30 Best Online Master’s Degrees in Data Science

By CSDH Staff
March 2021

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in data science are expected to increase by a whopping 19% by 2030! That makes now the perfect time to pursue that online master’s degree in data science. That’s also why Computer Science Degree Hub went on the hunt for the 30 best online data science master’s degrees available in the United States.

Ranking Methodology

To begin, we compiled a list of any and every accredited, four-year university offering just such a degree. To narrow down our list to just 30, we used the following points-based system.

Annual Out-of-State Tuition
$5,000 or Less — 5 points
$5,001 to $10,000 — 4 points
$10,001 to $20,000 — 3 points
$20,001 to $30,000 — 2 points
$30,001 to $40,000 — 1 point

Annual Percentage of 20-Year Net Return on Investment (ROI):
9%+ — 5 points
7-8% — 4 points
5-6% — 3 points
3-4% — 2 points
1-2% — 1 point

Graduation Rate:
Above 90% — 5 points
Above 80% — 4 points
Above 70% — 3 points
Above 60% — 2 points
Above 50% — 1 point

Student-to-Faculty Ratio:
5:1 and more — 4 points
10:1 and more — 3 points
15:1 and more — 2 points
20:1 and more — 1 point

Note: In the event of a tie in points, the higher ranking was given to the university with the lower out-of-state annual tuition. All tuition numbers and other statistics are accurate as of March 2021.

#30. Bellevue University
bellevue-universityOnline Master of Science in Data Science

Bellevue, Nebraska
Annual Tuition: $10,710
Total Points: 4

Coming in at number 30 on our list is Bellevue University’s online M.S. in Data Science. Over the course of the 30-credit degree program, students master tools such as Python and Tableau, plus develop excellent problem solving skills. Required courses include Statistics for Data Science and Applied Data Science, to name two. This program is very flexible, which makes it ideal for students who are also parents and/or working professionals.

#29. Pennsylvania State University World Campus
pennsylvania-state-university-world-campusOnline Master of Professional Studies in Data Analytics

University Park, Pennsylvania
Annual Tuition: $25,104
Total Points: 5

Pennsylvania State University operates one of the most respected distance-learning programs in the country. It is through this World Campus that students from anywhere in the world may pursue Penn State’s online Master of Professional Studies in Data Analytics degree. The degree program consists of 30 credits, which includes courses such as Data Mining and Database Design Concepts, to name two. A three-credit capstone course is also required before graduation.

#28. University of West Florida
Online Master of Science in Data Science

Pensacola, Florida
Annual Tuition: $22,166
Total Points: 5

University of West Florida offers an online M.S. in Data Science that teaches students to expertly analyze and provide counsel about data science. The program is made up of courses lasting 8-16 weeks. This set up is ideal for busy professionals or parents, as it allows more classes to be completed in a shorter amount of time. Typically, students are able to complete the 30 credits required for University of West Florida’s master’s in data science in about two years.

#27. Bay Path University
Online Master of Science in Applied Data Science

Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Annual Tuition: $19,235
Total Points: 7

Bay Path University offers an online M.S. in Applied Data Science. Students may choose between two tracks: a generalist track or a specialist track. The former option is better for those who are looking to become well-rounded data scientists. The latter is ideal for the data scientist looking for a more data-centric role in their career. Regardless of track option, this degree requires 12 courses, totaling 36 credits.

#26. University of Denver
University of Denver Coding Boot CampOnline Master of Science in Data Science 

Denver, Colorado
Annual Tuition: $52,596
Total Points: 8

University of Denver offers an M.S. in Data Science which can be completed entirely online. The degree is designed especially for busy professionals. It consists of 15 courses totaling 48-60 units. Required courses include Algorithms for Data Science and Machine Learning, to name two. Bridge courses are also available for those whose academic or professional backgrounds do not already include programming experience. Most students are able to complete this degree within two years.

