14th Mar 2023
Afia Azmi

Navigating the World of Data Science Education: Top Universities and Programs in the USA

Have you ever wondered why a Google spreadsheet could hold only 36,000 lines of data? Are you interested in learning how the data that companies and organizations gather influences everything from our daily purchases and economics to the frequent shopping selections made by people?

You may have already begun to Analyses Company, so it's time to seek a compelling way to consider how data might help us. To make the most effective judgment possible, look for ways to extract relevant information from the data. You can learn this from a data science graduate in the USA. Furthermore, your master's in data science in the USA equips you with these abilities, making you a highly sought-after employee in various industries. 

Why pursue a master's in data science in the USA?

You can learn how to apply data science techniques in the field of your choice through a thorough study and hands-on experience when you pursue a master's degree in data science at a U.S. university.

Top Universities - Data Science programs are in high demand in the USA. Numerous US universities offering MS in data science are listed in the Top 100 QS World University Rankings for 2023. Additionally, schools like Harvard and Stanford that offer an MS in data science are rated in the top 10 by QS.

High-tech Jobs - In the United States, data science master's students are employed by renowned firms as Binge, Amazon, Google, T-Mobile, and Zillow.

Occupations - According to Glassdoor and Quant hub, the top 3 jobs in the USA are in the data science field. According to a survey, it is also predicted that 70% of American organizations will favor hiring candidates with data capabilities. Additionally, it is astounding to state that employment opportunities for those with an MS in data science will increase by 19% in the United States over the next 20 years, which is more than three times the average growth rate for all occupations.

Pay - After completing a master's degree in data science in the USA, the typical salary varies from 91,000 USD to 186,000 USD annually. The typical base pay of a data scientist in the USA is 124,000 USD per year, according to the MSDS Alumni Survey from 2019.

Best Data Science Masters In The USA

Numerous colleges in the USA offer various levels of programmes in data science. International students most frequently choose MSc or MS degrees in data science. These institutions are well-known worldwide for their academic programmes and facilities.

The following is a list of the best American colleges for MS in data science programmes:

Stanford University

Stanford University's Department of Statistics provides a Graduate Program in Data Science. It is integrated with a statistical focus to prepare students for job placements after graduation. Through general and interest-specific elective courses, you will build strong mathematical, statistical, computational, and programming skills, as well as a foundational education in data science.

QS World University Rankings 20233
Type of University Private 
Average Annual Fees 56,487 USD
Programs Offered MS in Statistics Data Science
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.

QS World University Rankings 20235
Type of University Private 
Average Annual Fees 59,958 USD
Programs Offered 

- Masters in Data Science

- MSc Health Data Science

Pennsylvania State University

Data Science Master's in Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University trains students for a variety of data-centric jobs in technology and engineering, consulting, science, and policy-making to recognize trends in the arts, literature, or communications. The curriculum normally lasts between 1.5 and 2 years and combines cutting-edge coursework in core disciplines, including big data analytics, machine learning, and statistics, with a wide range of electives courses.

QS World University Rankings 202313
Type of UniversityPrivate 
Average Annual Fees 61,454 USD
Programs Offered MS Engineering in Data Science
Columbia University

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Department of Statistics and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences together offer Data Science Programs at Columbia University. The university's data science students have the chance to engage with business partners, perform original research, and create a capstone project. Additionally, students in the program might select a track of electives in entrepreneurship or a topic area covered by a university center.

QS World University Rankings 202322
Type of University Private 
Average Annual Fees 32,363 USD Per Semester 
Programs Offered MS in Data Science
Northwestern University

The Data Science Program at Northwestern University combines business strategy to generate a need for individuals who can make data-driven decisions that advance organizations. The university teaches students how to use relational, document, and graph databases as well as analytics programs based on open-source platforms like Python, R, and Go. The curriculum is available with a variety of electives and specializations.

QS World University Rankings 202332
Type of University Private 
Average Annual Fees 43,000 USD 
Programs Offered Masters in Data Science


Eligibility Criteria

1.) Undergraduate Degree

  • Students must possess a four-year bachelor's degree from an Accredited University. Data Science Bachelor's Degree or a Comparable Engineering course is required.
  • Your most recent Two Years of Graded full-time study must have a minimum GPA of 3.0.

2.) Scores on Language Proficiency Tests

If you are from a non-native country and have not finished your previous coursework or earned a degree in English, you must submit your language test results in order to be admitted.

The two most well-liked ones that are recognized by all US universities are -

  • IELTS: 6.0 - 7.0
  • TOEFL: 80 – 90

3.) GMAT or GRE results

Although GRE/GMAT scored are not a requirement for admission in all universities. However, certain universities have a compulsion on submitting the scores as they can be a strong sign of the effectiveness of your curriculum.

Two common tests have the following minimum scores -

  • GMAT: 575-700
  • GRE: 280-320

4.) Student Visa

International students must have a copy of their passport and a US Student Visa in order to enroll in a Master’s programme in data science in the USA

Read More - How to Get a US Visa: 9 Easy Steps

Additional Documents required are -

  • Resume
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Portfolio
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Work experience certificates (if required)

Career and Employment

A career in Data Science involves statistics, mathematics, business, economics, and Computer Science. it's easy to build your career in data science.

After a Master’s in Data Science, you can work in various sectors such as finance, healthcare, consulting, retail or consumer products – basically any field where there is lots of data and there is a requirement to analyze large data sets to develop custom models and algorithms to drive business solutions.

With regard to Data Science, the primary focus is on applications rather than research. You use some knowledge from Computer Science (data structure, deep learning, computer vision, natural language processing, machine learning) in your data science role.

Typical employers include Walmart, Tesla, Intuit, Collective Health and numerous financial/trading companies on Wall Street.

The average salary for a job in Data Science in the US is about USD 113,000 as per Glassdoor. Another source – Payscale – puts the median salary at about USD 93,000.

Also Read - [How to Build a Career in Data Science](https://azent.com/expert-tips/career-in-data-science*

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.1) Is data science in demand in USA?

In the USA, there will be a rising demand for knowledgeable and experienced data scientists. By 2026, there will be a 27.9% rise in this profession's employment, adding to its current employment of over 27%.

Q.2) What are the core elements of a data science degree?

Mathematics, statistics, and computer science are the main topics covered in data science courses in US universities. Additionally, it incorporates probability, statistics, and linear algebra.

Q.3) Which degree is best for data science in USA?

A strong technical basis and knowledge with current industry-standard tools are provided with an MS in data science in the USA.

Q.4) What is the average salary of a data scientist in USA?

An average salary of 92,843 USD per year is what you can expect after earning a master's degree in data science from one of the best colleges in the USA

Q.5) Can I get into MS in data science in USA without GRE scores?

Yes, several American colleges provide admission to their master's programmes in data science without requiring GRE results.

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