Northwestern University - Online Master's in Data Science Programs

The School of Professional Studies (SPS) at Northwestern University offers two types of online master’s in data science programs: an online Master of Science in Data Science (MSDS) program, and an online Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) program with a Data Science specialization. The MSDS program focuses on mining, managing, and interpreting large datasets using statistical modeling and machine learning. It’s a 12-course program that can be completed in two-to-three years through part-time enrollment. The MSIS Data Science program is an 12-course program that can be completed by part-time students in two-to-three years. It emphasizes the design, implementation, and evaluation of data science software applications and the technological assets that support big data systems. Both of these programs are 100% online and do not require students to attend any campus-based activities.

Northwestern’s online master’s programs employ asynchronous instruction, which means that lectures and course materials are available on-demand to students 24/7. This is enabled through a cloud-based learning management system (LMS) that allows assignments and exams to be submitted remotely, and enables students to communicate with professors using text, audio, and video. The LMS also includes a mobile app compatible with IOS and Android devices. The MSDS and MSIS programs are designed to accommodate a range of students who may have work and/or family obligations outside of school.

The MSDS curriculum is built on eight core courses that explore topics like database systems, data preparation and management, and R programming. It also incorporates organizational leadership, communication skills, and training in other professional areas that are important in the field of analytics. Core requirements include: Math for Data Scientists; Applied Statistics with R; Introduction to Data Science; Database Systems and Data Preparation; Practical Machine Learning; Decision Analytics; Project Management; and Business Leadership and Communications. Students then have the option of completing a general data science track, which requires the completion of four electives, or pursing one of four designated specializations: Analytics and Modeling; Analytics Management; Artificial Intelligence; and Data Engineering. Electives range from general analytics subjects like Web and Network Data Science, Data Visualization, and Text Analytics, to industry-specific subjects like Analytics Consulting, Sports Management Analytics, and Medical Data Science. The program culminates with a choice between a capstone course or a thesis project.

The MSIS’s Data Science specialization is built around five courses that address skills and knowledge necessary to work with the technologies used in today’s data-intensive business world. These include: Telecommunication Networks; Object Oriented Programming; and Database Systems Design and Implementation. Students must take one leadership class to fulfill the program requirements, as well as five Data Science specialization courses, which may include: Practical Data Science Using Machine Learning; Math for Modelers; Statistical Analysis; Data Visualization; Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning; Information Retrieval and Real-Time Analytics; and Decision Analytics. The program culminates with a Computer Information Systems research/capstone project. Students enrolled in the MSIS program have access to an array of educational and professional resources, including ebooks and software, through a partnership with IBM.

Northwestern University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Northwestern University: School of Professional Studies

Programs Offered: Data Science (Master's in Information Systems, Master of Science in Data Science)
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Instruction Methods: Classes are mainly taught with asynchronous instruction. Professors may call for an occasional live session during the class.
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Online Master of Science in Data Science

Program Overview
Program Type: Data Science
Degree Conferred: Masters
Program Structure: Online instruction with no campus visits required
Optional Concentrations: General Data Science, Analytics and Modeling, Artificial Intelligence, Data Engineering, Analytics Management
Example Courses: Math for Data Scientists, Database Systems and Data Preparation, Practical Machine Learning, Decision Analytics, Applied Statistics with R, Introduction to Data Science, Data Visualization
Program Website: sps.northwestern.edu
Degree Requirements
Credits Required: 12 units of credit needed to graduate (1 credit per course)
Campus Visits Required: 0
Program Options
Program Start Dates: Four starts per year: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer
Curriculum Options: Part-time only
Length of Program: Program can be completed in 2 to 3 years (maximum of 5 years)
Admission Requirements and Tuition Costs
Degree Required for Admission: Bachelor's Degree
GPA Requirements: Minimum GPA 3.0 recommended
Testing Requirements: Not required
Work Experience: Not required for admission, but is preferred
Tuition Costs: ~$51,144 + fees
Cost per Credit Hour: $4,142 per course
Eligibility Information: Program currently accepts students from all 50 states

Online Master's in Information Systems (MSIS) - Data Science Specialization

Program Overview
Program Type: Data Science
Degree Conferred: Masters
Program Structure: Online instruction with no campus visits required
Example Courses: Data Visualization, Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning, Decision Analytics, Python for Data Science, Database Systems Design and Implementation, Telecommunications and Computer Networks
Program Website: sps.northwestern.edu
Degree Requirements
Credits Required: 11 units of credit needed to graduate (1 credit per course)
Campus Visits Required: 0
Program Options
Program Start Dates: Four starts per year: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer
Curriculum Options: Part-time only
Length of Program: Program can be completed in 2 to 3 years (maximum of 5 years)
Admission Requirements and Tuition Costs
Degree Required for Admission: Bachelor's Degree
GPA Requirements: Minimum GPA 3.0 recommended
Testing Requirements: Not required
Work Experience: Three to five years of experience is recommended, but not required
Tuition Costs: ~$50,754 + fees
Cost per Credit Hour: $4,494 per course
Eligibility Information: Program currently accepts students from all 50 states