Master's in Data Science

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 online 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.  



Choose from a range of specializations and electives

Choose one of five specializations: Analytics and Modeling, Analytics Management, Artificial Intelligence, Data Engineering, or Technology Entrepreneurship. Students can further customize their studies with a wide range of elective courses, including financial machine learning, artificial intelligence and deep learning, analytics systems engineering, and business process analytics.  

If you are not sure which specialization is right for you, you can read a bit more about which job may be right for you.

Work in the programming language that meets your needs

The MSDS program features three languages:  Python, R, and Go.  Students in the data science master's program gain experience with these three languages and can tailor their studies to one language or another.

You can learn more about why the master's in data science program has incorporated the Go Programming Language.

Select the pace that's right for you

You can complete your degree through 100% online part-time study or in the one-year accelerated option that blends online and on-campus classes.



  • 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 

Choose the pace that's right for you

Accelerated full-time and part-time options

The data science master's program is offered in part-time and accelerated full-time formats. Each format offers offers a choice of specializations that enable you to create the course of study you need to meet your career goals. You can complete your degree through part-time, nonresidential study or the one-year accelerated option. Whatever you choose, you will learn from experienced, engaged faculty who are thought leaders in their fields.

We welcome international students from around the world to apply for the accelerated MSDS option. If admitted to the accelerated option, international students are eligible to apply and receive a student visa.

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

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. Curriculum options vary slightly between the part-time and accelerated options.



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.

Find out more!

Northwestern MS in Data Science

Faculty Insights: Entrepreneurship in Data Science

MS in Data Science faculty who teach courses in the Technology Entrepreneurship certificate and specialization discuss the many aspects of this field and share their own experiences and insights about startups.

Kimberly Chulis

Kimberly Chulis, PhD, has experience working and consulting for numerous companies and is the co-founder and CEO of Core Analytics® and the BrandMeter* Architect. Kim is an instructor of MSDS 470 Technology Entrepreneurship.

Bala Kamallakharan

Bala Kamallakharan is the founder of Startup Iceland and also co-Founder of Dattaca Labs and Iceland Venture Studio. Bala teaches MSDS 472 Management Consulting and is developing an MSDS Special Topics course on product prototyping for spring 2023.

Dipyaman Sanyal

Dipyaman Sanyal has worked as a quantitative and financial analyst for numerous corporations and is the co-founder and CEO of dōnō consulting. Dipyaman teaches MSDS 474 Accounting and Finance for Technology Managers.

Corporate Data Science Training

  • Let us assess your training needs. We will work with you to evaluate your needs and tailor a program that meets your schedule and budget.
  • Your team members will learn together in small online classes and build the skills needed to implement consistent, high-level best practices across your organization.
  • You can increase the decision-making and forecasting ability of your organization without adding new positions.
Find out more about corporate training


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