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    MS in Data Science in USA: Detailed Information for International Students

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    Komal Yadav

    Study Abroad Expert


    Masters in Data Science in US is a 1.5 to 2 years program offered by most of the universities as MS degree. It is amongst those programs which are going to decide our technologically advanced future based on the numbers. Approximately 20 universities offer MS in Data Science in USA.  Some universities such as Northwestern University also offer MS in Analytics which is a specialization of MS in Data Science.

    • Students are required to have a bachelors degree in computer science, mathematics, economics, statistics to the related field to apply for masters in data science in US.
    • Tuition fees of US universities offering MS in Data Science range between 21,000 USD to 75,000 USD per annum.
    • Average annual salary of data scientists in USA is 96,072 USD. 

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    Why Study MS in Data Science in the USA?

    Data Science market is one of the most mature markets in the evolution of analytics. With more and more organizations realizing the power of big data, demand for data scientists is also increasing. The USA is no exception to this.

    • Glassdoor ranked Data Scientist as the best job in the USA for three consecutive years ie. from 2017 to 2019.
    • With a job satisfaction rate of 4.0, data scientist was named as the third most desired job in the USA in 2020 by Glassdoor.
    • Data Scientist was ranked by LinkedIn as the most promising job of 2019. 
    • San Francisco is the highest paying city for Masters in Data Science in US with employees getting 26.4% more salary than the national average. 
    • Over 61,799 new jobs are expected to be created in USA for data scientists and similar advanced analytics role in 2020, according to IBM’s Analytics Department. 
    • With 5 years of experience, the salary of data scientist in the USA increases by 26%. 
    Salary Increment for Data Scientists in USA

    Top Universities for MS in Data Science in USA

    Some of the top universities for Masters in Data Science in US are listed below for you to take a look, along with their course name and duration.

    THE Ranking 2020 University Program & Duration Total Program Fees (in USD) Brochure
    4 Stanford University MS in Statistics: Data Science; 2 years 149,080 Brochure
    7 Harvard University MS Data Science; 2 years 109,760 Brochure
    8 Yale University MA in Statistics & Data Science; 2 years 86,600 Brochure
    11 University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) MS in Engineering in Data Science; 1.5 years 75,715 Brochure
    12 John Hopkins University MS in Data Science 110,700 Brochure
    13 University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) MEng in Data Science & Systems; 1 year 52,508 Brochure
    16 Columbia University MS in Data Science; 1.5 years 63,120 Brochure
    21 University of Michigan – Ann Arbor MS in Data Science; 2 years 42,778 Brochure
    29 New York University (NYU) MS in Data Science; 2 years 129,240 Brochure
    31 University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego) MAS in Data Science & Engineering; 2 years 66,960 Brochure

    Course Curriculum of MS in Data Science in USA

    Masters in Data Science imparts advanced knowledge in making decisions, understanding observations and solving problems related to data. To study in the USA, students have to complete approximately 30 credits. Some universities ask for the submission of a project at the end of the program.

    Following are the core programs taught in most of the universities offering Masters in Data Science in US:

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

    Admission Process for MS in Data Science in USA 

    Students applying for Masters in Data Science in US can be from a variety of backgrounds such as Statistics, Computer Science, Physics, Business, Mathematics, Engineering, Economics, Biology and Psychology. A bachelors degree in any of such fields is compulsory for applying to US universities

    Admission Requirements for Masters in Data Science in US

    Following table provides information on eligibility and documents required to get admission in top-ranking universities of the USA

    University Eligibility Additional Requirements
    Stanford University Linear algebra, statistics, programming in bachelors GRE; Letters of recommendation, Personal Statement
    Harvard University Maths, CS, statistics or scientific computing in bachelors GRE; 3 letters of recommendation; Statement of Purpose
    Yale University Bachelors in related field GRE; 3 Letters of recommendation; Work experience; Personal Statement
    University of Pennsylvania Mathematical & statistical proficiency; Programming experience Biographical Information; Resume; Personal Statement; 2 letters of recommendation
    John Hopkins University Maths, Java or C++, data structure in bachelors CV
    UC Berkeley 3.0 GPA (80%) in bachelors; Experience in programming GRE
    Columbia University Calculus, linear algebra, programming in bachelors GRE; 3 letters of recommendation; Personal Statement; CV
    University of Michigan – Ann Arbor 2 semester of calculus, 1 semester of linear or matrix algebra, 1 introduction to computing course in bachelors 2 letters of recommendation; Statement of Purpose; Personal Statement; CV
    New York University Calculus, CS in bachelors GRE; 3 letters of recommendation; Statement of Purpose
    UC San Diego Bachelors in engineering, maths, physics, other science-related fields GRE; 2 letters of recommendation; Statement of Purpose; CV; 2 years of work experience

    Proof of English Proficiency for International Students

    Appearing for an English proficiency test (TOEFL or IELTS) is mandatory for any applicant who is either a native from a non-English speaking nation or has not done the studies (undergraduate) in the English language. Though any of these two exams’ score is acceptable by the universities, still some prefer TOEFL over IELTS score for admission to their course. So always check that particular university’s guidelines for admission prerequisites while applying to their course.

