Top Data Science Colleges in USA: Ranking, Courses, Fees, Scholarships and Jobs

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    Anam Shams

    Content Curator | Updated on - Jan 12, 2022

    With over 60 top Data Science colleges in USA, students are offered bachelor, master and doctoral courses and taught to analyze, manage and interpret huge amounts of data with a diverse array of applications. Data Science is an interdisciplinary subject that stands on the pillars of mathematics, computer science and statistics. 

    • Over 40 top US universities feature among the world’s top 100 universities in QS & Times Higher Education World University Rankings of 2020. Several Data Science colleges in USA offer internships while pursuing the undergraduate course. There were openings at well-known companies like Uber, Amazon, Facebook, etc. 
    • Data Science jobs in USA are the most demanded and most paid jobs. Data Scientist jobs have been ranked 1 by Glassdoor for three consecutive years, 2017-19. According to IBM’s Analytics Department, in 2020, job openings for data scientists and similar advanced analytics roles will reach 61,799. It is almost 2% of the projected demand across all roles requiring data analytics skills.
    • The average base salary of a data scientist in the USA is 124,283 USD per year. This is a very good return on your investment of an average of 100,000 USD which an international student studying in USA spends on tuition fees.
    • The salaries also differ from city to city. San Francisco and New York are the highest paying cities for data scientists in USA. 
    Top Paying Cities for Data Scientists in USA

    Best Data Science Colleges in USA

    There are around 60 colleges for data science in USA. It is a more popular degree in Masters than in Bachelor or Ph.D. There are very few colleges offering data science as a major at the undergraduate level. Here are some of the top colleges in the USA which offer a data science program:

    University QS Global Rankings 2020 Courses Offered
    MIT 1 BSc in Data Science, Economics, Statistics, Pre Master in Data Science, Master in Data Analytics
    Harvard University 3 MSc in Data Science, MSc in Health Data Science
    Columbia University 18 Bachelor in Data Science, Master in Data Science
    Johns Hopkins University 24 MSc in Data Science
    Northwestern University 31 MSc in Data Science, MSc in Analytics

    Data Science Colleges in USA: Specializations and Degree Types

    Data Science is an interdisciplinary subject that has developed in recent years as an advancement in the analytics field. It is a subject combination of statistics, computer science and mathematics.

    Here are some of the specializations the data science colleges in USA provide:

    • Data Science
    • Data analysis
    • Machine learning
    • Data mining
    • Big Data Analysis
    • Data Systems and Processing
    • Deep Learning
    • Computing in Python
    • Business Analytics 

    Degrees available at Data Science Colleges in USA

    If you want to study data science in the USA, degrees are offered at undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels.

    • Undergraduate: At the graduate level, data science is offered as a major and minor subject. An international student can pursue a major in some other subject and complete his degree with a minor in data science.
    • Graduate: At the graduate level, it is given as a Master in Science (MS).MS in Data Science, MS in Analytics, MS in Statistics-Data Science
    • Postgraduate: An International can pursue a Ph.D. in Data Science. There are also degrees specialized in the related fields in data science, like Ph.D. in Data Analytics, Ph.D. in Machine learning, Ph.D. in Big Data.

    Data Science Colleges in USA: Undergraduate Programs

    Though less popular than a MS in Data Science in USA, a bachelor’s degree with a major in data science is offered by some of the colleges. International students can also pursue a Bachelors in Computer Science, Mathematics, Economics, Statistics and then go for a master’s in Data Science. Students also take these subjects as major and complete their degrees with data science as a minor. Some of the colleges offering bachelors in data science are:

    University Course Offered Fees (in USD) Duration
    MIT BSc in Data Science, Economics, Statistics 219,328 4 years
    Columbia University Bachelor in Data Science 244,260 4 years
    California Institute of Technology Bachelor in Information and data sciences 241,888 4 years

    Data Science Colleges in USA: Admission Requirements for Bachelors

    Given below is the list of the academic and language requirements usually demanded by the universities providing data science in USA.

