The Best Online Master’s Degrees in Machine Learning

The Best Online Master’s Degrees in Machine Learning
1Columbia University in the City of New YorkNew York, New York
2Drexel UniversityPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
3Colorado State University GlobalAurora, CO
4Southern Methodist UniversityDallas, TX
5Stevens Institute of TechnologyHoboken, NJ
6Georgia Institute of TechnologyAtlanta, GA

This is a ranking of the Best Online Master’s Degrees in Machine Learning in the United States. This ranking is designed for online students to make informed college and degree decisions for getting an online master’s in Machine Learning.

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Machine Learning is one of the fastest growing fields in technology, but also in business. Venture Capitalists invested record numbers of capital into Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning start-up companies in 2019.

Machine Learning is a specialized branch within computer science, where students can learn how to program computers to think in an autonomous way, and learn as they go through certain simulations, or when presented with novel incoming data. These applications are being used in a variety of career fields, such as business (such as marketing), social media, and even law enforcement.

Universities across America are increasingly offering online Machine Learning degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Machine Learning can also be studied within Data Science degrees. This involves teaching machines to interpret and learn patterns from large data sets. This career field is known as Machine Learning Engineering. Machine Learning Engineers are increasingly in-demand as AI capabilities increase and more data is accessible to inform business decisions.

Machine Learning Career Information

The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists Machine Learning Engineers as Computer and Information Research Scientists. These positions earned $126,830.00 in 2020. The projected growth rate is 15% (much higher than most career fields), adding 5,000 more positions by 2029.

An introduction to Machine Learning:

The Best Online Master’s Degrees in Machine Learning

Ranking Methodology

This Best Online Master's Degrees in Machine Learning ranking was created using Successful Student's ranking algorithm. This algorithm uses the following data points to calculate a school's ranking placement:

Learn more about our methodology.

1.Columbia University in the City of New York

The School of Engineering

New York, New York

The School of Engineering at Columbia University offers an Online Computer Science Master’s Degree in Machine Learning. The curriculum requires:

  • Breadth courses
  • Six points of Required Track courses
  • Six points of Track Electives
  • Six points of General Electives

Breadth courses cover three essential categories:

  • Theory
  • Systems
  • AI and Applications

Students must complete a minimum of one approved class from each category and then one additional class from any of the three categories. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.7 throughout the program. At the end of the program students can apply their knowledge to a variety of fields including:

  • Bioinformatics
  • Fraud detection
  • Intelligent systems
  • Finance
  • Information retrieval

Credit requirements: 30 credits

Selection of possible courses:

  • Foundations of Graphical Models
  • Computer Vision
  • Computational Aspects of Robotics
  • Biometrics
  • Speech Recognition
  • Advanced Robotic Manipulation

Program length: Up to five years

Start dates: Fall, Spring, and Summer

Admissions and transfer credit information: Students must have an undergraduate degree, preferably in a related field, with a minimum GPA of 3.3. Students must submit transcripts, resume, personal statement, three letters of recommendation, and GRE test scores.

Admissions accepts up to six transfer credits.

2.Drexel University

College of Computing and Informatics

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Drexel offers the Master of Science in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence degree that is available on campus and online. This program is customizable, allowing online students to complete three graduate certificates, which, when combined, are given credit for a full master’s degree. This allows students to choose three certificates from among a varied and wide array of certificate programs.

For example, students may get their first certificate in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, and the second certificate in Data Science, and then work with the advisors to tailor the third certificate to build upon the first two. This is a very innovative way to tailor the particular fields of study within the AI and ML framework. In addition to the completed Master’s program, graduates will have completed three certifications.

Course length: 45 credits

Selection of courses:

  • Deep Learning
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Machine Learning
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Capstone I–II

This program teaches students theoretical and applied artificial intelligence and machine learning competencies.

3.Colorado State University Global

Aurora, CO

Colorado State University offers several computer science related fields of study including:

  • Data Analytics
  • Information Technology Management
  • Cyber Security
  • Web Application Development
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Students may enroll in several of these fields at the undergraduate or graduate level.

The Online Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning degree is for students with an interest in designing technical solutions for real-world problems. Students must complete coursework in Discrete Mathematics and Quantitative Business Analysis before starting this program. Through out the degree students gain experience in:

  • Achieving goals using Artificial Intelligence reasoning
  • Applying logic and machine learning to problem solving
  • Analyzing and controlling project goals and outcomes
  • Using ethical practice in data processing and robotic control

Graduates of the program have successful careers as:

  • Intelligence or Interaction Designer
  • Systems Analyst
  • Software Developer
  • AI or Machine Learning Scientist/Engineer

Credit requirements: 30 credits

Selection of required courses:

  • Principles of Programming
  • Ethical Leadership in Software Development
  • Foundations of Operating Systems
  • Principles of Machine Learning
  • Applying Machine Learning and Neural Networks – Capstone

Online instruction style: Asynchronous

Admissions and transfer credit information: Interested applicants must have a previous undergraduate degree with a 3.0 GPA. Students must submit previous transcripts, a statement of purpose, a professional resume, and CSU’s SmarterMeasure Assessment.

