Discover the Best Data Science Degree Programs in North Dakota: Online and On-Campus Options

Have you ever considered pursuing a career in data science, one of the most in-demand fields in today’s job market? North Dakota presents a myriad of opportunities for aspiring data scientists, with a range of degree programs and burgeoning industries seeking skilled professionals. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the best data science degree programs in North Dakota, both online and on-campus, and explore the career prospects and networking opportunities available in this dynamic field.

Key Takeaways

  • Explore data science degree programs in North Dakota, from undergraduate and graduate degrees to online options.

  • Gain specialized knowledge with a variety of courses and certificate programs at UND, NDSU, and MSU.

  • Benefit from financial aid opportunities as well as diverse career prospects in the flourishing tech sector of North Dakota.

Exploring Data Science Degrees in North Dakota

North Dakota is home to several universities offering data science degree programs, catering to a variety of interests and career goals. Students can pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in data science, computer science, and related fields, with a focus on developing the skills needed to excel in this ever-growing industry.

Here are some notable universities in the state that offer data science degrees.

University of North Dakota (UND)

The University of North Dakota (UND) is a standout institution offering undergraduate and graduate data science programs, both online and on-campus. Students can choose between a thesis format available both on-campus and online with formal defense with faculty, or a non-thesis format available online only, where students complete a project with an oral presentation.

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UND’s Data Science Master of Science program offers:

  • Focus on database engineering, high-performance computing, and the latest advancements in data science

  • Comprehensive curriculum that encompasses the most recent data science technologies and practices

  • Strong focus on research and collaboration

  • Access to a specialized data science laboratory and numerous industry partnerships

This ensures students are up to date with the dynamic nature of the field and have access to resources that enhance their learning experience.

North Dakota State University (NDSU)

North Dakota State University (NDSU) offers graduate certificate programs and related STEM degrees with data science coursework. One such program is the Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics, an 8-credit program focusing on descriptive analytics. The curriculum consists of courses such as Business Analytics Concepts, Business Analytics Strategy, and Business Analytics Methods.

Besides the Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics, NDSU also provides a variety of data science-related courses, such as:

  • Introduction to Data Science

  • Statistical Big Data Visualization

  • Introduction to Data Science in Python

  • Large Scale Data Manipulation

  • and more

These courses provide students with a solid foundation in data science, preparing them for careers in this exciting field.

Minot State University (MSU)

Minot State University (MSU) offers a Master of Science in Information Systems, focusing on business management and cyber security. The program includes a range of courses related to database management, systems design, e-business strategy and business network systems. Each course provides theoretical and practical insights to help enhance your understanding of these domains. Graduates can expect job opportunities in a range of IT-related fields. Systems integration, networking infrastructure, project management and software development are just some of these roles..

The admission requirements for the Master of Science in Information Systems program at MSU include:

  • A bachelor’s degree

  • Experience in MIS

  • Additional undergraduate courses based on the undergraduate degree

  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 or a 3.00 in the most recent semesters contributing to 60 semester hours

  • A statement of purpose of 500-1500 words

  • Three recommendations via the MSU Recommendation Form

The program can be completed within two semesters.

Online Data Science Programs in North Dakota

Online data science programs in North Dakota offer a flexible alternative for those seeking to advance their education without the need to attend in-person classes. The University of North Dakota is the primary provider of online data science programs in the state, offering bachelor’s, master’s, and graduate certificate options.

Here are some online data science programs available in North Dakota.

Online Bachelor’s Degrees

The University of North Dakota offers an online bachelor’s degree in data science, which typically takes four to five years to complete, requiring approximately 120 credits. The curriculum encompasses required courses totaling 124 credits, with 36 credits numbered 300 or above and 30 credits from UND. The curriculum incorporates a blend of computer science, data science, and business analytics skills, preparing students for a successful career in data science.

The online bachelor’s degree in data science at UND offers the following benefits:

  • Same degree requirements as the on-campus program

  • High-quality education from the comfort of your own home

  • Flexibility for working professionals or those with family obligations

Online Master’s Degrees

Online master’s degrees in data science, computer science, and cyber security are available at both UND and MSU. These programs offer students the opportunity to specialize in their chosen field while enjoying the convenience of an online format. The online Master of Science in Data Science program at UND, for example, can be completed in just two years, making it an attractive option for those looking to advance their careers quickly with a master’s degree.

