Master of Science in Data Analytics

Our fully online Master of Science in Data Analytics (MSDA) program prepares you for data-driven leadership and problem-solving. You'll learn to approach business decision-making more rigorously and confidently, while effectively communicating data findings, interpreting complex data and guiding your organization to make more informed and actionable strategic decisions.

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Program Advantages

Cutting-edge Curriculum

Our faculty will challenge you to push the boundaries of learning by imparting knowledge derived from their research and teaching expertise, as well as best practices in the industry. They'll expose you to Hadoop, R, Python, SQL, SAP Predict Analytics, SAS, Tableau and other cutting-edge technologies throughout the curriculum.

Professional Networking

The MSDA program includes a high level of industry engagement and experiential learning situations. Both offer you the opportunity to network with your peers, industry leaders and NIU alumni.

Flexible Schedule

The 10-week online format for each course allows you the flexibility to create a program schedule that fits into your life. You may complete the program in 15 months or select a part-time option. You may begin your program in the fall, spring or summer semester.

Data Analytics Faculty

You'll have the opportunity to learn from the same faculty who teach in NIU’s nationally ranked operations and information management programs, as well as business practitioners who were specifically chosen for their expertise in data analytics practices.

Career Outlook

The MSDA program leads to or enhances careers such as:

  • Data scientist/data analyst
  • Data mining analyst
  • Data engineer
  • Business intelligence analyst
  • Business/management analyst
  • System analyst
  • IT project manager
  • Cyber/information security engineer/analyst
  • Software developer/engineer
  • Market research analyst
  • Marketing/sales manager

Data analytics is embedded in all industries, business functions and employee workflows. MSDA graduates find career opportunities in a wide array of industries and organizations. MSDA graduates also strengthen their data-driven collaboration, communication, presentation, project management and business negotiation skills.

Program Structure

The Master of Science in Data Analytics program consists of two phases. Phase One courses are designed to address deficiencies in undergraduate course work considered to be prerequisite for Phase Two (30 credits) graduate course work. Students with significant undergraduate course work in business may be waived from some, or all, of the Phase One requirements.

Phase Two consists of 10 courses. Five courses are required from big data analytics (15 credits), three courses are required from business and visual communication (nine credits), one course is required from statistics (three credits) and one course is required from programming (three credits).

Course Schedule


Admission to the MSDA program is competitive. At a minimum, you must meet the NIU Graduate School admission requirements and demonstrate that you possess the following minimum qualifications:

Applicants With a Baccalaureate or Higher Degree From an Accredited U.S. College or University

  • You must have a strong record of academic achievement, demonstrated by cumulative GPA. Official transcripts from all institutions attended will be required.
  • The GMAT or GRE is not required but may be submitted to supplement the academic record if GPA does not fully demonstrate academic ability.
  • A current resume is required.
  • Two letters of recommendation are required.

Start your application now with the NIU Graduate School.

Admission Deadlines

Semester Graduate School Deadline (all supporting material)
Spring December 4
Summer April 1
Fall August 15
Degree Requirements

The program consists of two phases.

Phase One is designed to address deficiencies in undergraduate course work. Some or all Phase One requirements may be waived based on previous undergraduate or graduate course work. Phase One consists of the following courses:

  • OMIS 505 Principles of Operations Management (2)
  • OMIS 507 Business Information Systems (2)
  • OMIS 524 Business Statistics (2)

To learn more about these courses, please watch the following 3 minute video of course description as presented by the faculty member for each course. (course chapter version)

Phase Two consists of 10 courses (30 credit hours) from the following subjects:

Business and Communication (9)

  • MSDA 628 Supply Chain Business Analytics (3)
  • MSDA 673 Business Data Visualization (3)
  • MSDA 690 Data Analytics Project Management (3)

Statistics (3)

MSDA 645 Applied Statistics for Business Analytics Using SAS (3)

Programming (3)

MDSA 649 Data Analytics Programming (3)

Big Data (15)

  • MSDA 652 Business Applications of Database Management Systems (3)
  • MSDA 661 Business Intelligence Applications and Tools (3)
  • MSDA 665 Big Data Analytics for Business (3)
  • MSDA 681 Machine Learning and Advanced Predictive Analytics (3)
  • MSDA 683 Business Applications of Text Mining (3)

To learn more about these courses, please watch the following 10-minute video of course description as presented by the faculty member for each course. (course chapter version)

Program Costs

Learn more about tuition and fees.

Please note: Some students may need to take one to three two-credit-hour Phase One courses to address deficiencies in their undergraduate course work.

"The future of data analytics is now, and NIU is at the forefront of this movement."
- Christopher M. Millington, retired CTO of McDonald's, 2010 Honorary NIU Business Alumnus

How to Apply

Degree Requirements

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