Master’s in Data Science Programs in Virginia

Read our guide to schools, scholarships, research initiatives, professional communities, and job opportunities for data scientists in the Commonwealth.

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American University

Kogod School of Business

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Master of Science in Analytics

American University’s online MS in Analytics program prepares students to apply data analysis skills to real-world business practices. The program can be completed in 12 months. No GMAT/GRE required. 

  • No GMAT or GRE scores required to apply
  • AACSB accredited
  • Complete in as few as 12 months

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Or jump straight to our list of data science programs in Virginia.

Studying Data Science in Virginia

In 2014, the state launched Data.Virginia, an open source database of state statistics that encourages researchers and businesses to solve government challenges related to agriculture, healthcare, transportation and so on. Which is exactly what schools like George Mason, Virginia Tech and University of Virginia are doing with it.

Data Science Research & Initiatives at Virginia Universities

While all colleges offer degrees, only some regularly partake in research. Here’s what’s happening on that front in the commonwealth:

  • Students pursuing an MS in Data Science at UVA will have great resources to work with. The university’s Data Science Institute (DSI) created Rivanna, a supercomputer. Other departments borrow Rivanna to deal with their own large datasets.
  • The reason people parse data is to make better decisions. The Social & Decision Analytics Division at Virginia Tech aids in this endeavor through a variety of research projects covering mathematical biocomplexity, network systems science, and social and decision analytics. That’s just a small sample of Virginia Tech’s work. Elsewhere on the campus, the Discovery Analytics Center has created a system, EMBERS, that pulls from web-based data to forecast world events.
  • The College of William and Mary houses the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, which is knee deep in stats. It researches a variety of topics within the realm of marine science.

Online Data Science Programs in Virginia

Although Virginia’s public universities have not yet developed online programs in data science, a couple of private universities are dabbling in distance learning.

Online Graduate Certificates in Data Science

Old Dominion University’s Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics and Big Data builds into the university’s MBA program. Its courses introduce students to statistics, modeling, databases and data analysis.

George Mason University’s Bioinformatics certificate lives at the edges of the discipline, and is reserved for biology researchers who need to use big data to power new genetic discoveries.

Online Master’s Degrees in Data Science

George Mason’s certificate seekers can continue on to earn an MS in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. They’ll get the chance to do some modeling, go in depth on research methods, or learn advanced programming.

Data Science Bootcamps in Virginia

Data science or data analytics bootcamps in Virginia are a way for local students to transition into these fields. Bootcamps are short-term programs of study meant to quickly introduce participants to new subjects, often via practical experiences. Bootcamps in Virginia may focus exclusively on data science — the study of how knowledge is established from raw information — or data analytics — the specific processes by which insights are drawn — or both data science and data analytics. See our guides to learn more about data science bootcamps or data analytics bootcamps in Virginia.

Data Science Scholarships in Virginia

Virginia isn’t exactly bursting with scholarships reserved for future data scientists, but we’ve found a few that fit the bill. Apply to these school-based awards along with general scholarships from your college and other funding sources.

George Mason University

  • School of Business Scholarships:
    • Coleman Raphael Scholarship: School of Business students, including those seeking a Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics, may apply for this award, which has no set amount.
    • Johnson Family Scholarship: All School of Business students are eligible for funding from this endowed award.
    • William C. Forgale Endowed Scholarship: High-achieving School of Business students with financial need may apply for the Forgale Scholarship.

University of Virginia

Data Science Events in Virginia

Data Science Meetups & Communities in Virginia

You might think all of Virginia’s data science Meetups are clustered near DC. In reality, communities are popping up all the way south to Norfolk, home of Old Dominion University. You’ll find plenty of meetups focused on specific tools, as well as groups with broader interests in data science. Here are some bigger ones:

  1. Charlottesville Data Science: A growing group of data enthusiasts gathers sporadically for expert talks from academics and professionals in the area.
  2. Federal Big Data Working Group: These data junkies meet once a month at Xclerate Solutions in McLean to get updates on open data initiatives from the federal government.
  3. Full Stack Data Science: Data science doesn’t have to be a standalone discipline according to this McLean-based group, which works to help IT professionals use data across multiple business areas.
  4. Norfolk Data Science: Come once a month to the Slover Public Library to take hands-on workshops and grab some grub with your peers.
  5. NOVA Deep Learning: Deep Learning enthusiasts near DC listen to guest speakers talk about emerging theories and present new product features.
  6. AI + Big Data Healthcare Meetup: Members include researchers, professionals and even just healthcare users who think analytics holds the key to a healthier future.

