Masters Degree (MS) in Data Science and Analytics

Best Universities in USA for Data Science & Analytics Courses


Best Master’s in Analytics Colleges and Programs

One thing is clear, data is the ruler of the new world. Today, your life is being encoded in bits and bytes. And it is not just your browsing history or your social media activities. Your shopping or travel habits, what games you play, what shows you watch, and pretty much anything that can have the possibility of data generation, does have data generation. It is not just constrained to your social habits.

Pretty much all industries, small to large scale transactions, economic to weather patterns have data associated with them. So it is safe to say that we are the needle in the data haystack. It’s everywhere.

Since the late 1990s, this data overdrive has been needing some technical finesse to handle. A large amount of data, or popularly known as Big Data, is so massive that mere database handling tools may fall short. Data is currency, as long as we can find value in them. Tapping this wealth has become a necessity and large tech companies like Amazon, Google, and more, have made this possible using cloud computing and software tools like Hadoop. The nature of big data analysis has shifted from an algorithm pulling in data for analysis to algorithms being pushed out to data instead, also called the MapReduce computing paradigm (Source). There are also other Mass Analytical Tools, with simpler interfaces, aimed at making it easier to analyze big data. Some of these you might have already heard mentioned in tech circles – Machine Learning, Complex Event Processing, etc. Also read Artificial Intelligence Vs Machine Learning Vs Data Science Vs Deep learning.

All of the above requires some serious computational skills and training in these analytical tools. So clearly, these changing times, driven by an overwhelming need of storing and using data, has given birth to a new class of profession, Data Science, and a new set of professionals who call themselves Data Scientists. These people have killer math skills, really good statistical powers and of course programming expertise to actually do something tangible. The field of data driven Science is an interdisciplinary one, drawing in people from all sorts of technical, computational and math backgrounds. The current entry level salaries are in the neighborhood of $90k a year, according to Payscale. It has now been termed the “sexiest job of the 21st century”. A recent IBM study has even reported that there will be a rapid growth in Data Science jobs, with 2.7 million new Data Scientist and Analytics jobs opening every year, by 2020.

Most of the current Data Scientists don’t have a masters in data science or analytics. The most widely accepted means of getting trained is through self study using online study material on MOOCs like Coursera, Udemy, etc.

While MOOCs have the advantage of self pacing the courses at a significantly cheaper price tag, they often lack discipline and accountability. A feature which is quite well established in regular courses.

Most of the Big Data Analysis degree courses are relatively new and not enough time has passed to assess the usefulness of getting a full on degree in Data Science. In fact there are only a handful of Universities that even offer a full blown degree in Data anything. But whatever be the age of the degrees, it is clear that the trend is catching on, and with increasing demands for Data Scientists, the need for certified expertize has also increased.


Free online Data Science course

Before you sign up for an expensive, full-time masters program, try this free online course from top universities. It has the option of getting a (paid) certificate if you want to show it off on your resume.

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Top Universities for MS in Data Analytics and Data Science

In this article, we have tried to list out the handful of schools that offer a degree course in Data Analysis or Data Science. Quite a few university trainings are in the form of certifications. However there are some that offer an MS in Data Science/Analytics in either an on-site or an online format. The list is arranged to give a sense of the curriculums in some of the well known Universities. They are in no particular order.
1. Stanford University

  • Department: Statistics School of Humanities and Sciences
  • Degree: MS in Statistics: Data Science
  • Application Fee: $125
  • Tuition: 45 Unit course with Tuitions as per Stanford Registrar
  • Eligibility Requirements: GRE/TOEFL.Strong Mathematics, Probability, Statistics and Linear Algebra.
Example of Courses Mining Massive Data Sets
Introduction to Statistical Inference Parallel and Distributed Data Management
Introduction to Regression Models and Analysis of Variance Business Intelligence from Big Dat
Introduction to Statistical Modeling Paradigms for Computing with Data
Modern Applied Statistics: Learning Machine Learning
Modern Applied Statistics: Data Mining Capstone Project

2. Columbia University – New York

3. University of California – Berkeley

  • Department: Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences
  • Degree: Master of Engineering with concentration in Data Science and Systems
  • Application Fee: $105
  • Tuition: ~$56,000/year for Non-Residents
  • Eligibility Requirements: GRE/TOEFL (>100, iBT >90, IELTS > 7). GPA > 3.0
  • Courses and Capstone Projects
  • UC Berkeley also offers:
    Master of Information and Data Science (MIDS) – Online
    Full Time Path: 20 months
    Accelerated Path: 12 months
    Part-Time Path: 32 months

4. University of Southern California

  • Department: Viterbi School of Engineering
  • Degree: Master of Science in Computer Science with Specialization in Data Science
  • Application Fee: $90
  • Eligibility Requirements: GRE/TOEFL. Undergraduate in Engineering, Math or Hard Science
  • Tuition: Minimum 32 units. ~$2,000 per unit
  • Course list here

