Northcentral University Online Master of Science in Data Science, California

Why Northcentral University?

The online Master of Science in Data Science offered by Northcentral University prepares students for data science roles across a range of organizations through a highly flexible course delivery model and comprehensive curriculum.  Northcentral University is a private, online graduate-focused university in San Diego, California, aimed at supporting adult and non-traditional learners.  Accessibility and educational flexibility is a primary aim of the university, and this is reflected in graduate admissions requirements. Applicants must hold an undergraduate degree, but no test scores, prerequisite courses, or minimum GPA are required.

Program Snapshot

University Name North Central University
Location San Diego
State California Grade Not rated
Name of Degree Master of Science in Data Science
School or Department Administering Program School of Technology
Credits 30
Cost per credit $1,014.00
Tuition for Entire Program $30,420
Test Requirements None
Minimum GPA None indicated
Prerequisite Courses and Skill None
Campus Visit Required? No
Typical Time to Complete 23 months
When Can Students Start the Program? Every week
Program Concentrations None
Synchronous Classes No
Required Courses All courses are required courses:

  • Principles of Data Science
  • Quantitative Research Design
  • Databases & Business Intelligence
  • Big Data Integration
  • Data Mining
  • Quantitative Methods for Data Analytics and Business Intelligence
  • Inferential Statistics and Predictive Analysis
  • Critical Analysis, Interpreting and Reporting Data
  • Data Visualization
  • Strategic Management of Data, Information, and Knowledge for Data Science
Does the Program Include a Capstone? Yes
Does the Program Include a Practicum or Internship? No
Other Features that Make the Program Unique
  • Online-only university
  • Accessible admissions
Program Objectives (quoted directly from the program)
  • Evaluate an organization’s potential for improvement in data management
  • Explain concepts and arguments associated with data science
  • Manage legal, ethical, and security risks of information systems
  • Evaluate the scope and impact of emerging data science concepts on a local and global scale
  • Formulate solutions to practical problems in data management
Program Description This 30-credit program is focused on formulating solutions to practical problems. Data management is emphasized throughout. Students learn to explain concepts and arguments associated with data science, manage legal, ethical, and security risks of information systems, and evaluate the scope and impact of emerging data science concepts on a local and global scale. 

What will I Learn?

The Northcentral University program is built on a “lockstep” model in which all students take the same courses. The emphasis is on solving real-world problems and communicating about data science with a range of stakeholders.  Skills of evaluation, assessing, and explaining are important objectives.

Foundational concepts are taught in Principles of Data Science and Quantitative Research Design. Data management skills are covered in Databases & Business Intelligence and Strategic Management of Data, Information, and Knowledge for Data Science. Industry-standard techniques are taught in Big Data Integration, Data Mining, and Data Visualization. Students delve more deeply into analytic methods in Quantitative Methods for Data Analytics and Business Intelligence, and Inferential Statistics and Predictive Analysis. Students learn to communicate about results to a range of audiences in Critical Analysis, Interpreting, and Reporting Data.

How much will the program cost?

Students finish their degree within 23 months and pay $1,014.00 per credit for a total of 30 credits, or just over $30,000.

How does the program fit into my life?

All courses are asynchronous, meaning that instructors create learning materials such as lectures, activities, quizzes, assignments, and group discussions in weekly modules, and students are responsible for completing the module on their own schedule within the given week.  All weekly modules begin on Mondays. The program can be completed in 23 months, but the university is quite flexible in terms of timelines. The online portal used for all classes includes not just coursework components but also academic advising, library resources, and academic support, helping to make the transition to online learning as smooth as possible.


Students who have less academic preparation may find the degree more welcoming than some other programs. Students who already have extensive experience or prior graduate degrees are likely to find the Northcentral program, particularly the required 2-credit study skills course, to be less relevant to their needs. The university is focused on educating working adults and other non-traditional students, so applicants can expect that staff and instructors will be familiar with the challenges of balancing work, family, and academic obligations. The program emphasizes communication, evaluation, and assessment, so it is likely more suited to individuals looking for managerial roles rather than technical roles in data science.