MS in Data Science in USA – Universities, Fees & Admission

ms in data science in usa

An increased emphasis on technology and the importance of accurate data for organizations have triggered the importance of data science programs in recent times. The United States of America (USA) holds a prominent rank in analytics and data science globally. Over 40 USA universities are featured among the world’s top 100 universities in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings of 2022. Undoubtedly, the USA is the dream destination for post-graduation courses in data science. International students tend to choose the USA for data science courses due to the global brand exposure, academic excellence, finest scope for research, and high-paying job opportunities. 

Keep reading to learn more about the top data science universities, admission requirements, documents, job opportunities, and highlights of studying for a master’s in data science in the USA. 

Read More: Student Visa for the USA- Fee & Application Procedure

Why Study MS in Data Science in the USA? 

Popular universities make the USA a leading destination to pursue a Master’s degree in data science. Out of globally ranked 100 universities, 40 universities belong to the USA. These 40 globally ranked universities, like Stanford University, Rochester University, New York University, and Columbia University, are notable institutions that offer data science programs.

Academic Excellence –

The academic system of the USA is reputed and renowned, with universities having strong alum records. In postgraduate courses like ‘Masters in Data Science,’ students get time to study all the related subjects and then choose a major or specialization per their interest and understanding. This speaks about the flexibility in the education system that offers enough scope for excellent results. 

Economy –

The United States of America is a leading economy with a promising job market for Data Scientists. The average base salary of a data scientist in the USA is USD 124,283 (INR 92,51,048) per year. This makes the USA a preferred destination for students.

Job Prospects –

Data science produces the most job opportunities in the US after computer science. Data scientist jobs have been ranked number 2 by Glassdoor for three consecutive years from 2017 to 2022. 

Faculties –

American universities boosts of their renowned faculties with years of experience and skills to train students according to market standards. The faculties are aware of the requirements of the global brand; hence, it becomes easy for students to work with international brands. 

Research & Development –

Excellent scope for research and development! After Germany, United States of America is the best destination for research opportunities. Data science requires a lot of research and innovation. Hence, American universities and the Government offer international students enough opportunities and research prospects. 

Cultural Diversity –

An excellent campus life with cultural diversity! The USA is a melting pot of different cultures, races, and ethnicities. Students from all over the globe form a unique cultural amalgamation for personality development and an interesting campus life. The universities organize many cultural events, seminars, and workshops to ensure enough cultural acceptance. Campus life in the US is matchless. Irrespective of the university, one can always find themselves immersed in the American way of life. 

Funding & Scholarships –

Data science programs in the US are supported with partial and full funding options. Some of the partially and fully funded master’s scholarships in the USA in 2022 are the Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship, National GEM Consortium, ACM SIGHPC, Bill Caspar Memorial Diversity Scholarship, and Open Data Science Conference Scholarship. Meritorious and needy students can avail fully funded scholarship opportunities. This helps the economically backward classes with merit, to get quality education abroad.

Internship Opportunities –

An ample number of internship programs and live projects in the data science curriculum offer the students international industry exposure. The top brands that hire students for internship programs are EY, Deloitte, Stanley Morgan, Accenture, IBM, Disney, and Cisco. 

Read More: Study Options in the USA for Indian Students After 12th Commerce

Course Highlights of MS in Data Science in the USA


1-2 years


Students must have completed a Bachelor’s degree in the same field with a passing percentage in the topics studied at the undergraduate level.

Entrance Exam


Course Fee

The cost ranges from $25,000 – $100,000. Several factors influence the cost, including the university chosen, the location, and whether the student is a native or international student.

Jobs Roles and Average Salaries

Analytics Engineer – $111,480

Business Analyst – $ 72,000.

Data Analyst – $73372

Data Scientist – $96494

Data Engineer – $116,591

Statistician – $97990

Data Visualisation Specialist – $76065

Top Universities for Data Science in the USA

Listed below are some of the top universities in the USA that offer courses in data science:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Getting an MIT data science master’s degree is a dream for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) background students. The best part is, that MIT offers a master’s in data science in just 12 months. The tuition fee is around INR 63,24,812. MIT is a well-recognized American university holding a rank #1 in the USA and 5th globally for data science. 

Northwestern University

Northwestern University offers a 12-month program in data science, available offline and online. The tuition fee for a master’s in data science is around INR 41,96,782. Northwestern University has been ranked 17th  in the USA and 24th worldwide for data science programs. 

Columbia University

Columbia University is the 5th oldest private university in the USA. The Columbia University offers a data science master’s course with a duration of 18 months. The tuition fee is INR 46,14,131. The university is located in New York City and ranked 17th in the USA. To secure admission at Columbia University, GMAT and GRE scores are essential. 

University of Southern California

The University of South California data science course is a 24 months master’s degree with an average cost of INR 47,97,610. It is a full-time classroom program with endless job opportunities. The eligibility criteria is a GPA of 3.55/4, and GMAT/GRE score requirements. 

University of Minnesota

The eligibility criteria for the University of Minnesota data science master’s program are a 3.46 GPA, 321 GRE, or 703 GMAT mark. For the part-time data science courses, students need a 3.2 GPA and 660 GMAT scores. The tuition fee is INR 49,55,000. Scholarship programs are also available for meritorious students. 

Important Resources to Read About USA:

Course Curriculum of MS in Data Science in the USA

A master’s degree in data science equips students with advanced data analysis, interpretation, and problem-solving skills. The following are the core modules taught in most master’s programs in data science in the United States:

  • Business Intelligence from Big Data
  • Statistics
  • Data Mining
  • Machine Learning 
  • Data Optimization
  • Software Development

Fees for MS in Data Science in the USA 

Studying in the USA is an expensive affair, and taking STEM background course is even more costly. A data science course in the USA would cost something between INR 30,00,000 – 55,00,000 on average. To make it affordable, several partial and full funding options are available in public and private universities in the USA. Stanford and MIT offer 100% funding to meritorious international students, making the USA a hub for the cheapest data science masters. 

Pre-Arrival Cost for MS in Data Science in the USA


This is usually the first step towards the entire journey of doing MS in the USA and the cost of this exam is $205.


Some universities do take in applications without GRE, but TOEFL is a test that candidates can not skip. Universities require proof of language proficiency and you might also need to share TOEFL score for visa purposes. The exam costs $170.

Applying to US Universities

Each university’s application fees range from $50 (3700) to $100 (7400), with the former being the most frequent. However, applications are incomplete until official test scores (GRE and TOEFL) are sent through ETS, which costs an additional $47 (GRE: $27; TOEFL: $20).


Candidates must pay the VISA charge of $160, followed by the SEVIS fee of $200, once they obtain their official document from the university stating their stay in the United States and the amount to be spent for the year.

Flight Tickets

Depending on the city, destination, and airline, single-way economy class tickets range from 40,000 ($517) to 60,000 ($776). Return flights range in price from 60,000 ($776) to 90,000 ($1164).

Read More: Cost of studying engineering in USA for Indian students

Eligibility Criteria for MS in Data Science in the USA

Before applying for a course, applicants should always check if they meet the required eligibility criteria


Educational Qualification


GPA (out of 4)

Stanford University

4 Year- UG degree



Yale University

UG Degree in the first division

7.0 and above


Columbia University

UG Degree



Harvard University

UG Degree



New York University

UG Degree



Admission Requirements for Masters in Data Science in the US

American universities hold a lot of prestige and recognition globally. International students need to fulfill the eligibility criteria and admission requirements to get admission to American universities. Requirements for admission to the best universities to pursue MS in Data Science vary from each other. To meet the competitive edge, students need to ensure that they meet all the admission requirements. 

  • GRE and GMAT scores are essential to take admission in data science. The American universities need the GRE score to understand the academic proficiency of students to study masters in data science. The minimum score is 280, and the GRE score requirement for universities like Stanford and MIT is above 310. 
  • Students interested in data science programs need to pass higher secondary education with compulsory subjects like Physics, Chemistry, and Maths. 
  • A full-time graduation degree of 4 years from a STEM background is a prerequisite for students applying to various data science programs. A BTech or BE degree in Computer Science, Physical Science, Mathematics, Mathematics and Computing, Statistics or Engineering is a must-have.
  • An excellent academic record is an important admission criterion. Students need to have a good GPA in their bachelor’s degree and high school. A GPA of a minimum of 3 out of 4 is a compulsory requirement for international students in graduation. For ranked educational institutions like Stanford and MIT, the GPA requirement will be higher. 
  • English language proficiency is important for non-native English-speaking students. Therefore, the test scores for IELTS and TOEFL examinations are essential. The top-ranked universities ask for a score above 7 in IELTS. 
  • Students need to have all the documents in the right order. The academic transcripts should be original. Evidence of financial resources should be submitted. Along with this, two letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and essays should be submitted as required by the respective university. The GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, and IELTS scores should be submitted to every university that you apply to. Lastly, the application form and fee receipts are important to confirm registration. 
  • Prior work experience is accepted and required by various data science universities in the USA. Previous work experience waives off the GRE score under multiple circumstances. Students with a low GRE score can study data science courses if they have prior work experience. 
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP) is the unique statement where international students need to state their purpose, goals, and expectations of a data science program in the USA. The SOP should also mention a candidate’s goals, achievements, and experiences. The SOP you write increases the chances of getting an admission. 
  • A letter of recommendation is important. Minimum 2 to 3 letters of recommendation is compulsory for universities. The LOR should be from respective faculty members or ex-employers

Recommended Read: USA F1 Study Visa Requirements

Application Deadlines for MS in Data Science in USA

Data Science and Data Analysis is a topic of study that has acquired a lot of popularity in recent years, leading to lucrative job prospects for those who choose to pursue it. The following are some of the application deadlines for the Spring 2023 intake of the MS in Data Analytics/Data Science program in the United States:



Illinois Institute of Technology

November 15, 2022

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

January 18, 2023

Northeastern University

November 1, 2022

Boston University

November 15, 2022

DePaul University

January 15, 2023

Scholarships for MS in Data Science in the USA

Some of the scholarships for international students for MS in Data Science in the USA:

ACM SIGHPC/Intel Computational & Data Science Fellowship:

The Association for Computing Machinery’s (ACM) Special Interest Group on High-Performance Computing (SIGHPC) partnered with Intel to offer a $15,000 Computational & Data Science Fellowship to master’s or doctorate candidates working on large-scale big data research. Females and members of racial minorities who have finished less than half of their computing degrees at authorized US universities are eligible.

CA Technologies Fellowship for Women:

One of the most valuable big data scholarships is the CA Technologies Fellowship for Women at the University of Vermont, which covers full tuition up to $14,670 each semester for females  pursuing the MS in Complex Systems and Data Science.

Daniel Larose Scholarship for Data Mining Excellence:

The Daniel Larose Scholarship for Data Mining Excellence awards $4,000 per year, or $2,000 per semester, to MS in Data Mining students at Central Connecticut State University who excel.

Fisher Family Fund Fellowship Program:

Each Spring, the Fisher Family Fund Fellowship Program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte awards $2,000 to exceptional graduate students in the College of Computing and Informatics pursuing the Professional MS in Data Science and Business Analytics.

HIMSS Minnesota Graduate Health IT Scholarship:

The Graduate Health IT Scholarship from the HIMSS Minnesota Chapter awards $1,500 to master’s students and $2,000 to doctorate students who are studying quantitative-based health informatics degrees, such as data analytics or data science. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA who live in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, or South Dakota are eligible.

Lilly Endowment Scholarship for Data Science:  

At Saint Mary’s College, The Lilly Endowment Scholarship at Saint Mary’s College awards $1,000 every term for a total of $5,000 to outstanding male or female post-grads who are pursuing the mathematically rigorous M.S. in Data Science program. 

Job Opportunities after Masters in Data Science in the US

Employment opportunities for data science offer a great Return on Investment (ROI). At an entry-level, a data science graduate can earn up to $95,000 (INR 70,70,057) whereas a managerial post can earn up to $195,000 (INR 1,45,12,202) yearly. For the last five years, the American job market has been flourishing with ample job opportunities in data science. Data science and big data are high demanding career opportunities with the top global brands. Find out the jobs after MS in data science in the USA.

Also Read: Part-Time Job Options in the USA for International Students

Top Jobs after MS in Data Science in USA 

  • Analytics Engineer: $111,480 (INR 82,96,224)
  • Statistician – $72,100 (INR 53,65,606)
  • Business Analyst: $72,000 (INR 53,58,164)
  • Business Intelligence (BI) Analyst : $67,600 (INR 50,30,288)
  • Data Analyst: $73372 (INR 54,59,797)
  • Big Data Engineer : $114,800 (INR 85,42,561)
  • Data Scientist: $96494 (INR 71,79,091)
  • Database Administrator (DBA): $72,800 (INR 54,16,193)
  • Data Engineer : $116,591 (INR 86,74,166)
  • Data Architect : $115,800 (INR 86,16,742)
  • Data Visualisation Specialist: $76065 (INR 56,60,038)
  • Machine Learning Engineer : $111,600 (INR 83,04,217)

More Resources to Read About USA:

Study Data Analytics in the USA with upGrad Abroad: 

Pursue an MS in Data Analytics from Clark University in the US to get benefits of a unique curriculum. The 22-month blended course will require ten months of online learning and for the rest of the 12 months, students can travel to the US for on-campus education. You can avail the following benefits if you choose to study the course with upGrad Abroad: 

  • Dual certification – IIITB as well as Clark University
  • GRE Waiver for IIITB learners
  • In-built IELTS prep to be provided by upGrad
  • STEM programs leading up to three years of OPT
  • upGrad end-to-end support for applications and visa
  • World-Class Faculty Members & Industry Experts
  • Dedicated Student Success Mentor
  • One-on-One with Industry Mentors
  • Career Essential Soft Skills Program


Data science has a vibrant future. Pursuing a master’s in data science from prestigious American universities is the best career decision one can take. As per the present market scenario, choosing a career in the young fold emerging Data Science field from a globally ranked USA university is wise.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Data Science in Demand in the USA?

The USA is the largest analytics and data science market in the entire world. The developed economy of the US offers a large pool of upcoming data science job opportunities. It is also one of the most mature markets in analytics and data science evolution. It is home to 40 globally ranked universities with the highest paying jobs. According to Glassdoor, data science jobs are the second most demanding ones after computer science.

Is GRE Required for MS in Data Science in the USA?

Yes, GRE is a compulsory admission criterion for American universities. The score requirement for the top-ranked universities is above 310. However, some universities waive off the GRE score if the students have prior work experience or a brilliant GPA in graduation.

Is MS in Data Science Expensive?

Yes, MS in data science is an expensive course in the USA. It would cost between INR 30,00,000 to 55,00,000. However, there are scholarships and full funding opportunities for meritorious international students. As per the evolving market, a data science from a USA university is a good return to investment, as the jobs are the highest paying.

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