    • Have Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry in high school course.
    • SAT/ACT scores ( SAT mathematics score 760)
    • Secondary school report filed by the school authorities.
    • English Language proficiency test scores. (IELTS - a minimum band of 6, TOEFL- minimum score of 100)

    Documents Required 

    • Official Transcripts.
    • Scores of Entrance tests required for pursuing a bachelor in data science in USA (SAT/ACT scores, IELTS, TOEFL scores)
    • Statement of Purpose for studying in USA (SOP)
    • Evaluation from a math teacher and one from social sciences teacher in High school
    • Funding papers. ( If you have opted for any scholarships or loans or any kind of financial funding support)

    Data Science Colleges in USA: Fees for Bachelors

    The fees for various data science colleges in USA depend on what major or minor you are taking, how much credit program it is. State schools offer cost-friendly opportunities for students looking for a bit budget-friendly study abroad destination. The average fees are 26,000 - 50,000 USD per annum.

    Data Science Colleges in USA: Masters Programs

    Data science in USA is popular among international students as master’s degree courses and around 61 colleges offer this program. Some colleges also provide pre-master courses or graduate diploma courses in related fields. The duration of these is usually 6 months to 1 year. 

    There are almost 20 universities providing MS in Data Science in USA or related fields. Almost half of them belong to the top 50 colleges in the world, according to QS Global Rankings 2020. Some of them have been tabulated below.

    University Course Offered Duration Total Program Fees (in USD)
    MIT Master in Data Analytics
    Pre Master in Data Science
    2 years 172,452
    Harvard University MSc in Data Science, MSc in Health Data Science 2 years 90,100
    Columbia University Master in Data Science 1 year 60,540
    Johns Hopkins University MSc in Data Science 2 years 112,400
    Northwestern University MSc in Data Science, MSc in Analytics 2years 109,416

    Data Science Colleges in USA: Admission Requirements for MS

    Academic requirement: To study Masters in Data Science in the USA,

    • Undergraduate degree in computer science, mathematics, economics or statistics with a minimum of 80% (equivalent to 3 GPA). 
    • GRE scores with a minimum of 130 in verbal, 140 in quantitative and 2.5 in writing analysis.

    Language Requirements: International students need to give English language proficiency test scores. Most universities accept IELTS and TOEFL scores as language proficiency scores. The minimum score requirements depend from university to university.

    Documents Required 

    • Official Transcripts
    • Standardized test scores required for pursuing MS in the USA. 
    • Statement of Purpose for MS in US (SOP)
    • 3 Letters of Recommendation (LORs) from some professionals in this or related field.

    Data Science Colleges in USA: Fees for MS

    The tuition fees for masters in Data Science in USA depends on how many credit hours your course has and whether it is a public university or a private university. The average tuition fees range from 18,000 USD to 40,000 USD per annum.

    Data Science Colleges in USA: Doctorate Programs

    Ph.D. in Data Science in USA is a research degree designed to give the masters students a deep-rooted knowledge of the various branches like statistics, programming, data analysis. It usually takes 4-6 years for an international student to complete his/her Ph.D. in Data science in USA, but the actual time taken depends on the credit hours of the course.

    Ph.D. is not a necessary degree to achieve the highest ranks in the industry. According to The Burtch Works Study – Education, 41% of respondents in the data science industry reported that they held a Ph.D., with 49% holding just a master’s degree.

    However, if you want to become a Senior Data Scientist, Data Researcher, Chief Data Officer and other specialized roles, a Ph.D. will be a big boost in your CV. Also, companies that specialize in data sciences and major tech players like Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft prefer a student with Ph.D. degree.

    Here are some of the colleges which provide Ph.D. in Data Science in USA: 

    Degree Offered University Duration Fees (in USD)
    Indiana University -Purdue University Ph.D. in Data Science 3 years 78,207
    John Hopkins University Ph.D. in Machine Learning 4-5 years 55,350
    New York University Ph.D. in Computer Science with Specialization in Visualization, Databases, Big Data
    Ph.D. in Data Science
    4 years 1,34,424

    Data Science Colleges in USA: Admission Requirements for Ph.D. 

    To pursue a Ph.D. in Data Science in USA, you would have to fulfill certain academic and language criteria.

    • Undergraduate in mathematics, computer science, or any related discipline
    • Graduate degree in Data Science, Big Data, Machine Learning or any related discipline with a minimum 85% ( 3 GPA on a scale of 4)
    • GRE scores ( a minimum of 150 is asked in most colleges )
    • TOEFL, IELTS scores (IELTS- a minimum band of 6.5, TOEFL- minimum 100)

    Documents Required 

    • All undergraduate and graduate transcripts
    • GRE scores
    • A statement of intent for the program (the reason for applying and future plans)
    • Letters of reference
    • Application fee
    • Online application
    • A curriculum vitae (outlining all of your academic and professional accomplishments)

    Scholarships at Data Science Colleges in USA

    USA is among the top 5 costliest countries in the world for international students. You can study with a fully funded or partially funded scholarship. Fully funded scholarships cover all your tuition fees and sometimes the accommodation costs too. 

