Master of Science in Machine Learning and Data Science

The Master of Science in Machine Learning and Data Science program at Northwestern University is housed within the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences, a top 5 department in the nation, and McCormick School of Engineering. Our full-time, 15-month, professional master’s degree immerses students in a comprehensive and applied curriculum exploring the underlying data engineering, data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and business of analytics. Supplemented by an internship and industry-supplied projects, graduates will be exceptionally well-equipped to harness and communicate the full value of data to the organizations they serve.

Program Goals

Upon graduation, our students have acquired the necessary skills to:

  • Identify and assess the opportunities, needs, and constraints of data usage within an organizational context.
  • Integrate data engineering and data science to maximize the value of data.
  • Develop and deploy machine learning and artificial intelligence solutions to advance the goals and needs of the client
  • Design innovative and creative data analytics solutions.
  • Communicate clearly and persuasively to a variety of audiences.
  • Lead analytics teams and projects.

Our Curriculum

Tailored Coursework

The Master of Science in Machine Learning and Data Science curriculum spans 15 months, including a required summer internship and two industry-supplied projects. Exclusive and tailored to our program needs, our rigorous curriculum includes coursework in statistics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, optimization, databases, and data engineering.

Learn more about our exclusive and tailored curriculum

Industry Collaboration

MLDS students engage in two applied projects sourced directly from industry. Working under the guidance of business and technical advisers, small teams of students provide effective and efficient solutions for industry clients while crafting demonstrable evidence of their advanced analytics skills. In the first three quarters of the program, students participate in 8-month Practicum projects. After returning from their summer internship, in the fifth and final quarter of the program, students participate in 10-week Capstone projects designed to showcase the skills acquired and developed in the program.

Learn more about industry collaboration

The Cohort Experience

Students in the Master of Science in Machine Learning and Data Science program move through the set curriculum as a cohort. The program limits enrollment to about 55 students; the small cohort size ensures that students receive a high degree of individualized instruction and attention. In addition, a small cohort helps our students form a tightly-knit community, fostering relationships that transcend the academic setting and strengthen our alumni network.

Learn more about our students

Career Development

Our students’ reputation for excellence is rewarded through competitive career and internship placements. Students lead their own internship and job searches but are supported by the program through networking events in the fall and winter which bring recruiters eager to staff internship and job opportunities to campus. Additionally, students have full access to career resources through the McCormick School of Engineering and Northwestern Career Advancement – even after graduation.

Learn more about our student success

Learn more about how employers work with our students

Our Faculty

Faculty for the Master of Science in Machine Learning and Data Science program are drawn from several schools and departments, as well as experts from the industry:

  • The Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences in the McCormick School of Engineering
  • The Department of Computer Science at the McCormick School of Engineering
  • The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University
  • The Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University
  • Industry experts from Chicago- and Bay-area companies

Learn more about our faculty

Our Students and Alumni

To foster a close-knit community on campus and an engaged alumni network after graduation, our program enrolls a small cohort of about 55 students each year. Our students come from a variety of levels of experience and academic backgrounds. We have found that this diversity within the cohort has strengthened personal ties and equipped teams for engaging in real industry-supplied projects.

Meet our studentsMeet our alumni


Candidates for admission into the Master of Science in Machine Learning and Data Science program hail from around the world and from a diversity of academic and professional backgrounds. Our application for admission is available between September 1st and January 15th.

Learn more about the admissions process and application materials

Diversity and Inclusion

The Master of Science in Machine Learning and Data Science program strives to foster an environment that values diversity and inclusion of all people. Applicants with diverse cultural backgrounds, especially those from historically underrepresented groups, are encouraged to apply. For more information on Northwestern University’s dedication to diversity and inclusion, please visit the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion.