Master’s in Data Science Programs in Illinois

Wondering if Chicago or Champaign is the right choice for your data science degree? Wonder no more. Here you’ll find info on research and scholarships as well as networking opportunities and potential job opportunities.


Syracuse University


Master of Science in Applied Data Science

Syracuse University’s online Master of Science in Data Science can be completed in as few as 18 months.

  • Complete in as little as 18 months
  • No GRE scores required to apply

Southern Methodist University


Master of Science in Data Science

Earn your MS in Data Science at SMU, where you can specialize in Machine Learning or Business Analytics, and complete in as few as 20 months.

  • No GRE required.
  • Complete in as little as 20 months.

University of California, Berkeley


Master of Information and Data Science

Earn your Master’s in Data Science online from UC Berkeley in as few as 12 months.

  • Complete in as few as 12 months
  • No GRE required

Syracuse University


Master of Science in Business Analytics

Looking to become a data-savvy leader? Earn your online Master of Science in Business Analytics from Syracuse University.

  • As few as 18 months to complete 
  • No GRE required to apply


Read on learn more about data science programs in Illinois.

Studying Data Science in Illinois

Some of the drive toward big data is generated by Illinois’s universities. Just to take a few examples of their interests and initiatives: Home to the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), UIUC has an endless number of interdisciplinary research centers, including the industry-focused Illinois Applied Research Institute.

U Chicago’s Center for Data Science and Public Policy is involved in a number of altruistic research areas. This center is part of the much larger and quite famous Computation Institute, a joint initiative between U Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory.

Northwestern is building its national profile with the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO). Founded in 2004 and funded by some serious players (e.g. NSF, NIH, Army Research Lab, MacArthur Foundation, etc.), NICO tackles research areas in every realm of big data. The university also funds data science scholars.

Online Data Science Programs in Illinois

There are also Illinois program options with distance learning. Almost every player has an online master of science (MS) of some description, and a lot of schools are experimenting with new directions. Northwestern University uses the Digital Learning website to showcase best practices in distance learning, and it has an entire section on Learning Analytics.

The University of Chicago has developed a list of digital teaching tools, which supports faculty who are experimenting with new online technologies and teaching techniques.

The University of Illinois at Springfield has research churning at the Center for Online Learning, Research and Service (COLRS).

We go over general things to look for in an online data science program elsewhere, so we decided to do some digging into your options in the Prairie State.

Online Graduate Certificates in Data Science

Graduate certificates are usually targeted toward working professionals, so it’s no surprise that Illinois schools offer a number of online qualifications with a business focus, like University of Illinois at Springfield’s Graduate Certificate in Business Intelligence. Even Elmhurst’s Graduate Certificate in Data Science and Northwestern’s Advanced Data Science Certificate take a close look at market forces.
In particular, you’ll find some options when it comes to business analytics. U Chicago has an Online Data Analytics for Business Professionals Certificate; and the University of St. Francis has a Graduate Professional Certificate in Data Analytics.

As for specialty areas, University of Illinois at Chicago offers a Health Informatics, IBHE-Approved Certificate. This is a super-specialized qualification aimed at healthcare or IT professionals with a master’s degree.

Online Master’s Degrees in Data Science

When it comes to the master’s, Illinois has it all. There are schools that offer online MS degrees in pure data science (e.g. Lewis, Elmhurst, and the Illinois Institute of Technology), some that specialize in fields like health informatics (e.g. Elmhurst, Northwestern, and the University of Illinois at Chicago), and others that tackle predictive analytics (e.g. DePaul and Northwestern).

Data Science Bootcamps

If you live in Idaho and are interested in working in data science or data analytics, a bootcamp is one way to help jumpstart your career. Bootcamps are designed to quickly and efficiently introduce students to new fields of study, often through hands-on experience. Bootcamps in Idaho may be dedicated to data science, the study of extracting knowledge from sets of data; data analytics, the more practice-minded process of drawing specific conclusions from data; or a combination of both data science and data analytics. Check out our guides if you’re interested in learning more about data science bootcamps or data analytics bootcamps in Illinois.

Data Science Scholarships in Illinois

Here you’ll find university scholarships and fellowships that cover degrees in our school listings. But this is just the beginning! Ask the university’s Graduate Studies Office if you qualify for general scholarships and fellowships and alternative financial options.

DePaul University

College of Computing and Digital Media – Scholarships

  • Dr. Curtis J. and Mrs. Gina Crawford Endowed Scholarship: This scholarship is available to graduate students focusing on commerce, business, communication technology, or information systems. Students must have financial need. Additional consideration is given to African-American students.
  • Dr. Steven C. Rubinow Endowed Scholarship: This award is expressly aimed at CDM graduate students in the School of Computing. Information systems and predictive analytics are eligible disciplines. Applicants must have financial need.
  • The DePaul Faculty/Staff Scholarship: This scholarship is open to CDM graduate students entering their second or final year. Students must demonstrate activities that place value on service to the community and to other individuals. Awards are dependent on funds available.

Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT)

Master of Data Science Scholarships: IIT sometimes has partial tuition scholarships (based on GRE scores) for MDS students. IIT alumni may also be eligible for a tuition discount.

Starr Research Fellowship/Fieldhouse Research Fellowship: These $15,000 fellowships are given to IIT students currently enrolled in an MS or doctoral program in certain departments (including Computer Science). Students must be conducting research in collaboration with the IIT Research Institute (IITRI), the Institute for Food Safety and Health (IFSH), Fermilab, or the Argonne National Laboratory (ANL).

Loyola University

Dean’s Merit Scholarship: All graduate students accepted into the Quinlan School of Business are eligible for a merit scholarship. Eligibility is generally determined by GPA and GMAT scores; scholarships typically cover one or two Quinlan courses.

MS in Applied Statistics: Financial Aid: Loyola offers graduate assistantships to certain MS students. Some tuition stipends may also be available.

Northwestern University

Crown Family Internship: Although this award is only offered to PhD students at the McCormick School of Engineering, we wanted to include it in case you were thinking of further studies. The 3- or 6-month paid internship allows students gain practical experience in industry or at national laboratories in areas closely related to their research.

Master of Science in Analytics (MSIA) Fellowship: The McCormick School of Engineering offers a limited number of merit-based fellowships to MSIA students each year.

University of Chicago

Computational Analysis and Public Policy (CAPP) Scholarship: This award is given to an applicant to the MS in Computational Analysis & Public Policy degree. Applicants must have a strong interest and background in addressing policy issues through data.

Harris School of Public Policy Scholarships & Fellowships: In addition to the CAPP scholarships, MS students are also eligible for a variety of public service-oriented awards (e.g. Urban Policy Scholarship). Check the list to see if your area of interest is listed.

University of Illinois at Chicago

Liataud Graduate School of Business: Partial Tuition Waivers: Liataud, which administers both the MS in Management Information Systems and the MS in Business Analytics, offers a limited number of partial tuition and fee waivers. Awards are based on academic merit.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

TechnipFMC Educational Fund Fellowship: This one-year fellowship is open to UIUC master’s- and doctoral-level students who are conducting research in areas related to the work of FMC Technologies, Inc.

MS Recruitment Scholarship: Students in the MS in Information Management can secure a one-time recruitment scholarship based on academic merit.

Mayo Clinic and Illinois Alliance – Fellowship for Technology-Based Healthcare Research: This fascinating fellowship offers two years of support to UIUC graduate students who are researching new technologies and clinical tools aimed at advancing individualized medicine. The award includes a $30,000 stipend, coverage of tuition and select fees, a $5,000 research and travel allowance, and a one-year, on-site mentored research opportunity at the Mayo Clinic.

Data Science Events in Illinois

Data Science Meetups & Communities in Illinois

Chicago has meetups for folks who want to hone certain skills, like Chicago R User Group</a, PyData Chicago or even intercut disciplines like data and psychology such as Action Design Chicago. Here are few more to explore:

Chicago Booth Big Data & Analytics Roundtable: This meetup is open to anyone in U Chicago’s Booth community (alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends). Talks cover everything from geospatial analytics to NLP. Every event starts and ends with networking.

Chicago City Data: Interested in playing with all of that lovely free data from the City of Chicago? Check out this group of end users, business users, enthusiasts, data science students, and entrepreneurs.

Chicago Startup Community: If you’re planning on launching your own business, this meetup may be worth a look. It’s billed as the “insider’s introduction to the tech, design, and entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Windy City.”

Chicago Women in Machine Learning and Data Science: This meetup is run by the Chicago chapter of WiMLDS, and it hosts events where members can network, learn about careers, and discuss new advances in research and technology.

Data Science Chicago: Sponsored by Datascope Analytics, this meetup is an intriguing mix of talks, tutorials, and social events.

Data Science Conferences & Workshops in Illinois

Major data science conferences (e.g.Strata Data Conference, Predictive Analytics World, IEEE Conferences, SIGKDDThe Machine Learning Conference etc.) occasionally get to Chicago, but you’ll have to buy a plane ticket to the coast in certain years.

Data Science Jobs in Illinois

The City of Chicago has larger companies as well as startups:

Microsoft, IBM, comScore, IRI have offices.

Data science start-ups like 4C InsightsUptake, and Narrative Science are also part of the landscape.

Data Scientist Salaries in Illinois

According to O*NET OnLine, $96,500 is the average salary for data scientists in Illinois in 2020.

Last updated: April 2022

Interested in STEM Careers? 

If you’re looking for information on career paths that involve STEM, see our guides below:

Data Science and Analytics Careers:

Computer Science, Computer Engineering and Information Careers:

Marketing and User Research Careers:

Compare Careers and STEM Fields:

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA.