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The 20 Most Affordable Online Master’s in Data Science Degree Programs

The practice of data science transforms information into insight.

CyberCoders reports that the digital universe will reach 40 zettabytes (45 trillion gigabytes) by 2020. Professionals with the skill to mine insights from this staggering mountain of raw data will be invaluable in the years to come. As far back as 2014, LinkedIn cited “statistical analysis and data mining” as the top skill that got job candidates hired. That same year, McKinsey predicted a shortage of 190,000 data scientists and 1.5 million data-savvy managers by 2018. Ever since that time, schools have been scrambling to keep pace with the demand for Big Data professionals by launching new data science degree programs. Today, there are over twice as many such programs as there were in 2015, with titles such as Data Science, Data Analytics, Business Analytics, and Business Intelligence. Whatever you call it, there are many high-quality master’s programs in data science available online and on-campus, and the job prospects for graduates are unquestionably bright. Glassdoor reports an average salary of $76,419 for data analysts and average salary of $128,549 for data scientists.
But budget-conscious prospective students considering a master’s in data science will want to maximize their return on their investment. That means finding a high-quality school offering an affordable online master’s in data science. We’ve sorted through the nation’s 50 best and put together a list of our most affordable masters’ in data science, available fully online. Read on to learn how an inexpensive degree in data science can get you started on a lucrative career in Big Data.

Large, old and well-respected, as well as affordable, South Dakota State University (SDSU) is tied for first in our ranking of Most Affordable Data Science Programs. The school dates back to 1881, and is based in the rural town of Brookings, South Dakota. This public research university is home to 23,433 students, making it the state’s largest university. In spite of high enrollement, class sizes at SDSU are relatively small, with a student to faculty ratio of just 17 to 1. The university is especially strong in the areas of engineering and agricultural studies. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the school as a “research university with high research activity,” and U.S. News and World Report ranks SDSU 110th in Top Public Schools.

At a cost of just $444.25 per credit hour, a Master of Science degree in Data Science from South Dakota State University is tied for the position of most inexpensive in the nation. It’s also an incredible all-around value; the SDSU online data science master’s program is not only affordable but also fast and well-respected. The 30-credit course of study is designed to be completed in just one year, and includes up-to-date and professionally relevant coursework in statistics, operations research, predictive modeling, data mining, forecasting, big data programming and management, and data visualization. Fast, rigorous, affordable, and industry-relevant, the SDSU master’s in data science also merits an impressive 15th place our ranking of the 50 best online master’s in data science programs.

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  • Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $444.25

Dakota State University (DSU) is right up there in first place for Most Affordable Master’s in Data Science, alongside South Dakota State University. Incredibly affordable and highly prestigious, this top public school is an all-around excellent value in higher education, and promises a fantastic return on investment for a data science degree. Like SDSU, DSU was founded back in 1881, and actually predates the state of South Dakota itself, having been established as a teacher training school in the Dakota Territory. This old university is based in the rural town of Madison, South Dakota, and as a small student body of just 3,047. Yet this old, small, rural institution boasts one of the country’s more cutting-edge environments, with a strong technology-centric approach to education. All incoming freshmen are issued tablets for classroom use, and are required to take computer programming courses regardless of major. Classes integrate advanced biometric identification devices, virtual reality headsets, and computer hacking laboratories. As far back as 2004, SDU was recognized by the National Security Agency and the United States Department of Homeland Security as a National Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Information Assurance Education, and has the nation’s only partnership with the National Cryptologic School for a degree completion program. SDU is also recognized for general academic excellence. The university is ranked 108th in Regional Universities, Midwest, and 32nd in Top Public Schools by U.S. News and World Report.

Dakota State University merits a top ranking with a prestigious, flexible and affordable online Master of Science in Analytics. Students build a solid background in advanced data processing skills, then select from one of three available career-specific specializations. Foundation courses include Programming for Data Analytics, Statistical Programming, and Advanced Data Mining Applications. After satisfying their requirements, students can choose from the following degree tracks: General, Healthcare Analytics and Information Systems. The entire mater’s degree in analytics can be completed in just 16 months, at a total of 30 credits. At an exceptionally affordable price of just $444.25 per credit, this is an exceptionally inexpensive degree. This fast, flexible prestigious and affordable, the master’s in data science from DSU won the #1 spot in our ranking of the 50 best online master’s in data science programs.

