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10 Best Online Master’s Programs in Statistics

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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle once wrote: “While the individual man is an insoluble puzzle, in the aggregate he becomes a mathematical certainty. You can, for example, never foretell what any one man will be up to, but you can say with precision what an average number will be up to. Individuals vary, but percentages remain constant.” 

Below the surface of virtually everything we see and do in our lives are complex sets of data. It touches on business aspects of our lives just as much as social aspects. As we computerize our world even more, it only elevates the amount of data collected on any given topic. Your very birth, every time you fall ill, every time you get into a car, and every ounce of water you use in your home all enter some sort of matrix of statistical data sets with which analysts and statisticians uncover the intricacies of our world.

This data, when presented in layman’s terms, is fascinating. However, it takes a sharp set of skills to analyze the immensity of numbers and translate it into something more meaningful and that’s where our list of the best online Master’s in Statistics comes in handy. 

Individuals attracted to a career in statistics are particularly adept in math, especially calculus, linear algebra, and probability. Roles in statistics use this base knowledge and Hadoop software utilities to look at various sets of data concurrently. Plenty of additional data languages are also essential aspects of these roles, including SAS, R, C/C++, Perl, and Java.

There’s a lot to learn, and it all starts with your degree. A bachelor’s degree can set the stage for this type of knowledge and training. You can get a bachelor’s in any topic within the framework of statistics, but many students earn their bachelor’s in economics, business analysis, or calculus. The key is to create the strong basis in mathematics that is necessary to advance to the master’s level. 

A Master’s in Statistics can help you take these mathematical understandings and present them on a bigger stage. A good example is the annual World Health Statistics report, presented by the World Health Organization, which offers valuable insights into the status of health across the globe. It takes a granular look into birth rates, death expectancy, global health trends, sustainable development goals, and a constructive look at a way forward. 

WHO is a globally recognized organization, but there are plenty more opportunities for master’s level statisticians. Careers within research, academia, sports, environmental research, government, health care, and manufacturing are all open to those with a statistics education.

Statisticians help organizations optimize effectiveness and profitability. These professionals are essential to nearly every industry. A 2012 article in the The Harvard Business Review by Thomas H. Davenport and D.J. Patil recalls the moment just three years prior when Google exec Hal Varian dubbed data science (and statisticians specifically) as the “Sexiest Job of the 21st Century.” Davenport and Patil succinctly quantified these roles in a similarly attractive way by stating: “More than anything, what data scientists do is make discoveries while swimming in data.”

If you’ve already earned an undergraduate degree (extra points if you minored or specialized in statistics), the next step is to take the high dive with a Master’s in Statistics. Luckily, and somewhat ironically, you can achieve this feat online.

COMMON APPLICATION AND ADMISSION QUESTIONS

Although admissions processes vary by institution, you can more or less expect some definitive aspects when you apply for a master’s program in statistics. For one, you’ll need to have completed a bachelor’s degree in a related field. Commonly, undergraduate programs in physics, mathematics, IT, or computer science fit the bill for a master’s program in statistics.

A bachelor’s degree in any of these topics is the first box that should be ticked when you face an admissions committee. From there, you’ll likely have to present a transcript, which breaks down the individual courses you worked through during your undergraduate education. It proves that you are, without a doubt, well-prepared for the rigors of mathematics and big data analysis. 

Calculus and linear algebra, for example, are two staple prerequisites for virtually any statistics program. The completion of these courses illustrates to a prospective college that you have the base knowledge needed to move into more advanced concepts.

Since this is master’s level work, some colleges also expect you to be in a master’s level of life, meaning you have achieved some sort of professional experience. Having a role in the field means you already have a strong base knowledge to perform professionally. A master’s will only enhance your existing skills. 

If you don’t happen to have an undergraduate degree in a statistics-related field but want to get in on the need for data scientists, you have some work to do. You simply need this math and science foundation to prepare for the mountain of data you will encounter in any role. College math and data programming courses are essential to gear your mind toward the more advanced topics of a master’s program. Calculus, probability, and linear algebra are must-haves for the application process.

For online master’s programs, the admission process might look a little different. For one, you won’t report to campus. As such, it’s unlikely that many programs will call for an interview. 

Classroom experience is the only area that helps prove your potential. Your Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores provide universities with another display of your competencies. 

