Masters abroad: preps and steps

Masters in Data Science in USA: Top Universities, Requirements, Costs & More for MS in Data Science in USA

Yocket Editorial Team

Have you ever wondered why can you put only 36,000 lines of data in a Google spreadsheet? Are you curious in knowing how the information that businesses and organisations collect is used in impacting everything from our daily purchases and economics to the retail decisions taken by individuals regularly? 

You may have started doing analysis on business, and it's time to find a powerful way to look at how data can inform us. Look for ways to identify meaningful information amongst the data to make the most impactful decision possible. This is what a graduate in data science in the USA can teach you. Masters in data science USA empowers you with these skills, making you a highly desirable employee across a wide range of industries.

This blog will guide MS in data science in USA along with the admission requirements, costs, scholarships, career prospects and top universities in USA for MS in data science and much more.

Table of Contents

Why Study Masters in Data Science in USA?

Studying for a Data science master's degree in US university gets you a detailed analysis and practical learning on how to apply the data science techniques in the field of your interest. Some reasons to study in data science colleges in USA are given below:

  • Top Universities: Data Science courses in the USA are highly sought-after programs. You will find many MS in data science in USA universities list in the Top 100 QS World University Rankings 2023. Also, universities like Harvard and Stanford offering MS data science ranked in the Top 10 QS Rankings.
  • High Tech Careers: The data science master's students work in the top companies like Binge, Amazon, Google, T-Mobile and Zillow in USA. The university of USA also offers dedicated services to their students, including an annual data science career fair. 
  • Job Opportunities: The data science jobs rank at the top 3 in USA according to Glassdoor and Quanthub. Based on a survey, it is also estimated that 70% of businesses in the USA prefer job applicants with data skills in 2021. Also, it is overwhelming to say that the jobs after MS in data science in USA will grow by 19% in the next two decades, more than three times the average growth of all jobs.
  • Salary: After Masters in data science USA, the average salary ranges between 91,000 USD to 186,000 USD per annum. According to the MSDS Alumni Survey in 2019, the mean base salary of a data scientist in the USA is 124,000 USD per year. 

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Course Curriculum of Masters in Data Science in USA

The Master in data science degree in USA is a professional master's program designed for students looking to build and advance their career in data science. The universities in USA offer the programs both in full-time or part-time mode. The industry-relevant US data science course curriculum gives you the skills to extract valuable insights from big data. Some demanded topics included in MS in data science in USA syllabus are:

  • Computer systems for data science
  • Machine learning for data science
  • Algorithms for data science
  • Data Science Capstone and ethics
  • Exploratory Data analysis and visualisation
  • Statistical inference and modelling
  • Probability and statistics for data science

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Types of Master's Degree and Specialisations in Data Science in USA

The master's degrees in Data Science are offered in different degrees and specializations. Every university has its own curriculum providing admission to specific data science courses. However, the MS in data science in USA requirements varies with the type of masters degree in several universities. An MS and MS in Engineering are the two popular degrees offered by the university.

Apart from the degrees, data science courses in US are also offered under different specializations. The most popular data science specialization are given below:

  • Data Science statistics
  • Health Data Science
  • Computer Science Data Engineering
  • Biomedical Data Science
  • Data Science and Analytics
  • Computer Science Big Data Systems
  • Business Analytics and Data Science
  • Complex Systems and Data Science

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Also, the MS in data science in USA syllabus with the type of specialization at the university. Now, let's look at the top universities of data science:

List of Top Masters Universities and Colleges in USA for Data Science in USA

There are many data science universities in USA offering different levels of programs. An MSc data science USA or MS degree are the most opted programs by international students. These universities are recognised for their education and infrastructure globally. Here is a list of top universities in USA for MS in data science courses:

  • Stanford University 
  • Harvard University
  • University of Pennsylvania 
  • Columbia University
  • Northwestern University

Let's discuss each university in details below:

1. Stanford University

The Department of Statistics at Stanford University offers data science graduate program. It is integrated with statistics specialisation designed to prepare individuals for career placements after completion. This will develop strong mathematical, statistics, computational and programming skills and provide you with fundamentals of data science education through general and focused elective requirements in the areas of interest. 