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  • Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $444.25

Baker College is a large, career-focused school with headquarters in Flint, Michigan, 9 satellite locations throughout the state and another in Pennsylvania. Baker was founded in 1911 as a professional college, preparing graduates for such careers as nursing, business, healthcare, and human services. The school’s many locations, online offerings, affordable credits and flexible schedules cater to the needs of adult learners seeking to advance or launch careers through higher education. Instruction at Baker remains highly career-focused; the college emphasizes efficacy and accountability, and regularly employs external program evaluations to ensure that classroom education translates to real-world results. With over 23,000 graduate and undergraduate students, Baker is the largest independent, nonprofit college in Michigan.

Like the college as a whole, Baker’s online master’s in data science is flexible, affordable and results-driven. The degree is offered as a Business Intelligence program within the university’s MBA. The program is designed to equip managers in the business world with the tools and knowledge to leverage data to make informed business decisions. Armed with data insights, managers are empowered to improve operational efficiency and growth. The program covers core MBA courses, then builds on these with data-specific classes such as data warehousing, dashboarding and emerging technologies. Data and business professionals teach all courses, meaning that classes are industry-relevant, and incorporate real-world insights. Baker excels in distance learning; it was one of the first schools awarded the Online Learning ConsortiumÕs Quality Scorecard Exemplary Endorsement, which recognizes outstanding online learning programs. It is also highly affordable; credits are priced at just $450, an incredible value. With inexpensive classes, award-winning distance learning and career-focused academics, Baker was ranked 16th in our ranking of the 50 best online master’s in data science programs.

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  • Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $450

Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania (SRU) was originally founded as a teacher training school back in 1889. The university is based in the rural town of Slippery Rock, some 50 miles outside of Pittsburgh. This small school is home to 9,941 students at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels. Health professions are the most popular area of study, closely followed by business and management. SRU prides itself on offering a small-town setting, personal attention, inexpensive tuition and excellent academics. The school was awarded a rank of 78 in Regional Universities, North, by U.S> News and World Report, along with a placement of 23rd in Top Public Schools.

Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania’s online Master of Science in Data Analytics represents a great value. The program comprises 33 credits at a cost of only $493 per each. In addition to being inexpensive, the program is unusually fast; full-time students can earn their master’s in data science in as little as 10 months, though most take 2 years to complete the degree on a part-time basis. Another big plus is the opportunity to earn a simultaneous Statistical Analysis System Institute Inc. (ÒSASÓ) certificate along with the master’s degree in data analytics. This software platform is one of the world’s most widely-used in the field of data analysis, and SRU is one of just 56 schools in the United States to offer this certificate upon graduation. The master’s coursework will also thoroughly prepare graduates to sit for the Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) exam. SRU took 18th in our ranking of the 50 best online master’s in data science programs for its affordable classes, fast degree path and the opportunity to gain a competitive edge by preparing for additional certification.

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  • Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $493

Based in the town of Corvallis, Oregon State University (OSU) is a public research university which serves 30,354 students. The school is the largest in the state and also offers more majors, minors and special programs than any other institute, with over 200 programs available. OSU prides itself on offering inexpensive tuition and world-class academics. The university is recognized by the Carnegie Foundation as a “doctoral university with highest research activity,” and U.S. News and World Report ranks it 73rd in Top Public Schools and 145th in National Universities.

With a reputation for top-notch academics and affordable tuition, Oregon State University represents a fantastic value in higher education. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks OSU 107th in the nation for Best Value Schools. OSU also represents a best value within the field of data science. The well-respected and highly affordable online Master of Science in Data Analytics clinched a rank of 6th in our ranking of the 50 best online master’s in data science programs. Tuition
costs just $512 per credit, and a total of 45 credits are required for graduation. A series of interdisciplinary courses prepares students with a thorough background in mathematics, statistics and computer science. A foundation of nine required courses includes Tools and Programming for Big Data Management and Multivariate Analytics. The core is followed by four electives in Statistics, such as Data Visualization. Those interested in the application of data science to the field of healthcare may also pursue an 12-course option in Health Analytics. While remarkably inexpensive, the school’s graduate academics are also extremely well-respected. OSU is ranked 67th in the nation for Graduate Computer Science, 76th in Graduate Mathematics and 63rd in Graduate Statistics by U.S. News and World Report, and all online classes are developed by the same world-class faculty who teach on campus. Distance learners at this affordable and reputable school enjoy the support of free online tutors and academic advisors.

