5 Best Online Bachelor's in Data Science 2023

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Updated February 1, 2023

A bachelor's degree can launch your career as a data specialist. Learn more about the best data science degrees online, including the most affordable options and how to select your program.

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With the right data, business leaders can drive growth, optimize spending, and improve performance. Many organizations still struggle to effectively apply data insights. A 2022 study by NewVantage Partners found that 73.7% of organizations have appointed a chief data and analytics officer, but only 26.5% have achieved the goal of becoming data-driven companies.

As a result, data science professionals are in high demand. An online bachelor's degree in data analytics can offer the first step to becoming one of these professionals. In this major, students can learn about data governance, machine learning, data wrangling, and scripting and programming.

Find out more about the best data science undergraduate programs and discover the right degree option for you.

Top Online Undergraduate Programs in Data Science

Ready for a career that combines data modeling with visualization? Discover more about 2023's five best online bachelor's degrees in data science. Click the link below to find out how we ranked these programs.

#1 5 Best Online Bachelor’s in Data Science 2023

Western Governors University

  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • 4 years
  • Online

Founded by 19 state governors, Western Governors University (WGU) is a student-centered online institution. The school's competency-based model allows learners to personalize their studies and pay a flat tuition rate.

Bachelor of Science Data Management and Data Analytics

Blending data analytics and data management, Western Governors University's bachelor's program requires 39 major courses, including a capstone project. The degree includes coursework in data management, full-stack engineering, and machine learning. Enrollees also study technical writing, scripting, and programming.

As part of their academic program, students also prepare to earn third-party data management certifications from organizations such as CompTIA, Udacity, and CIW. New learners transfer in an average of 27 credits, and about 70% of students complete their degree within 37 months. Students may proceed faster or slower depending upon how quickly they master the material.

Applying to WGU

Applicants must hold a high school diploma. WGU does not require ACT or SAT scores. Instead, applicants show evidence of preparation for the program through college coursework, advanced high school math classes, or IT certifications.

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Tuition: $3,975/term
  • Delivery Format: 100% online (asynchronous)
Average Tuition
In-state
$6,380
Out-of-state
$6,380
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
147,866
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#2 5 Best Online Bachelor’s in Data Science 2023

Southern New Hampshire University

  • Manchester, NH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

A private institution in Manchester, New Hampshire, Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) serves about 3,000 on-campus students and 170,000 online learners. The university offers more than 200 academic programs from certificate to doctoral levels. 

Bachelor of Science in Data Analytics

Students in Southern New Hampshire University's data analytics program learn to master analytical tools, solve real-world problems, and present data to influence decisions. 

The program covers topics such as data policy and decision-making, emerging technologies, big data, and data validation. Along with major-specific and general education courses, students can take 12 elective credits or complete a concentration in project management for STEM. Enrollees may earn up to 12 math credits through SNHU's credit-by-assessment program.

Graduates can benefit from career opportunities and connections through SNHU's more than 200,000 alumni. 

Applying to SNHU

Applicants should complete an application and send proof of a high school diploma or its equivalent. SNHU accepts applications on a rolling basis. New eight-week terms begin six times each year.

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Private
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Tuition: $320/credit
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Delivery Format: 100% online
Average Tuition
In-state
$9,600
Out-of-state
$9,600
Retention Rate
67%
Admission Rate
94%
Students Enrolled
134,345
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
96% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#3 5 Best Online Bachelor’s in Data Science 2023

Arizona State University Digital Immersion

  • Scottsdale, AZ
  • 4 years
  • Online

Located in Scottsdale, Arizona State University (ASU) serves over 135,000 enrollees, including nearly 58,000 online learners. About 30% of its undergraduates are first-generation college students and almost half come from minority backgrounds.

Bachelor of Science in Data Science

Arizona State University's data science degree mixes mathematics and statistics with computer science. This interdisciplinary program features five academic tracks — behavioral science, bioscience, business analytics, social science, and spatial science.

Learners complete 40 courses in subjects like data science and society, mathematical tools for data science, and exploring data in R and python. Each course lasts 7.5 weeks. Throughout the curriculum, students learn to extract patterns from large, unordered data sets.

Graduates may pursue careers as bioinformatics scientists, financial quantitative analysts, statisticians, or clinical data managers.

Applying to ASU

Prospective first-year students need a 3.0 high school GPA, an ACT score of 22 for AZ residents (24 for non-residents), or a place in the top 25% of their graduating class. Applicants should submit SAT or ACT scores for placement and scholarship consideration.

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Tuition: $641/credit
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Program Length: 8 terms
  • Delivery Format: 100% online
Average Tuition
In-state
$10,710
Out-of-state
$10,820
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
73%
Students Enrolled
53,993
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#4 5 Best Online Bachelor’s in Data Science 2023

University of North Dakota

  • Grand Forks, ND
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of North Dakota (UND) serves 13,786 students in both on-campus and online learning environments. Based in Grand Forks, the school offers more than 225 academic programs across all postsecondary levels.

