Data science is a degree that can be used in any field or area. As a data scientist or in any related occupation, you’ll notice the need for skills in communications, computer science, mathematics, and business. People in this career field need to be fast on their feet and have the capability to solve complicated questions.

Data science needs highly-skilled professionals who are disciplined. A few of these occupations consist of an enterprise architect, machine learning engineer, data scientist, and statistician.

If you want to advance or go into a career based on data science, you’ll need to gain a master’s degree. Below we’ve comprised a list of the top ten most affordable schools with the best online data science programs for earning a master’s in data science or data analytics. These programs aren’t just affordable but offer some of the best online data science courses in the nation. You’ll have deep learning with hands-on experiences, creating strategic data plans, and making networking connections with professionals in your community.

Online Data Science Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the schools below.

In all of these programs, you’ll be taught by real professionals in the field of data science. These professionals want you to succeed. They won’t only train you in the most relevant skills but mentor you individually to help you find your career passion. You can graduate feeling confident in what you’ve chosen.

Methodology

All schools considered for these rankings

  • Are regionally or nationally accredited
  • Offer at least one fully online master’s in data science program (with no more than two weeks of required in-person work)
  • Were collected from official accrediting agency websites.

Schools are ranked solely by the average net price as released in the most recent IPEDs database collected in 2023

 

2024 Most Affordable Online Master’s in Data Science Programs

#1The University of West Florida$8,152
#2Kent State University at Salem$9,243
#3Middle Georgia State University$10,295
#4Western Governors University$11,835
#5University of Illinois at Springfield$12,065
#6National University$12,231
#7Arizona State University$12,814
#8Fort Hays State University$13,515
#9University of Wisconsin-Green Bay$13,654
#10Georgia Institute of Technology$14,820
#11University of Illinois Urbana – Champaign$15,483
#12University of Maryland Global Campus$15,635
#13Bellevue University$15,794
#14Southern Arkansas University$15,873
#15University of North Dakota$17,424
#16Charleston Southern University$17,638
#17University of Kansas$18,709
#18Davenport University$18,771
#19Cabrini University$19,978
#20Utica College$21,756
#21Southern New Hampshire University Online$22,873
#22The College of Saint Scholastica$24,652
#23Notre Dame of Maryland University$27,149

10 Best Affordable Colleges for Online Master’s in Data Science Programs

1. The University of West Florida

Average Net Price: $8,152

School Type: Non-Profit
School Accreditation: SACS COC

The University of West Florida (UWF) offers an online Master of Science in Data Science (MSDS) program that immerses students in the world of data science. This fully online program equips them with the skills needed for exciting careers in this field. Regardless of their academic background – be it mathematics, statistics, computer science, engineering, business, or health – this program welcomes all.

UWF’s MSDS program boasts three distinct tracks, each tailor-made for the demands of today’s data science job market:

  1. Analytics and Modeling: In this track, students dive deep into the art of crafting data modeling processes. They master the creation of algorithms and predictive models to tackle intricate problems. Computational skills become second nature, and proficiency in mathematics and statistics is honed to perfection.
  2. Analytics of Business Decisions: This track sharpens students’ abilities to harness data for making crucial business decisions. It’s all about problem-solving and optimizing efficiency. Students learn the ropes of data collection, cleaning, and analysis to unearth trends and patterns. Clear and concise communication of findings to decision-makers is a key focus.
  3. Health Analytics: Here, the spotlight shines on leveraging data to enhance healthcare outcomes. Students explore the ins and outs of collecting, cleansing, and analyzing healthcare data. They also learn to engineer data-driven solutions to healthcare challenges.

Our seasoned faculty, experts in their respective domains, lead the way in delivering this program. Rest assured, the UWF MSDS program is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

To gain admission to this program, aspiring students must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Applicants should submit a statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, and transcripts from all prior undergraduate and graduate studies.

Completing the UWF MSDS program can take as little as two years of full-time dedication, though part-time study is also an option. The flexibility of asynchronous courses allows students to set their own pace for coursework completion.

What’s more, this program offers an economically sound path to a master’s degree in data science. Tuition and fees are on par with other public universities in Florida, and UWF provides various financial aid avenues to support students in financing their education.

2. Kent State University at Salem

Average Net Price: $9,243

School Type: Non-Profit
School Accreditation: HLC

Kent State University at Salem offers a dynamic Master of Science in Data Science program, available entirely online. This program immerses students in the world of data science, a field currently experiencing explosive growth and commanding high demand across various industries.

The Kent State Salem Online MS in Data Science is a 30-credit program, achievable in just two years. It delves into a wide array of data science facets, including data mining, machine learning, big data analysis, statistics, programming, data visualization, and communication skills.

Designed to accommodate the busy lives of working professionals and students juggling multiple commitments, the program offers asynchronous course delivery, empowering students to set their own learning pace.

Beyond the core curriculum, the Kent State Salem Online MS in Data Science program incorporates a hands-on capstone project. Under the guidance of experienced faculty advisors, students tackle real-world data science challenges, honing their abilities by solving practical problems.