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  • Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $521

Bellevue University was founded in 1966 to serve adult learners through professionally-relevant education. This nonprofit school has the highest enrollment of any university in the state of Nebraska. Bellvue’s main campus is located outside of Omaha in Bellevue, Nebraska, with 9 satellite locations in other parts of the state, as well as Iowa and Washington. The great majority of Bellevue students are enrolled in online classes. The university was recently named among the top ten for Adult Learners for the second year in a row by Washington Monthly and included among Forbes’ Best Colleges for Adult Learners. Bellevue employs an innovative ÒSkills to PerformanceÓ learning model, which judges student learning outcomes in terms of industry-relevant skills.
A generous transfer credit policy, inexpensive tuition, support for veterans, leadership training, career counseling and flexible pathways to graduation make Bellevue an outstanding choice for adult learners seeking to launch or advance their careers.

Bellevue University offers a flexible and affordable master’s in data science. This business-specific program was ranked 19th in our ranking of the 50 best online master’s in data science programs. Adult learners pursuing a master’s in data science at Bellvue will appreciate the program’s inexpensive tuition, flexible student supports, and workplace relevancy. The interdisciplinary curriculum is designed to train business professionals to transform data into a strategic asset, and covers accounting, marketing, IT Infrastructure, Advanced Data Mining Applications, and Enterprise Data and Information Management. Students begin with five required Foundation courses, such as Financial Reporting and Analysis, then take four required Business Analytics courses, such as Advanced data Mining, and select three elective Information Systems courses, such as Managing Emerging Technologies. All classes are taught by business and data science professionals. The curriculum is designed to prepare graduates to pursue advanced data science industry certifications such as SAS Base Programmer and SAS Data Mining. Distance learners enjoy extensive dedicated supports, such as an online math lab, advising, tutoring and career services. Those returning to school can take advantage of a generous transfer credit policy which was ranked #1 in the nation by Online Course Report. This affordable online master’s in data science costs just $545 per credit hour, with a total of 36 hours required for graduation.

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  • Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $545

Founded in 2003, the City University of New YorkÕs School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS) is based in Manhattan and is one of 18 schools in the New York City public university system, the nation’s largest such system. CUNY SPS specifically caters to professionals seeking career-relevant learning, and serves upwards of 2,000 adult learners in such areas as Nursing, Labor Relations and Psychology. The school also serves local employers and organizations by providing workplace education. All classes are taught by industry professionals, who bring real-world expertise to the classroom. The university was ranked 24th in the nation for Best Online Bachelor’s program by U.S. News and World Report. CUNY SPS prides itself on providing affordable education; 80% of undergraduates are debt-free upon graduation, and tuition for graduate degree seekers is among the most inexpensive in the Northeast.

Students can earn a respected and affordable master’s in data science online through the CUNY SPSS. The program was ranked 21st in our ranking of the 50 best online master’s in data science programs and 8th in Best Value Online Big Data Programs by Value Colleges. CUNY SPSS offers an online master’s in data analytics which is inexpensive, hands-on, project-based and designed around professionally-relevant external standards dictated by top employers. Students graduate with a portfolio of completed work projects similar to those created in a programming boot camp. In addition to predictive and prescriptive modeling, programming and analysis, those in the online data science graduate program practice giving presentations, solving and collaborating with peers. The course of study comprises 36 credits and culminates in a capstone project, which requires students to generate a sophisticated solution to a real-world data science problem. At $560 per credit, tuition is quite affordable. For those entering the program who have preexisting knowledge but need to brush up on their programming or math, CUNY SPS also offers a “bridge program” consisting of three refresher courses in areas related to data science.