Bachelor of Science in Data Science

The University of North Dakota's data science degree emphasizes using data to foster effective business decisions. This 4- to 5-year program accepts new students every fall, spring, and summer. Students complete 124 credits, including 36 credits at the 300 level or above and 30 credits or more at UND.

Course topics include algorithms and data structures, mathematical modeling and simulation, object-oriented programming, and social implications of computer technology. Students also take 29 mathematics credits, including calculus and discrete mathematics. The program concludes with a six-credit senior project. 

Applying to UND

First-year applicants should submit an application, transcripts, and a $35 application fee. Transfer students need at least 24 completed college credits with a GPA of 2.0 or above, and should be in good standing with their previous school. 

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Tuition: $644/credit
  • Required Credits: 124
  • Program Length: 4-5 years
  • Delivery Format: 100% online
Average Tuition
In-state
$8,540
Out-of-state
$12,810
Retention Rate
81%
Admission Rate
87%
Students Enrolled
13,615
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
83% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#5 5 Best Online Bachelor’s in Data Science 2023

Point Park University

  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Point Park University offers more than 90 undergraduate and graduate majors, including over 40 online degrees. The school enrolls more than 3,300 students from 47 states and 37 countries.

Bachelor's in Applied Computer Science

Applied computer science students at Point Park University can pursue a concentration in big data and analytics. The program requires 42 credits in a thematic core, 34 credits in business, 21 credits in the major, and 15 concentration credits. Learners choose nine elective credits. Course subjects include data mining, NoSQL databases, data structures, and business analytics. 

New students may transfer up to 90 credits. Point Park accepts credits from several sources. These include postsecondary institutions and exams such as DANTES Subject Standardized Tests, UEXCEL exams, or College Level Examination Program tests. Enrollees can also apply Advanced Placement credit and experiential learning assessment portfolio submissions.

Applying to Point Park

Applicants must submit high school and/or college transcripts. Point Park expects a minimum  2.0 GPA, but the admissions committee may consider applicants with lower grades. The university may request supplemental material from prospective students.

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Tuition: $495/credit
  • Required Credits: 121
  • Program Length: 2-4 Years
  • Delivery Format: 100% online
Average Tuition
In-state
$32,560
Out-of-state
$32,560
Retention Rate
73%
Admission Rate
70%
Students Enrolled
3,591
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
86% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

What to Expect From an Online Data Science Degree

Online bachelor's in data science programs offer an interdisciplinary curriculum covering computer science, mathematical modeling, and statistics. Students gain data mining, predictive modeling, visualization techniques, and machine learning skills. They apply these abilities to analyze data, make predictions, and solve problems.

Full-time students who earn data science degrees online typically must complete 120 credits and take four years to graduate. Typical classes include foundations of data science, data visualization, data systems administration, and techniques of data science.

Some data science undergraduate programs include concentrations like health data, business, mathematics, or sociology. Schools may offer different types of data science degrees, including a bachelor of science, bachelor of arts, or bachelor of business administration.

How Is an Online Bachelor's in Data Science Different From an On-Campus Program?

In an online learning format, students may interact with their peers virtually. With asynchronous delivery, Synchronous online programs typically include real-time interactions with instructors.

An on-campus program, by contrast, typically includes in-person breakout groups where students can form strong connections. These students may also visit with instructors face to face, participate in job fairs, meet visiting industry experts, and network with alumni.

The following table compares online and in-person programs.

Online vs. On-Campus Bachelor's in Data Science Degrees
Online Program On-Campus Program

Cost

Many universities now help students pay for a degree by offering online education at a lower cost.

Private institutions charge $60,593 on average for an online degree.


In 2020, 18% of online college students said they struggled with financial aid.

Private schools charge an average of $129,800 for an in-person degree.

On-campus students may pay for housing, board, or transportation costs above tuition.

Degree Completion

Fully online students are less likely to complete their degree than students who take a mix of on-campus and online courses.

Fully on-campus students may be more likely to graduate than online or hybrid learners.

Scheduling

Asynchronous online programs offer flexible learning opportunities.

On-campus programs provide a series of scheduled classes.

Program Length

120-124 credits

120-124 credits

Sources: Education Data; The Hechinger Report; Effects of Online Course Load on Degree Completion, Transfer, and Dropout Among Community College Students of the State University of New York

Online learners benefit from lower overall costs and flexible schedules. On-campus and hybrid students may be more likely to complete their degrees and earn higher GPAs than fully online learners. Though it offers many benefits, online learning requires considerable self-discipline and organization.

How Is an Online Bachelor's in Data Science Different From a Bootcamp?

Data science bootcamps provide a short, career-focused education with less emphasis on theory. A bachelor's in data science, by contrast, concentrates more on theory and general education requirements.

Degree-seekers may have access to more resources and extracurricular activities than bootcamp enrollees. Finally, individuals with bachelor's degrees may also qualify to enroll in graduate degrees.

