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By DSDP Staff

Data Science Degree Programs Guide - Top Online Degrees - New-01Data Scientists are highly skilled professionals who use cutting edge technology to make sense of large, often unstructured, datasets. They use strategies such as clustering, artificial intelligence, behavioral analytics, “Big Data,” and data mining. Data scientists are necessary in almost every industry to help provide analysis for a data driven business environment. Both large and small corporations seek out professionals with the highest level of education and experience to help them make key decisions or conduct research. Effective use of data is key to deepening our understanding and application of business, economic, social, and physical behavior.


It is possible to earn a PhD or doctorate level degree in data science or a closely related major without relocating or taking time away from work. We looked at over 20 different doctoral programs in data science based on a search in College Navigator and DataScience Community to determine the top 10 for an online Ph.D. in data science. We determined the best programs had limited residency requirements, a highly interactive curriculum, a variety of courses in data science, and support from expert level faculty. We then based our ranking on the following considerations and assigned points accordingly:

Student to Faculty Ratio

  • 15:1 or less= 5 Points
  • 16:1 to 20:1= 3 Points
  • Greater than 20:1= 1 Point

Average Graduate Tuition

  • Less than $10,000 per year= 5 Points
  • $10,000 to $15,000 per year= 4 Points
  • $15,001 to $20,000 per year= 3 Points
  • $20,001 to $25,000 per year= 2 Points
  • Greater than $25,000 per year= 1 Point

While we understand that many Ph.D. level programs provide students with an assistantship to cover the cost of their tuition, cost is still a factor we considered in developing our list. We reviewed each school’s average graduate tuition rates from College Navigator, a website run by the National Center for Education Statistics that provides information on institutions of higher education around the country. While we looked specifically at tuition rates for graduate school, we acknowledge that tuition rates can vary from program to program. Always consult the university to find out specifics related to their data science program and if they offer any incentives or scholarships to reduce your overall cost.

Below are the best online doctorate degrees in data science based on our criteria. We believe our list highlights the best of the best in quality online doctorate in data science programs.

Data Science Doctorate Online Degree Programs Ranking

#10. Colorado Technical University – Colorado Springs, Colorado

Doctor of Computer Science-Concentration in Big Data Analytics

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 28:1
Tuition: $13,409/year
Total Points: 4
Students come first at Colorado Technical University and the flexible Doctor of Computer Science in Big Data Analytics was designed to be flexible enough for the working professional. The curriculum is designed in a way that students only need to come to campus for short residencies and an in-person symposium experience. Most students can complete their degree in three years due, in part, to the dissertation development piece integrated into the program. Students learn data analytics tools and techniques through XML, Hadoop, artificial intelligence, and data visualization. The 100 credit hour program has multiple start dates throughout the year. Graduates are prepared for leadership positions within corporations, non-profits, higher education, or in consulting.

#9. Capella University – Minneapolis, Minnesota

Online Doctor of Health Administration-Health Care Quality and Analytics Specialization

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 22:1
Tuition: $14,516/year
Total Points: 5
The online Doctor of Health Administration with a specialization in Health Care Quality and Analytics from Capella is a flexible program giving students advanced training in health care analytics. This 76 credit hour program includes courses in health data analytics in quality, performance management and process improvement in healthcare, 21st century health care leadership, and evaluation and interpretation of data in health care. The unique online program is offered in the GuidedPath learning format which adds structure for students who want it.

#8. Johns Hopkins University-Baltimore, Maryland

DrPh in Health Policy and Management-Public Health Informatics

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 7:1
Tuition: $53,740/year
Total Points: 6
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health offers a top online Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) with a concentration track available in Public Health Informatics. The program is designed for public health professionals or population health managers seeking advanced training in health informatics. Courses cover specialized areas such as core informatics, database methods, IT project management, and human factors. Courses are offered primarily online with in-person coursework required during the summer and winter institutes which meet in Baltimore during the 1st and 2nd year of the program. Institutes are five days and allow students to network and complete courses that would be difficult to manage through an online platform.