5. Georgetown University

  • Department: Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
  • Degree: Master of Science in Analytics Concentration in Data Science
  • Application Fee: $90
  • Eligibility Requirements: TOEFL. Mathematics, Statistics and a background in R, Python and preferably C/C++ and/or Java.
  • Tuition: Approx. $51,000 per year
  • Courses listed here

6. University of Chicago

  • Department: Graham School
  • Degree: Master of Science in Analytics
  • Application Fee: $75
  • Eligibility Requirements: GRE (Not Required)/ TOEFL (>104, IELTS >7). Professionals with Mathematical, Computer Science, IT, Business, Economics, Medicine, MBAs, physical or social sciences with excellent academic records.
  • Tuition: 14 courses. ~$5,000 per course
  • Courses listed here

7. Indiana University Bloomington

  • Department: School of Informatics and Computing
  • Degree: MS in Data Science
  • Application Fee: $65
  • Eligibility Requirements: GRE/TOEFL. Mathematics and Computing background.
  • Tuition: $43,717 for On Campus
    $21,457 for Online MS (No GRE)
    $34,871 for Hybrid MS
    $8,160 for Online Certificate
  • Courses listed here

8. Louisiana State University

  • Department: E J Ourso College of Business
  • Degree: Master of Science in Analytics
  • Application Fee: $70
  • Eligibility Requirements: GRE(or GMAT)/TOEFL. Mathematics, Statistics, Engineering, Science, Computer Programming, Business or Economics background is advantageous.
  • Tuition: ~$39,000
  • Courses listed here

9. University of Massachusetts Amherst

  • Department: College of Information and Computer Sciences
  • Degree: Master in Computer Science Concentration in Data Science
  • Application Fee: $75
  • Eligibility Requirements: GRE/TOEFL. Strong Computer Science background
  • Tuition: 30 credits as per rates here
  • Courses listed here

    UMassAmherst also offers:

    Certificate in Statistical and Computational Data Science

10. New York University

  • Department: The Centre for Data Science
  • Degree: Master of Science in Data Science
  • Application Fee: $100
  • Eligibility Requirements: GRE/TOEFL. Mathematics, Computer Science and Statistics
  • Tuition: 32-44 points with tuition rates
  • Courses listed here


Other Universities in USA that offer Data Analytics and Data Science Courses

Besides the list above, there are many more universities that have begun appreciating the rapidly growing field. The table below is simply an extension of the list above. Also not being in any particular order, or for that matter being an exhaustive list, it attempts to lead you to begin your own research into your career. Take this as data for the data doer.

School Degree
Northwestern University Master of Science in Analytics Program (MSIA)
Cornell University Master of Professional Studies – Data Science
Georgia State University Master of Science in Analytical Program
Georgia Tech (Georgia Institute of Technology) Master of Science in Computer Science – Specialization in Machine Learning
Online Master of Science in Analytics
University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign Online Master of Computer Science in Data Science
University of Notre Dame Online Master of Science in Data Science
Boston University Masters of Science in Computer Science with Concentration in Data Analytics
Brandeis University Strategic Analytics
University of Maryland University College Masters in Data Analytics
University of Rochester – Georgen Institute for Data Science MS in Data Science
Carnegie Mellon University Master of Computational Data Science
University of Pittsburgh – School of Information Science Big Data Analytics Specialization
George Mason University MS in Data Analytics Engineering
University of Washington Master of Science in Data Science
University of Wisconsin Madison MS in Statistics Specialization in Data Science
Texas A&M University Masters in Analytics
University of California – San Diego
Jacobs School of Engineering
Masters of Advanced Study Degree – Data Science & Engineering
University of Minnesota Master of Science in Data Science
University of San Francisco MS in Analytics
University of Virginia MS in Data Science
Harvard University
Extension School
Data Science Certificate
Johns Hopkins University Masters in Science in Data Science
University of Michigan
Michigan Institute for Data Science
Graduate Data Science Certificate Program
NC State University
Institute for Advanced Analytics
Master of Science in Analytics
St. Thomas University MS in Data Science

A formal training in Data Science might be a good idea, but word on the street is that a lot of the expertize happens upon those who take the initiative to learn on the job. Being a relatively new field, the exact recipe for a successful career is still debatable. However, one thing is clear, you will need to have enough passion for Programming, Statistics and all things Math.

It is probably a good idea to get a taste of what is out there, before taking a full-time MS degree course in Data Science / Data Analytics from a top university. So come on now, get on Dr. Google and find your cure.

Meanwhile, here’s some further reading on Data Analytics.

Learn more about how to get into the top MS universities in the world.