Furthermore, the program boasts accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. It also holds the coveted DHS STEM Designated Degree Program status, potentially extending F-1 STEM OPT eligibility for international graduates.

Admission to this program mandates a bachelor’s degree in a quantitative discipline, such as mathematics, statistics, computer science, or engineering. A robust GPA and competitive GRE scores round out the admission prerequisites.

3. Middle Georgia State University

Average Net Price: $10,295

School Type: Non-Profit
School Accreditation: SACS COC

Middle Georgia State University (MGA) beckons aspiring data scientists with its immersive and fully online Master of Science in Data Science program. This program not only equips students with the skills they need but also catapults them into the thriving field of data science, where demand for proficient experts is skyrocketing.

Within the MGA Master’s in Data Science program, students delve into a comprehensive array of subjects, honing their expertise in:

  • Statistics
  • Programming
  • Data mining
  • Machine learning
  • Data visualization
  • Big data processing

Adding an exciting practical dimension, the program culminates in a capstone project that empowers students to tackle real-world data science challenges head-on.

For students seeking flexibility and affordability in their pursuit of data science mastery, the MGA Master’s in Data Science program shines as a stellar choice. SACSCOC accreditation further bolsters its appeal, offering students a well-rounded educational experience that is both accessible and respected.

4. Western Governors University

Average Net Price: $11,835

School Type: Non-Profit
School Accreditation: NWCCU

Western Governors University (WGU) presents an entirely online Master of Science in Data Analytics degree program. This program not only immerses students in the dynamic world of data science but also equips them with the essential skills needed to excel in areas such as data mining, machine learning, data management, and database applications.

This comprehensive WGU Master’s program comprises 11 courses, each delving into critical domains, including:

  1. Data mining
  2. Machine learning
  3. Statistical analysis
  4. Data visualization
  5. Database design and administration
  6. Big data technologies
  7. Data ethics and governance

Additionally, the program features a capstone project, where students actively employ the proficiencies and insights they’ve acquired throughout the curriculum to tackle real-world data science challenges.

WGU’s Master’s in Data Analytics program holds accreditation from the esteemed Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Admission into the WGU Master’s in Data Analytics program necessitates a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and a robust foundation in mathematics and statistics.

5. University of Illinois at Springfield

Average Net Price: $12,065

School Type: Non-Profit
School Accreditation: HLC

The University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS) Online Master of Science in Data Analytics program stands as a highly regarded and esteemed educational offering. This program actively immerses students in the essential skills and knowledge required to thrive within the rapidly expanding domain of data science. Its online format renders it exceptionally convenient, catering to the needs of both working professionals and those with diverse commitments.

This program, thoughtfully curated by UIS, readies students for an array of dynamic careers in the data science arena. It empowers them to become proficient data analysts, data scientists, astute machine learning engineers, and adept data engineers. The program delves deep into multifaceted subjects, encompassing:

Programming languages (Python and R)
Statistics and probability
Machine learning
Data mining
Data visualization
Big data technologies
Cloud computing

Furthermore, a capstone project, a pivotal component of this program, affords students the opportunity to apply their acquired knowledge and hone their skills by tackling a real-world data science challenge.

Noteworthy accolades adorn the UIS Online Master of Science in Data Analytics program, with Study.com bestowing upon it the coveted ranking of #1 in the nation. Additionally, the program enjoys STEM-OPT classification, granting international students the privilege to extend their stay in the United States for up to three years post-graduation, thereby enabling them to actively participate in related fields.

6. National University

Average Net Price: $12,231

School Type: Non-Profit
School Accreditation: WASC

National University (NU) presents a dynamic online Master of Science in Data Science (MSDS) program, specialized in AI/Optimization, immersing students in cutting-edge knowledge. This program, tailored for busy professionals, enables completion in as little as 14 months.

At NU, the MSDS program delves into a diverse array of data science domains, honing skills in:

  • Data modeling
  • Data management
  • Data mining
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Optimization
  • Machine learning
  • Cloud computing
  • Big data

Additionally, students engage in a hands-on capstone project, allowing them to showcase their abilities in solving real-world data science challenges.

NU’s MSDS program boasts accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), ensuring academic rigor and excellence.

7. Arizona State University

Average Net Price: $12,814

School Type: Non-Profit
School Accreditation: HLC

Arizona State University (ASU) Online offers several Master’s in Data Science programs, including:

  • Master of Science in Data Science
  • Master of Science in Biological Data Science
  • Master of Science in Program Evaluation and Data Analytics
  • Master of Computer Science in Big Data Systems

These programs are designed to prepare students for careers in data science, which is a rapidly growing field with high demand for qualified professionals. Data scientists use their skills to collect, clean, analyze, and interpret large datasets to extract insights that can help businesses and organizations make better decisions.

Master of Science in Data Science

The Master of Science in Data Science program at ASU Online is a comprehensive program that covers all aspects of data science, including:

  • Programming
  • Data mining
  • Machine learning
  • Statistical analysis
  • Data visualization

Students in this program can choose to focus on one of six specializations:

  • Business analytics
  • Computational data science
  • Data mining and machine learning
  • Data science for social good
  • Data visualization
  • Healthcare analytics

Master of Science in Biological Data Science

The Master of Science in Biological Data Science program at ASU Online is designed to prepare students for careers in the emerging field of biological data science. This field uses data science methods to analyze biological data to solve complex problems in areas such as medicine, agriculture, and environmental science.