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  • Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $560

Based in Colorado Springs, Colorado Technical University (CTU) is a private university which was founded as a technical training institute in 1965. As early as 1995, CTU began offering online classes, and today, 90% of the school’s 26,000 students enrolled entirely online. Most are non-traditional learners, particularly working adults pursuing degrees to advance existing careers, and popular areas of study include criminal justice, cyber security and computer science. CTU caters to the needs of busy distance learners with full-time jobs by offering classes with archived lectures, live chat, video and other flexible formats, all centered around workplace-relevant skills. CTU also maintains a commitment to affordable education, with inexpensive tuition, supplemented by military savings, grants, financial aid and accelerated options. U.S. News and World Report gives top marks to several of the school’s online programs, including 38th in Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs

Students can earn an affordable online master’s in data science at Colorado Technical University by pursuing the institute’s online Master of Science in Computer Science with a concentration in Data Science. While some data science programs target business professionals, the CTU master’s program is aimed squarely at computer scientists and programmers. The highly technical curriculum focuses on three areas: software engineering, security and database management systems. Degree candidates learn how to use open-source language for statistical inference, regression, predictive analytics, and data mining in data analytics. A total of 48 credits are required for graduation: 28 in computer science and 20 in the data science concentration. Tuition is priced at $598 per credit hour, an inexpensive rate for such a reputable institution, and one which may be further reduced through the CTU’s many grants, scholarships and military savings programs. In addition to being affordable, CTU was ranked among the top ten in our ranking of the 50 best online master’s in data science programs.

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  • Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $598

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is a private, not-for-profit institute which was established in 1932, and is based in the town of Manchester. This prestigious university serves a total of 73,177 students, almost half of whom are enrolled online. U.S. News and World Report has recognized SNHU for inexpensive tuition and outstanding academics, ranking it 86th in Regional Universities, North and 83rd in Best Value Schools. The same source also awarded SNHU #1 for the past three years for Most Innovative Schools, in recognition of the university’s forward-thinking programs and policies. SNHU was the state’s first school to go carbon-neutral, and the campus is home to such innovative centers as a simulated stock trading room and a collaboration-based think tank for instructors and administrators.

Degree candidates seeking a master’s in data science will find the graduate program in Data Analytics at SNHU to be flexible, affordable and prestigious. The accelerated program consists of 12 courses, each of which lasts just 10 weeks, allowing students to graduate in as little as 15 months. There are eight required courses, which include Visualization of Data and Decision Methods and Modeling, followed by a selection of three electives. The program culminates in a capstone project, which synthesizes and integrates the knowledge gained throughout the program. All classes are taught by professionals in the data science industry, who bring current methodologies and real-world experience to the classroom. Because SNHU is so heavily invested in distance learning, there are extensive online support services, such as advising, tutoring, a writing center, an online library and even health and wellness education. This exceptionally high-quality and flexible program was ranked #2 in our ranking of the 50 best online master’s in data science programs.
Tuition is also affordable at $627 per credit, making this innovative and reputable school an excellent value.

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  • Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $627

Northeastern University is based in Boston, Massachusetts, and dates back to 1898. The school is among the nation’s finest; U.S. News and World Report ranks Northeastern 40th in National Universities, and 6th in Most Innovative Schools. Admissions at Northeastern are highly selective, and academics are very rigorous. Outside of the classroom, students can learn through a number of innovative “professional co-ops.” About 90% of the those attending Northeastern participate in these immersive work/education experiences, which consist of 6-month placements at work sites including a number of Fortune 500 companies. Northeastern is also innovative in allowing both graduate and undergraduate students to participate in cutting-edge research. The school operates 64 research centers, such as the Center for High-Rate Nanomanufacturing and the Northeastern Environmental Justice Research Collaborative. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the institute as a “research university with highest research activity.”

Northeastern offers an online master’s in data science which is highly affordable for a school of its caliber. The university was ranked 5th in our ranking of the 50 best online master’s in data science programs.
U.S. News and World Report ranks Northeastern 60th in the nation for Graduate Computer Science and Graduate Math. The same source also rates the institute 67th in Best Value. Online graduate tuition is inexpensive, particularly for a top-tier school, at just $646 per credit hour. The master’s in data science degree requires the completion of 45 credits: 24 in core courses, 15 electives and 6 experiential credits. Students are expected to not only master the collection, modeling, and structuring of data, but also to develop the capacity to visualize and communicate data-based insights, and to steer decisions based on them. Learning is project-based; students in the master’s program develop a portfolio of work samples that demonstrate their range and depth of data analytical skill. Northeastern’s master’s in data science merits a place in our top ten for its unusual combination of prestigious, affordable, innovative and practical qualities.