    Minimum score required by most of the universities are: 

    • IELTS: 6.5 to 7.0
    • TOEFL (iBT): 80 to 100

    Cost of Studying MS in Data Science in USA

    Another important factor that affects the decision of international students is various types of costs incurred while studying abroad. This cost can be broadly divided into three categories: Pre-arrival Cost, Tuition Fees and Cost of Living.

    Pre-arrival Cost

    Expenses incurred even before arrival to the study destination is known as pre-arrival cost. A general estimate of such costs is provided below:

    Type of Expense Cost (USD)
    Program Application Fees 100-200
    US Student Visa Application Fees 160
    IELTS Fees 185-190
    TOEFL Fees 160-250
    GRE Fees 205-230

    Tuition Fees of Masters in Data Science in US

    University of Michigan – Ann Arbor has the lowest tuition fee for MS in Data Science in USA among top 10 universities ie. 21,389 USD per annum. Stanford University which ranks at top among all universities of the world has the highest annual tuition fees of 74,540 USD. 

    Tuition Fees

    Cost of Living in USA

    Considered as quite expensive country, cost of living in USA is calculated to be approximately 15,000 USD per month. An average of monthly expenses incurred while living here is provided below:

    Categories Cost per month (in USD)
    Rent of Apartment 1000-2000
    Meals 120-160 
    Transportation 100-300 
    Personal Expenses 300-400 
    Health Insurance 450-700 

    Scholarships for MS in Data Science in USA

    It can be inferred from above section that studying Masters in Data Science in US is a costly affair. However, various universities, third-party organizations and government of student’s own home country provide variety of funding options to ease this financial burden. 

    Some of the scholarships for international students in USA specifically to data science students are as follows:

    Scholarship Awarding Committee Award (in USD)
    ACM SIGHPC and The Intel Computational and Data Science Scholarships The Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on High-Performance Computing 15,000 annually
    Bill Caspar Memorial Diversity Scholarship The Collective, LLC 10,000
    MinneAnalytics Data Science Scholarship MinneAnalytics 1,000 to all the applicants; 5,000 to the grand winner of the award.
    National GEM Consortium GEM’s Masters Fellowship Program 7,000 USD per term
    National Defence Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship American Society for Engineering Education Varies
    Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship DOE CSGF Program Coordinator Varies

    To know more about scholarships available for international students in the USA, click here

    Job Prospects after MS in Data Science in USA

    After completion of Masters in Data Science in USA, a student can earn an average salary of 96,072 USD per annum. This can go as high as 134,000 USD per annum.

    To become a successful data scientist, knowledge of Machine Learning, Python, Data Analysis and Statistical Analysis is necessary. The curriculum of US universities is designed around these subjects. Hence, students are able to secure jobs in reputed organizations. 

    Top paying companies

    Students can also work as Financial Analyst, Data Analyst, Data Administrator, Business Analyst and other such professions which involve managing of big data. Apart from masters in data science, students interested in the field of data management and administration can also pursue MS in Data Analytics from USA

    FAQs

    Ques. Name some of the top universities offering Masters in Data Science in USA.

    Ans. MIT, Harvard University, University of Chicago and Yale University are some of the top-ranking universities offering Masters in Data Science in USA.

    Ques. What is the duration of MS in Data Science in USA?

    Ans. MS in Data Science in USA from top-ranking universities requires 2 years to complete.

    Ques. How much is the MS in Data Science in USA fees?

    Ans. Masters in Data Science in US from top universities costs around 21,000 USD to 75,000 USD per annum. In addition to this, cost of living in USA for international students is approximately 15,000 USD per year. 

    Ques. Which university offers cheapest Masters in Data Science in USA?

    Ans. Among the top ten universities, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor offers the cheapest masters in data science in US. The tuition fees of this university for MS in Data Science program is 21,389. The University of California, San Diego has the second-lowest tuition fees for this program ie. 33,480 USD per annum.  

    Ques. What is the eligibility for applying to Masters in Data Science in USA?

    Ans. Students are required to have a bachelors degree in mathematics, statistics or related field to apply for MS in Data Science in USA. A good GRE score is also a compulsory requirement for most of the universities.

    Ques. Can I apply for MS in Data Science in USA without GRE test scores?

    Ans. Most of the top universities require GRE for admission in masters in data science in US. However, some of the universities offering admission without GRE are Northeastern University, University of Maryland, Oregon State University, Drew University, John Hopkins University, University of Pennsylvania etc. 

    Ques. What are the job prospects after completion of MS in Data Science in USA?

    Ans. After completion of MS in Data Science in USA, you can work as Data Scientist, Data Analyst or any other such profession which involves management and administration of a large amount of data.