Students in this program will learn about:

  • Programming
  • Data mining
  • Machine learning
  • Statistical analysis
  • Biological data analysis

Master of Science in Program Evaluation and Data Analytics

The Master of Science in Program Evaluation and Data Analytics program at ASU Online is designed to prepare students for careers in program evaluation and research. This field uses data science methods to evaluate the effectiveness of social programs and interventions.

Students in this program will learn about:

  • Program evaluation
  • Data analysis
  • Statistical methods
  • Research methods

Master of Computer Science in Big Data Systems

The Master of Computer Science in Big Data Systems program at ASU Online is a technical program that prepares students for careers in designing and developing big data systems. Big data systems are used to collect, store, process, and analyze large and complex datasets.

Students in this program will learn about:

  • Big data systems architecture
  • Data warehousing
  • Distributed computing
  • Cloud computing
  • Machine learning

Admissions Requirements

For admission to any of the Master’s in Data Science programs at ASU Online, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in a quantitative field such as computer science, mathematics, statistics, or engineering. Applicants should also have a strong foundation in programming and mathematics.

Tuition and Fees

The tuition and fees for the Master’s in Data Science programs at ASU Online vary depending on the program and the student’s residency status.

8. Fort Hays State University

Average Net Price: $13,515

School Type: Non-Profit
School Accreditation: HLC

Fort Hays State University (FHSU) beckons aspiring minds with its Online Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS), offering a specialized Data Science concentration. This dynamic program primes students for impactful roles in the ever-expanding realm of data science, a field in perpetual ascent, commanding attention across diverse industries.

Within the Data Science concentration of the MSCS program, students dive deep into a multifaceted curriculum. They delve into:

  • Data mining and knowledge discovery
  • Machine learning
  • Statistical analysis
  • Big data processing
  • Data visualization

As part of their journey, students embark on a capstone project—a transformative opportunity to wield their skills in tackling real-world conundrums.

FHSU’s online MSCS in Data Science program proudly boasts accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), a prestigious regional accreditation body acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education.

Admission into this program necessitates the following prerequisites:

  • A bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field from an accredited institution
  • A minimum GPA of 2.5 on the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A personal statement
  • Program Format

The FHSU online MSCS in Data Science program showcases a flexible format, aligning with the needs of working professionals and those residing outside the confines of Hays, Kansas. The program’s adept faculty, eminent in their respective domains, guide students through an immersive learning experience.

With a curriculum comprising 33 credit hours of coursework, students have the liberty to pace themselves over approximately two years, either as full-time or part-time scholars, adapting to their unique schedules and ambitions.

9. University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

Average Net Price: $13,654

School Type: Non-Profit
School Accreditation: HLC

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay beckons aspiring data scientists with an enticing online Master of Science in Data Science (MSDS) program. This program immerses students in a comprehensive journey, arming them with the skills needed to excel in the data science arena, a domain currently brimming with opportunities across diverse sectors.

At UW-Green Bay, the MSDS program is a robust 12-course endeavor, encompassing 36 credit hours, and the best part? It can be seamlessly conquered in the digital realm. Within this curriculum, students delve into a rich tapestry of data science realms, embracing:

Programming languages such as Python and R
Statistics and machine learning algorithms
Data mining and visualization techniques
Big data processing and analysis
Data science communication and ethics

The program also includes a capstone project, which gives students the opportunity to apply their data science skills to a real-world problem.

The MSDS program at UW-Green Bay is taught by experienced faculty who are experts in data science. The program is also accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

10. Georgia Institute of Technology

Average Net Price: $14,820

School Type: Non-Profit
School Accreditation: SACS COC

The Georgia Institute of Technology offers two compelling online Master’s programs in Data Science:

  1. Online Master of Science in Analytics (OMS Analytics): Tailored for professionals seeking to elevate their data science and analytics prowess, this fully online program promises completion within a span of one to two years.
  2. Online Master of Science in Cybersecurity (OMS Cybersecurity): Crafted for professionals yearning to acquire the skills and expertise essential for safeguarding data and systems against the perils of cyber threats, this fully online program is attainable in two to three years.

Both programs boast sterling reputations within the data science and cybersecurity sectors, holding favor with discerning employers.

The OMS Analytics curriculum spans a diverse spectrum of subjects, immersing students in:

  • Machine learning
  • Statistical modeling
  • Data mining
  • Data visualization
  • Optimization
  • Business analytics

Conversely, the OMS Cybersecurity curriculum is equally comprehensive, encompassing:

  • Information security
  • Network security
  • Cryptography
  • Security architecture
  • Security risk management

Both programs demand that students actively engage in a capstone project, a hands-on, real-world endeavor in the realm of data science or cybersecurity, guided by a mentor.

Online Data Science Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the schools below.