It’s no secret that Data Science is one of the explosively growing job sectors in today’s world. A report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that an estimated 11.5 million jobs will be created in this multi-disciplinary field by 2026. Meanwhile, according to PayScale, the average pay for an entry-level data scientist is around $85,000 per year, while that of an experienced one is over $120,000 annually. So, it’s definitely a great time to enroll for a professional degree in the field. If you are a Canadian, or someone looking to study Data Science in the Great White North, you will find this article helpful as it lists the top five universities that offer a Master’s degree in Data Science in Canada.

Universities in Canada that offer a Master’s Degree in Data Science

1. The University of British Columbia

We will start this list of Canadian universities that offer Master’s in Data Science with UBC. Founded in 1908, the University of British Columbia (UBC) is the oldest university in the Canadian province of British Columbia. The public research university has two main campuses: one located in Vancouver, and the other in Kelowna in the Okanagan Valley. It has a student population of around 65,000, including about 18,000 international students from over 160 countries. It is the alma mater of eight Nobel laureates, including economist Robert Mundell, and three Canadian prime ministers, including the current PM Justin Trudeau.

UBC offers three Master of Data Science programs: two in its Vancouver campus and one in its Okanagan campus. Out of the two programs offered in the Vancouver campus, one is referred to as Master of Data Science with Computational Linguistics specialization. Each of these three is a full-time, accelerated program that runs for a period of 10 months. As many as 24 one-credit courses are offered in four-week segments. At the completion of six such segments, an eight-week capstone project comes into play. Thus, students get the opportunity to apply their newly acquired knowledge, and at the same time, work alongside other students with real-life data sets.


2. University of Waterloo

The University of Waterloo (UWaterloo) started off in 1957 with only 74 students. But now, the university situated in Waterloo, Ontario has a total number of 40,000 full and part-time students. The good news for the international students is that around 20 percent of students at the undergraduate level and 40 percent at the graduate level are not Canadians. The public research university has over 203,000 alumni hailing from 152 countries. Also, it is one of the Canadian universities with a Master’s degree in data science. U.S. News and World Report Best Global Universities 2019 ranked it as the best institution in Canada for Computer Science and the second-best for Engineering.

This university in Canada offers two Master’s degrees in the field of Data Science: Master of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (MDSAI) and Master of Mathematics (M.Math) in Data Science. These data science programs are some of the best in Canada. The MDSAI program is a full-time coursework program with a co-op option. Normally, it is a 16-month program, consisting of four terms: three study terms and a four-month work term. The M.Math program, on the other hand, is a research-based program that requires its students to take part directly in research projects funded by supervisors and to write a thesis. Both part-time and full-time options are available. Excluding the thesis, the program requires four to six terms for its completion.


3. Saint Mary’s University

In the heart of Halifax, the provincial capital of Nova Scotia lies the 80-acre campus of Saint Mary’s University (SMU). This Canadian university is great for students who want to pursue a Master’s in Data Science in Canada. Established in 1802, the urban public university has a total student enrollment of 7,000. Around 29 percent of them are international students from as many as 118 countries. It is partnered with 40 institutions across 25 countries. It is widely recognized as one of the best Canadian institutes for higher education in the field of Business.

SMU’s graduation program in the field of Data Science is named Master of Science in Computing & Data Analytics (MSc CDA). It is a 16-month professional program that consists of four terms. The first two terms comprise eight foundation courses that introduce students to software development as well as challenges and solutions in big data analytics. The third and fourth terms provide students with three Applied Learning Options. The first of these options allow students to apply their knowledge and skills to real-world data and business challenges by receiving paid internships with partners in the industry. The second option finds students taking on two courses where they are tasked with developing a group-based applied project that addresses a major problem in data analytics pointed out by an industry partner. The third option is simply writing a thesis.


4. Ryerson University

Next on our list of universities in Canada with a Master’s in data science is Ryerson University. Lying in the heart of Toronto, the most populous Canadian city is the Ryerson University that began its journey in 1948 as Ryerson Institute of Technology. In 1993, it earned official university status and was renamed Ryerson Polytechnic University. Then, in 2002, it went on to earn its current, shorter name. International students from over 146 countries are enrolled at the public research university that has a student population north of 45,000. It has partnerships with 133 universities in 37 countries.

Ryerson offers a Master of Science (MSc) in Data Science and Analytics that can be undertaken as either a full-time or part-time program. The full-time data science program in Canada runs for a single year, consisting of three terms, while the part-time program is two years in length, consisting of six terms. It uses lecture-based as well as hands-on lab learning environments to help students develop and apply their skills to complex, real-world datasets and analytics problems in Data Science.


5. Trent University

Founded in 1964, Trent University has its main campus located in Peterborough, Ontario. This is our last university in Canada with a Master’s Degree in Data Science. It also has a satellite campus site in Oshawa, another city in the same province. It is a medium-sized public university with nearly 9,000 students. It has around 700 students hailing from over 100 countries. Noble laureate James Orbinski is one of its notable alumni.

Trent was one of the first Canadian universities to take steps in filling the training gap for Data Science professionals. Trent’s graduate program in the field is named Master of Science in Big Data Analytics. The degree can be attained through both full-time and part-time studies. In the case of full-time studies, the professional program can be completed in 16 months. It aims at imparting practical skills in data visualization, data mining, cloud-based approaches as well as parallel programming skills.


I hope that this article on universities in Canada that offer a Master’s in data science was helpful. Make sure to also check out our Data Science Programs for International Students for some of the currently open data science courses around the world!