#7. University of North Texas – Denton, Texas

Ph.D. in Information Science-Data Science

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 26:1
Tuition: $5,450/year in-state and $12,920/year out-of-state
Total Points: 6
The Department of Library and Information Sciences at the University of North Texas features an interdisciplinary Information Science program with a concentration in data science. The data science concentration includes courses in data modeling for information professionals, usability and user experience assessment, computational linguistics, and business process analytics. To be considered for admission, students need to submit a personal statement, resume, three letters of recommendation and their current GRE scores. Graduates will be prepared to conduct research on critical issues related to information science.

#6. The University of Rhode Island – Kingston, Rhode Island

Online Ph.D. in Computer Science

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Tuition: $13,226/year in-state and $25,854/year out-of-state
Total Points: 7
The University of Rhode Island Department offers an online PhD in Computer Science that can be completed with 54 credit hours of coursework beyond the bachelor’s degree. Full-time students can earn their degree in just four years. This unique program features course groups in mathematical foundations, programming languages, and architecture and systems. Students need to pass a comprehensive examination comprised of both a written and oral component. A GRE test is required as well as a bachelor’s degree in a field closely related to computer science. This online Ph.D. in data science has the flexibility to include data science electives to further tailor the program. Applicants must submit GRE general test scores to be considered for admission.

#5. Capitol Technology University – Laurel Maryland

Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Business Analytics and Decision Sciences

Program Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Tuition: $10,854/year
Total Points: 7
Capitol Technology University has an online PhD in Business Analytics and Decision Sciences for students who want to advance their career and conduct scholarly research. The majority of courses are offered in a flexible online format and minimal residency requirements make this a great choice for working professionals. Courses are taught by working professionals in the field who are experienced with the latest industry trends and best practices. The curriculum includes courses in analytics and decision analysis, applied statistics and visualization for analytics, management, and organizational change.

#4. Grand Canyon University – Phoenix, Arizona

Doctor of Business Administration with an Emphasis in Data Analytics Online


School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Tuition: $9,916/year
Total Points: 8
Grand Canyon University features a Doctor of Business Administration focused on data analytics. The program is designed for business executives and industry leaders who want to learn advanced techniques to manage and analyze data. Students work with “big data” to address complex business problems and make effective decisions. This 60 credit hour program offers courses in business analytics, research, financial management, research design, and predictive modeling. Courses are offered entirely online and last eight weeks each. Graduates are prepared for success in roles like chief executive officer, data scientist, business intelligence director, or data engineer.

#3. Indiana University – Bloomington, Indiana

Ph.D. Minor in Health Informatics Online

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Tuition: $9,225/year in-state and $31,932/year out-of-state
Total Points: 8
Students at Indiana University of IUPUI working on their doctorate degree in Informatics and Computing are required to complete a minor, which can include a minor in health informatics. Students can complete the entire minor online without spending additional time on campus. Courses are taught by world-class faculty and cover areas like clinical information systems, health informatics standards and terminologies, clinical decision support systems, and foundation of health informatics. This minor takes 18 months to complete.

#2. Northcentral University – Minneapolis, Minnesota

Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science Online

Program Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Tuition: $9,180/year
Total Points: 8
Northcentral University features an online PhD in Computer Science that explores the latest theories and concepts used in the analysis of complex issues. Courses cover subjects like artificial intelligence, data mining, and cyber security. Students build a professional portfolio using assignments they complete from the program. This 60 credit hour program takes 50 months to complete and with weekly start dates, students can begin the program right after being accepted.

#1. Dakota State University – Madison, South Dakota

Doctor of Science in Information Systems

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Tuition: $5,749/year in-state and $10,733/year out-of-state
Total Points: 8
Our top choice for a data science doctorate degree is offered by Dakota State University. The Doctor of Science in Information Systems can be completed full or part-time, making this a good choice for working professionals. Students can choose research specializations in analytics and decision support, information assurance and computer security, or healthcare information systems. Courses cover areas such as advanced database, information retrieval, and data warehousing and data mining. Full-time students with their master’s in information systems or a related area can expect to earn their degree in about three years.

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Find Your Degree is an advertising-supported site. Featured programs and school search results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other information published on this site.