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  • Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $646

The University of Maryland University College (UMUC) started off as an evening program for adult learners at he University of Maryland, which became an independent organization in 1947. Today, UNUC is a large, public nonprofit university, which serves a notably diverse student body of 90,000 worldwide, making it one of the world’s largest distance learning institutes. In addition to the flagship location in Adelphi, UMUC operates satellite facilities throughout the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area, throughout Maryland, and in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. The university caters specifically to working adults, the vast majority of whom are either working parents or active members of the military. UMUC explicitly prioritizes flexibility and career-relevancy, with classes taught by industry-specific professionals, delivered on a flexibly schedule with multiple start dates, and accelerated degree options. The school has an open-admissions policy, accepting 100% of applicants, regardless of academic background.

UMUC’s online master’s in data science is an award-winning program with flexible delivery and affordable tuition. UMCM took 2nd place in the 2017 IBM Watson Analytics Global Competition, and the online data science master’s program was a Distance Education Innovation Award Finalist in the National University Technology Network. Our ranking of the 50 best online master’s in data science programs placed the program 8th in the nation. The degree program was designed, and is continually updated, to align with industry standards, and all classes are taught by business and IT professionals. The course of study consists of 36 credits: five 6-credit core courses followed by a 6-credit practicum. Core courses include Predictive Modeling and Data Mining. The capstone practicum is a culmination of knowledge gained throughout the program, consisting of hands-on exercises and projects using real-world case studies and data sets. No transfer credits may be applied towards the degree. This award-winning program is available at an inexpensive price; tuition is just $694 per credit. Value Colleges named this affordable and high-quality school among the nation’s Top 50 Best Value Online Big Data Programs of 2016.

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  • Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $694

Located in Denver, Colorado, Regis is a private Roman Catholic university which was founded by Italian Jesuits in 1877. The university serves 8,368 students, and maintains an extraordinarily small student to faculty ratio of just 14 to one. Community service, a central Jesuit value, is emphasized throughout the school, and ethical principles are addressed in the curriculum of even the most technical disciplines. Regis operates a number of charitable programs, such as the Center for Service Learning, which facilitates student volunteering, and the Father Woody Projects, which serves the homeless. The school has staged concerts by rock music legends such as Jimi Hendrix and Queen, and hosted such spiritual leaders as Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama and Pope John Paul II.
Regis has earned an impressive academic reputation; U.S. News and World Report ranks it 27th in Regional Universities, West.

Regis administers a fast, flexible and affordable online master’s in data science. Those who wish to earn a fast degree in data science would do well to consider this university; the program has six start dates throughout the year, and courses are accelerated, lasting just 8 weeks. The course of study consists of 36 credits: 18 credits in required core courses, such as Information Technology Research Methods, followed by 12 credits in electives, with choices such as Big Data Design Patterns and Visualization Using Open Source Tools. Two 3-credit units in Data Science Practicum are also required, allowing all Regis graduates to enter the field with real-world data science experience. In keeping with the Jesuit tradition of Regis, the master’s program in data science explicitly addresses the socially responsible use of data, including privacy in data collection and social impact in decision-making. In addition to the school’s overall reputation for academic excellence, the master’s in data science program is widely recognized for outstanding quality, earning 4th place in our ranking of the 50 best online master’s in data science programs. U.S. News and World Report, which ranks Regis’ online graduate information technology program 40th in the nation. Recognizing the school’s pairing of high-quality instruction and inexpensive tuition, the same source also ranks Regis an incredible 28th in the nation for Best Value Schools. Tuition for the online master’s in data science is highly affordable at $710 per credit.

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  • Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $710

Founded in 1820 as a state seminary, Indiana University- Bloomington (ÒIU BloomingtonÓ) has become a large, public research university. The insitution is home to 49,695 students, making IU Bloomington and the largest institute in the Indiana University system, as well as its flagship school. The 2,000-acre campus boasts a number of libraries and museums, some 750 student organizations, and a large network of sororities and fraternities. IU Bloomington has top-rated education, law and medical schools, and is widely recognized for academic excellence. The school is considered a “Public Ivy,” and U.S. News and World Report ranks it 90th in National Universities and 39th in Top Public Schools.

