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30 Best Master’s in Data Science Degree Programs

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

By DSD Staff

The demand for highly skilled data scientists is soaring. 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. Data scientists play an essential role in organizations of all sizes. They help make sense of all the data that is collected to help executives make informed business 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 give you the advanced training needed to collect, maintain, and analyze data and communicate what it all means to key stakeholders.
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 data science or closely related areas like:

  • business analytics
  • analytics
  • computer science

We narrowed our list down to accredited programs offering coursework designed to maximize data analysis and understanding. From there we applied our 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

MS in Computer Information Systems, Data Analytics Concentration

School Profile

Ratio: 10:1

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $56,854/year

Concentration Areas: No

Points: 4

Boston University offers a top master’s in data science with their MS in Computer Information Systems, Data Analytics Concentration. Courses are offered online and on-campus to both full and part-time students. This 40-credit hour program takes 18-24 months to complete. There is no GRE/GMAT requirement for admission. The active learning environment introduces students to case studies and real-world projects. The low student/faculty ratio allows students to get to know their instructors. BU also offers a certificate to degree pathway. Students can earn their degree by completed the Graduate Certificate in IT and the Graduate Certificate in Data Analytics plus two additional courses.

#29 -Georgetown University – Washington, District of Columbia

Master of Science in Data Science and Analytics

Website

Ratio: 11:1

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $53,136/year

Concentration Areas: No

Points: 4

The high-value master’s in data science and analytics from Georgetown University is a 30-credit hour program that provides students with advanced training in computational, mathematical, and statistical methods. Both full and part-time students are accepted into the program. Core courses include:

  • Massive Data Fundamentals
  • Scientific and Analytical Visualization
  • Probabilistic Modeling and Statistical Computing

New students are matched with a second-year student through a mentorship program. This built in student-to- student support system provides a resource for new students as they get familiar with the program.

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

Master of Science in Applied Data Science

Website

Ratio: 9:1

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $47,880/year

Concentration Areas: No

Points: 4

The University of Southern California Department of Computer Science features a top master’s in applied data science with a comprehensive curriculum. This 32-credit hour program includes courses in:

  • Machine Learning
  • Advanced Data Stores
  • Geospatial Information Management

Ideal students should have a strong background in math and science, but experience in computer science is not necessary. Hands-on projects and homework give students experience working with the latest data formats, tools, and techniques. Students can finish the program in two years by taking two courses per semester.

#27 -Brown University – Providence, Rhode Island

Master’s Program in Data Science

Website

Ratio: 6:1

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $59,254/year

Concentration Areas: No

Points: 5

The high-quality master’s in data science from Brown University offers a rigorous education for students planning a career in data science. Students will study the latest in machine learning, data mining, and visualization. The program can be completed in just 12 months, with students beginning in September and finishing in August. Courses include:

  • Statistical Learning
  • Data and Society
  • Hands-on Data Science

All students complete a data practicum. This real-world data project gives students valuable hands-on experience in industry or academia. Current Brown undergraduates can complete the program as a 5th year master’s degree.

#26 -Johns Hopkins University – Baltimore, Maryland

Master of Science in Data Science

Website

Ratio: 6:1

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $57,010/year

Concentration Areas: No

Points: 5

The Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins University features a high-quality master’s in data science with courses in computer science and applied mathematics. This part-time, online program features courses covering a variety of cutting-edge areas including:

  • Large-Scale Data Systems
  • Machine Learning
  • Data Visualization

The program gives students the skills needed to manage and manipulate information in large data sets. Students can choose courses that align with their personal and professional interests. Applications are accepted year-round, so students can apply at any time.

#25 -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 offers a high-value master’s in analytics that prepares well-rounded data scientists to lead data science teams. Full-time students can complete the program in just 15 months including a summer internship. Courses are held during the week and new students are admitted during the fall semester. Students move through the program as a cohort, which helps students form relationships and strengthen the alumni network. Twice during the program, students are engaged in applied projects that come directly from the field. This valuable hands-on training allows students to practice the skills gained during the program.

