gallogly College of Engineering from The University of Oklahoma is home to the Data Science and Analytics Institute. The Institute offers a master’s in data science and analytics available on-campus and online. Students can choose from a thesis or non-thesis program plan depending on their professionals goals. Core courses include:

  • Intelligent Data Analytics
  • Computing Structures
  • Algorithm Analysis

Both full and part-time program options are available. Full-time students can complete their degree in about 14 months.

#7 -Cornell University – Ithaca, New York

Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Applied Statistics


Website
Ratio: 9:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $29,500/year
Concentration Areas: Applied Statistics; Data Science
Points: 9
The applied statistics master’s program from Cornell University is a one-year program that includes:

  • core courses
  • an in-depth project
  • elective coursework

Students receive rigorous training in modern data skills that are in-demand by top employers. The data science program option emphasizes computer science including high performance computing, databases, and scripting. Data science courses include:

  • Database Management and SAS High Performance Computing with DBMS
  • Big Data Management and Analysis
  • Python Programming and its Applications in Statistics

Students complete a two-semester project involving large-scale data analysis. Graduates are prepared for roles such as:

  • operations research analyst
  • data scientist
  • statistician.

#6 -DePaul University – Chicago, Illinois

MS in Data Science


Website
Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $19,584/year
Concentration Areas: Computational Methods, Health Care, Hospitality, Marketing
Points: 9
If you want a flexible data science master’s program with online and on-campus options, DePaul University may be a great choice! Their master’s in data science features four different concentration options including:

  • Computational Methods
  • Health Care
  • Marketing
  • Hospitality

Students gain experience analyzing complex data. The data science group helps students connect with industry experts, alumni, and faculty on skill training and professional workshops. Eager to get started? New students can begin the program at the start of any quarter.

#5 -Georgia Institute of Technology – Atlanta, Georgia

Master of Science in Analytics


Website
Ratio: 19:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $14,064/year in-state and $29,140/year out-of-state
Concentration Areas: Analytical Tools Track; Business Analytics Track; Computational Data Analytics Track
Points: 9
Georgia Tech features a top master’s in data science offered in partnership with the Scheller College of Business, the College or Computing, and the College of Engineering. The MS in analytics is an interdisciplinary analytics and data science program offered online and on-campus. The on-campus program takes just one year to complete and includes:

  • job placement assistance
  • an on-campus analytics job fair
  • a conference travel budget for each data science student

Students work in cross-disciplinary teams to solve real-world problems and use Georgia Tech’s high-performance computing infrastructure for big data analysis

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

Master of Science in Analytics


Website
Ratio: 14:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $9,095/year in-state and $26,421/year out-of-state
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 9
The Institute for Advanced Analytics at North Carolina State University is dedicated to producing the world’s top analytics professionals. NCSU offers a master’s in analytics that is innovative, practical and relevant. Students will learn a novel curriculum updated regularly to reflect the latest information in the industry. The 10-month cohort-based structure allows students to work together in teams and receive personalized coaching.

#3 -Colorado State University – Fort Collins, Colorado

Master of Science in Applied Statistics (MSAS)-Data Science


Website
Ratio: 14:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $10,520/year in-state and $25,791/year out-of-state
Concentration Areas: Data Science; Statistical Science
Points: 10
The College of Natural Sciences at Colorado State University features a top master’s in applied statistics emphasizing data science and statistics. The data science track focuses on the application and computational aspects of data science rather than theory. This 30-31 credit hour program can be completed in one year of full-time study or two to four years for part-time students. Courses are taught by statistics professors who share their real-world experience with their students. Graduates are prepared to work as data scientists in a variety of businesses and industry.

#2 -Indiana University – Bloomington, Indiana

MS in Data Science


Website
Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $9,501/year in-state and $31,932/year out-of-state
Concentration Areas: Applied Data Science Track; Computational and Analytical Track
Points: 11
The residential data science master’s program from Indiana University is an immersive experience for future data science professionals. Courses focus on real-world challenges facing:

  • communities
  • organizations
  • individuals

Hands-on training through research projects, collaboration, and an internship give students a competitive edge in the job market. Students can choose from two different program tracks including:

  • an applied data science track
  • a computational and analytical track.

#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 Analytics; Investment Analytics; Corporate Finance Analytics
Points: 12
Our top choice for a master’s in data science is offered through the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University. Students learn to use SQL, Python, and Rstudio along with other big data technologies. The rigorous curriculum allows students to build upon their educational and professional backgrounds to lead and grow their organization. Courses include:

  • Big Data
  • Computing for Analytics
  • Predictive Analytics

New students begin the program in the summer and can complete their degree in 11 months.

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datasciencedegreeprograms.net is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.