Clarkson University Online Master of Science in Data Analytics, New York

Why Clarkson University? 

Clarkson University’s Online Master of Science in Data Analytics is an online data science master’s with a business-oriented twist. Clarkson, a research-intensive small private university in upstate New York, offers the MSDA degree through its well-regarded David D. Reh School of Business. The focus throughout is how to use data analytics and data science to manage and improve business processes.

Applicants are expected to have completed foundation courses in calculus, statistics, and basic programming either as part of their undergraduate degree or through Clarkson’s  Summer Analytics Foundations program offered the summer preceding a student’s first semester in the Master’s program. Students applying to MBA programs who are also interested in data analytics may want to take a look at the Clarkson program, which requests that applicants submit either GMAT or GRE scores. 

Program Snapshot

University Name Clarkson University
Location Potsdam and Schenectady
State New York Grade A-
Name of Degree Master of Science in Data Analytics 
School or Department Administering Program Business
Credits 33
Cost per credit $1,606
Tuition for Entire Program $52,998
Test Requirements GRE/GMAT or a test score waiver
Minimum GPA None indicated
Prerequisite Courses and Skills Foundation courses in calculus, statistics, and basic programming either as part of a Bachelor’s degree or through the Summer Analytics Foundations program offered summer preceding the first Fall semester enrolled.
Campus Visit Required? No
Typical Time to Complete Five semesters
When Can Students Start the Program? Fall
Program Concentrations None
Synchronous classes No
Required Courses
  1. Database Modeling, Design, and Implementation
  2. Probability and Statistics for Analytics
  3. Data Warehousing Information Visualization Data Mining 
  4. Machine Learning
Does the Program Include a Capstone? Yes
Does the program include a practicum or internship? Some capstones could involve intensive fieldwork
Other Features that Make the Program Unique Business focus, structured curriculum
Program Objectives (quoted directly from the program) Upon completion, you will be able to identify, acquire, manage, present, analyze, and interpret large amounts of data in a variety of organizational settings. You’ll learn how to turn big data into smart data, improve operations efficiency, and understand the factors that turn consumers into customers.
Program Description The Clarkson program consists of 33 credits that are completed over five semesters beginning in a Fall semester. A summer foundations program for students without the required quantitative background is also offered. Graduates will be able to identify, acquire, manage, present, analyze, and interpret large amounts of data in a variety of organizational settings. The emphasis is on smart decision-making, efficiency, and attracting customers.  The program requires a capstone project or capstone course. 

What will I Learn?

Students at Clarkson first gain fundamental knowledge of database modeling, design and implementation,  probability and statistics, and data warehousing. They then begin to explore the data they have learned to collect and manage through courses in information visualization, data mining, and machine learning. A choice of electives across domain areas provides an opportunity for specialization. Students then apply their new knowledge and skills in a capstone requirement, which can take the form of either a discussion-based course or a project-based course. In keeping with Clarkson’s overall emphasis on research and development, some capstone projects can require intensive fieldwork. 

How much will the program cost?

 Students finish their degree within five semesters and pay $1606 per credit for a total of 33 credits, or just under $53,000 for the entire degree.

How does the program fit into my life?

In comparison with some other highly-flexible programs, the Clarkson degree offers a greater amount of structure and predictability. Students without the prerequisite coursework will need to set aside time during the summer to complete the Summer Foundations Program prior to beginning the degree. Students then usually complete this 100% online degree over five semesters: Fall – Spring – Summer – Fall – Spring. Although the program does not require visits to campus, the more “lockstep” curriculum design combined with Clarkson’s academic rigor means that students will have little time for other activities beyond school and work during the duration of the program.


Students with aspirations to combine data savvy with business acumen are perfect students for the MSDA at Clarkson. Applicants should be academically motivated and committed to a fairly restricted amount of choice in their program, and in return, will reap the benefits of a structured program that promotes teamwork, rapport among class members, and the development of professional skills.