#24 -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 an innovative master’s in interdisciplinary data science with a curriculum that includes interdisciplinary training and team-based science experiences. Students develop advanced skills in areas like communication and critical thinking. This 42 credit-hour program includes courses like:

  • Data Science Ethics
  • Data Logic, Visualization, and Storytelling
  • Unifying Data Science

Students participate in a capstone project during their second year of the program. They work as part of a project team that may include faculty, graduate students, or postdocs. While students work together as a team, each student must achieve an individual outcome and deliver a final presentation.

#23 -Stanford University – Stanford, California

MS in Statistics: Data Science

Website

Ratio: 5:1

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $54,315/year

Concentration Areas: No

Points: 5

The School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University offers a top value master’s in statistics with an emphasis on data science. Courses include:

  • Deep Learning
  • Modern Applied Statistics: Data Mining
  • Statistical Learning Theory

Most students can complete their degree in just five quarters. There is no thesis requirement. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA. Graduates are prepared to pursue doctoral study or join the workforce as a data science professional.

#22 -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

Massachusetts Institute of Technology features a top value Master of Business Analytics. This 12-month program looks at areas like modern data science, optimization, and machine learning to tackle real-world business issues. Students spend a significant amount of time engaged in hands-on learning while working on their capstone course, which spans three terms. During the capstone course, students work on complex data science problems in teams of two with their sponsor organization. They work together on-campus for four months before traveling to the host organization during the summer to complete their internship. Students return to campus after their internship to submit their final report and presentation before earning their degree.

#21 -Harvard University – Cambridge, Massachusetts

Master’s in Data Science

Website

Ratio: 7:1

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $49,448/year

Concentration Areas: No

Points: 5

The John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Science at Harvard University has a top master’s in data science led by faculty from computer science and statistics. The program is administered through the Institute for Applied Computation Science. This 12-course program covers topics like:

  • reproducible data analysis
  • collaborative problem solving
  • visualization

All students must complete a research experience. This can be done through a thesis or a substantial data science project. Graduates of the program are valuable data science professionals who can:

  • develop statistical models
  • conduct data analysis
  • manage large data sets
  • collaborate effectively within teams.

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

MS in Data Science

Website

Ratio: 13:1

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $26,640/year

Concentration Areas: No

Points: 5

The University of San Francisco offers a budget-friendly data science Master of Science degree. This unique one-year program delivers a rigorous curriculum that prepares students to use appropriate analytical techniques to address business problems. Courses are offered in seven-week terms and are only available to data science students. Students will master subjects like machine learning and business communication. They will use programming languages like R and Python. A nine month practicum experience with companies around the San Francisco Bay Area provides students with valuable hands-on experience.

#19 -Northeastern University – Boston, Massachusetts

Master of Science in Data Science

Website

Ratio: 14:1

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $25,264/year

Concentration Areas: No

Points: 5

The Khoury College of Computer Sciences at Northeastern University offers a top interdisciplinary master’s in data science. The program is available to both full and part-time students and takes two to three years to complete. Courses are tailored to technically or mathematically trained students. New students must complete two introductory courses at Northeastern or pass two placement exams before the start of the semester. New students are admitted during the fall and spring semesters. Students gain valuable professional experience during the program by completing co-ops and internships. This valuable hands-on training gives students job success skills and technical expertise that help them succeed in the field.

#18 -University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, Michigan

Data Science Master’s Program

Website

Ratio: 11:1

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $24,344/year in-state and $49,120/year out-of-state

Concentration Areas: No

Points: 6

The top data science master’s program from the University of Michigan is a balanced program that provides training in statistical and computational skills. Courses cover areas like:

  • machine learning
  • data mining
  • applied statistics

There are many capstone course options for students to choose from. Students can take an additional course, complete an independent study, or participate in a directed study or reading. Elective course offerings allow students to take a deeper dive into a specific area of data analysis or computation. Both full and part-time students are welcome, although only some courses are offered during the evening hours.

#17 -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

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth offers a top on-campus master’s in data science offered through a joint venture between the departments of Computer Science in Engineering and Mathematics in Arts and Sciences. The program prepares students for leadership positions in areas like data analytics and knowledge engineering. Required courses include:

  • Database Design
  • Computational Methods
  • Advanced Data Mining

Data science students can participate in faculty-led projects and collaborate on industry, agency, or faculty-sponsored projects. They are also able to pursue their own research interests. Not sure if you are ready to pursue a master’s in data science? UMass Dartmouth offers a bridge program that consists of five courses to give students a strong foundation in data science fundamentals.

