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Master of Science in Data Science

Ready or not, we are living in a data-driven world. Every sector in our global economy is using data to make better management and policy decisions. In fact, Forbes and Glassdoor ranked Data Scientist as the number one job in America for the last four years with a median base salary of $120,931. By 2020, it is predicted that there will be a 28% increase in data science jobs.

Data scientists have leadership roles in business, e-commerce, energy, entertainment, manufacturing, media, science, security, telecommunications, and politics. In government, data scientists inform policy decisions. In public health, data scientists detect disease outbreaks. In finance, big data is analyzed to determine risk and make economic projections. Environmental scientists use data science to understand the impact of human activity on the planet. And in business, data scientists help improve efficiency and increase sales.

Across public, private, and nonprofit sectors, big data is making a big difference. Those with the right skills will lead this change. American University's MS in Data Science offers students these skills through a diverse set of courses in a flexible, innovative learning space that takes full advantage of the Washington, DC, location.

Program tracks for this degree include:

  • Applied Public Affairs
  • Business Analytics
  • Computer Science
  • Cybersecurity
  • Environmental Science
  • Finance
  • International Economic Relations
  • Investigative Journalism
  • Microeconomic Analysis

This degree program is jointly administered by the AU School of Public Affairs and College of Arts and Sciences. During coursework, you'll learn statistical methods and programming, regression, statistical machine learning, and political analysis. If you're interested in this program, please email

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American University’s MS in Data Science prepares students to acquire, process, analyze, and present complex data. Students will master both the theoretical knowledge and practical skills used by data scientists in academia, industry, and government. Core courses such as Statistical Machine Learning, Data Science, and Statistical Programming in R will train students to clean, process, visualize, and archive modern datasets, including text, imagery, and biometric data, apply machine learning algorithms to real data, and use the mathematical and statistical language of data scientists. Each student will choose an applied field in which they will analyze data and explain the associated issues in that field, culminating in the final semester capstone experience, DATA-793 Practicum, working directly with faculty and other researchers' ongoing projects.

Learn more about the Data Science program outcomes and graduation data.

Knowledgeable Faculty Dedicated to Your Success

Courses are taught by the same knowledgeable, innovative, and widely published professors who teach our master of arts, master of science, and undergraduate courses. You will learn the theories of data science and practical skills from respected experts in the field: Data Science Faculty.

Work, study, and make a difference in the nation's capital

Consistently ranked as one of the best cities for job seekers, Washington, DC, offers data scientists unparalleled access to private– and public–sector opportunities. AU's campus is minutes from industry giants such as  Deloitte Consulting, Amazon, Booz Allen Hamilton, National Institutes of Health, BNY Mellon, Cambridge Associates, Lockheed Martin, and the Peace Corps. Our graduates start with a foot in the door, thanks to the university's institutional relationships with government agencies, locally-based companies, and nonprofit organizations.

Respected Positions in a Growing Field

Data scientists use their skills to find critical patterns and link them to business goals. They provide  employers with such valuable insights. As a result, demand for data scientists is growing in nearly every sector. Data scientists are highly sought after and well paid. In this program, you will develop the skills to visualize and analyze data in any field. There are limitless applications for the skills you will gain from an MS in Data Science.


The program is open to all students with a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution that have a cumulative grade point average of at least a 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale). Students without sufficient mathematical background as determined by the program directors may be required to complete a mathematical boot camp prior to starting the program.

You can find information about application deadlines here.

Start your application to the MS in Data Science. If you have any questions please email

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Center for Data Science

Supporting research in the production, analysis, and storage of 21st Century data types.

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