The multidisciplinary master’s in data science at IU Bloomington blends computer science, information science, informatics, statistics, and engineering. An undergraduate degree in computer science is not required for admission, and students have up to five years to complete the 30 credit hours required for graduation. A 15-credit core establishes a foundation in four key areas: statistics, machine learning/data mining, data engineering, and data visualization. Students may then choose one of two tracks to complete the remaining 15 electives: a Technical track and a Decision-Maker track. Students benefit from access to powerful technologies, including Jetstream and Chameleon, as well as the school’s next generation supercomputer, Big Red II.
Students in the program also benefit from excellent instruction; IU Bloomington was ranked 22nd in our ranking of the 50 best online master’s in data science programs.
U.S. News and World Report ranks the university 34th in Graduate Math and 52nd in Computer Science. The same source ranks IU Bloomington 115th in Best Value Schools, recognizing the school’s inexpensive tuition and world-class academics. Online graduate classes cost just $715 per credit.

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  • Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $715

Iowa State University of Science and Technology (“Iowa StateÓ) is a large public research university which is based in the small town of Ames, near the city of Des Moines. The university is the flagship of the Iowa public university network, and with 36,660 students, it is the largest institute of higher education in the state. Iowa State was founded in 1858 and has been coeducational throughout its long history. At Iowa State, campus life is vibrant, sports are big and academics are strong. There are no less than 800 student organizations and the campus boasts one of the nation’s largest art collections. The university’s athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are a founding member of the Big 12 Conference. U.S. News and World Report ranks Iowa State 115th in National Universities and 53rd in Top Public Schools, and the Carnegie Foundation recognizes it as a “research university with very high research activity.” The department of agriculture is widely considered the nation’s best, and Iowa State was the birthplace of the world’s first electronic digital computer, and played a critical role in the enrichment if uranium for the Manhattan Project.

Students seeking an affordable online master’s in data science can pursue a Master of Business Analytics degree through Iowa State. This interdisciplinary program is designed specifically for employed professionals, and combines studies in Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Statistics, and Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering. The curriculum is similarly comprehensive; topics of study include data analytics, project management, statistical and predictive modeling, consumer sentiment analysis, knowledge discovery, analytical reporting, segmentation analysis, and data visualization. With business concerns in mind, teamwork and leadership are stressed throughout the curriculum. The entire program spans 21 months, and requires the completion of at least 30 credit hours. Of these, 18 are in core business analytic topics, and 12 are electives from the fields of statistics or data science. In addition, students must work in groups to complete a collaborative capstone project which synthesizes knowledge gained throughout the program. Classes are delivered online, but three additional campus visits are required: an introductory one-week business analytics course, a mid-program visit and a final capstone presentation.
Iowa StateÕs masterÕs program in business analytics is very high in quality, earning a rank of 23rd in our ranking of the 50 best online master’s in data science programs.
Moreover, the program is relatively affordable. The online data science master’s program was ranked 16th in the nation by ValueColleges, and the school as a whole was ranked 82nd in Best Value Schools by U.S. News and World Report. Given the school’s illustrious reputation, tuition is inexpensive at $719 per credit.

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  • Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $719

The University of Alabama- Huntsville (UAH) was founded in 1950 as a small extension of the University of Alabama which largely served WWII GI’s. In 1961, a renowned rocket scientist headed an intiative to remake the school as a leader in aerospace education, with an advanced curriculum catering to NASA scientists and engineers.
Today, engineering remains a strength at UAH, and the largest of the universityÕs nine departments. The school is also recognized for excellent instruction in astrophysics, atmospheric science and aerospace engineering. The Carnegie Foundation considers UAH to be a “research university with very high research activity, and several important breakthroughs have been made at UAH. University scientists managed the country’s first commercial rocket programs, discovered the firstÊhigh-temperature superconductor, and created the first U.S. experiment flown aboard the Soviet Mir space station. UAH has a student body of 8,468 and maintains a relatively small student-to-faculty ratio of 17 to one. U.S. News and World Report rates the school as a Tier I national university, and ranks it 216th in national Universities and 1222nd in Top Public Schools.