At MSU, the online Master of Science in Information Systems program focuses on areas such as business management, cyber security, and system analysis. With a strong emphasis on practical applications and real-world problem-solving, these online master’s degrees provide graduates with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the data science field.

Online Graduate Certificates

Online graduate certificates in data science-related fields are available at both NDSU and MSU. NDSU offers an online Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics, while MSU provides an online Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security Management. These certificate programs allow students to gain specialized knowledge in their chosen field, complementing their existing degrees or professional experience.

The online Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security Management at MSU covers topics such as Information Assurance and Security, Managing and Integration Information System Functions, and Business Network Systems Management. Similarly, NDSU’s online Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics focuses on descriptive analytics and includes courses such as Business Analytics Concepts, Business Analytics Strategy, and Business Analytics Methods. These programs offer a targeted approach to acquiring specific data science skills, making them valuable additions to any professional’s resume.

Community College Data Science Programs

While there are no specific community colleges in North Dakota offering data science programs, students can still pursue related coursework in computer science, statistics, and business analytics. Community colleges such as Bismarck State College, North Dakota State College of Science, and Lake Region State College offer online data science programs, providing students with the foundational skills needed to enter the data science field or further their education at a four-year institution.

Financial Aid and Scholarship Opportunities

Affording a college education in data science can be a significant financial investment, but there are numerous financial aid and scholarship opportunities available to students in North Dakota. Universities offer a variety of scholarships, while external funding sources such as grants and fellowships can also provide financial support.

Here are some financial aid and scholarship opportunities for data science students in North Dakota.

University Scholarships

Data science students at UND, NDSU, and MSU can benefit from a variety of university scholarships. Some of the scholarships available include:

  • Academic scholarships based on cumulative college GPA

  • Transfer student scholarship awards

  • Scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students emphasizing research-related interests

For more information, visit UND’s financial aid website at

NDSU and MSU also offer scholarships specific to data science students. NDSU provides scholarships for data science students, while MSU offers the Math and Computer Science Scholarship for students intending to major in mathematics or computer science. This scholarship can be renewed annually for up to four years, providing valuable financial support for students pursuing a career in data science.

External Funding Sources

In addition to university scholarships, data science students can also explore external funding sources such as:

  • Grant agencies and sponsors

  • National grant databases like

  • The National Science Foundation

  • Local community grants

  • Federal funding

  • North Dakota and Minnesota grant opportunities

  • Foundation funding

These sources may provide financial support for students pursuing data science degrees.

Thorough investigation of these funding opportunities, understanding of specific eligibility criteria, and knowledge of application processes are necessary. By exploring all available financial aid and scholarship options, students can help offset the cost of their data science education and focus on building the skills necessary for a successful career.

Data Science Career Prospects in North Dakota

With a strong foundation in data science, graduates in North Dakota can look forward to a range of career opportunities in various industries. The state’s growing tech sector, healthcare industry, and agricultural sector all provide ample opportunities for skilled data scientists.

Here is a deeper look at the career prospects for data science professionals in North Dakota.

Top Industries and Employers

In North Dakota, the most prominent sectors and employers for data scientists include tech companies, healthcare, and agriculture. Microsoft, Phoenix International, Sanford Health, and US Bank are some of the leading employers in the state. The Microsoft campus in the Fargo/Moorhead area, in particular, has transformed the region into a hub of development, creating numerous job opportunities for data scientists.

Major tech companies such as Humana and Louisiana Key Academy are also hiring data scientists in North Dakota, while healthcare organizations like the Indian Health Service in Belcourt, ND actively recruit data scientists to help improve patient care and outcomes. The agriculture industry also plays a role in the hiring of data scientists, with companies seeking professionals to analyze data and develop innovative solutions for farming challenges. Thus, North Dakota offers a variety of data science jobs across different industries.

Average Salaries

The average salary for data scientists in North Dakota is $98,230 per year, with entry-level positions earning around $72.73 per hour or $151,282 per year. Data scientists with a Ph.D. can expect to earn between $51 and $65 per hour or $108,379 to $137,900 per annum. Salaries can vary depending on factors such as the industry, location, and level of experience.

Watford City, Stanley, and Minot Air Force Base are the highest paying cities for data scientists in North Dakota, with average salaries ranging from $77,927 to $78,041. The cost of living in North Dakota is almost exactly the same as the overall average for the United States (99.6 versus 100), making these salaries competitive in the context of the region’s living expenses.