    However, partially funded scholarships usually have a funding limit of a particular amount. It will not provide funding over that limit and you would have to pay the excess tuition fee yourself. The government and various universities provide scholarships for international students in USA to fund their study. 

    Some of them are described below:

    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
    CA Technologies Fellowship for Women University of Vermont Full tuition fees; not less than 14,670
    Daniel Larose Scholarship for Data Mining Excellence Central Connecticut State University 4,000 annually
    Jack Larson Data for Public Good Fellowship University of California-Berkeley 8,500
    MinneAnalytics Data Science Scholarship MinneAnalytics 1,000 to all the applicants
    5,000 to the grand winner of the award.
    Russ Peterson Technology Scholarship The CUNY School of Professional Studies Full Funding for tuition fees.

    Data Science Colleges in USA: Jobs and Salaries

    The average base salary of a data scientist in the USA is 124,283 USD per year. 68% of data scientists in the USA think that their salaries are enough for the cost of living in their areas. According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, USA, employment of database administrators is projected to grow 9 percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations.

    • According to IBM reports, by 2020 the number of Data Science and Analytics job listings is projected to grow by nearly 364,000 listings to approximately 2,720,000. The fastest-growing roles are Data Scientists and Advanced Analysts, which are projected to see demand spike by 28% by 2020.
    • 81% of all data science and analytics job postings request workers with at least three years of prior work experience. The greatest demand for data science and analytics jobs is in Finance and Insurance, Professional Services, and IT; together, these three industries alone account for 59% of all DSA job demand. 
    • The median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations was 86,320 USD in May 2018, which was higher than the median annual wage for all occupations of 38,640 USD. The top recruiting companies are Facebook, Genentech, eBay, Apple, Selby Jennings.

    Here are some of the job roles you can apply for with your data science degree:

    Job role Average Yearly Salary (in USD)
    Data Scientist 50,922-210,000
    Big Data Engineer 18,525-221,865
    Machine Learning Engineer 39,365-220,000
    Business Intelligence Analyst 41,685-136,000
    Business Analyst 35,000-135,446
    Data Architect 23,531-200,000
    Data Analyst 30,606-107,794
    Data Administrator 30,225-157,611
    Statistician 39,000-156,000
    Machine Learning Scientist 24,000-213,825

    At the entry-level data scientists with zero to three years of experience can expect to earn on average, 94,987 USD per year. An employee who has between four to eight years of experience may be considered a junior data scientist and can earn on average, 128,750 USD per year. 

    Studying data science in the USA will yield a high return on your investment with a salary range of 60,000-210,000 USD per year. Data science is one of the fastest-growing industries in the USA and is projected to grow 2% more than other job sectors by 2020.


    2.7 /10
    8.5 /10

    It is one of the top-ranking universities to study business and finance and as I was applying for masters of France, I applied to MIT along with 4-5 other universities (just to be safe). Getting accepted in such a college was not easy, I worked very hard to get in! The selection process is extremely competitive. I applied to the university through the online application portal, the application fee paid by me was $250.

    Fees :

    The charges for the 12-month program is different from the 18-month program, as I was pursuing the 18 -months program my annual fee for the program was around $1,12,000. For books and supplies, I had to pay around $3,000 and the computer charges were $2000. It is very expensive! Although the university offers several financial aids like Jim and Sara Anderson Fellowship, Linda Archer Cornfield Fellowship, and many more, not all students can manage to secure one.

    9.3 /10

    I was an undergraduate student in Finance at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. After completion of the degree, I worked for 2 years in a company in Rochester as a Financial analyst. But I developed an interest in marketing lately. So I applied for a master's degree in marketing at my previous college and Simon Business school by applying online. I paid a $90 application fee for my current college. However, my application was accepted in both colleges but I chose Simon as this college is just 30 min away from where I live.

    Fees :

    I paid around $67,000 every year for the course. This doesn't include other expenses. Other expenses like activity fees, books, accommodation, health fees, international fees took up to nearly $24,700 per year. Merit scholarship, Meliora scholarships were available to international students along with an outside scholarship.

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