Other materials you’ll likely have to prepare include a statement of purpose and letters of recommendation. Your statement of purpose should touch on a few key topics: long- and short-term career goals, professional development strategy, and passion for the field. 

Letters of recommendation can come from previous professors, internship supervisors, or other reputable voices for your competencies as a student. These recommendations can touch on instances of motivation, achievements, work experience, and your vision for success once admitted to the program.

WHAT ABOUT FINANCIAL AID & SCHOLARSHIPS?

Finding the time to obtain a Master’s is one thing; finding the money is entirely another. The good news is that even online degrees offer opportunities to apply for financial aid and scholarships.

Possibly one of the biggest blessings of online master’s degrees is that many of them afford out-of-state students the same tuition as in-state students. However, don’t fall into the trap of thinking this is standard. Many programs still cater to their home-state students and ask out-of-state students to pick up a bulkier tab.

Step one for most any graduate application is to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA also offers Federal Work-Study. These jobs can be done on- or off-campus—an important aspect of a distance learning program—and help you chip away at some of the tuition and fees.

In some cases, the pace at which you learn can affect how much aid you receive. The beauty of earning an online degree is that, in many cases, you can go at your own pace. However, you may have to learn full time to earn full support.

For master’s-level students, these two solutions may present bigger problems. At this stage in your career—and your life—you may not have time in your schedule for a full-time workload or additional part-time job. In these cases, you can turn to scholarships, which offer you a reward for your educational commitment and achievements to put toward beginning another. 

If you have a program in mind, you can always search their internal database for scholarship opportunities. Arizona State University, for example, has a built-in scholarship database you can search for degree-specific awards.

Even outside of a specific school, your specific qualifications may entitle you to apply for Merit Aid Scholarships. These scholarships often involve submitting an essay, much like your statement of purpose, to an organization that’s willing to help. Some notable ones within Data Science include the Gertrude M. Cox Scholarship for women in statistics, the Mary G. and Joseph Natrella Scholarship, the Richard A. Freund International Scholarship, the Milliman Opportunity Scholarship Fund, the MinneAnalytics Data Science Scholarship, and the Acxiom Corporation Diversity Scholarship.

American universities are also indebted to servicemen and women, and it’s common to come across military scholarships. These scholarships, like the Mizzou Online Military Tuition Award are a way of saying thank you. They reduce the cost of tuition by a percentage so long as you meet the requirements and remain in good academic standing.

HOW MUCH CAN I MAKE WITH A MASTER’S IN STATISTICS? 

The fact of the matter is, our world is becoming increasingly digitized. There are sets of data from decades past combined with a tidal wave of new data points that need to be put to use. The fields of research, academia, sports, environment, government, healthcare, manufacturing, insurance, and almost anything else you can think of are looking for professionals with this skill set today. The Bureau of Labor Statistics charts industry growth at 30%—much faster than the average for any field. 

The BLS is not the only one with their fingers on the pulse of this trajectory. Forbes anticipates close to 700,000 roles for data scientists, developers, and engineers open and ready to be filled across the country this year. 

This is great news on many levels. As the annual demand for data statisticians rises, so does the earning potential for incoming professionals. BLS pins the median salary of mathematicians and statisticians at $88,190 per year, with the top 10% of professionals earning $140,000. And this is just an estimate for the broad spectrum of math and stat professionals. When you consider related fields, like actuaries, the median salary sits above the line of six-digits with the top 10% earning close to $200,000 a year. That’s not a bad check when you consider that statistician is considered the second-best job to have behind software developer, and the #1 Best Business job. Mathematicians are in second place, according to the U.S. News and World Report.

Of course, career opportunities are broad and exist in every state. Statisticians are most widely employed in California, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Texas, with Colorado and Washington DC offering high concentrations of opportunities. This data doesn’t need an analyst to figure out one very striking conclusion: In states big or small, there is a high demand for these roles.

When it comes to earning potential, the tune changes slightly. The states with the highest annual median wage are Massachusetts, Washington DC, Maryland, Idaho, and New Jersey. 

You can also obtain careers as a software developer, database administrator, computer network architect, and information security analyst with a Master’s in Statistics. These roles offer an equally promising job placement and earning potential. Software developers, on average, make $50 an hour, or $105,590 annually, and these roles are expected to grow quickly and steadily. 

