The Best Master’s in Data Science Degree Programs
If you are researching Master’s in Data Science programs and are considering online options, you might be overwhelmed with how many programs you have to choose from. We’ve broken down the top five to make your search a little simpler:
Location: Notre Dame, IN
Established in 1842, the University of Notre Dame offers an online Master of Science in Data Science that requires 30 credits via 14 classes.
Designed to be taken at a half-time pace, the program may be completed in as little as 21 months, if a student enrolls in six credits per semester for five consecutive semesters.
Notre Dame’s online platform offers flexible instruction methods, so that students are able to simultaneously take advantage of asynchronous participation and synchronous small-class lectures that are offered at night by the school’s multidisciplinary faculty.
Aside from an initial three-day, on-campus orientation, the program may be completed entirely online. Optional courses include immersion classes held at Silicon Valley. Due to the interdisciplinary content of the program, the program is run by Notre Dame’s Department of Applied and Computational Mathematics & Statistics in collaboration with the Department of Computer Science & Engineering, the Department of Psychology, and the Mendoza College of Business.
Tuition is $50,000, a number that is to be expected for a highly-ranked, top-tier private institution such as Notre Dame. The program curriculum covers in-depth topics that range from communicating technical concepts and creating presentations, to database security and team problem-solving. With a slant towards experiential learning and practical skills training, graduates of this program can expect to be well prepared for a high paying career.
Admissions requirements include a minimum 3.0 GPA, GMAT or GRE scores, a compelling candidate statement of purpose, recommendation letters that indicate the candidate’s ability to succeed in the program, as well as a degree or background showing foundational knowledge in the areas of programming, calculus, and communication.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Location: Champaign, IL
Since 1876, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has been conducting innovative research and offering world-class educational experiences to students.
Their cutting-edge, 32-credit online Master of Computer Science in Data Science (MCS-DS) offers a curriculum track featuring eight four-credit classes. With four foundational areas to select from, students must take at least one class in data mining, data visualization, machine learning, and cloud computing. Following these four classes, three core classes cover the topics of data cleaning, data curation, and Bayesian modeling, as students learn the fine art of pulling out usable knowledge from a deluge of online data. One elective rounds off the program, the entirety of which is offered online via Coursera.
Through this platform, students engage with their coursework and lectures asynchronously, at their own pace, and they send in assignments and take exams, as needed. Students are required to pass each MCS-DS course with a grade of B-, or higher.
With no thesis requirement, this program is streamlined for efficiency and speedy completion, in as short a time as one to two years. Though students do have the option to stretch out their degree completion date for up to five years, if necessary.
Tuition costs $600 per credit, with a 32-credit requirement. Thus, the total tuition amount is $19,200, plus applicable fees. Student admissions requirements include a minimum 3.2 GPA. No GRE scores or letters of recommendation are needed to apply. A maximum of 12 graduate credits are eligible for transfer consideration.
College of William and Mary
Location: Williamsburg, VA
One of America’s oldest schools, the College of William and Mary is the alma mater of three early U.S. Presidents, including Thomas Jefferson. Today, it offers one of the nation’s top online Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) programs, with a focus option on data science.
Data science and business analytics go hand-in-hand, which is the reason that William and Mary’s Raymond A. Mason School of Business put together this carefully-crafted, 32-credit curriculum for those who want to harness the power of actionable data insights. Armed with the tools to find and extract relevant information to inform business strategies, graduates of this program are highly sought after by companies seeking to enhance their profit margins.
Made to be completed in two years, the William & Mary online Master of Science in Business Analytics program’s cornerstones are business acumen, math modeling, computing technologies, and impactful communication. From marketing and economics to data mining, students will immerse themselves in the eight required courses, including a final capstone course for which they must identify a sophisticated business program and formulate a fix using knowledge gleaned from prior coursework.
Aside from the seven asynchronous classes and the capstone course, there is a brief, no-credit orientation to provide familiarization with the curriculum and the online platform. There is also a short skills-building course on Excel.
To apply, students must have an undergraduate degree, as well as either two years of relevant business background or demonstrable knowledge of business principles. William and Mary accepts, as proof of this knowledge, either an undergraduate degree in business, or significant coursework in “corporate finance, accounting, marketing and operations.” Alternately, applicants may complete Coursera.org certifications. Applicants should also submit GRE or GMAT test results.
Tuition is $1,300 per credit for 32 credits, for a total of $41,600, not including any additional fees.
University of Maryland-College Park
Location: College Park, MD
The University of Maryland-College Park offers an online Master of Professional Studies in Survey and Data Science (MPS) program, with an emphasis on survey methodology, data analysis, and related data science applications.
Featuring a 30-credit curriculum, with 19 credits in core classes and 11 credits in elective classes, this program is one of the more customizable online programs. The program features 12-week terms, though some shorter classes only run for a month or two.
The first class, SURV400: Fundamentals of Survey and Data Science, is a prerequisite for the remaining core classes, which delve into the topics of data generation, access, analysis, curation, and research.
Students engage in classroom content both synchronously and asynchronously, meaning they do occasionally need to be online at certain specific times in order to collaborate with classmates. Thus, users will need to have a webcam and headset, as well as Internet access. However, as with any online course, the intent is to make the program as convenient as possible for working individuals.. Therefore, coursework and all pre-recorded instructor lectures may be viewed at a student’s leisure.
To apply, students must have a year of relevant work or educational experience related to the program, with an emphasis on statistical methods.
Tuition is $1,071 per credit, which totals $32,130 for the entire 30-credit program. Students typically graduate within two years.
For more information, visit the University of Maryland-College Park’s Master of Professional Studies in Survey and Data Science website, or contact them directly at (301) 314-7911.
Location: Boston, MA
Boston University in Massachusetts is a massive private institution spanning three campuses. Founded in 1839, it has taken its rightful place as a leader in online education. One of their prestigious offerings through their Metropolitan College is the 40-credit online Master of Science in Applied Business Analytics.
Made to be completed in 18 to 24 months, this comprehensive graduate program prepares students for lucrative careers related to business, marketing, and finance. In an age when companies must make critical decisions based on data that isn’t always easy to extrapolate, graduates of this esteemed program are well-positioned to find work.
Indeed, by 2020, the nation could have as many as 2.7 million job openings for experts in this field! From CEOs and Chief Data Officers, to IT Directors and managers in the areas of HR, finance, and marketing, the demand for “analytics-enabled” professionals is only rising!
Boston’s Master of Science in Applied Business Analytics provides students everything they need to be successful through four core courses: analytics, operations, finance, and decision-making processes. Four specialization courses require students to deep dive into the realm of business analytics, mastering advanced concepts before tackling courses on web and marketing analytics, data mining, and enterprise risk analytics. Electives include courses in the fields of cybercrime and agile software development.
Tuition is $465 per credit, equaling $18,600 for the entire 40-credit program. Don’t let the competitive price tag fool you, though. Boston University Metropolitan College promises the same high-caliber education as that received by on-campus BU students.