#25. Rochester Institute of Technology
Online Master of Science in Data Science

Rochester, New York
Annual Tuition: $50,136
Total Points: 8

Rochester Institute of Technology offers an online version of their highly ranked M.S. in Data Science. The degree consists of 30 credits, and includes courses such as Applied Statistics and Software Engineering for Data Science, among others. Students must also complete a set number of courses from a long list of interesting elective options. Start dates are scheduled for both the fall and the spring, and most students graduate within two years.

#24. University of California, Riverside
Online Master of Science in Engineering w/ a focus on Data Science 

Riverside, California
Annual Tuition: $26,544
Total Points: 8

The first of three University of California schools to make our list, University of Riverside offers an online M.S. in Engineering in Data Science. The 100% online degree program is expedited, and students can graduate in as few as 13 months. The required coursework is varied, and provides students with a solid foundation on which they can enter the job market as a data scientist.

#23. Northcentral University
Online Master of Science in Data Science 

La Jolla, California
Annual Tuition: $16,983
Total Points: 8

Northcentral University is well known for its distance education programs. This includes the university’s online M.S. in Data Science degree. The degree takes 30 credit hours to complete, and most students graduate within 23 months. The 10 required courses cover a variety of topics, and ensure students graduate with a solid working knowledge of all things data science. New start dates are available each Monday.

#22. Drexel University
Online Master of Science in Data Science 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Annual Tuition: $36,234
Total Points: 9

Drexel University offers an online M.S. in Data Science. Forty-five credits are required to complete this degree. But because the program is organized into four 10-week quarters per year, students are able to complete more classes in a shorter amount of time. This makes Drexel’s online data science master’s degree ideal for anyone who wants to ensure they are learning anything and everything that may benefit their career.

#21. Elmhurst University
Online Master of Science in Data Science

Elmhurst, Illinois
Annual Tuition: $32,000
Total Points: 9

Elmhurst University offers an M.S. in Data Science which can be completed primarily online. The program is part-time, and most students complete their degree within two years. Required coursework includes classes covering both business (Business Intelligence for Enterprise Value, for example) and computer science (such as Programming Environments for Modern Data). A capstone course is also required before graduation. Please note this degree does require that two graduate-level courses be completed on campus at Elmhurst.

#20. Indiana University Bloomington
indiana-university-bloomingtonOnline Master of Science in Data Science 

Bloomington, Indiana
Annual Tuition: $31,932
Total Points: 9

Indiana University at Bloomington offers an online M.S. in Data Science. Online students complete the same hands-on coursework as residential students, and classes are taught by the same experienced instructors. The degree consists of 30 credits, six of which must come from the student’s choice of domain area. Four domain area options are currently available, including Data Analytics and Visualization. A three-credit capstone is also required to complete this degree.

#19. New Jersey Institute of Technology
Online Master of Science in Data Science

Newark, New Jersey
Annual Tuition: $30,540
Total Points: 9

New Jersey Institute of Technology offers an online M.S. in Data Science. The 30-credit program covers topics ranging from statistical interference to big data, and everything in between. Online classes vary from formal lectures to hands-on programming projects students may complete independently or as part of a small group. Typically, students complete this degree in about two years.

#18. Merrimack College
Online Master of Science in Data Science 

North Andover, Massachusetts
Annual Tuition: $30,464
Total Points: 9

Massachusetts-based Merrimack College offers an online M.S. in Data Science. Over the course of the program, students will learn to problem solve using the most up-to-date tools and analytical methods. A series of business-themed courses add a helpful twist to a student’s resume. Each course required for the degree was designed by industry professionals.

#17. Oklahoma State University
Online Master of Science in Business Analytics and Data Science 

Stillwater, Oklahoma
Annual Tuition: $21,034
Total Points: 9

Students from anywhere in the world can pursue an online M.S. in Business Analytics and Data Science from the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University. The 33-credit program takes about 21 months to complete. However, up to seven of those months can be used for internships at the many companies and organizations with which Oklahoma State has a working relationship. Speaking of internships, 100% of students in this degree program receive paid summer internships. Just as impressive is the fact that 90% of program graduates receive employment offers within three months of graduation.