4.Southern Methodist University

Dallas, TX

The online Master of Science in Data Science at Southern Methodist University is interdisciplinary. Students experience course influences from:

  • The Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences
  • The Lyle School of Engineering
  • The Meadows School of the Arts

There are two areas of specialization available: Machine Learning and Business Analytics. The online Master of Science in Data Science with specialization in Machine Learning requires:

  • 30 credits of coursework
  • 1.5-credit immersion experience located on an SMU campus in Texas
  • 2-credit capstone project

Students gain experience with advanced computational algorithms. Students then apply the algorithms in an effort to solve complex problems. Upon graduate students may pursue highly technical careers such as:

  • Data Architect
  • Programmer
  • Application Developer
  • Statistician

Credit requirements: 33.5 credits

Selection of required courses:

  • Statistical Foundations for Data Science
  • Doing Data Science
  • Applied Statistics: Inference and Modeling
  • File Organization and Database Management
  • Machine Learning
  • Visualization of Information
  • Quantifying the World

Online instruction style: Asynchronous and Synchronous aspects. Classes are held live, while students can complete coursework at their own pace.

Program length: Most students finish in twenty to twenty four months.

Start dates: January, May, August, and November. Students enter and progress as a cohort.

Admissions and transfer credit information: Students must submit transcripts, professional resume, statement of purpose, at least one letter of recommendation, and GRE test scores.

5.Stevens Institute of Technology

Hoboken, NJ

Stevens Institute of Technology offers an Online Master of Science in Machine Learning. The curriculum requires students to complete a minimum of four core courses and three electives. Students gain a comprehensive understanding of deep learning theory. Students then develop real-world applications in a variety of fields including:

  • Computer vision
  • Speech recognition
  • Natural language processing
  • Robotics
  • Finance
  • Weather prediction

Both thesis and non-thesis tracks are available. Stevens Institute encourages students to take advantage of the main campus location and its connections to New York City for internship opportunities. Graduates of the program have found career opportunities as:

  • Research Scientist
  • Data Scientist/Engineer
  • Machine Learning Engineer
  • Business Intelligence Developer

Credit requirements: 30 graduate credits

Selection of required courses:

  • Machine Learning: Fundamental and Applications
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Deep Learning
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Statistical Machine Learning

Learning enrollment options: Part or Full time enrollment

Admissions and transfer credit information: Students must have a prior undergraduate degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Students must submit official transcripts and two letters of recommendation. Submitting a professional resume is optional. Students attending full-time must also submit GRE scores. Admissions does not require GRE scores for students attending part-time.

6.Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA

The Online Master’s in Computer Science degree through Georgia Tech offers specializations in:

  • Computation Perception and Robotics
  • Computing Systems
  • Interactive Intelligence
  • Machine Learning

The Online Master of Science in Computer Science: Machine Learning Specialization is the first degree of its kind available through a Massive Online Open Course platform. This format allows Georgia Tech to reach a larger student body at a more affordable price. Georgia Tech is able to offer this program format in partnership with Udacity and AT&T.

Students must complete 15 hours of coursework for the Machine Learning specialization. This includes six hours of core courses and nine hours of electives. The additional 15 hours to complete the degree are any free elective courses through the Computer Science program.

Credit requirements: 30 hours

Selection of possible courses:

  • Introduction to Graduate Algorithms
  • Machine Learning
  • Computer Vision
  • Reinforcement Learning and Decision Making
  • Big Data for Health
  • Bayesian Methods

Program length: Most students complete the program in three years. Georgia Tech allows up to six years.

Start dates: Fall or Spring

Admissions and transfer credit information: Students must submit previous transcripts showing a minimum GPA of 3.0. Admissions prefers applicants with a strong background in a computer science related area. Additional material includes three letters of recommendation and GRE test scores.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Machine Learning?

Machine Learning focuses on finding and predicting patterns. It is often seen as a subset of artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence applies machine learning as a factor in solving problems. The field of Machine Learning concentrates on mathematical algorithms. It creates software for machines to accumulate data to predict and solve future problems. It harnesses mathematics and data to create efficient, intuitive technologies. These technologies include digital assistants, traffic predictions, face recognition and product recommendations.

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What Does a Degree in Machine Learning Involve?

Machine Learning programs can often be tailored to your research interests. Courses cover an intense study of algorithms and learning theories and application. Graduates can pursue careers in Data Analytics, Business Intelligence, Software Engineering, Robotics, and many more. Earning an online master’s degree in machine learning will allow you the flexibility of at-home learning paired with the intensity of your course load. A master’s degree allows specific expertise that sets you apart as you enter the workforce.

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Can I do a Master’s in Machine Learning?

Yes. There are online and on campus master’s degrees in Machine Learning at colleges and universities across the United States. Some master’s are in Machine Learning, and some master’s are in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. Also, there are master’s degrees in Data Science with specializations in Machine Learning.

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What is the best online degree program for AI and ML?

The best master’s degree in AI and ML is the Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning at Drexel University. This degree is unique, allowing on campus and online students the flexibility to choose and obtain three graduate certificates which culminate into earning a full master’s degree in AI and ML. This unique degree allows for customizable degree program which earns a master’s degree and three individual certificates in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, and related disciplines such as Data Science and Software Development.

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