Data Science Conferences & Workshops in Virginia

DC and its suburbs play host to dozens of conferences every month, some of which actually cover data science. While most big events pack up and head to another metropolis the following year, this local event keeps coming back:

  1. Big Data for Intelligence Symposium: The Defense Strategies Institute hosts its own two-day symposium in Alexandria, but this one is reserved for senior-level staff and contractors from IT providers and government agencies.

Data Science Jobs in Virginia

Virginia accommodates two main clusters of data scientists. The most obvious hotspot is in northern Virginia, where defense contractors and federal agencies. Think DeloitteLockheed Martin and Onyx Government Services. You can also go straight to the source and work for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington or hop across the Potomac to work for the General Services Administration, which created Data.gov.

There is plenty happening within state government as well, thanks to the aforementioned Data.Virginia project, which facilitates academic research to improve state services. Much of that research is happening around UVA in Charlottesville. With big firms like Elder Research and up-and-comers such as solarwinds, there’s no need to trek north for a job after graduation.

Data Scientist Salaries in Virginia

According to data from the O*NET OnLine in 2020, data scientists made an average $92,410 per year in Virginia.

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:

Related Graduate STEM Degrees

Related Undergraduate STEM Degrees

Data Science Programs in Virginia

We found 7 universities in Virginia offering Masters of Data Science programs (and/or closely related programs, like MS in Analytics / Masters in Business Analytics). The university’s website will have the most up to date information on specific programs.

If you represent a university and would like to contact us about editing any of our listings, or adding new programs, please send an email to info@mastersindatascience.org.

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.

College of William & Mary

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Raymond A. Mason School of Business

Master's in Business Analytics

Williamsburg, Virginia

Name of Degree: Master’s in Business Analytics

Enrollment Type: N/A

Length of Program: Less than 1 year

Credits: 22.5

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university
  • 3.0 GPA
  • Unofficial/Official transcripts
  • Resume
  • TOEFL Score for International Students
Learn more about the Master's in Business Analytics from College of William & Mary

George Mason University

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Data Analytics Graduate Certificate

Fairfax, Virginia

Name of Degree: Data Analytics Graduate Certificate

Enrollment Type: Part-Time

Length of Program: 1+ years

Credits: 12

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Resume or CV 
  • Statement of purpose
  • Two letters of recommendation
Learn more about the Data Analytics Graduate Certificate from George Mason University

George Mason University

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Master of Science in Information Systems

Fairfax, Virginia

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Information Systems

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1+ years

Credits: 30

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree
  • Official transcripts from all programs attended
  • TOEFL/IELTS Score for International Students
  • Prerequisite courses
  • Professional resume/CV
  • 3.0 GPA
  • No GRE/GMAT Scores
  • Goal statement
Learn more about the Master of Science in Information Systems from George Mason University

George Mason University

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Department of Geography and GeoInformation Science

Master of Science in Geoinformatics and Geospatial Intelligence

Fairfax, Virginia

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Geoinformatics and Geospatial Intelligence

Enrollment Type: Full-Time and Part-Time

Length of Program: N/A

Credits: 33

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Transcripts
  • GRE scores
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Resume
  • Statement of purpose
  • 3.0 GPA
Learn more about the Master of Science in Geoinformatics and Geospatial Intelligence from George Mason University

University of Mary Washington

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College of Arts and Sciences

Masters in Geospatial Analysis

Fredericksburg, Virginia

Name of Degree: Masters in Geospatial Analysis

Enrollment Type: Full-Time and Part-Time

Length of Program: 1+ years

Credits: 30

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Transcripts
  • GRE scores not required
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Resume
  • Statement of purpose
  • 3.0 GPA
Learn more about the Masters in Geospatial Analysis from University of Mary Washington

University of Virginia

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School of Data Science

Master of Science in Data Science

Charlottesville, Virginia

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Data Science

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: Less than 1 year

Credits: 32

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • Completion of prerequisite courses
  • Statement of purpose
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Resume or CV
Learn more about the Master of Science in Data Science from University of Virginia

Virginia Polytechnic Institute

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Master of Information Technology

Falls Church, Virginia

Name of Degree: Master of Information Technology

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.5+ years

Credits: N/A

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree
  • Unofficial/Official transcripts
  • TOEFL/IELTS Score for International Students
  • Prerequisite courses
  • Professional resume
  • Academic and Professional goals statement
  • 3.0 GPA
  • No GRE Scores
Learn more about the Master of Information Technology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute