20 Best Data Science Certificate Programs

Data Science Degree Programs Guide - Top Certificate Programs-01

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Data science is one of the fastest growing employment fields. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an 8% job growth through 2029. With many data science roles requiring at least a bachelor’s degree, earning an additional data science certificate can add strength to any resume. A certificate in data science allows students to develop a valuable skill set that will enhance employment opportunities or help them venture into a new career. There are many perks to earning a data science certificate. Certificate programs are more focused than a degree and are often less time consuming to complete.

The best data science certificate programs include hands-on, practical training that easily transfers to the workplace. There is no “one size fits all” certificate program. Some data science certificate programs offer very specific training that aligns with a particular industry. Other schools offer programs that are broad in nature and allow students to select choose coursework to meet their professional goals. Programs may be offered online or on-campus (or as a hybrid) and may or may not require a graduate degree in a related field. Most data science certificate programs have a specific target audience and experience level. Students interested in continuing onto a master’s program after completing their certificate should select a program with coursework that can apply to their degree. Our list highlights the best data science certificate programs from accredited institutions. Programs that have received recognition by the Data Science Council of America have that accomplishment noted. Our editors also considered the following factors in the decision process.

1. Programs with rigorous coursework rooted in applied data science. We included programs with a curriculum designed by industry experts so students and potential employers can be confident their skills are at a level consistent with modern technology and strategies associated with data science

2. Programs with hands-on training (whether in person or in a virtual environment) that is easily applicable to the workplace

Below, in no particular order, are the schools and programs we feel are the top 20 data science certificate programs in the U.S.

20. Columbia University – New York, New York

Certification of Professional Achievement in Data Sciences

Columbia University Certification of Professional Achievement in Data Sciences

School Profile
Format: On-Campus/Online
Number of Credits: 12
Elective Coursework: No
DASCA Recognized: Yes
Courses transfer to master’s program: Yes

The Data Science Institute at Columbia University features a Certification of Professional Achievement in Data Sciences. This part-time program is comprised of 12 credit hours. Courses include:

  • Exploratory Data Analysis and Visualization
  • Machine Learning for Data Science
  • Algorithms for Data Science

Courses are offered online and on-campus to accommodate a variety of learners. Students can apply their course credits to the MS in Data Science once admitted to the program.

19. Northern Illinois University – Dekalb, Illinois

Data Science for Business

Format: Online
Number of Credits: 12
Elective Coursework: No
DASCA Recognized: No
Courses transfer to master’s program: Yes

Northern Illinois University features a Certificate of Graduate Study in Data Science for Business. This high value data science certificate program incorporates areas like technology, data, and strategic decision making to give students the skills they need to be successful in a data-rich environment. Required courses include:

  • Business Applications of Text Mining
  • Machine Learning and Advanced Predictive Analytics
  • Data Analytics Programming

Courses are delivered in a flexible online format and are available to students in any major seeking data science experience and training.

18. University of Illinois Chicago – Chicago, Illinois

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Health Informatics-Health Data Science

Format: Online
Number of Credits: 12-13
Elective Coursework: Yes
DASCA Recognized: Yes
Courses transfer to master’s program: Yes

The Post-Baccalaureate’s Certificate in Health Informatics offered by the University of Illinois Chicago is a specialized program created to meet the needs of a rapidly changing industry. Students can choose from four different certificate programs including:

  • Health Informatics Fundamentals
  • Mobile Health Informatics
  • Health Data Science Informatics
  • Leadership in Health Informatics

Courses are delivered in a convenient online format ideal for working professionals. There is no GRE exam required for admission.

17. University of California – Irvine, California

Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing Specialized Studies Certificate

UCIrvine Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing Specialized Studies Certificate

School Profile

Format: Online
Number of Credits: 9.5
Elective Coursework: Yes
DASCA Recognized: Yes
Courses transfer to master’s program: No

The Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing data science certificate from the University of California Irvine is an affordable program that takes just three to nine months to complete. The program is designed for a variety of professionals including data systems modelers and database administrators. Required courses include:

  • Business Intelligence and The Data Warehouse Development Process
  • Introduction to SQL Programming
  • Data Integration, Modeling, and ETL

Students complete three required courses and one elective to earn their certificate.

16. University of Massachusetts – Amherst, Massachusetts

Certificate in Statistical and Computational Data Science

UMASS Certificate in Statistical and Computational Data Science

School Profile

Format: On-campus
Number of Credits: 15
Elective Coursework: Yes
DASCA Recognized: Yes
Courses transfer to master’s program: A maximum of six credits

The Center for Data Science in the College of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst offers a Certificate in Statistical and Computational Data Science offered jointly with the Statistics and Computer Science departments. Course offerings include:

  • Data Visualization and Exploration
  • Regression Modeling
  • Machine Learning

Students benefit from training in Python which is one of the core computer languages used in data science. The program is a great choice for students who want to enhance their data science skills and those looking to round out their degree with data science credits.

15. University of California Berkeley – Berkeley, California

Certificate Program in Data Science

Format: Online
Number of Credits: 10 courses
Elective Coursework: Yes
DASCA Recognized: Yes

The high quality certificate program in data science at the University of California Berkeley gives students the skills needed to use data to solve messy business problems. Students take courses in areas like:

  • Programming
  • Machine Learning
  • Intro to Big Data

Students must complete 10 semester units (150 clock hours of instruction) to earn their certificate. After completing their coursework, students will have the skills needed to analyze large and small data sets, adding value to their organization.

14. Indiana University – Bloomington, Indiana

Data Science Certificate Online

IU Data Science Certificate Online

School Profile

Format: Online
Number of Credits: 12
Elective Coursework: Yes
DASCA Recognized: Yes
Courses transfer to master’s program: Yes

The data science program at Indiana University offers a customizable graduate certificate in data science for busy professionals. Courses are offered 100% online and students can complete their certificate in just two semesters. Students can choose any four courses from the MS. Course offerings include:

  • Data Structures
  • Algorithms Design and Analysis
  • Topics in Programming

Students can choose to apply their credits to the online MS in Data Science.

13. Tufts University – Medford, Massachusetts

Certificate in Data Science

Format: On-Campus
Number of Credits: 15
Elective Coursework: Yes
DASCA Recognized: Yes
Courses transfer to master’s program: Yes

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Tufts University features a high quality certificate in data science. Students will use statistics, data visualization, and machine learning to analyze and solve problems. The program is a great choice for students with an education in science, technology, engineering, or math but lack a strong foundation in data science. The curriculum includes required and elective courses. Students have a large selection of courses to choose from across three primary areas including:

  • data infrastructure
  • data analysis/interfaces
  • computational and theoretical aspects of data analysis

Upon completion of the certificate requirements, students can apply to receive their certificate or apply to the data science master’s program and continue their education.

12. University of Georgia – Athens, Georgia

Certificate of Applied Data Science

Format: On-campus
Number of Credits: 18-20
Elective Coursework: Yes
DASCA Recognized: Yes
Courses transfer to master’s program: No

The cost-effective data science certificate program offered by the Department of Computer Science at the University of Georgia is a great choice for students with a background in mathematical, scientific, and engineering fields. This 18-20 credit hour program includes both required and elective coursework. Elective course offerings include:

  • Data Mining
  • Simulation and Modeling
  • Database Management

Students will gain experience in Hadoop and Spark to process large quantities of data. Upon completion of the certificate program, students have expertise in the collection, analysis, storage and interpretation of data.

11. Colorado State University – Fort Collins, Colorado

Graduate Certificate in Data Analysis

Format: Online/On-Campus
Number of Credits: 10
Elective Coursework: Yes
DASCA Recognized: Yes
Courses transfer to master’s program: No

The College of Natural Sciences at Colorado State University offers a data science graduate certificate program for students seeking a short-term program that can help them strengthen their statistical skills. Students complete core courses that provide them with a solid background in data analysis. Elective course offerings include:

  • Applied Data Mining and Analytics in Business
  • R Programming for Research
  • Design and Data Analysis for Researchers

Courses are offered online and on-campus. Students can complete their certificate in just three semesters of study.

10. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, Michigan

Graduate Data Science Certificate Program

University of Michigan Graduate Data Science Certificate Program

School Profile

Format: On-campus
Number of Credits: 12
Elective Coursework: Yes
DASCA Recognized: Yes
Courses transfer to master’s program: Yes

The Michigan Institute for Data Science at the University of Michigan features a best value graduate data science certificate program emphasizing modeling using the latest technology to handle different types of data. This 12 credit hour program includes nine credits of coursework and three credits of experiential learning. The curriculum strives to provide core experiences in three areas including:

  • Analysis Methods
  • Data Management
  • Algorithms and Applications

The program is available to students enrolled in a graduate program at U-M.  Minority and underrepresented students are encouraged to apply.

9. University of Colorado – Denver, Colorado

Biomedical Data Science Graduate Certificate Program

CU Biomedical Data Science Graduate Certificate Program

School Profile

Format: On-campus
Number of Credits: 22-25
Elective Coursework: Yes
DASCA Recognized: Yes
Courses transfer to master’s program: Yes

The University of Colorado offers a highly specialized data science certificate program in biomedical data science. Students will learn the basics of computer programming while analyzing biomedical data sets using the cutting edge tools and programs. The 15-credit hour curriculum includes courses in:

  • Biomedical Data Practices
  • Biological Data Analysis
  • Practical Clinical Informatics

Students complete a summer internship, applying their knowledge and skills and gaining hands-on experience. The program takes just one year to complete.

8. University of Pennsylvania – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Certificate in Data Analytics

Penn State Certificate in Data Analytics

School Profile

Format: Online
Number of Credits: 16
Elective Coursework: No
DASCA Recognized: Yes
Courses transfer to master’s program: No

The high quality data science certificate at the University of Pennsylvania is an online program designed to accommodate the needs of working adults. There are no prerequisite courses and students don’t need to have any prior training or education in data analytics. Courses are taken sequentially and include:

  • Intro to Data Analytics
  • Intro to Statistical Methods
  • Advanced Topics in Data Analytics

Students learn how to:

  • manage and analyze big data sets
  • implement surveys
  • design experiments

Admission to the program is competitive and a limited number of students are accepted each semester.

