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Data Science Degree Programs Guide - Top Master's Degrees-01
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By DSD Staff
February 2018

Big Data is big business. 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. According to the International Data Corporation, the big data market will increase at a rate six times that of the overall IT market through 2018. 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 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 programs at both public and non-profit universities in the United States.

Ranking is as follows:
Student/Faculty ratio:
Less than 15:1- 3 points
15:1 to 19:1- 2 points
20:1 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
No- 0 points

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

#30 -University of Chicago-Chicago, Illinois

Master of Science in Analytics (MScA)

Website
Ratio: 6:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $53,712/year
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 4
The Master of Science in Analytics program at the University of Chicago Graham School welcomes students from all over the world to become leaders in the field of analytics. Graduates of this top master’s in data science are prepared to work as data scientists, business analytics professionals or managers of analytics teams. Students can earn their degree attending part-time or full-time. Part-time students typically attend in the evening or on Saturdays. Most students complete up to 14 courses and a final capstone project before earning their degree.

#29 -Northwestern University-Evanston, Illinois

Master of Science in Analytics Program (MSiA)

Website
Ratio: 7:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $50,424/year
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 4
The McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University offers a master’s in analytics combining mathematical and statistical studies with advanced IT and data management. Students complete an internship experience and hands-on projects throughout the program, making them well equipped for the work force. The program follows a cohort format, with approximately 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, and the Medill School of Journalism, Media, and Integrated Marketing Communications.

#28 -Boston University-Boston, Massachusetts

Master of Science in Computer Information Systems concentration in Data Analytics

School Profile
Ratio: 10:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $49,176/year
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 4
Ranked 4th 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 processing, analysis, and visualization. This 40 credit hour program includes both a core curriculum and concentration coursework in data mining, web analytics, quantitative methods, and data analysis and visualization. Offered in both an online and traditional format, the program is flexible enough for working professionals.

#27 -Massachusetts Institute of Technology-Cambridge, Massachusetts

Master of Business Analytics

Website
Ratio: 3:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $48,140/year
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 4
The MIT Sloan School of Management is one of the top management schools in the world. With more than 120,000 alumni in 90 different countries, the MIT Sloan network is vast and impressive. The specialized one year master’s in business analytics is designed for recent college grads who want to get started in the industry as well as those seeking career advancement. MIT offers additional data science opportunities at the doctoral level for those who plan to continue their education past the master’s level.

#26 -Stanford University-Stanford, California

M.S. in Statistics: Data Science

Website
Ratio: 10:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $47,331/year
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 4
The 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. Students are trained in data science with a computational focus through coursework in mathematics, statistics, programming, and 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 geostatistics, data driven medicine, human neuroimaging methods, and paradigms for computing with data.

#25 -Georgetown University-Washington, District of Columbia

Master of Science in Analytics-Data Science

Website
Ratio: 11:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $46,272/year
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 4
Georgetown University features a master’s in analytics with a concentration in data science in partnership with the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. Students are prepared for the workforce as well as doctoral study in applied mathematics, statistics, or computer science. 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.

#24 -University of Southern California-Los Angeles, California

Master of Science in Computer Science (Data Science)

Website
Ratio: 9:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $41,592/year
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 4
The USC Viterbi School of Engineering Department of Computer Science offers a top master’s in data science preparing students to work in domains including energy, the environment, media, medicine, and 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 with unique electives such as information visualization, numerical methods, applied probability, and optimization theory.

#23 -Southern Methodist University-Dallas, Texas

Applied MS in Statistics and Data Analytics Program

Website
Ratio: 11:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $40,896/year
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 4
Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas offers a data science master’s degree that can be earned in just 18-24 months. The applied MS in Statistics and Data Analytics offers courses focused on statistical data analysis, big data analytics, data base management, statistical computing, and data mining. 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, allowing students to work with actual clients.

#22 -University of San Francisco-San Francisco, California

Master of Science in Analytics

Website
Ratio: 14:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $23,310/year
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 4
The master’s in analytics from the University of San Francisco is a full-time, 12 month program using 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, statistical modeling, business strategy, marketing analytics, and data visualization. This 35 credit hour program features an 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. A partnership with Amazon Web Services allows students to develop and run analysis on Amazon Web Services. Courses are held during the weekdays from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

#21 -University of Washington-Seattle, Washington

Master of Science in Data Science

Website
Ratio: 17:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $15,207/year
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 4
The University of Washington in Seattle offers a master’s in data science featuring 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, and Information School. Courses are offered during the evening, with full-time students taking courses two evenings a week. 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, and data management.