Networking and Professional Development Opportunities

As a data science professional in North Dakota, it’s crucial to stay connected with others in the field and take advantage of networking and professional development opportunities. These can include participating in data science meetups and communities, attending regional conferences and workshops, and engaging in online learning.

Here are some networking and professional development opportunities for data scientists in North Dakota.

Data Science Meetups and Communities

While the Fargo/Moorhead area has a limited number of tech and data meetups, there are still opportunities to connect with like-minded professionals. Two such meetups in Fargo include FM Data Science and Data Science and Big Data – Red River Valley. These events provide a platform for data scientists to discuss current trends, share ideas, and collaborate on projects.

Unfortunately, we could not find any data science meetups in Fargo and Bismarck specifically recommended for beginners. However, attending these events can still provide valuable insights and connections for those just starting their data science journey.

Regional Conferences and Workshops

Attending regional conferences and workshops related to data science in North Dakota and nearby states can be a great way to stay informed about the latest developments in the field and enhance your skills. Some notable events include the SDSU Data Science Symposium, the SICSS Summer Program at North Dakota State University, and the MBDH-sponsored Data Carpentry workshops.

Participating in these conferences and workshops can offer numerous advantages, such as:

  • Learning opportunities

  • Networking

  • Knowledge exchange

  • Career advancement

  • Motivation

By staying engaged with the data science community and actively pursuing professional development opportunities, you’ll be well-equipped to excel in your data science career.

Related STEM Degree Programs in North Dakota

In addition to data science degrees, there are also related STEM degree programs available in North Dakota, such as computer science and statistics/business analytics degrees. These programs provide students with a solid foundation in the skills needed to excel in the data science field.

Here is a closer examination of these related degree programs.

Computer Science Degrees

Top universities in North Dakota offering computer science degrees include the University of North Dakota, North Dakota State University-Main Campus, University of Jamestown, and Minot State University. These programs offer a wide array of coursework that can complement data science studies, such as object-oriented programming, data science, modern software development, discrete mathematics, and computer security.

A computer science degree with a focus on data science differs from a traditional computer science degree in that a data science bachelor’s degree places increased emphasis on data engineering and:

  • diverse forms of data, including structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data

  • mathematical concepts such as calculus and statistics

  • topics such as machine learning and data analysis

Pursuing a computer science degree with a focus on data science can open up a world of opportunities in North Dakota’s growing data science sector, including cloud computing.

Statistics and Business Analytics Degrees

North Dakota State University (NDSU) offers statistics and business analytics degrees, which are highly relevant to data science. These degrees provide a solid foundation in statistics, mathematics, and analytics, which are indispensable skills for data scientists. Graduates with these degrees can pursue careers in various industries, including technology, finance, healthcare, and consulting.

Statistics and business analytics degrees in North Dakota incorporate data science through courses and curricula that combine computer science, data science, and data analytics competencies. Graduates of these programs are equipped with the necessary tools and knowledge to convert data into useful insights and pursue careers in data science, business analytics, and market research.


In conclusion, North Dakota offers a wealth of opportunities for aspiring data scientists, with a variety of degree programs, growing industries, and networking opportunities. By pursuing a data science degree in North Dakota, whether online or on-campus, students can develop the skills needed to excel in this in-demand field and contribute to the state’s thriving tech sector. As the demand for data scientists continues to grow, there has never been a better time to embark on a rewarding career in data science in North Dakota.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which bachelor degree is best for data science?

A Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, or a related field is the best option for data science. With knowledge from these fields, you will have the skills necessary to become a successful data scientist.

Which is best program for data science?

TensorFlow is the most popular and widely accepted open-source data science tool for developing data analysis and ML algorithms, with support for ML and DL library, as well as visualization features – making it the best program for data science.

Are data science degrees worth it?

Data Scientist is one of the highest-paid jobs with an average annual salary of $113,000, making a data science degree worth the time and tuition cost. Furthermore, earning a master’s degree in data science can help you further your ability to work with and parse data, making it a worthwhile investment.

What universities in North Dakota offer data science degree programs?

For those looking to pursue a data science degree, the University of North Dakota, North Dakota State University, and Minot State University offer excellent programs.

What are the average salaries for data scientists in North Dakota?

Data scientists in North Dakota can expect to earn an average salary of $98,230 per year.

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