DePaul University Online Master of Science in Data Science, Illinois

Why DePaul University? 

If you are skeptical about the online degree experience because you fear you may be missing out on priceless classroom interactions, the DePaul University Master of Science in Data Science offers you an intriguing program option. Whereas in most online programs, the instructor creates video lectures (often screencasts or slide decks) prepared only for online students, at DePaul, online and on-campus students view the same classroom-based lectures. Campus classes are video recorded, alongside any demonstrations using the class whiteboard or other tools, and these videos are posted online within 2 hours of the end of each class and made available on-demand to online students.

DePaul, a large Catholic university in Chicago, Illinois, expects applicants to have completed calculus coursework and does not require standardized test results.  The university is home to an active research community in the area of data science, centered around the Visual Informatics and Data Analytics Group, and the Center for Data Science at DePaul. In keeping with the university’s status as a research-intensive sizeable urban university, students participate in hands-on research experiences throughout the program using real-world data sets. Students may choose to complete a research thesis as part of the degree.

Program Snapshot

University Name DePaul University
Location Chicago
State Illinois Grade A-
Name of Degree Master of Science in Data Science 
School or Department Administering Program Computer Science
Credits Fifty-two quarter credits, which is equivalent to approximately 35 semester credits.
Cost per credit $865
Tuition for Entire Program $44,980
Test Requirements TOEFL if applicable
Minimum GPA 3.00
Prerequisite Courses and Skills Calculus I and Calculus II with At least B average (waiver possible with extensive work experience in analytics)
Campus Visit Required? No
Typical Time to Complete Two years
When Can Students Start the Program? Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Program Concentrations
  • Computational Methods
  • Health Care
  • Hospitality
  • Marketing
Synchronous classes No
Required Courses
  • Statistics and Data Analysis
  • Tools and Techniques for Computational Analysis
  • Introduction to Programming
  • Database Processing for Large-Scale Analytics
  • Data Analysis and Regression
  • Advanced Data Analysis
  • Python Programming
  • Fundamentals of Data Science
  • One of Data Visualization — Social Network Analysis — Intelligent Information Retrieval
Does the Program Include a Capstone? Yes
Does the program include a practicum or internship? No
Other Features that Make the Program Unique
  • Course lectures in online courses are the in-person classes at DePaul that are recorded (with a whiteboard, etc.) and posted online within 2 hours
  • Optional thesis
  • Independent study course possible
  • Active research community
  • Interesting concentrations
Program Objectives  Manage and analyze complex data, develop data science models to support decision making, and effectively communicate analytical results to a non-technical audience
Program Description Consisting of 35 credits, this program requires all students to take nine required courses covering data management and acquisition, modeling, and communicating results. Students can choose from four concentrations: Computational Methods, Health Care, Hospitality, and Marketing. A thesis is optional, and students can pursue an independent study course if desired.

What will I Learn?

Students at DePaul learn to manage and analyze complex data, develop data science models to support decision making, effectively communicate their results to a non-technical audience. Required courses introduce fundamental theory and practical skills in data management, statistics, modeling, programming in Python, visualization, information retrieval, and social networking analysis.

The DePaul program stands apart from other similar programs because, in addition to learning core skills, students can delve deeply into the application of these skills to study the application of data science to Marketing, Hospitality, or Health Care. Students interested in furthering their programming and modeling knowledge to apply to any domain can choose the Computational Methods concentration.  Students have access to a range of elective courses across many subject areas, drawing on the academic richness of the DePaul research community.

How much will the program cost?

 Students finish their degree within two years and pay $865  per credit for a total of 52 credits, or just under $45,000  for the entire degree.

How does the program fit into my life?

Using a quarter system, DePaul offers start dates for the program four times a year, in Fall, Spring, Summer, and Winter Quarters. This model allows students to focus in-depth on subjects during intensive ten-week courses. As mentioned above, all course materials are on-demand, but the lectures are videotaped weekly on the DePaul campus in the on-campus versions of the same classes. Online students can participate in extracurricular interest groups and learn from the active research community at DePaul, so time investment in the degree (and its value) may extend beyond the material covered in coursework. 


Providing an innovative model where online students and on-campus students closely share course material, thanks to videotaped lectures, the DePaul online program will attract aspiring Data Scientists.  Students participate in an active community and have access to a broad range of elective courses and unique concentrations in health care, hospitality, and marketing. Students looking for a low-cost option may wish to take a pass.