The Accelerated Master's in Data Science Degree Program

Complete your degree in just one year

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

Northwestern Master of Science in Data Science (MSDS) students learn how to utilize relational, document, and graph database systems and analytics software built upon open-source systems such as R, Python, and Go, with TensorFlow and Keras for deep learning. They learn how to make trustworthy predictions using traditional statistics and machine learning methods.  

In this accelerated program, you can complete your degree in one year through a blend of online and on-campus classes at our downtown Chicago campus. Northwestern's part-time online data science program has long been established as a leader in graduate data science and analytics programs.

Choose from a range of specializations

Choose one of five specializations: Analytics and Modeling, Analytics Management, Artificial Intelligence, Data Engineering, or Technology Entrepreneurship.

Work in the programming language that meets your needs

The MSDS program features three languages:  Python, R, and Go.  Students in the MSDS program gain experience with these three languages and can tailor their studies to one language or another based on the specialization they choose.




Program Goals

  • 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 

Earn your degree in one year

The MSDS full-time accelerated option.

Immerse yourself in the program by taking three courses per quarter. With two on-campus courses and one online course each term, you'll have the flexibility to pursue additional outside activities during the day. Benefit from strong relationships built in a cohort and from learning with diverse groups of professionals — many who are highly-placed in their fields. International and domestic students are encouraged to apply for the accelerated option. Admitted international students are eligible to apply for and receive a student visa. 

  • Accelerated pace, complete program in one year by taking a course load of three courses per quarter in a blend of day, evening, and online classes
  • Intense interaction with faculty and a dedicated cohort of classmates from the U.S. and around the globe
  • Students in the accelerated program can choose one of the program's five specializations; however, the general data science track is only available to part-time online students
  • International applicants are highly encouraged to apply early in order to allow sufficient time for the I-20 process
  • Exclusive access to Immersion Week and career and industry and networking events as well as other benefits for Northwestern graduate students
  • Engage in Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT) opportunities. For more information please see the FAQs regarding International Students
  • Each cohort begins in fall quarter and students complete their degree the following summer quarter



Sunny Yurasek, MS in Data Science graduate, poses at the Northwestern University campus on Chicago.

I learned the art of possibility, not just within the industry I worked in, but also about the power of understanding data science and using it to transform various industries in the world we live in.”

Sunny Yurasek, MS in Data Science '20

Sunny's Full Story

The Northwestern name and the predictive analytics aspect of the program have opened many doors for me.”

JR Runez, MS in Data Science '16
Marketing Science Lead, Google

JR's Full Story

JR Runez, MS in Data Science graduate, headshot taken at the iconic Thompson Center, Google's new campus in Chicago.



More about the Accelerated MS in Data Science

Accelerated Data Science Curriculum

To obtain the Master of Science in Data Science degree, students complete 12 courses that will enable them to build the high-level skills needed for careers in data science. Courses include core courses, specialization courses, a leadership or project management course, and a capstone project or thesis.



Accelerated 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 the Accelerated MS in Data Science program.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition for the Accelerated Master's in Data Science program at Northwestern is comparable to other competitive analytics programs in the U.S. 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

Already accepted into the Accelerated 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

Northwestern data science 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.

Student Leadership Council

The MS in Data Science 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.

Find out more!

Accelerated Northwestern MS in Data Science



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