Tall buildings in Philadelphia with Drexel University sign

Drexel University Online Master of Science in Data Science

Why Drexel University? 

If you would like to learn the fundamentals of data science from instructors at a research-intensive urban university, the Drexel University Online Master of Science in Data Science may be your next step on the path towards becoming a data scientist. Drexel is home to the National Science Foundation’s primary Big Data Industry-University Cooperative Research Center (IUCRC), the Center for Visualization and Decision Informatics. 

 Students can also combine their Data Science degree with another degree in informatics and technology to obtain a dual degree from this respected university.  Applicants can expect to be challenged throughout the program. Still, it is possible to be admitted without an undergraduate degree in computer science, and no standardized test scores are required of domestic applicants.  Those without a CS degree or equivalent work experience may have to complete additional prerequisite courses before they embark on their Master’s degree journey at Drexel.  

Program Snapshot

University Name Drexel University
Location Philadelphia
State Pennsylvania
Niche.com Grade A-
Name of Degree Master of Science in Data Science
School or Department Administering Program College of Computing and Informatics
Credits 45 quarter credits, equivalent to 30 semester credits
Cost per credit $1,342
Tuition for Entire Program $60,390
Test Requirements TOEFL if applicable
Minimum GPA 3.00
Prerequisite Courses and Skills Those without a degree or work experience in computer science may have to complete additional prerequisite courses
Campus Visit Required? No
Typical Time to Complete Two years
When Can Students Start the Program? Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer
Program Concentrations
  • Analytics, Mining, and Algorithms
  • Visualization and Communication
  • Management and Accountability
Synchronous classes May have some synchronous sessions but mostly asynchronous
Required Courses
  • Data Acquisition and Pre-Processing
  • Data Analysis and Interpretation
  • Data Science Capstone I
  • Data Science Capstone II 
Does the Program Include a Capstone? Yes
Does the program include a practicum or internship? No
Other Features that Make the Program Unique Can do dual-degree option with another computing and informatics graduate program — National Science Foundation’s primary big data Industry-University Cooperative Research Center (IUCRC), the Center for Visualization and Decision Informatics. In addition to learning from CCI faculty, you’ll have the opportunity to take classes throughout Drexel’s colleges.
Program Objectives (quoted directly from the program) Throughout your courses, you’ll learn to manipulate and summarize data; dig deeper into data and text mining; determine trends, and craft your findings into a story that can be clearly communicated to your organization.
Program Description The 45-credit online Master of Science in Data Science from Drexel University teaches students to manipulate and summarize data, perform text and data mining, determine trends, and tell a clear story about your findings. All students take two required introductory courses and two required capstone courses and choose from among three concentrations: Analytics, Mining, and Algorithms, Visualization and Communication, and Management and Accountability.

What will I Learn?

The Drexel Master’s of Science in Data Science requires all students to complete two introductory courses that cover data acquisition, pre-processing, analytics, and interpretation. Students can then choose between 3 concentrations: Analytics, Mining and Algorithms, Visualization and Communication, and Management and Accountability. All students then complete two capstone courses. Within the Analytics, Mining, and Algorithms concentration, students extend their skills in programming, modeling, and machine learning. Visualization and Communications students can delve deeper into human-computer interaction, software design, and information systems management. The Management and Accountability concentration offers students courses in database design and management, privacy, information assurance, and security.

A vital feature of the Drexel curriculum is the fact that students can take several electives offered outside of the core program, drawing on the riches of Drexel’s large faculty and many degree programs in computer science, information systems, engineering, and other fields. The whole curriculum aims to teach students to manipulate and summarize data, dig deeper into data and text mining, determine trends, and craft their findings into a compelling story.

How much will the program cost?

Students finish their degree within two years and pay $1342 per quarter credit for a total of 45 credits, or just over $60,000 for the entire degree.

How does the program fit into my life?

Because Drexel operates on the quarter system rather than the more common semester system, students can choose one of four start dates every year: Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer. Courses are ten weeks long, allowing students to complete more courses per year, even if they choose to take the Summer semester off. Most courses are asynchronous, meaning that material is posted online in weekly modules, and students are expected to watch lectures, complete assignments, and participate in the discussion on their schedule. However, some courses may require synchronous sessions where all students must log in to the course space at a dedicated time. 

Summary

Although the cost of the Drexel program is high compared to many other online MS Data Science programs, the program offers high value in terms of academic rigor, university reputation, and especially flexibility and customizability. Students who wish to explore subject areas complementing the core activities of data acquisition, processing, analytics, and communication will find a wealth of elective courses at Drexel. Partnerships with nationally renowned campus researchers offer great potential for acquiring hands-on experience and valuable networking relationships.