Computer network architects fall in the same range, although with a much lower projection for overall career growth. Database administrators make slightly less on average, but also have a higher job outlook than the average industry. If earning and job potential are your top priorities, a role as an information security analyst is among the most promising, with a 32% job growth outlook and a median salary of $100,000.

Being a top applicant in any of these roles begins with one of the best online master’s programs in statistics.

WHAT ARE THE BEST ONLINE MASTER’S PROGRAMS IN STATISTICS?

We know that you have educational goals you’re itching to pursue, but you may not know where to start. The editors of Master’s Programs Guide utilize a unique ranking methodology based on the following three aspects:

40% Potential Salary After Graduation: Average mid-career salary of school alumni 

30% Institutional Accreditation: Regional and national accreditation for the 2019-2020 school year 

30% Overall Degree Affordability: Average cost of undergraduate and graduate tuition per school

At Master’s Programs Guide, we strive to do our best to guide you and your family toward a fruitful academic career. The pursuit of knowledge is a noble one, and we want to help you reach your goals. For questions, comments, badge downloads, or data corrections, please feel free to reach out to us at editor@collegerank.net.

Check out our ranking of the 10 Best Online Master’s Programs in Statistics! 

#1. Texas A&M-College Station

Master of Science in Statistics

Texas A&M has a rich history on the front lines of innovation, having secured the state’s only land, sea, and space grant. This public research university also boasts one of the largest student bodies in Texas. The Wall Street Journal touts Texas A&M as one of the “most likely to help students land a job in key careers and professions.” Given what we know about careers in statistics and mathematics, it’s safe to say the online Master of Science in Statistics is a strong program to consider for data-mining prospects. 

This program is one of the most flexible, even as an online option. Start dates occur every semester, and there is no need to report to campus. This flexibility enables you to hold a job while you receive the same education as students who report to campus. The curriculum also offers the same resources and opportunities for on- and off-campus learners. Even the pre-recorded lessons provide live Q&A sessions. 

Need to meet with an advisor? You can access office hours online, and have a face-to-face conversation from a distance. There’s also the opportunity to get real-world experience through applicable coursework. The Consulting Course will present you with a client who has a statistical issue that needs solving, creating a professional practice experience. 

This program isn’t presented on one track, and there are plenty of opportunities to gear your degree toward your own interests. The degree plan maps out your own unique goals within the framework of four universal requirements: required courses, emphasis courses, electives, and a final project. This is a non-thesis program, using the final project in place of a dissertation. 

One other requirement of the program is the Diagnostic Exam. You are unable to receive your degree without passing it. This exam assesses your basic statistical understanding after successfully passing five statistics courses, including R/SAS Introduction, Mathematical Statistics, and two levels of Methods of Statistics. 

You can take electives in Bioinformatics, Data Mining, Bayesian Methods, and Time Series, among others. Emphasis courses don’t move outside of the major’s core, and include Biostats, Business Analytics, and Applied courses. Your true unique abilities shine through the final project, which involves developing yourself as an enabled professional with written and verbal skills for analyzing data and presenting your findings.

Should you decide you don’t have time for the full master’s program, or if you already have a degree and want to supplement your knowledge, you can still earn a Texas A&M Applied Statistics Certificate. This certificate requires 12 semester credits. Instead of a final project, you’ll present a five- to ten-page data analysis report. Applied Statistics courses in Calculus, Biostatistics, and SAS are suggested. 

#2. North Carolina State University at Raleigh

Master of Statistics

For some, North Carolina State is recognizable as the alma mater of athletes like Cullen Jones and Russell Wilson. For others, politicians like Jim Hunt, John Edwards, and Robert Gibbs may come to mind. For the data-minded, it’s impressive to note that CEO and co-founder of SAS Institute, James Goodnight, was once part of the Wolfpack. He, along with fellow NC State alumni Anthony James Barr, John Sall, and Jane Helwig, began on the track of a 3.27 billion dollar company while they were still students. Why can’t the same opportunity be afforded to you?

The online Master of Statistics program teaches you to be well-versed in methodology, programming language, and effective communication. It is delivered through pre-recorded courses with live-streaming presentations. Regardless of whether you are on- or off-campus, the courses are exactly the same. The only minor set-back is in the electives, some of which are restricted to students on campus. 