#20 -University of Virginia-Charlottesville, Virginia

Master of Science in Data Science (MSDS)

Website
Ratio: 15:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $15,026/year in-state and $25,168/year out-of-state
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 4
The Data Science Institute at the University of Virginia offers a master’s in data science that can be completed in just 11 months of study. The program begins each July and finishes the following May. Courses are taught by faculty from a variety of areas including computer science, statistics, and systems and information engineering. Students move through the program as a cohort, with close to 80% of coursework consistent to all students. At the conclusion of the program, students complete a capstone experience focusing on a data science challenge. Students receive mentoring and guidance from faculty during their capstone experience.

#19 -Arizona State University-Tempe, Arizona

Master of Science in Business Analytics

Website
Ratio: 23:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $10,810/year in-state and $23,480 out-of-state
Points: 4
Concentration Areas: No
Designed with the recent grad in mind, the master’s in business analytics at Arizona State University is a great program for students 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. As a designated STEM program, 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 according to U.S. News and World Report in 2018.

#18 -University of Central Florida-Orlando, Florida

Master of Science in Data Analytics

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 master’s in data analytics that can be completed in just 16-20 months of study. Instruction is offered in a face-to-face format with courses offered in the evenings and on weekends. Students move through the program in a cohort, resulting in strong peer support and interaction. This is a STEM program so international students are eligible for an Optional Practical Training in the US after graduation. Courses for this top data science master’s program include machine learning, network science, data mining, statistical analysis, text mining, and data preparation.

#17 -Oklahoma State University-Stillwater, Oklahoma

M.S. in Business Analytics (MSBAN)

Website
Ratio: 20:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $5,033/year in-state and $19,801/year out-of-state
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 4
The master’s in business analytics program at Oklahoma State University is a four semester program that is 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, allowing international students an additional 17 months of optional practical training in the U.S. Students have access to unique opportunities such as OSU SAS Certification, SAS boot camps, potential internship opportunities, real-time company projects, and the ability to publish and present research papers at a variety of conferences.

#16 -Kennesaw State University-Kennesaw, Georgia

Master of Science in Applied Statistics (MSAS)

Website
Ratio: 20:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $4,737/year in-state and $17,118 out-of-state
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 4
Kennesaw State University offers a master’s in applied statistics designed to help students analyze real world data for data driven solutions. This 36 credit hour program is differentiates itself from most traditional master’s in statistics programs by utilizing statistical programs such as SAS and Minitab to analyze data starting in the first semester of study. Students then complete an applied project using real-world data to demonstrate their skills and knowledge. The program is focused on communicating the results in a clear and concise manner. Students have the opportunity to earn their Six Sigma Black Belt during their second year to enhance career opportunities.

#15 -Seattle University-Seattle, Washington

Master of Science in Business Analytics

Website
Ratio: 12:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $19,353/year
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 5
Seattle University has developed a master’s in business analytics designed for students who plan to bridge the gap between data scientists and business practitioners. 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 visualization, mathematical models for decision making, data mining, and programming. New students begin the program each fall and applications are reviewed twice per year.

#14 -The University of Texas at Austin-Austin, Texas

Master of Science in Business Analytics

Website
Ratio: 18:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $11,300/year in-state and $21,518 out-of-state
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 5
Ranked highly by The Financial Engineer Times, the master’s in business analytics at the University of Texas offers excellent networking opportunities, support and recruitment from industry leaders, and a career development team designed to ensure student success. Students do not need a programming background to apply. Those without are invited to programming boot camp at the start of the program. The program is designed to be completed in just one year of study with a summer start date each year.

#13 -University of California at Berkeley-Berkeley, California

Master of Information and Data Science

Website
Ratio: 18:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $11,220/year in-state and $26,322 out-of-state
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 5
The University of California at Berkeley features a master’s in information and data science program with insights from social science and policy research in addition to traditional statistics, computer science, and engineering principles. Offered as a hybrid program, students engage in live online class sessions with hands-on learning opportunities through a capstone project and portfolio development. A week long campus intensive is required for networking and coursework with experts at Berkeley. This 27 credit hour top master’s in data science prepares students to make data driven decisions to enhance business outcomes.

#12 -University of Colorado-Boulder, Colorado

MS in Computer Science with emphasis in Data Science & Engineering

Website
Ratio: 18:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $10,836/year in-state and $28,656 out-of-state
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 5
The University of Colorado offers an innovative master’s in data science with the breadth of knowledge many employers desire as they try and make sense of large data sets. The program is available both online and on-campus. Online content is delivered in real time, or students can watch recorded sessions when it is most convenient. Not sure you are ready to commit to a master’s program? Students can take up to three courses before being accepted into the program. The Department of Computer Science at the University of Texas is ranked 40th in the country according to U.S. News and World Report.