Delivery Formats for Online Data Science Degrees

Schools may apply different learning methods for online delivery. A 100% online degree occurs entirely from a distance without on-campus courses. These degrees may use asynchronous delivery, allowing students to study on their own schedules. Synchronous coursework uses pre-set class times, much like in a traditional setting.

Hybrid degrees require some in-person experiences. These requirements vary in length, potentially lasting a weekend or up to half of the degree's requirements. Students should select a format that best fits their calendar and learning style.

Accreditation for Online Data Science Degrees

Accreditation ensures that a school operates with integrity, hires qualified faculty, and provides students with adequate resources. Graduates of accredited schools can increase their chances for graduate school admission and pursue more options in the career marketplace.

An institutionally accredited school has received accreditation from a federally recognized regional body. It is the gold standard for higher education accreditation. Programmatic accreditation, provided by organizations like ABET, applies to specific departments or programs, signaling industry recognition and high.

How Much Will an Online Bachelor's in Data Science Cost?

The cost of a data science undergraduate program varies substantially by school. Factors that affect tuition costs include program format (online or in-person), institution type (public or private), and student residency (in-state or out-of-state).

In general, private universities charge higher tuition rates than public institutions. Students looking for affordable ways to earn a data science degree online should find public schools where they can pay in-state tuition. The National Center for Education Statistics reported that the average annual tuition and fees at public, four-year institutions as of the 2020-2021 academic year cost $9,375, compared to $32,825 for private, four-year schools.

Many online programs offer in-state or discounted rates to out-of-state learners. Distance education provides other opportunities to save money, including faster paths to graduation, free textbooks, and lower fees. Institutions offer financing options to help students pay for school, including scholarships, grants, and loans.

Why Get Your Bachelor's in Data Science Degree Online?

Earning a data science degree online offers benefits like scheduling flexibility, potentially lower costs, and opportunities to network with students around the country.

Many programs use asynchronous delivery, which provides 24/7 access to materials. This method allows students to continue working full time and earning income while pursuing degrees. The ability to complete coursework with more flexibility provides freedom and opportunities to develop valuable time management skills.

Distance education continues to increase in popularity across disciplines but may especially suit data science majors. Online data science degrees develop computer and information technology skills and prepare graduates to work remotely.

Benefits to earning an undergraduate degree in data science in general include:

  • In-Demand Skills: The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects faster-than-average job growth for the computer and information technology field from 2021-2031. Employers in every sector need workers with advanced technology skills in information security, cloud computing, and virtual data storage.
  • New Job Opportunities: Bachelor's degree-holders can pursue IT jobs, including computer programmer, computer systems analyst, and information security analyst.
  • Competitive Salaries: Payscale reports that data scientists earn an average annual salary of $98,380 as of January 2023.

Explore Computer Science Careers

Selecting Your Online Data Science Program

Our ranking of the best data science online degrees presents a great place to begin your search, but candidates should still consider other factors to find their ideal school. Below, we cover some additional criteria:

  • Accreditation: Any prospective school should hold institutional accreditation, which indicates that the school offers high-quality academics. Attending an accredited institution also makes it easier to get financial aid, transfer credits to other schools, and qualify for graduate school. Some bachelor's in data science degrees may also hold programmatic accreditation from ABET.
  • Cost/Financial Aid: Students should determine the estimated cost of attendance for each prospective school, including whether the institution offers lower tuition for out-of-state online learners. Financial aid opportunities for data science majors, including scholarships, grants, and student loans, can lower total program costs.
  • Career Services: The best colleges offer robust career services for students earning data science online degrees. Support may include workshops, resume help, networking opportunities, and job search boards.
  • Earning Potential: Many schools publicize the average salaries of their students after graduation for prospective students to estimate their earning potential.
  • Online-Specific Education: Explore each school's pricing model, support options, multimedia inclusion, and online learning platform. Does the school offer a robust online experience?
  • Concentrations: Some of the best data science undergraduate programs offer specialization options in big data and analytics or project management. Others focus on a common core curriculum. Make sure the program's emphases align with your professional goals.

First-year applicants and transfer students can apply to any of more than 1,000 colleges with Common Application. These candidates do not need to complete separate forms for each school.

Explore Related Programs



Associate Degrees in Data Science

Associate Degrees in Data Science

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Online Master's Degrees in Data Science

Ph.D. in Data Science

Ph.D. in Data Science

FAQ About the Online Data Science Undergraduate Programs

  • Is it possible to learn data science online?

    Yes. Many top schools offer online data science degree programs. Data science lends itself particularly well to distance education, with students completing much of their coursework on computers.

  • How long does it take to get a bachelor's degree in data science online?

    It usually takes four years to complete an online bachelor's degree. However, students may transfer credits into many programs, reducing the overall time required to earn their degrees.

  • Which online degree is best for data science?

    The best online degree for data science depends on each student's career goals, academic interests, and budget. Prospective students should find schools that best align with these needs.

  • Is an online data science bachelor's degree worth it?

    Yes. Earning an online bachelor's in data science prepares students for high-paying, in-demand careers in data science, computing, and information technology.

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