Otherwise, the core is the same: Statistical consulting, methods, and theory are all part of the core requirements. You’ll also learn some pertinent computer skills to process, analyze, and distribute large quantities of data through the industry standard of statistical practice (and close-to-home organization), SAS.

SAS, unsurprisingly, is part of many different courses in this program. Even when you learn Bayesian Analysis (related statistical inference) and statistics for management and social science, SAS is used. Some other software languages like R and SQL are also used throughout the program—though minimal prior exposure is necessary to take those courses.  

Electives offer you the chance to dive into the concepts that interest you most. Your options include Applied Time Series, Applied Bayesian Analysis, Statistical Programming in SAS, Data Science for Statisticians, Statistical Reasoning with Big Data, and Data Mining with SAS Enterprise Miner.

To get the most out of your courses, there is always a teaching assistant available to offer help. Faculty members also hold specific office hours for you to schedule time to talk about whatever you need.

The application process for this program requires a personal statement, transcript, and prior coursework in calculus and linear algebra, but GRE scores aren’t mandatory. At this time, only North American-based students can apply. Though it is an online program, in-state and out-of-state tuition rates apply. Still, this program remains the #2 Top Public University in the state by Niche.

The program allows you to work at your own pace in your own space. If you take even one course per semester, you can complete the 30 required credit hours of the program in less than four years. However, should your life have other priorities—be it work, family, or travel—you can take up to six years to arrive at the finish line.

#3. University Of Maryland Global Campus

Master’s in Data Analytics

The University of Maryland at University College is one of U.S. News and World Report’s 20 Most Innovative Schools, and it’s easy to see why. Just this past year, the school moved from University College to Global Campus, inspiring a renewed belief in boundless education. The name “University College” was meant to signify flexibility for students with time, location, and affordability. Now that it’s known as a Global Campus, it’s bringing even more opportunities for students around the globe to participate in their education. They factor in the lack of campus fees, and offer the second-lowest tuition in the state.

Practical skills, business intelligence, data management, and hands-on experience are just a few choice avenues that lead to a Master’s in Data Analytics. The goal of this program is to transform you into a marketable professional who can visualize and translate data to influence business outcomes. In fact, the designers tapped industry experts and leading employers for insights into what makes a graduate student best fit for the workplace, and used this information to create the program. 

You’ll learn the language of programming so that you can then translate it into plain language for others to use. You’ll learn to mine, clean, and transform data, and then create your own program in your own chosen industry. You’ll also learn how to think ahead of computers by evaluating the accuracy of predictive technology. And you’ll do it all on your own time. 

Keeping in line with the global mentality, all courses are offered online. Courses aren’t presented within strict time slots. Instead, you can access the material when the time is right for you. If you prefer the classroom experience, the opportunity is also there, and not just for students living in Maryland: Hybrid classes are taught in over 20 locations around the country, with several locations in Hawaii, California, Texas, and New York. 

You also won’t have to wait for predetermined start dates. Admissions occurs on a rolling basis, so you can start when the time is right for you. Open Educational Resources (OERs) swap expensive and cumbersome textbooks for online educational content, providing a wholly digitized curriculum. 

The full program involves 36 credits, 30 of which are core coursework and 6 devoted to the capstone. Core work is completed sequentially, beginning with Decision Management Systems, Data Management and Visualization, and Machine Learning. It ends with Predictive Modeling and Big Data Analytics. Each course is worth 6 credits. The final capstone serves to integrate this knowledge into an analytics experience. You’ll display your skills through a final report and presentation. 

To enter the program, you must have a background in statistics and computer programming. You must also provide a transcript or an industry certification, confirming you’re well-prepared to meet and succeed in all program requirements.

#4. Arizona State University

Master of Science in Data Analytics 

Build your tool kit to join one of the fastest growing industries from a university renowned for innovation. Arizona State University is one of the first names in online degree programs. As such, it has been deemed U.S. News and World Report’s Most Innovative University, before Stanford and MIT, for three years running. 

The Online Business Data Analytics Program, specifically, is ranked in the top ten online MBAs by the Princeton Review, and came in at #6 on the U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of online graduate business programs and online MBAs. It also ranked third for online graduate business programs for veterans. 