7. University of Arizona – Tucson, Arizona

Certificate in Statistics and Data Science

university-of-arizona Business Intelligence and Analytics Online Graduate Certificate

School Profile

Format: Online/On-Campus
Number of Credits: 12
Elective Coursework: Yes
DASCA Recognized: No
Courses transfer to master’s program: Yes

The University of Arizona offers a budget friendly certificate in data science and statistics with on-campus and online course options. The program is a great choice for working professionals, distance learners, and potential master’s degree students. Elective course offerings include:

  • Statistical Computing
  • Time Series Analysis
  • Statistical Mechanics

This four-course program accepts new students during the fall and spring semesters.
Students who earn their Certificate in Statistics and Data Science can complete their MS in Statistics in just one additional year of study.

6. Michigan State University – East Lansing, Michigan

Graduate Certificate in High-Performance Computing

Michigan State Graduate Certificate in Computational Modeling

School Profile

Format: On-campus
Number of Credits: 9
Elective Coursework: Yes
DASCA Recognized: No
Courses transfer to master’s program: Yes

Michigan State University features a graduate certificate in computational modeling for students seeking to refine their skills. This nine credit hour program is comprised of one required course in parallel computing and two or more electives. Elective course offerings include:

  • Data Mining
  • Theories and Practices in Bioinformatics
  • Statistical Computation

This high value data science certificate program is best suited for students interested in using data science and computational approaches that require high-performance computing to work through research problems.

5. Northwestern University – Evanston, Illinois

Advanced Data Science Certificate Program

NU Advanced Data Science Certificate Program

School Profile

Format: Online
Number of Credits: 12
Elective Coursework: Yes
DASCA Recognized: Yes
Courses transfer to master’s program: No

The Advanced Data Science graduate certificate at Northwestern University is a unique program with  elective course offerings that allow students to pursue a concentration. Concentration options include:

  • Analytics Management
  • Analytics and Modeling
  • Data Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence

Courses are taught by world renowned faculty who are eager to share their professional experience with their students. Applicants should hold a graduate degree in an area related to data science or predictive analytics.

4. University of Southern California – Los Angeles, California

Graduate Certificate in Big Data Fundamentals

USC Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics

School Profile

Format: On-campus
Number of Credits: 15
Elective Coursework: Yes
DASCA Recognized: No
Courses transfer to master’s program: Yes

The University of Southern California Marshall School of Business offers a graduate certificate in business analytics for both full and part-time students. Students complete 15 credit hours with courses covering areas like:

  • Data Warehousing, Business Intelligence and Data Mining
  • Applied Modern Statistical Learning Methods
  • Discrete-Event Simulation for Process Management

The flexible curriculum includes both day and evening course options. Full-time students can earn their certificate in just one semester.

3. Virginia Tech – Blacksburg, Virginia

Graduate Certificate in Data Analytics

VT Graduate Certificate in Data Analytics

School Profile

Format: On-campus
Number of Credits: 12
Elective Coursework: Yes
DASCA Recognized: No
Courses transfer to master’s program: Yes

The Sanghani Center for Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics at Virginia Tech features a top graduate certificate in data analytics for students who want to learn the fundamentals of data analytics. The program was created for both degree and non-degree seeking students and includes 12 credits of coursework. Elective course offerings include:

  • Database Management Systems
  • Deep Learning
  • Information Storage and Retrieval

Courses are taught by faculty who are top researchers in their fields and have pioneered many modern innovations in data analytics.

2. University of Minnesota – Minneapolis, Minnesota

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Data Science

University of Minnesota Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Data Science

School Profile

Format: On-campus or Online
Number of Credits: 12
Elective Coursework: Yes
DASCA Recognized: No
Courses transfer to master’s program: Yes

The University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering offers a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Data Science that can be completed in just one semester of full-time study. This rigorous program includes courses in three primary areas including:

  • statistics
  • algorithmics
  • infrastructure and large scale computing

Students also choose one elective, allowing them to tailor the program to meet their professional goals. To be considered for admission, students should have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. New students are admitted for the spring and fall semesters.

1. Purdue University – West Lafayette, Indiana

Certificate in Applied Statistics

Purdue Certificate in Applied Statistics

School Profile

Format: On-campus
Number of Credits: 12
Elective Coursework: Yes
DASCA Recognized: No
Courses transfer to master’s program: Yes

The high value certificate in data science offered by the Department of Statistics at Purdue University is a flexible program for students who want to stand out from the competition. The Graduate Certificate in Applied Statistics is a four course certificate with courses that students can select based on their professional goals. Course offerings include:

  • Statistical Programming and Data Management
  • Applied Regression Analysis
  • Statistical Methods

Students can apply courses toward the Master’s in Applied Statistics if they choose to continue their education.

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