Stanford University World Ranking 2024


Type of University 


Average Annual Fees 

56,487 USD

Programs Offered 

  • MS in Statistics Data Science

2. Harvard University

The data science master's program at Harvard University is jointly led by the Computer Science and Statistics faculties and administered through the Institute for Applied Computational Science. The university offers this program in 12 courses that require at least three semesters to complete. Students will also have the option to extend their studies for a fourth semester to take an additional or a master's thesis research project.

Harvard University World Ranking 2024


Type of University 


Average Annual Fees 

59,958 USD

Programs Offered 

  • Masters in Data Science
  • MSc Health Data Science 

3. University of Pennsylvania 

University of Pennsylvania’s Data science master's in engineering program prepares students for a wide range of data-centric careers in technology and engineering, consulting, science, and policy-making to understand the patterns in arts, literature or communications. The program is typically offered in one and a half to two years, blending leading-edge courses in core subjects such as big data analytics, machine learning and statistics with a variety of electives courses.

University of Pennsylvania World Ranking 2024


Type of University 


Average Annual Fees 

61,454 USD

Programs Offered 

  • MS Engineering in Data Science

4. Columbia University 

Columbia University’s data science programs are jointly offered by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Department of Statistics and School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. The data science students of the university have the opportunity to conduct original research, produce a capstone project and interact with industrial partners. The program also chooses an elective track focused on entrepreneurship or a subject area covered by one of the university centres.

Columbia University World Ranking 2024


Type of University 


Average Annual Fees 

32,363 per semester 

Programs Offered 

  • MS in Data Science 

5. Northwestern University

Northwestern University’s data science program is the integration of business strategy to create a demand for professionals to make data-driven decisions that move organisations forward. The university provides the understanding of utilising relational, document, and graph database systems and analytics software built upon open-source systems such as Python, R and Go. The program is offered in a range of specialisations and electives.

Northwestern University Ranking World Ranking 2024


Type of University 


Average Annual Fees 

43,000 USD 

Programs Offered 

  • Masters in Data Science

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Master's in Data Science Universities in USA Without GRE Scores

The GRE scores are required for getting admission to the best MS in data science in USA. Adding the scores to your application will improve your student profile credibility giving you an extra edge in applications. However, if you haven't appeared in GRE test or you won't get the scores yet. Here is a list of universities in USA offering MS in data science in USA without GRE test scores:

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Eligibility Criteria and Admission Requirements for Masters in Data Science in USA

To get into the best universities in USA for MS in data science, you must have a unique, compelling student profile with the best academic scores. The eligibility criteria for data science master's can vary from one university to another. Here we have given the common MS in data science in USA eligibility criteria accepted at every university:

  • Bachelor's Degree
  • Language Proficiency Test Scores
  • GRE or GMAT Scores
  • Passport & Student Visa

Let us discuss all the requirements in detail below:

Bachelor's Degree

Students are required to have a four-year bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in USA or its equivalent from an international institution. The bachelor's degree must be in data science or an equivalent engineering course. A minimum GPA score of 3.0 from your last 2 years of graded full-time study is required.

Language Proficiency Test Scores

If you haven't completed your previous studies or any degree in English and are from a non-native country, you need to submit language test scores for admission. You can submit any English test scores to prove your proficiency. The two most popular ones accepted at every US university are:

GRE or GMAT Scores

Although the GRE scores are not essential in admission. But submitting it in certain universities can be a good indicator of your program's success. The minimum scores of two popular tests are:

Passport & Student Visa

A copy of passport and US student visa are mandatory Masters in data science in USA requirements for international students. If you don't have one, make sure to apply for one before travelling to the country.