UAH offers a flexible and affordable online master’s in business analytics which focuses on the institutional applications of data science. The interdisciplinary curriculum covers studies in data mining, predictive modeling, design of experiments, and statistical analysis, all with the goal of teaching students to use data to guide decision-making in a business environment. Many students come to the program with a business background, rather than only math or computer science, as UAH’s data science master’s program has fewer technical prerequisites than most. The course of study comprises 14 courses, totaling 30 credits. Four courses make up the Management Science core, another four make up the Business Analytics core, and the remainder are electives. All students complete a practicum in business analytics, in which students apply their knowledge to a real-world business problem in partnership with a local organization. The entire program can be completed in a single year, and there are four start dates throughout the year. This fast, flexible and prestigious online data science graduate program won a rank of 4th in our ranking of the 50 best online master’s in data science programs. It’s also remarkably inexpensive, with credits costing an affordable $727 per hour.

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  • Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $727

Based in Phoenix, Arizona, the University of Phoenix is a private university which was founded in 1976. The school had just 8 students in its first year, and today serves some 142,500, primarily through online education. Phoenix has an open admissions policy, meaning that all applicants with a GED are admitted. The vast majority of those enrolled are employed, raising families or both, and Phoenix caters to these non-traditional learners with affordable pricing, short classes, extensive support services, and flexible scheduling. Classes are just 5-6 weeks long and meant to be taken one at a time. Phoenix is unique in that it offers prospective students the opportunity to enroll risk-free for a three week trial period. In addition to on-campus or online classes, students can earn credit for approved work experience through Phoenix’s Òcorporate articulation agreementÓ program.

Those interested in data science can earn an affordable Master of Information Systems with a Graduate Business Analytics Certificate through Phoenix. This program empowers graduates to make evidence-based business decisions through the use of statistical analysis, data relationship management and analytical programming. The curriculum is both technical and practical, with studies in the fields of IT, statistics and business. Coursework is aligned with the SAS Certified Statistical Business Analyst certification exam, enabling graduates to sit for this additional certification upon graduation. The course of study is made up of 42 credits: 16 courses which last 5-6 weeks and are meant to be taken one at a time. This pace of completion is designed to be manageable for busy professionals, yet still allow students working at a steady pace to graduate within two years. Online learners have access to extensive supports, such as a virtual library, tutoring, advising, and coaching and mentoring. Phoenix was ranked 25th in our ranking of the 50 best online master’s in data science programs. Tuition is inexpensive, costing $740 per credit hour.

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  • Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $740

Maryville University of St. Louis (ÒMaryvilleÓ) is a private, liberal arts university based in the city of Town and Country, a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri. The school was founded in 1872 as an academy for underprivileged youth and young women, and is one of the oldest institutions in Greater St. Louis. The school is home to a total of 6,414 students, and maintains an incredibly low student-to-faculty ratio of 13 to one. Maryville offers over 90 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs, of which nursing, education and business are the most popular choices. Thanks in part to its focus on such career-oriented studies, Maryville has a remarkably high job placement rate of 97% for graduates. The school is ranked 165th in national Universities by U.S. News and World Report. In recognition of Maryville’s rigorous academics and inexpensive tuition, and Educate to Career ranked this university in the nationÕs top 15% for value, and KiplingerÕs Personal Finance ranked it among the best values in private colleges in the country.

Maryville offers an affordable online master’s in data science in the form of a MS in Business Data Analytics. The program is offered through the highly-regarded Maryville Online School of Business, and focuses on preparing business leaders to interpret data and make evidence-based strategic decisions. The curriculum is aligned with the content of the Microsoft SQL and AZURE certification exams, preparing students to sit for these additional in-demand certifications upon graduation. With three start dates per year, students can begin earning credit quickly, and no GMAT or GRE is required. There are nine courses, all required, which total 30 credits. An additional final capstone project course is required, which synthesizes the business analytics knowledge gained in previous coursework. Tuition is affordable, costing $765 per credit. This inexpensive, flexible and practical business-focused data science graduate program made 27th on our ranking of the 50 best online master’s in data science programs.

