Master's in Data Science Online (MSDS) | Northwestern SPS: School of Professional Studies

Master’s in Data Science Online

The integration of data science and business strategy has created a demand for professionals who can make data-driven decisions that propel their organizations forward. You can build the essential analysis and leadership skills needed for careers in today’s data-driven world in Northwestern’s online Master of Science in Data Science program.

MSDS students gain critical skills for succeeding in today’s data-intensive world. They learn how to utilize relational and document database systems and analytics software built upon open-source systems such as R, Python, and TensorFlow. They learn how to make trustworthy predictions using traditional statistics and machine learning methods.

Choose a general data science track or one of four specializations: Analytics and Modeling, Artificial Intelligence, Data Engineering, or Analytics Management. The specializations are designed to foster individual career growth based on your professional goals. You can further customize your studies with a wide range of elective courses, including financial and risk analytics, artificial intelligence and deep learning, analytics systems analysis, and information retrieval and real-time analytics. 





      • Articulate analytics as a core strategy of data science
      • Transform data into actionable insights
      • Develop statistically sound and robust analytic solutions
      • Demonstrate leadership
      • Formulate and manage plans to address business issues
      • Evaluate constraints on the use of data
      • Assess data structure and data lifecycle 
Jason Okui

The biggest benefit of the program for me was that it gave me a deeper understanding of how predictive models work and how they can be applied. Just as important, it allowed me to communicate what a predictive analysis means.”

Jason Okui, Product Manager, Adobe

More about the MS in Data Science

MS in Data Science Online Courses

Courses range from statistical analysis to database systems to practical machine learning. Explore all the MS in Data Science Online Courses for full detail on the program’s offerings.

Data Science Curriculum

The Master’s in Data Science requires the successful completion of 12 courses to obtain a degree. These requirements cover six core courses, a leadership or project management course, two required courses corresponding to a declared specialization, two electives, and a capstone project (498) or thesis (590). Review Data Science curriculum details and elective choices while you consider applying to this program.

Master’s in Data Science Admission

A variety of factors are considered when your application is reviewed. Background and experience vary from student to student. For a complete list of requirements, see the Admission page for SPS graduate programs.

Tuition and Financial Aid for Data Science

Tuition for the Master’s in Data Science program at Northwestern is comparable to other competitive online analytics programs across the nation. Financial aid opportunities exist for students at Northwestern. Complete details can be found on the Tuition and Financial Aid for Data Science web page.

Registration Information for Data Science

Already accepted into the Master’s in Data Science program? Get ahead and register for your classes as soon as possible to ensure maximum efficiency in your trajectory.


Data Science Careers

As this interdisciplinary field continues to evolve, data scientists are defining new areas of focus to play key roles at various stages of the business cycle through modeling, engineering, and management. Consequently, professionals with expertise in data analysis, mathematics, machine learning, object-oriented programming, computer science, and business management are in demand across a wide range of industries.

Data Science Program Faculty

MSDS faculty members include data scientists, professional researchers and consultants, social scientists, mathematicians, statisticians, and computer scientists who bring practical real-world experiences to the online classroom and engage with students on an interpersonal level. Most faculty members hold terminal doctoral degrees and have extensive teaching and business experience. Get to know the instructors on our Data Science Program Faculty page.

MSDS Student Leadership Council

The MSDS Student Leadership Council strives to broaden awareness of Data Science in practice and build a sense of community in the program by fostering relationships among students, alumni, and leading industry professionals.

Data Science at Northwestern

Northwestern University offers two master’s degree programs in analytics that prepare students to meet the growing demand for data-driven leadership and problem solving. In addition to the online MSDS program, Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering offers a full-time on-campus program.

MS in Data Science 

  • Offered by Northwestern University School of Professional Studies
  • Online, part-time program
  • Builds expertise in advanced analytics, data mining, database management, financial analysis, predictive modeling, quantitative reasoning and web analytics, as well as advanced communication and leadership

MS in Analytics

  • Offered by Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science
  • 15-month, full-time, on-campus program
  • Integrates data science, information technology and business applications into three areas: predictive (forecasting), descriptive (business intelligence and data mining) and prescriptive (optimization and simulation)
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Find out more about Northwestern’s MS in Data Science

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