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Documents Required for MS in Data Science in USA

Once you have met the MS in data science in USA eligibility criteria, the next thing is for you to submit some extra set of documents. Every university requires specific requirements. Here is a list of documents which are required in every university given below:

  • Academic transcripts
  • Bachelor's Degree 
  • Language test scores
  • GRE or GMAT scorecards
  • A letter of recommendation
  • Personal Essay
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Resume or CV
  • Work experience certificate (if any)
  • Proof of your financial resources
  • Copy of your passport and student visa

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Admission Process of Data Science Masters Universities in USA

The applications of MSc data science USA are open in three different intakes: fall, winter and summer. You can also find some university applications in January and February. The admission process of MS data science in USA universities are given below:

  • First shortlist all the MS in data science in USA universities list based on your interest, fees and requirements. Make sure to include the above ones too.
  • Now check their application deadlines and fill the application form if it's available.
  • Collect all the documents and meet the MS in data science in USA requirements to get the safest application.
  • Upload all the documents and wait for the admission decision.
  • You can also check it in the university admission status.
  • Once you are accepted, pay the depositary fees to confirm your seat in the university. 

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Cost to Study Masters in Data Science USA

The cost to study Masters in Data Science USA will depend on a number of factors. But the most important ones determining the costs are your tuition fees and the living costs. Let's discuss each one below:

Tuition Fees

MS in data science in USA fees differ a lot based on the duration and the university. A private data science university typically has more tuition fees than a public university. On average, the tuition fee of MS in data science in USA for international students is between 25,700 USD to 62,400 USD per year.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in USA is majorly based on the city and the type of your accommodation. The living costs for a single person in USA is anywhere between 1,400 to 2,700 USD per month. This includes other costs like transport, food, bills, and miscellaneous expenses.

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After discussing costs, let's look at the masters in data science scholarships for international students in USA to help manage your expenses.

Scholarships to Study Masters in Data Science in USA

You will also find many scholarships in USA to manage your MS in Data Science in USA fees. These scholarships are either offered by some universities or by external sources. The US government also provides scholarships to study in the country. Some of the Masters in data science in USA scholarships are given below:

Scholarship Name 

Eligibility Criteria 


ACM SIGHPC Computational and Data Science Fellowship

Female students studying into masters Computational & Data science programs.

15,000 USD

Great Minds in STEM Scholarship

Students enrolled on a full-time graduate program in a STEM degree. Must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 on 4.0 scale.

500 USD to 5,000 USD

Merit Based Partial Scholarship, University of San Francisco 

Incoming students applying for masters in data science programs are eligible.


Merit & Opportunity Scholarships, University of Washington 

Students of Masters Data Science program are considered for the scholarship.


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Career Opportunities After Completing Masters Data Science In USA

The Data Science masters program in USA universities assists you in obtaining internships and careers in data science at some of the most innovative tech companies in and outside of the country. The job opportunities in USA after MS in data science for international students are immense, with an exciting salary. 

Here are the popular job profiles of data science graduates in USA:

Job Profile 

Average Salary 

Machine Learning Engineer

87,952 USD 

Data Scientist 

98,230 USD 

Big Data Developer

100,771 USD 

Database Administrator

80,460 USD 

Director of Data Science

145,453 USD 

Analytics Engineer

91,217 USD

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In addition to offering best academics and infrastructure, US universities also organise annual data science career fairs for their students, to provide individualised career support and countless opportunities to network with the employers. So, if you are looking to get into the best universities in USA for MS in data science and have any difficulty in shortlisting the best university, connect with our Yocket Professionals now, they will surely guide you.

Also Read

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Best Courses in USA

On Campus Jobs in USA

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Internship in USA for International Students

Grading System in USA


Frequently Asked Questions About Masters in Data Science in USA 

Is data science in demand in USA?

What are the core elements of a data science degree?

Which degree is best for data science in USA?

What is the average salary of a data scientist in USA?

Can I get into MS in data science in USA without GRE scores?

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