For all that this school has in accolades, it also has in numbers. The W.P. Carey School of Business boasts 1,800 graduate students and roughly 300 faculty members, making it one of the largest programs in the country. This also translates into a large alumni network of roughly 60,000 graduates globally. 

The program consists of a total of 11 classes, each five weeks in length, totaling 30 credit hours. You can take one course at a time, balancing other work and life fulfillments as you work toward your degree. The 24 core credit hours cover Enterprise Analytics, Data Mining, Business Analytics Strategy, Data-Driven Quality Management, and Analytical Decision Modeling. It’s important to have a base knowledge of calculus, statistics, and coding to be successful in this program.

The application process includes transcripts that detail your past experiences in collegiate-level math, which is necessary to move into other roles. This program also calls for GMAT or GRE test scores. It only requires one letter of recommendation and a current resume, which ideally detail your experience within the field and your readiness for academic progression. In place of a purpose statement, you’ll submit short-answer question responses. You may also need to submit proof of english proficiency, if necessary.

Coming out of the program, it’s common for graduates to pursue data analyst roles. There are also other opportunities, including data analysts and managers, IT specialists, and network security analysts. It’s also common for graduates of this program to enter roles as Business Intelligence Analysts, Online Merchant, Marketing Manager, and Business Operations. 

Part of ASU’s innovation comes from recognizing the rise of data analysts. Their online program in MS Program Evaluation and Data Analytics accepts students outside of a STEM background. The purpose is to create managers and leaders who can access and interpret data to improve the performance of any organization.

#5. University of Houston

Master of Science in Statistics and Data Analysis (MSDS)

The University of Houston offers a Master of Science in Statistics and Data Analysis that helps you achieve degree quickly. The program is designed for STEM students who hope to enter professional roles in data science and statistics. You’ll build on foundational skills as you push into more advanced level principles, including statistical inference, and improve your overall programming ability. Some sort of literacy in program language, R, SAS, Matlab, Python, is advised, although not a concrete necessity. It’s also important to be prepared for the program with calculus and linear algebra courses as prerequisites.

It isn’t all classwork. There are also plenty of opportunities to get into the meat of industrial, commercial, or biomedical careers through research internships.

The format is blended, calling for some on-campus courses but many offered online. In total, you’ll complete 30 credit hours spanning the course of one year, inclusive of a summer semester. To achieve these requirements within this timeframe, the program is held full-time and calls for four courses (three credits each) in fall and spring. The final six credits take place in the summer session. 

The first fall semester Statistical Learning and Data Mining, Linear Models and Design of Experiments, Probability Models and Statistical Computing. Your options for electives might include: Topics in Financial Machine Learning or Programming Foundation for Data Analytics. This semester helps to familiarize you with the Python and R programming languages, machine learning, and analysis of financial and economic data.

The spring semester builds on this base knowledge, but cranks up the heat and moves into more hands-on approach of applicable knowledge. Probability Statistics II and Information Visualization are both hybrid courses. Deep Learning and Artificial Neural Networks, uses R programming language and explores pathways of data classification and prediction. Genome Data Analysis also uses R programming language and builds on linear algebra and statistics. Information Visualization teaches design strategies, and exploratory tools to represent complex data. Applied Statistics and Multivariate Analysis practices linear and loglinear models and hypothesis testing.

You may also choose two of three elective courses in: Data Clustering and Machine Learning Biomedical Data Analysis, which goes further into linear algebra and statistics; (syllabus), Case Studies in Data Science, which helps to explore techniques for visualizing data. 

The final semester is the most hands-on. It’s organized to be taken in summer and presents the final course in Big Data Analytics, which is taken in part on campus. The very last stage of the program is referred to as the “Master’s Tutorial,” and is an internship in function. This internship is where you can truly farm your knowledge and interests. It’s the time for you to study a real-world problem related to your own professional work. 

Admissions calls for all of the normally required materials, and then some. UH asks for three letters of recommendation, a resume, and a personal statement. For all that this program has to offer, it’s also quite affordable.

#6. University of Idaho

Master in Statistical Science

Uncovering truth in sets of data is the role of a statistician, and the University of Idaho is a great place to become a force of truth to be reckoned with. In fact, one of their most infamous alumni hid under a guide for decades after dismantling a particularly scandalous presidential event you may recognize as “Watergate.” Mark Felt, better known as Deep Throat, himself, was one of U of I’s vandals. 

Today, the university maintains a coolly low profile while still being the home of a Division I basketball team and top-notch education programs. The Master of Science in Statistical Science is an example of this strong education with flexible access.

The Master Statistical Science is presented online. It’s designed for students who have a knack for unearthing influential data and want to pursue a career in statistics. These types of degrees, of course, don’t follow a single track, but open up opportunities within industry, business, agriculture, government, or biomedical fields, among others. No matter where you choose to take it, you’ll leave this program with a strong understanding of the fundamentals of statistics and the techniques to properly practice it.

This program provides flexibility in other check-points of your professional life, even while you’re still at school. In short, it allows you to choose how you want to end. This end-goal can either be a thesis or non-thesis track. Even if you choose the non-thesis track, there will still be some sort of capstone requirement. In this case, it’s an internship. The internship requirements 8 weeks of hands-on work. Each week, you’ll be tasked with logging reports that will eventually aid in the final summary report. This summary will be presented for supervisor evaluation. This report helps you to gain familiarity with industry roles. It encourages its students to find people to engage with while on the job, log daily to help keep on top of the most valuable insights, and take pictures that can be used for a later portfolio.

Both tracks still involve 30 credits. The core work is presented predominantly through 3-credit courses, with one single credit seminar and a 2-credit consulting practicum. The consistent core courses are in Sample Survey Methods, Probability Theory, Mathematical Statistics, Experimental Design, Multivariate Analysis, Regression, and Computer Intensive Statistics.

Statistics isn’t just a sideshow at the University of Idaho. They remain very committed to understanding, promoting, and engaging in the field by coordinating with other universities, presenting a Statistics Newsletter, and collaborates with faculty in other departments. 

Certificate programs are also in place to allow students to widen their scope of statistical applications. Certificates can be obtained in Graduate Data Analytics Certificate, Graduate Academic Certificate of Completion in Statistical Science, or Graduate Certificate of Completion in Enterprise-wide Process & Performance Excellence. In some cases, these programs can be used as a standalone certificate, but they’ll always call for an individual application process.

#7. West Virginia University

Master in Business Data Analytics

Here comes another hybrid. Although West Virginia University offers a Master of Business in Data Analytics online, there’s still a residency requirement. When you consider the coursework you’ll embark on with this program, it’s definitely for the best. 

You’ll use statistical techniques and analytical tools to uncover trends and competitive drivers. You’ll sort through big data to enhance decision making. Most importantly, you’ll become a valued professional in a growing field, and you’ll have a degree from one of U.S. News and World Report’s best online graduate programs, all without breaking the bank. Niche considers WVU to be the second Best Valued College in the state. 

It takes 30 credit hours throughout only ten courses to complete the program. Courses will cover many of the same aspects as other programs, teaching you data mining and program language. Much of the coursework is based in business. Simulation modeling, data visualization, and statistical methods are all taught through this specific industry scope. As such, you’ll also gain perspective into the ethical principles of collecting and storing data–a topic all too prevalent in today’s world.

The hands-on experience comes through the business analytics practicum. This course is somewhat of a cumulative examination into what you’ve learned. You’ll present a final project displaying your competency for data mining collection, and management, statistical analysis, and visualization. All of this can be presented as it would to a business employer and, of course, encompass the ethical principles necessary.

There are several careers that fit the framework of this program. Some examples of where graduates have landed in the past (and those with the brightest outlook) include quality control analysts, business continuity planners, business operations specialists, and database administrators. Given that it’s a master’s, roles as statisticians or university professors are also available to these graduates. 

Admissions into the program is contingent on adequate proper training and experience in statistics, analytics, and programming, although no particular programming language is required. An easy way to prove your knowledge is through work experience. Part of the application process is submission of a resume. If you can display five or more years, there won’t be a need to submit GMAT or GRE scores.

You’ll also be asked to submit letters of recommendation. These letters will outline your most redeeming qualities as a professional, teammate, and leader. You can submit up to three letters, but if you think you have a true standout example then only one is necessary. 

Proving you’re ready for the program doesn’t just come from previous education or successful teamwork. It also comes from you. Your statement purpose will outline your personal ambitions within the program and your career and why you will represent WVU well.