#11 -Colorado State University-Fort Collins, Colorado

Master of Science in Applied Statistics (MSAS)

Website
Ratio: 18:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $9,628/year in-state and $23,604 out-of-state
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 5
The master’s in applied statistics program at Colorado State University is designed as a full-time program that students can complete in just 11 months of study. Courses are taught by experienced CSU faculty and are available online. Students will learn advanced statistical procedures to enhance market research, product development, and quality control. This top master’s in data science program concludes with a consulting project designed to help students utilize their communication and statistics skills with a real-world client. Courses are available in experimental design, data mining, quantitative reasoning, and regression models and applications.

#10 -University of Iowa-Iowa City, Iowa

Master of Science in 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: 5
The University of Iowa offers a master’s in business analytics program with no GRE exam required for admission. Students can earn their Business Analytics Certificate with just five courses and their master’s in 10. Courses are taken one night per week at three different campus locations. Courses are 12 and 10 weeks long and most students can earn their degree in less than 3 years. Courses for this top master’s in data science program cover areas such as data programming in R, data science, advanced analytics, data management, and business analytics.

#9 -University of Oklahoma-Norman, Oklahoma

M.S. Data Science and Analytics

Website
Ratio: 18:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $4,886/year in-state and $18,989/year out-of-state
Concentration Areas: No
Points: 5
The top master’s in data science and analytics program at the University of Oklahoma is 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, but part-time opportunities are also available. 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. Students who plan to continue their education in doctoral study can complete a thesis option.

#8 -Georgia Institute of Technology-Atlanta, Georgia

Master of Science in Analytics

Website
Ratio: 20:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $13,452/year
Concentration Areas: Yes
Points: 6
It is no wonder that Georgia Tech 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 and #9 in computer science. Georgia Tech offers both an on-campus and online master’s in analytics. Students can choose from several program tracks including analytical tools, business analytics, and computational data analytics. Offered in a cohort format, students complete several courses together before branching out into their area of specialization.

#7 -North Carolina State University-Raleigh, North Carolina

Master of Science in Analytics

Website
Ratio: 13:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $8,088/year in-state and $22,610 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 master’s in analytics follows a cohort model where students benefit from teamwork and personalized coaching. The curriculum is changing on a regular basis to reflect the 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 $95,000/year.

#6 -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: $43,552/year
Concentration Areas: Yes
Points: 7
The Data Science Institute at Columbia University in New York City offers a top master’s in data science program that 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 18 months. Courses cover areas such as probability theory, computer systems for data science, machine learning, and exploratory data analysis. Concentration areas include, but are not limited to, entrepreneurship, cybersecurity, health analytics, smart cities, and financial and business analytics.

#5 -Carnegie Mellon University-Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Master’s of Computational Data Science

Website
Ratio: 10:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $41,807/year
Concentration Areas: Yes
Points: 7
Offered through a joint venture with the School of Computer Science and the Tepper School of Business, the Master’s in Computational Data Science program allows students to take a deep dive into databases, distributed algorithms and storage, machine learning, software engineering, and human-computer interaction. Students complete both an internship experience and a capstone project which helps develop both knowledge and experience in the field. Students are assigned one of three majors in the master’s of data science program, depending on their previous education and work experience. Majors are offered in systems, analytics, or human-centered data science. Students with a desire to pursue research opportunities have the opportunity to work directly with a faculty member.

#4 -New York University-New York, New York

MS in Data Science

Website
Ratio: 10:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $39,936/year
Concentration Areas: Yes
Points: 7
The data science master’s program at New York University is a two year program designed for students who excel in areas of mathematics, computer science, and applied statistics. Admission is extremely competitive, as this is the world’s first master’s program designed to deal with the “data tidal wave.” Students may pursue this top accredited master’s in data science either full-time or part-time, but 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, and data science physics.

#3 -University of Rochester-Rochester, New York

Master of Science in Data Science

Website
Ratio: 10:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $36,912/year
Concentration Areas: Yes
Points: 7
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 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, and business and social science. Courses are offered during the day and in-person attendance is required.

#2 -DePaul University-Chicago, Illinois

MS in Predictive Analytics

Website
Ratio: 15:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $18,960/year
Concentration Areas: Yes
Points: 7
DePaul University has a long standing tradition of offering quality programs and their master’s in predictive analytics program is no exception. Students can choose from four different concentration areas including computational methods, health care, marketing, and hospitality. Students have access to the Data Mining and Predictive Analytics Center as well as the DePaul Analytics Student Group. Students in this top data science master’s program work through real world analytics problems through sponsored projects or internships in the field. An extensive offering of electives is available to further tailor the degree.

#1 -Purdue University-West Lafayette, Indiana

Master of Science in Business Analytics and Information Management

Website
Ratio: 12:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $9,208/year in-state and $28,010/year out-of-state
Concentration Areas: Yes
Points: 9
The master’s in business analytics and information management program at Purdue University is a full-time, 11 month program designed to teach students state-of-the-art information technologies, analytic techniques and software tools used in the industry. 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.

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