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Master of Science in Data Science Online

Program Length: 18 Months
Credit Hours: 30
Total Classes: 10
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What are the program start dates?

Fall 2024
Late August

Spring 2025


At a Glance

Build a Successful Career in Data Science

In today’s data-driven world, every industry needs experienced data scientists to answer questions, drive strategy, and solve problems. Glassdoor ranks data scientist as one of the top three Best Jobs, and the field is expected to grow more than 35 percent from 2022-32 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Our degree will give you the expertise that employers want right now: a deep understanding of complex data, cutting-edge technical skills, strong communication and teamwork skills, and the ability to create data science-enabled solutions to real-life problems.  

No technical background or GRE required. American University’s 30-credit-hour (plus capstone) program is designed for the working professional’s schedule and can be completed in 18 months.

  • Designed for working professionals, with maximum flexibility and a blend of asynchronous and synchronous learning — jump to Admissions.
  • Our alums are poised for rewarding careers with organizations such as Booz Allen Hamilton, Deloitte, Amazon, and ASR Analytics.
  • Applicants are automatically considered for scholarships at the department level, based upon merit, and no separate application is required.
  • Students gain real world experience by tackling data science and analytics problems with Data Science Practicum partners around the DMV area and beyond.
  • Small classes allow for personal engagement with faculty and peers.
  • Cutting-edge technology courses, including Natural Language Processing, Neural Networks and Deep Learning, and Business Intelligence set you up for success.
Alexis Threatt.

— Alexis Threatt, American University MS Data Science candidate ’23, and manager US Forest Service Global Climate Change Team

Ranked number 11

TechGuide's 2024 Online Masters in Data Science Degree Programs

100% Online

Designed to Fit Your Needs as Working Professionals

The online MS can be completed in 18 months or at your own pace — and includes 6 months of real-life capstone experience.

$126K Median Salary

Demand across Industries

We prepare you to take a career in the direction of your choice, as an adaptable data scientist equipped to deliver insights and solve real-world problems — in a field with 35% projected growth through 2032.

Learn from Leaders

DC Connections & Opportunities

Learn from leaders in their fields, take advantage of local connections with your practicum project, and acquire the analytical training and problem-solving skills for success across business, academia, and government.

Learning Outcomes

You'll Walk Away With

  • • A Deep Understanding of Complex Data
  • • Cutting Edge Technical Skills
  • • Analytical Problem Solving
  • • DC Connections and Opportunities
  • • The Power of American University's Network
  • • Practical, Real-World Experience in the Field
  • • Communication, Ethical Leadership, and Teamwork
Admission Requirements
Curriculum Description
Careers and Outcomes
Student Experience

American University’s MS in Data Science seeks candidates who want to make a career change into Data Science. Online MS Data Science candidates must have a bachelor’s degree with a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) from an accredited college or university to apply. Applicants must have completed one of the following:

STAT-202 Basic Statistics (4) or STAT-203 Basic Statistics with Calculus (4) or STAT-204 Introduction to Business Statistics (4) — see Course Descriptions. This may be waived for qualified persons with comparable prior education or experience. Students are required to complete a mathematical boot camp prior to starting the program.

GMAT and GRE scores are not required. Students can choose from two annual start dates: January and August. Applications are accepted and admissions decisions made on a rolling basis.

To complete your application, you must submit the following:

  • Application form
  • Application fee
  • Personal Statement (optional) 
  • Official Transcripts
  • Resume/CV (optional)
  • Letter of Recommendation (optional)
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language
    *for international applicants

Application Requirements   How to Apply

Our online MS in Data Science program curriculum features 6 core courses and the opportunity to select from predesigned tracks in Business Analytics or Specialized Methods, along with a range of electives to personalize your executions and meet your career goals.

Coursework culminates in the Data Science Practicum: Students take on real-world research and application projects proposed by AU campus partners or by external businesses and organizations.

Details can be found on our Program Curriculum page and selected examples at Data Science Student Projects.

With its median base salary of $103,500 nationally and $126,000 in the DC metro area, Data Scientist is consistently ranked near the top for job satisfaction by US News and other sources. There were 30 million job ads for data scientists in the US alone in 2020 — and these numbers continue rising. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 35 percent increase in data science jobs from 2022-2032.

DC offers the nation's highest concentration of data science positions, more than double any state, and unparalleled access to private and public sector opportunities. AU's campus is minutes from industry giants such as Deloitte Consulting, Amazon, and Lockheed Martin. Whether through the Data Science Practicum or less formal connections, our graduates start with a foot in the door, thanks to AU’s relationships with DC-area institutions and our ever-expanding alumni data science network.

  • Accenture
  • Amazon
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Deloitte
  • Federation of American Scientists
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Rural Electric Cooperative Association
  • US Census Bureau, US Department of Labor, US General Services Administration, US Senate, and US House of Representatives

We’re especially proud of our faculty—prominent scholars and real-world professionals at the top of their fields who value mentoring students as much as they value excellence in the classroom. Through their teaching, scholarly achievements and first-hand experience, you’ll gain a special entry point to data science.

Visit our Program Faculty page to learn more about our faculty.

We Bring AU to You

You will experience the AU advantage with small class sizes, real-world experience, and flexible scheduling. You will engage in live seminar-style discussions, where you can enter breakout rooms for smaller discussions with classmates or one-on-one sessions with your professor. Personal attention will be provided throughout your course of study: in coursework, research, intellectual development, and career development. You will gain real world experience for six months of the program tackling data science and analytics problems at organizations around the DMV Area and beyond. Thus, students will be exposed to different research opportunities and internships and be much more competitive for jobs requiring deep understanding of the methods in data science.

See selected Data Science Student Projects.

Learn more about the online student experience at AU.

Class Profile

57 percent Male

43 percent Female

31 percent Non-White

36 percent International Students


The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

Military Education Benefits

American University is dedicated to supporting military service members, veterans, and their families.

As an online student of the Master’s in Data Science program, you can transform your military experience and leadership skills into new career possibilities as you earn your degree, regardless of where you live or are stationed.

We support a full range of military education benefits such as:

  • Post-9/11 GI Bill
  • Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB)
  • Tuition Assistance (TA)
  • Yellow Ribbon Program

Additionally, if you’ve served in any branch of the U.S. military on active duty within the past three years, you’re eligible for an application fee waiver. We accept transfer credits from military coursework, have a dedicated Office of Veterans Services to help connect you to benefits, and maintain an active Veterans Services Support Network.

We welcome you to learn more about our military benefits and how to apply for them.

Gain a Competitive Advantage. Elevate Your Career.

Learn more about how our online program can set you up for career success.


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