#8. Iowa State University

Master of Business Analytics

Iowa State University was founded in 1858 as a land and space-grant university. Today, it remains a recognizable feat of education as the state’s flagship university. Through years of commitment to science and technology, it has earned a ranking in the top 20 Best Statistics Programs, tied with Cornell University, by the U.S. News and World Report.

Although business analytics is the focus, elements of computer science, industrial and manufacturing systems engineering, statistics all play a role in the program. The shared foundations surround data analytics and reporting, statistical modeling, data mining, and visualization. The program is heavy on data, but welcomes industry diversity. Internationally known faculty from a wide range of departments including marketing, computer science, and engineering help to round out this program making you a marketable and hireable professional.

The program begins 21-month program, all online except for three campus visits in the beginning, middle, and end of the program. The curriculum involves 30 credits hours. Eighteen of these are core courses, while twelve are elective. Your three campus visits double as one-week seminars to each complete one of the core courses. 

The core begins with your first campus visit. This is when you’ll take the Teams, Projects and BA Leadership course, preparing you to tackle the online coursework ahead. Once you go home, you’ll get to take the next phase of the core completely online. This includes business analytics foundation and applied statistics modeling.

The next trip to campus will be one of those courses that calls on the help of another department. The course marketing analytics with big data is taught then, sometime in the middle of the curriculum timeframe. The last course you’ll complete online is in advanced business analytics, and the last trip you’ll take to campus will be to achieve the business analytics capstone. This lineup accounts for your 18-credits of core work. 

What remains are 12 credits in electives. Electives help to give you a sense of control and individualization for your education and subsequent career. Knowledge discovery and data mining; data analytics and visualization; applied time series; algorithms for large data sets; and applied modern multivariate statistical learning are all opportunities for these elective fulfillments. 

No matter which electives you choose, you remain on track with the rest of your classmates and competitive in the field. They all serve as a way to meet the ultimate goal of helping you provide knowledge and insights to any given organization which analyzes big data. In today’s business landscape, that can be virtually anyone. 

Admissions does not require GMAT or GRE scores. It does, however, ask for letters of recommendation. This program has cohort beginning once yearly, and accepts applications year-round. However, to secure a spot in the earliest fall-start day, there is a July 1 application deadline.

#9. University Missouri

Master’s in Data Science and Analytics

Mizzou’s online Master in Data Science and Analytics will prepare you to “turn big data into smart data” by teaching you online with a mere two required campus visits. This is a blended program that prepares you for roles in virtually any industry. The breadth of the coursework helps you to learn database systems and design as well as the latest methods and tools while gaining real-world experience. The necessary aspects of a role in data science, including translation and visualization of data, and ethics of protecting private or critical information, are also built into the core.

This is one of the few programs that offers you an opportunity to specialize. The areas of emphasis cover five different disciplines of data science. These include biotechnology, high performance computing, human centered design for data, strategic communications and data journalism and the newly implemented area of geospatial.

Biotechnology can offer students who hope to enter medical or healthcare fields a chance to mine genomic data and process it on a large scale. If your interest is “Big Data” as you might find in IT-focused companies and roles, then the High-Performance Computing track is for you.

Human-centered Design for Data helps to put a little personality behind the machine. You’ll study advanced visualization and communication in two parts to help better understand and guide decision-making that stems from data. 

Data Journalism/Strategic Communication also helps to enhance data visualization, but on a larger scale. These data scientists are true story-tellers. They also are highly adaptable, and recognize the constant flux that this industry is in. Social networks, customer behavior patterns, and a strong understanding of open-records law serve as the back-bone of this emphasis. 

The Geospatial track is the newest of the five. It was developed as a response to the industry’s demand for remote sensing data. This is an exciting branch of data that involves varied tools and techniques. You’ll explore sensors of various kinds of geolocation sensors and diverse data sets that feed location-aware applications.

ours. Nineteen of these hours are in universal core curriculum. This covers essentials of data science through courses in Statistical and Mathematical Foundations, Data Analytics from Applied Machine Learning, Big Data Security and Visualization, and Ethics.

In total, you can expect to devote two years to this program. A campus visit is required each year. These visits function as core-work intensives, the first being an introduction and the second being part of the capstone. 