#16 -University of Washington – Seattle, Washington

Master of Science in Data Science

Website

Ratio: 20:1

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $16,278/year in-state and $29,178/year out-of-state

Concentration Areas: No

Points: 6

Whether you are just starting out in the field of data science or a seasoned professional, the affordable master’s in data science from the University of Washington has you covered. Both full and part-time program plans are available and new students are admitted each fall. Courses are offered during the evenings to accommodate working professionals. The industry-relevant curriculum covers areas like:

  • data management
  • research design
  • software engineering

Students come from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives. Over half the students beginning the program last year were women and 59% of new students came from outside the U.S. Full-time students can earn their degree in about 18 months. Graduates are working in top companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Zillow.

#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 University of Colorado offers one of the least expensive master’s in data science in the country. Students can choose to specialize in either statistics or data science. The program gives students the foundational skills needed to analyze complex data sets. Courses include:

  • Statistical Learning
  • Deep Learning
  • Spatial Statistics

All students complete a culminating experience, working with a faculty expert in either data science or statistics. Most students can complete their degree in about two years.

#14 -University of Rochester – Rochester, New York

Master of Science in Data Science

School Profile

Ratio: 10:1

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $49,792/year

Concentration Areas: Computational Methods; Statistical Methodology; Health and Biomedical Sciences; Business and Social Science

Points: 7

The 30-credit hour top master’s in data science program from the Goergen Institute for Data Science at the University of Rochester is a flexible program that accommodates students at all career stages. Students can complete the program in just two to three semesters of full-time study. Required courses include:

  • Computational Introduction to Statistics
  • Data Mining
  • Introduction to Databases

All students complete a practicum experience, working in small teams on a sponsoring organization’s business problem. Through this specialized hands-on training, students explore ethical issues related to data science. Students will be evaluated on their final presentation which also serves as their exit exam.

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

MS in Data Science

School Profile

Ratio: 9:1

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $34,704/year

Concentration Areas: Data Science; Data Science Biology; Data Science Biomedical Informatics

Points: 7

New York University offers a highly selective master’s in data science focused on developing new methods for data science. This 36-credit hour program includes specialization tracks or an Industry Concentration. The Industry Concentration was created based on industry needs. It allows students to take industry-targeted coursework and complete a Practical Training experience. Required courses include:

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

Both full and part-time students are encouraged to apply. A limited number of scholarships are offered to new students which can result in significant savings on the cost of tuition.

#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

The University of Virginia features a cost-effective master’s in data science that takes just 11 months to complete. Courses are taught by faculty from the Departments of Statistics, Computer Science and Systems and Information Engineering. The program is offered online and on-campus. Students benefit from hands-on learning and the program’s interdisciplinary focus. The vibrant cohort experience allows students to develop relationships and professional connections with their peers as they move through the program together. All students complete a capstone project, which showcases their knowledge and skills in the real-world environment.

#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: $49,024/year

Concentration Areas: Entrepreneurship

Points: 8

The Data Science Institute at Columbia University features a unique data science master’s program that allows students to apply data science techniques to their specific industry. Students can select the focus area in entrepreneurship or choose another subject area. Course offerings come from:

  • computer science
  • engineering
  • statistics

Students can also conduct original research. The capstone course allows students to tackle challenging issues facing industry affiliates. Students work in teams, using artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to solve these challenges.

#10 -Carnegie Mellon University – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Master of Computational Data Science

Website

Ratio: 5:1

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $46,441/year

Concentration Areas: Systems; Analytics; Human-Centered Data Science

Points: 8

The Master of Computational Data Science at Carnegie Mellon University is designed for students with a background in computer science, computer engineering, or a related area. Three concentrations are available for students to choose from. Courses include:

  • Machine Learning
  • Advanced Databases
  • Cloud Computing

Students can choose from a 16-month professional preparation program that includes a summer internship and three semesters of study or a 20-month research preparation program.