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  • Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $765

Full Sail University is a private institution located outside of Orlando, Florida in the town of Winter Park. The institute was established in 1979 in Dayton, Ohio, to teach production skills in the music industry, and moved to Florida in 1980, expanding to teach other programs in media and entertainment. Today, Full Sail has a student body of 8,9170 and awards certificates, associateÕs, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees, primarily in such media and entertainment disciplines as music production, video game design and animation. The majority of these degrees are available in an accelerated format, taking as little as half the time to earn as they would at other institutions. Full Sail’s tuition is notably affordable, and the university works with industry-specific advisory boards to ensure that the curriculum in each program remains current and workplace-relevant.

Full Sail University offers an online master’s in business intelligence, a program which focuses on the application of data science to the decision-making process within the business world. Graduates are prepared to use data analysis and predictive modeling to forecast trends in consumer behavior and translate information into operational action. Skills in data collection, analysis and visualization are stressed, and capstone thesis projects threaded throughout the program. The curriculum consists of 12 required 3-credit courses, totaling 36 credits. Courses include Process Modeling and Analysis, Business Intelligence Technologies and Data Visualization. Each class lasts just one month, allowing the entire program to be completed in a single year. Full Sail’s high-caliber master’s in data science earned 7th place in our ranking of the 50 best online master’s in data science programs. This high-quality degree is highly affordable, costing only $778 per credit.

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  • Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $778

Based in Norman, Oklahoma, the University of Oklahoma (OU) is a large, public research university. OU was founded in 1890 in the Oklahoma Territory, and thus predates the state itself by 17 years. Today, OU serves 31,250 students and has earned a number of distinctions and accolades. The university enrolls the greatest number of National Merit Scholars nationwide, and operates one of the country’s most extensive foreign exchange networks. PC Magazine and the Princeton Review twice named the university in their list of the “20 Most Wired Colleges”. U.S. News and World Report ranks OU 97th in National Universities, 41st in Top Public Schools, and, reflecting the university’s affordable tuition, 128th in Best Value Schools. Class sizes are small enough to afford personal attention, with a low student to faculty ratio of 17 to 1.

The University of Oklahoma administers an online master’s in data science through a partnership between the departments of Computer Science and Industrial and Systems Engineering. The interdisciplinary curriculum is both rigorous and technical. Core courses include such classes as Database Management Systems and Advanced Metaheuristics. Those enrolled in the program can exercise a number of options in their course of study. Both part-time and full-time options are offered, with the full-time track leading to a degree in as little as 14 months. Students can also elect to pursue a thesis or non-thesis track. The latter replaces the thesis project with additional electives and engineering practicum hours. This flexible program was ranked 13th in our ranking of the 50 best online master’s in data science programs.
Tuition costs $791 per credit hour, making UO an affordable choice for a fast and high-quality master’s in data science.

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  • Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $791

Lewis University, located in Romeoville, Illinois, is a private, nonprofit, Roman Catholic university. Lewis was originally established in 1932 as an aviation training center, and continues to excel in the field of Aviation and Transportation Studies and even operate the only on-campus airport in the state. Other popular majors include nursing, criminal justice, and business. All departments operate partnerships with other institutions which allow dual admissions, such as the five-year physics/engineering double degree offered with Illinois Institute of Technology. Some 6,800 undergraduates and graduates are enrolled at Lewis, and the student-to faculty ratio is incredibly low, just 13 to one. The university is notably diverse, with 31% students of color. Recognizing the university’s blend of rigorous academics and inexpensive tuition, U.S. News and World Report ranks Lewis as 23rd in Regional Universities Midwest, and 42nd in Best Value Schools.

The online masters in data science offered by Lewis University is notably flexible and relatively inexpensive. This program focuses on four essential data science skills: data mining, data visualization, predictive analysis, and data management. Classes are highly technical and rigorous, with titles such as Encryption and Authentication Systems Data Modeling, and Large-Scale Data Storage Systems. In addition to the flexibility inherent in an online learning format, Lewis offers the option of choosing between two data science degree tracks: Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, and Computer Science. The former is the only one of its kind in the country. This research-heavy concentration focuses on teaching data analytic applications in the field of biology, including health sciences and pharmacology, and requires the completion of a master’s thesis. The Computer Science concentration focuses on the programming aspects of data science and trains graduates to create and manage large-scale data storage systems. Each concentration requires 36 credits, at an affordable price of $795 per credit.

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  • Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $795