Part-time or accelerated full-time — which one is right for me?

You can earn your MS in Data Science degree through part-time nonresidential study or the one-year accelerated option. Each option offers the deep and broad learning experience of the Northwestern Data Science curriculum. Whatever option you choose, you will learn from experienced, engaged faculty who are thought leaders in their fields and you will earn a master's degree from Northwestern University — ranked tenth nationally among U.S. universities. 

Use the information below to decide which option suits your needs.


Earn your degree by taking classes part-time

Earn your degree online and at a pace that works with your life. You'll learn and network with classmates who are experienced professionals from a wide range of fields. The primarily asynchronous class sessions provide great flexibility for your schedule, with additional online opportunities for connection, support, and engagement.

  • Part-time, flexible schedule — complete the program in two to five years
  • Course load is one to two courses per quarter — study at your own pace
  • Earn your degree entirely online
  • Faculty members are accessible as needed; meet and network with classmates — most are working professionals
  • Most students balance their studies with full-time jobs
  • The part-time option is only offered online — no campus housing is available
  • Apply at any time and begin in any quarter — see application deadlines and quarter start dates
Review part-time curriculum


The MSDS full-time accelerated option

Immerse yourself in the Accelerated MS in Data Science curriculum by taking three courses per quarter. With two on-campus courses at our Chicago location 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
  • Each cohort begins in fall quarter and students complete their degree the following summer quarter
accelerated program details
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