#16. Syracuse University
Online Master of Science in Applied Data Science

Syracuse, New York
Annual Tuition: $40,392
Total Points: 10

Syracuse University offers an online M.S. in Applied Data Science. The degree consists of 36 credits, and usually takes students about two years to complete. Over the course of the program, students complete the majority of their coursework in the primary core and the Analytics Application core. Twelve to 15 credits of electives are also required, as is an exit portfolio of projects.

#15. University of Missouri
Online Master of Science in Data Science

Columbia, Missouri
Annual Tuition: $25,946
Total Points: 10

University of Missouri offers an online M.S. in Data Science through its Institute for Data Science and Informatics. The 34-credit degree program does include some campus visits over the course of the program. Otherwise, the vast majority can be completed at any time, from anywhere in the world. Students have five-different disciplines on which they may focus their studies. Regardless of emphasis, coursework covers topics such as statistical modeling and data visualization. Typically, students finish the online M.S. in Data Science in two years.

#14. Texas Tech University
Online Master of Science in Data Science 

Lubbock, Texas
Annual Tuition: $14,968
Total Points: 10

Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University offers an M.S. in Data Science which students can complete without ever setting foot on campus. The degree consists of 12 courses, each of which is taught in seven-week semi-semesters. Students follow the course schedule lock step, and are thereby able to complete their degree in just one year. This makes the online data science master’s degree from Texas Tech one of the fastest on our list! Required courses include Time Series Analysis and Big Data Strategy, to name two.

#13. Lewis University
Online Master of Science in Data Science

Romeoville, Illinois
Annual Tuition: $14,580
Total Points: 10

The M.S. in Data Science at Lewis University can be completed 100% online. Students may choose between two concentrations: Computer Science and Computational Biology and Bioinformatics. Either choice provides students with just one more way Lewis University allows them to tailor their degree towards their career interests. Courses are interactive and collaborative, and the entire degree program can be completed in about two years.

#12. Southern Methodist University
Online Master of Science in Data Science

Dallas, Texas
Annual Tuition: $40,896
Total Points: 11

Southern Methodist University offers an online M.S. in Data Science. Students pursuing this degree may choose between two specializations: Machine Learning and Business Analytics. Both specializations include interactive coursework and opportunities to collaborate with classmates. Both specializations also consists of 33.5 credits of coursework. Conveniently, four start dates are scheduled throughout the year, and most students finish their degree in 20-28 months.

#11. Saint Mary’s College
Online Master of Science in Data Science 

Notre Dame, Indiana
Annual Tuition: $27,287
Total Points: 11

Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana offers an M.S. in Data Science which can be completed almost entirely online. The degree program is designed especially for busy students. Students are assigned just 2-3 classes for each term, and it is expected that they will log in when and from wherever they can. Although Saint Mary’s College is an all-women’s Catholic college, this online master’s degree is open to both women and men.

#10. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
university-of-illinois-at-urbana-champaignOnline Master of Computer Science in Data Science 

Champaign, Illinois
Annual Tuition: $27,187
Total Points: 11

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers an online Master of Computer Science with a concentration in Data Science. The 32-credit degree program is cohort-style, meaning students progress through the degree alongside classmates who began around the same time. Required coursework covers data mining and cloud computing, among other interesting topics. Unlike a number of other programs in our top 10 best online master’s programs, the Data Science degree at University of Illinois does not require a thesis or capstone.

#9. Regis University
Online Master of Science in Data Science

Denver, Colorado
Annual Tuition: $14,322
Total Points: 11

Denver-based Regis University offers an M.S. in Data Science which is 100% online. The 36-credit course is divided into eight-week terms, allowing busy students to complete the degree faster than some alternative programs. Potential courses include Exploratory Data Analysis and Data Engineering, to name two. Regis University’s online master’s in Data Science has six start dates throughout the year.