#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

The University of Central Florida offers a low-cost master’s in data analytics that takes just four semesters to complete. Convenient evening and weekend classes are available to accommodate working professionals. This 30-credit hour program uses a cohort model, allowing students to develop strong relationships with their peers. By taking two courses each semester, students can complete their degree in 20 months. Students can take advantage of a variety of professional development opportunities including paid internship opportunities with Fortune 500 companies.

#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 Data Science and Analytics Institute at The University of Oklahoma offers a low-priced Master of Science in Data Science and Analytics. Courses are offered on-campus or online and full and part-time program options are available. Full-time students can earn their degree in just 14 months. Courses include:

  • Computing Structures
  • Advanced Analytics and Metaheuristics
  • Intelligent Data Analytics

Students can choose to complete a thesis or a series of electives and a professional practice experience. Applicants should have undergraduate coursework in:

  • calculus
  • linear algebra
  • high language programming.

#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

Cornell University features a high-value master’s in applied statistics that takes just one year to complete. Students complete:

  • core courses
  • a statistical analysis project
  • elective coursework

The program gives students a strong foundation in theoretical statistics and a broad education in relevant applied statistics areas that are guaranteed to give students an edge over the competition. A semester-long real-world data analysis project gives students hands-on experience working with meaningful data. Graduates are employed around the world in every industry from finance to biomedical research.

#6 -DePaul University – Chicago, Illinois

MS in Data Science

depaul-university

Website

Ratio: 16:1

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $19,370/year

Concentration Areas: Computational Methods, Health Care, Hospitality, Marketing

Points: 9

The College of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University offers an affordable Master of Science in data science. The program is available online and on-campus. Students will learn to manage and analyze complex data sets, develop data models, and communicate results to stakeholders. Students work with real-data sets throughout the program, completing meaningful analysis. Several concentrations are available that help students develop their skills in the context of their industry.

#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

The affordable master’s in analytics from Georgia Tech is an interdisciplinary program drawing from the areas of:

  • business
  • statistics
  • research
  • computing

This on-campus analytics master’s program can be completed in just one year. Georgia Tech’s unique approach to data science education allows students to:

  • work in cross-disciplinary teams to solve problems
  • access Georgia Tech’s computing infrastructure for massive-scale analytics
  • learn from top international experts in business intelligence

Students benefit from dedicated job placement assistance, on-campus job fairs, and a conference travel budget to support professional development.

#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 home to the first MS in analytics. The novel curriculum was created specifically for students in the program. It’s revised on a regular basis to keep up with the latest trends and best practices in the field. The 10-month cohort-based learning structure allows students to explore the teamwork elements of the field and benefit from personalized coaching. Industry and government sponsors provide students with real-world data allowing them to tackle problems with the same tools used throughout the industry. Of the 116 students graduating in the class of 2020, 79% were employed at graduation and had an average base salary of $99,800/year.

#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 Master of Applied Statistics that emphasizes the practical methods in data science and statistics. The curriculum focuses on the applications and computational aspects of the field. This 30-31 credit hour program can be completed by full-time students in just one year. Courses include:

  • Business Database Systems
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Computational and Simulation Methods

Graduates are prepared to work as data scientists in government, industry, or academia.

#2 -Indiana University – Bloomington, Indiana

MS in Data Science

Website

Ratio: 16:1

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $9,786/year in-state and $31,932/year out-of-state

Concentration Areas: Applied Data Science Track; Computational and Analytical Track; Big Data Systems; Managerial Data Science

Points: 11

Indiana University features a top data science master’s with coursework that prepares students for a lifelong career in data science. Students have access to top faculty and research facilities on the IU campus. Courses cover areas like:

  • data wrangling
  • data visualization
  • statistics

The program consists of 30 credit hours and students can choose from two distinct learning tracks. Coursework can be tailored to meet the student’s professional goals. Students receive plenty of hands-on training opportunities through:

  • research projects
  • interdisciplinary collaboration
  • an internship.

#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 data science master’s degree program is offered through the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University. They offer a Master of Science in Business Analytics and Information Management that uses an analytical business approach to prepare students to become industry leaders. The rigorous curriculum allows students to develop proficiencies using technologies like Python and Gurobi. Experiential learning opportunities give students the hands-on training needing to transition from the classroom to the workplace. Students can earn their degree in just 11 months.

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