Admissions into the program requires some elements of knowledge and experience. If you’re coming fresh from a Bachelor’s degree, you’ll need to enroll in up to 12 credit hours within Mizzou to prepare for the Master’s-level work. You’ll also be asked to submit a resume, statement of purpose (known here as a “letter of interest”) and transcripts. GRE scores are not required. It’s also important you know which specialization you intend to pursue. Your designation will be prompted in the online application process. 

#10. Emporia State University

Master of Science in Mathematics

Emporia State University is as old as Kansas. Dating back to 1861, the rural campus has been given the title of a “College of Distinction” three years running. With a student body harboring the nation’s lowest debt rate and a 97% of success in a job or higher education within 6 months, it’s a school offering a solid foundation on which to grow.

The Emporia State University Master of Science in Mathematics was brought online to allow students to learn with a little flexibility. In fact, none of this program’s requirements call for campus visits. The only difference in the programs is that the online option calls for a seminar presentation instead of a thesis as a pre-graduation capstone.

It’s based in mathematics, but ultimately allows you to develop the framework. This helps to invite a diverse group of applicants. Commonly, students of this program are those with a background in math teaching, but it’s flexible nature expands to the student body. An array of backgrounds, from engineering to computer science, can find success in this program. To apply, you need to submit transcripts of all previous college-level work. No GRE scores are requested.

Those with these backgrounds are often equipped for the rigors of graduate-level mathematics. To meet the expectations of these high-achievers, Emporia State now allows you to take as many courses per semester as you can handle. Since the online format is exceptionally inviting to those with a full-time job already, just one course per semester is the accepted norm. 

Regardless of your background or experience, there are a few guiding factors to course schedule. All students are required to complete Mathematical Proofs, as well as six credit hours each in analysis, algebra, and statistics, and a one-credit seminar in Mathematics.

Fulfilling the analysis, algebra, and statistics requirements gives you a bit of freedom to play to your strengths. Of the three, Analysis requirements are the most limited, offering topology, complex variables, and two levels of calculus. Under the category of algebra, you can choose from a wider selection of courses, most of which explore diverse theories including number, group, ring, or field. Opportunities to explore Vector Spaces or Computational Algebraic Geometry are also under this umbrella.

For Statistics and Applied Mathematics (the area exceedingly pertinent to aspiring statisticians) there are various options for learning more about analysis and technique. Categorical Data Analysis, Numerical Analysis, Numeric Linear Algebra, and Regression Analysis are all course options that fulfill the MS requirements and prepare you for data analytics. The total curriculum is completed in 34 credits, and an exam within each area is required.

Electives also help to guide your degree to your ideal career outcome. You can choose Knot Theory, projective geometry, combinatory logic, game theory, or technology in mathematics to fulfill your own interests. 

OTHER NOTABLE PROGRAMS

#11. University of Oklahoma

Location: Norman, OK

Degree: Master’s in Data Science and Analytics

Net Price: $21,158

Website 

#12. Dakota State University

Location: Madison, SD

Degree: Master of Science in Analytics (MSA)

Net Price: $16,863

Website      

#13. Saint Louis University

Location: St. Louis, MO

Degree: Master’s in Applied Analytics

Net Price: $31,460

Website

#14. Oklahoma State University

Location: Stillwater, OK

Degree: Master of Science in Applied Statistics

Net Price: $15,009

Website

#15. University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Location: Brownsville, TX

Degree: Master of Science in Mathematics

Net Price: $4,319

Website       

#16. Indiana University Bloomington

Location: Bloomington, IN

Degree: Master’s in Business Analytics

Net Price: $11,931

Website  

#17. Oregon State University

Location: Corvallis, OR

Degree: Master’s in Data Analytics

Net Price: $18,625

Website

#18.  University of Kentucky

Location: Lexington, KY

Degree: Master’s in Applied Statistics

Net Price: $19,762

Website

#19.  Southern New Hampshire University

Location: Manchester, NH

Degree: Master’s in Data Analytics

Net Price: $43,038

Website

#20. Bellevue University

Location: Bellevue, NE

Degree: Master’s in Business Analytics

Net Price: $9,635

Website 

IF YOU ENJOYED THAT THEN CHECK OUT OUR ARTICLES ON THE 50 BEST ONLINE MASTER’S PROGRAMS THAT DO NOT REQUIRE THE GRE & BEST ONLINE MASTER OF CYBERSECURITY!

Michael Templeton
Managing Editor

Kacey Reynolds Schedler
Contributing Editor