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Affordable Data Science Masters

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Updated: February 29, 2024, Reading time: 8 minutes

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Financial strain is a major concern for students pursuing a master’s in data science. During my time two years ago, I, too, was shocked to see the heavy tuition fees and limited funding options.  

Lucky for me, I had the best mentors who helped me find the most affordable data science masters. Today, I’m sharing the updated findings of those cheap options you can go for without worrying about the accreditation of the institution and the quality of the education.

Grad School Center is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Top 10 Affordable Data Science Masters

With the rising inflation worldwide, finding a cheap master’s degree might seem impossible. Most top universities have a very high tuition fee set. Apart from tuition, the rental houses, transportation, and daily groceries just add to the enormous expenses already piled up. 

You might be surprised to know that about 41% of graduate students have taken loans to fund their education. Fortunately, many affordable options still allow you to continue your education without taking any loans.

Many educational institutes offer affordable tuition packages and funding opportunities to students wanting to pursue a master’s in data science (DS). Here are the top 10 cheapest ones:

The University of West Florida

The University of West Florida offers an affordable online master’s program in data science. In this degree, you will have direct communication with faculty and the opportunity to collaborate with other graduate students for projects and career advancement. 

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It gives students the option to choose from three exciting tracks. In Analytics and Modeling, you learn how to design data models and algorithms. Next is the Analytics of Business Decisions, which covers statistical tools and programming. Lastly, Health Analytics focuses on health data analysis and will prepare you for impactful roles in the healthcare industry.

University of Maryland Global Campus – Adelphi, Maryland

The University of Maryland Global Campus offers an online Master of Science in Data Analytics where the faculty brings real-world experience from industry, government, and non-profit sectors to the virtual classroom. With this degree, you can access free electronic resources and various data software, saving a lot of your expenses. 

The courses included in this master’s degree are decision management systems, data management, machine learning, predictive modeling, and big data analytics. In the capstone, you will apply the skills gained and solve real business problems, complete modeling projects, and implement various analyses in different industries.

Cabrini University – Radnor, Pennsylvania

Cabrini University, Radnor, PA’s program is designed for students and professionals who want to advance in data science. This online master’s program offers personalized support with small class sizes for maximum benefits.

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This program focuses on four different areas. You will learn about software and programming, business and management, data warehousing, and data visualization. You can also pick between an internship or a capstone project to gain practical skills before you graduate. 

Maryville University

Maryville University’s MS program focuses on practical learning and teaching students complex data structures. With options for evening classes and additional flexibility, you can complete this program at your own pace. 

Students in this affordable data science master’s program will undertake a project-based Capstone Project, applying knowledge to real-world company projects with actual data. The university partners with top organizations like JPMorgan and Fireman Fund Insurance, giving you the benefit of gaining practical experience.

University of Wisconsin Extended Campus (UWEX)

The University of Wisconsin Extended Campus offers an online graduate degree that you can enroll in throughout the year and complete at your own pace without disturbing your daily routine. Through their LMS, you can access various tools, slides, and other information to help you excel in this degree.

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In this master’s program, you will complete 12 courses, including a hands-on capstone project, usually done in your last semester. This project provides real-world experience; you can work on it at your current job or with an external organization. The curriculum includes courses like data mining, machine learning, and programming for data structures.

CUNY Graduate Center

CUNY Graduate Center presents a Master’s in Data Science, an on-campus program in New York offering full-time and part-time classes to students. 

The curriculum combines theory and hands-on skills. You will have to take some required courses like machine learning and data mining. Then, there are electives where students personalize their learning by choosing from analytical and applications courses. The program ends with a mandatory capstone project.

The University of Oklahoma

The University of Oklahoma offers an Online Master’s Program in DS and Analytics. The university utilizes Canvas LMS for online classes, homework assignments, and all other important announcements, making it easy to access. 

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This degree focuses on building in-demand skills – advanced programming, database management, and computing structures are some of the courses you will be taking during this degree. Through this master’s degree, you will get diverse training opportunities as this institute collaborates with top industry partners in the US. 

New College of Florida

The New College of Florida offers a Master’s in Applied Data Science, an on-campus program through which you get to learn from experienced professors worldwide. The class sizes are small, which makes the learning experience quite challenging and interactive. 

This degree focuses on four parts:  Machine Learning, Data Visualization, Databases, and Statistics. The first three semesters will be class learning, while the final semester will be a paid practicum where you can practically practice the skills with top industry partners. 

Texas Tech University

Texas Tech University has a Master of Science in Data Science program that offers flexible course modalities. You can choose between one or two years for program completion. The two-year option involves online study, while the one-year option allows a mix of online and on-campus classes.

The curriculum covers advanced technologies and statistical methods to manipulate data for actionable organizational strategies. Foundational courses include Statistics for DS, Scripting Languages, Database Concepts, and more. 

University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota offers an MS in Data Science, an on-campus program ranked among the nation’s top three courses by Fortune magazine.

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The curriculum has a range of courses across three key areas: statistics, algorithmics, and infrastructure with large-scale computing, along with elective choices. Every student will get the chance to conduct research under faculty guidance, do a capstone project, and present a poster at the DS fair.

Why Is a Masters Degree in Data Science Important?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, data scientists have earned a mean wage of $103,500 per year as of May 2022. This field is rapidly advancing and is estimated to undergo a 35% increase from 2022 to 2032. 

The online Master’s Degree in Data Science is essential for gaining advanced skills in data analysis, machine learning, and statistical methods, which will give you an advantage when entering the market for top industry jobs.  

Is an Online Master’s in Data Science Worth It?

Yes, getting a master’s degree in data science is worth it because it gives you advanced skills that help you find good jobs and earn more money in a world that relies on data.

Is a Masters in Data Science Difficult?

A master’s in data science can be challenging; however, the difficulty depends on your background and effort. It requires learning complex topics like statistics and programming. Overall, the skills gained are valuable for a rewarding career in this growing field.

Are Data Scientists Still in Demand?

Yes, data scientists will continue to stay in demand. With the increasing reliance on data-driven decision-making across various industries, the need for skilled data scientists will never stop. 

Affordable Data Science Masters - fact

Conclusion

Finding an affordable DS master’s program isn’t too difficult. Whether it is an on-campus or online degree, you can benefit from the various best scholarships for master’s students and graduate assistantships to help you manage your tuition fees. These budget-friendly master’s degrees will potentially help you enter the advanced world of data science. 


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