Master of Science in Data Science

A master’s in data science designed for interdisciplinary analytics

Recent innovations in big data, machine learning, and cloud computing have impacted every industry and almost every aspect of our daily lives. With rising trends in telehealth, AI, and remote work throughout the world, there’s an unprecedented need for experienced data scientists to solve both simple and complex problems while keeping organizations running efficiently.

Earning a master’s in data science online or in person from East Carolina University will provide you with the training to become an impactful leader in the world of computing and data analytics. You may be asking, “What is data science at ECU and how does it prepare me for a career?” Well, through a balanced combination of theoretical and hands-on learning, you’ll dive into advanced problems and solutions in data science—all while developing and strengthening your leadership and collaboration skills.

Earn a master’s in data science focused on quantitative analysis, statistics, and visual analytics

Our in-person and online master’s in data science degree is an interdisciplinary program designed to provide students with practical skills balanced with theoretical knowledge and professional practice. This degree focuses on the analysis of large-scale data sources from the interdisciplinary perspectives of applied statistics, computer science, data storage, data representation, data modeling, mathematics and statistics. It includes instruction in computer algorithms, computer programming, data management, data mining, information policy, information retrieval, mathematical modeling, quantitative analysis, statistics, trend spotting and visual analytics.

Why earn your master’s in data science at ECU?

There are many reasons why our in-person and online data science master’s program ranks among the best in the country. From our rigorous courses to our active community, we have everything to help you succeed academically and professionally. As a student in the master’s in data science program, you’ll benefit from:

Cutting-edge labs and classrooms

What is data science without the latest software and computing technology? At ECU, you’ll have access to high-performance computers and software with enough power for any demanding task. With both iMac and Dell workstations, you’ll be exposed to the major operating systems and tools used by professionals in data science every single day.

Leading researchers

Whether you earn your master’s in data science online or on campus, you’ll be able to work closely with faculty mentors who are leaders in their fields and bring their years of professional experience into their classrooms to help you apply theory to the real world.

Offered On-Campus and Online

Whatever your background, we make earning your master’s in data science online or on campus easy by fostering collaboration between online data science master’s students and those studying on campus.

Courses you will take in the master’s in data science program

Students earning their online data science master’s degree and those coming to campus take the same courses and experience the same great education.

Every in-person and online data science master’s student takes the same foundational courses in data science, machine learning, and big data. Students can then tailor their degree to their career plans through electives in our department, as well as the computer science and software engineering programs. Your in-person or online master’s in data science degree will culminate in either an individual project or a faculty-guided thesis.

Some popular courses we offer in our on-campus and online data science master’s program include:

  • Big Data Analytics and Management
  • Data Mining
  • Cloud Computing

View in-person and online master’s in data science

What can you do with your master’s in data science?

What is data science at ECU? It’s opportunity. It’s challenging but rewarding. It’s the best step you can take to find the rewarding career of your dreams.

Whether you earn your master’s in data science online or on campus, you will develop a mastery of data science to excel in a wide number of positions in computing, AI, and health care—among many other industries.

The skills to stand out both on the job market and on the job

By the time you earn your in-person or online data science master’s degree, you’ll have a strong foundation of skills and knowledge to become an inspiring leader and team member in any organization. You’ll strengthen vital skills like:

  • Communicating effectively
  • Thinking critically
  • Using probability and statistics to solve issues in data
  • Applying data science to health care and related fields

Where are master’s in data science graduates working?

As one of the top universities for STEM, our in-person and online master’s in data science is nationally recognized and respected. This means that graduates of our program are highly sought-after throughout all industries in North Carolina and beyond.

Past graduates have gone on to find exciting positions in data science and computing, including:

  • Data scientist
  • Data analyst
  • Statistician
  • Software engineer
  • Software developer

Employment for computer and information research scientists is projected to grow by 22% before 2030, significantly higher than the national average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. There’s never been a better time to earn your master’s in data science online or in person and start a rewarding career in a fast-growing field.

Get started on your master’s in data science degree

Take the next step toward earning your master’s in data science online or in person at East Carolina University. Still wondering, “What is data science at ECU and how can it help me find a career?” We have the resources to answer all your questions and help you get started.

Degree programs related to our master’s in data science

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the Master of Science in Data Science/MSDS program must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate School. Acceptance to the program is based on satisfactory undergraduate grades, scores on the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), and letters of reference. Completion of an undergraduate degree in computer science, software engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, information systems, or a related discipline is recommended for admission. Students from other disciplines or applicants with limited technical expertise are evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the program admissions committee. Additional information regarding admission to the MSCS degree program can be found here.

Degree Requirements

Degree information and course requirements for the Master of Science in Computer science degree can be found in the current graduate catalog.

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available to those who qualify. The student financial aid department provides education, guidance, and support to individuals and families in the financial aid process by administering Federal, State, and Institutional aid programs to students at East Carolina University. Please contact the department directly for information.

Important Note to Residents Outside North Carolina

Admission of applicants outside the State of North Carolina to an online degree, certificate or individual online course offered by East Carolina University is dependent on ECU’s ability to secure authorization from the applicant’s state of residence, if such authorization is required.

East Carolina University delivers online education programs and courses throughout the United States and internationally. All programs have been approved by the University of North Carolina General Administration. Many states have prescribed an authorization process for out-of-state institutions delivering online programs to its state residents to ensure quality post-secondary education, to preserve the integrity of an academic degree, and to instill greater consumer protection for its student citizens.

East Carolina University has taken steps to protect its students and operations through nationwide compliance: by participation in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA); obtaining authorization, approval, exemptions and waivers; or confirming that East Carolina University can operate without such authorization because the state’s laws do not pertain to a public institution, to an accredited institution, or to ECU’s activities in that state.

As of Nov. 14, 2016, East Carolina University is approved to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education. Institutions that are members of SARA are authorized to provide online education to students from all SARA member states. States and institutions that choose to become members of SARA operate under a set of policies and standards overseen by the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements and administered by four regional higher education compacts. Click for more information about the SARA initiative and the progress of state and institutional membership.

Because authorization is an evolving area, please check this site again for the latest statement from ECU. For questions or concerns specific to the state authorization process, contact us at

For additional information please contact: CS Graduate Programs at