#8. Cabrini University
Online Master of Science in Data Science 

Radnor, Pennsylvania
Annual Tuition: $2,115
Total Points: 11

Cabrini University is a Pennsylvania-based private Roman Catholic university. The school offers a well-respected M.S. in Data Science which can be completed entirely online. Over the course of the 36-credit master’s program, students will learn a number of programming languages and become proficient in Tableau and Hadoop. They will also gain a valuable understanding of Business Enterprise functions in the 24 months it takes to complete this degree. Finally, an internship or capstone project is required before graduation.

#7. University of Notre Dame
Online Master of Science in Data Science

Notre Dame, Indiana
Annual Tuition: $57,050
Total Points: 12

University of Notre Dame offers an online M.S. in Data Science. The degree consists of 30 credits, and can be completed in about 21 months. The list of courses includes Time Series and Forecasting, and Behavioral Data Science, to name two. Students taking part in Notre Dame’s online Data Science degree seem to like the small, interactive classes. A large alumni network and interesting internship opportunities are additional benefits to the degree program at Notre Dame.

#6. Johns Hopkins University
johns-hopkins-universityOnline Master of Science in Data Science

Baltimore, Maryland
Annual Tuition: $57,010
Total Points: 12

Johns Hopkins University includes in its course catalog an online M.S. in Data Science. To earn this top-ranked degree, students must complete 10 courses in no more than five years. These include seven core data science courses, plus one Applied and Computational Mathematics elective and one additional elective of the student’s choice. A capstone project or independent study is also required.

#5. University of Southern California
Online Master of Science in Applied Data Science

Los Angeles, California
Annual Tuition: $47,880
Total Points: 12

Those intent on earning their master’s in data science degree from University of Southern California have a couple of different options, including an online M.S. in Applied Data Science. This degree requires students to complete 32 units. Coursework includes three required core courses and five electives of the student’s choice. Though this degree is best suited for those who have already earned a bachelor’s in computer science, supplementary courses are available for those who completed their undergrad in another subject.

#4. Illinois Institute of Technology
Online Master of Advanced Studies in Data Science

Chicago, Illinois
Annual Tuition: $29,075
Total Points: 12

Illinois Institute of Technology offers a professional master’s degree in data science which can be completed online. Over the course of the 33-credit degree program, students learn the ins and outs of analyzing data and articulating their conclusions. Students are required to complete a set of core courses before working through three electives and a capstone course. In some cases, earning one’s degree at Illinois Institute of Technology may require a few days of in-person seminars or coursework each semester.

#3. University of California, Los Angeles
UCLA-Top Computer Science Bachelor's DegreesOnline Master of Science in Engineering w/ Certificate of Specialization in Data Science

Los Angeles, California
Annual Tuition: $26,544
Total Points: 12

UCLA offers an M.S. in Engineering with a Certificate of Specialization in Data Science. The degree can be completed 100% online in about two academic years. To earn the M.S. degree, students must complete 36 units, or nine courses. Said courses include Neural Networks and Deep Learning and Digital Speech Processing, to name two. Before graduation, students must also meet the Comprehensive Exam Requirement by either completing a capstone project, or passing three written exams.

#2. University of California, Berkeley
university-of-california-berkeleyOnline Master of Information and Data Science 

Berkeley, California
Annual Tuition: $26,544
Total Points: 13

Top-ranked U.C. Berkeley offers a Master of Information and Data Science degree which can be completed entirely online. The degree is designed especially for working professionals, who may choose to pursue the degree at an accelerated, standard, or decelerated rate of study. Those who choose the standard path can complete their degree in as few as 12 months. Berkeley’s online MIDS degree consists of 27 units, including a capstone.

#1. Loyola University Maryland
Online Master of Science in Data Science

Baltimore, Maryland
Annual Tuition: $17,910
Total Points: 13

Topping our list is Loyola University Maryland, which offers an online M.S. in Data Science. Over the course of the program, students learn Python programming and other skills necessary for a successful career in data science. Because Loyola has a Jesuit background, students also examine the ethical implications of the work done in data science. This degree consists of 31-34 credits, and students may choose from two specializations: Data Analytics or Technical.

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