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The Best Online Machine Learning Master's Degrees

The Best Online Master's in Machine Learning
The Best Online Machine Learning Master's Degrees
Rank School Location
1 Columbia University in the City of New York New York, New York
2 George Washington University Washington, District of Columbia
3 University of Illinois Chicago Chicago, Illinois
4 The University of Texas at Austin Austin, Texas
5 Tulane University of Louisiana New Orleans, Louisiana
6 University of San Diego San Diego, California
7 Drexel University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
8 Colorado State University Global Aurora, CO
9 Southern Methodist University Dallas, TX
10 Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA
11 Stevens Institute of Technology Hoboken, NJ
12 Milwaukee School of Engineering Milwaukee, Wisconsin

This is a ranking of the best online Machine Learning master's degrees in the U.S.

This article is designed for online students to be informed of college and degree options, along with some important online master's in Machine Learning program details for each school.

Machine Learning is one of the fastest growing fields in technology, but also in business.

Venture Capitalists have invested record numbers of capital into Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning start-up companies in the last few years.

This is scientific computing that involves teaching machines to interpret and learn patterns from large data sets and mathematical statistics.

A new career field has emerged for applied machine learning specialists known as Machine Learning Engineering. Machine Learning Engineers are increasingly in-demand as AI capabilities increase and more data is accessible to harness and use to inform technical and business decisions.

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The Best Online Machine Learning Master's Degrees

Ranking Methodology

This ranking was created using Successful Student's ranking algorithm. This algorithm uses the following data points to calculate a school's ranking placement:

  • Retention rate
  • Desirability (number of applicants)
  • Percentage of students who are fully online
  • In-district average tuition for full time graduates
  • In-state average graduate tuition
  • Academic influence

Columbia University in the City of New York

The School of Engineering

New York, New York

Columbia University

The School of Engineering at Columbia University offers an online Computer Science Master's in Machine Learning degree.

The curriculum requires:

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

Breadth courses cover these categories:

  • Theory
  • Systems
  • AI and Applications

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

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

Credit requirements: 30 credits

Selection of 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: an undergraduate degree, preferably in a related field, with a minimum GPA of 3.3 is required. Transcripts, resume, personal statement, three letters of recommendation, and GRE test scores must be submitted.

Admissions accepts up to six transfer credits.


George Washington University

School of Engineering & Applied Science

Washington, District of Columbia

George Washington University

The George Washington University offers the Master of Engineering in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning degree online.

Students learn relevant skills in modern AI and ML technologies in these domains of competency:

  • robotics
  • neural networks
  • natural language processing
  • autonomous systems
  • deep learning
  • computer vision

The ethical and societal considerations of AI and ML are considered and part of the instruction.

Credits: 30 credit hours.

The online program consists of 10 courses (each are three hours).

Courses include:

  • Program and Project Management
  • Python Applications in Data Analytics
  • Introduction to Computer Vision
  • Privacy and Organizational Issues in AI

There is a capstone requirement. According to their website, in the capstone, students will:

"Propose on a comprehensive AI project, applying acquired skills and knowledge from the program. Tackle real-world problems, design and implement effective solutions under faculty guidance. Demonstrate mastery in AI through project completion and presentation. (3 credit hours)"

The George Washington University

University of Illinois Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

University of Illinois at Chicago

The University of Illinois at Chicago has an online Master of Engineering with a focus in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

This is a graduate engineering degree which includes AI and ML instruction, including study in deep neural networks and natural language processing. Students also learn leadership skills, such as engineering law and management, along with industry-relevant tools.

Credits required: 9 courses, totaling 36 credit hours.

AI and ML courses include:

  • Intro to Deep Neural Networks
  • Intro to Machine Learning
  • Image Analysis and Computer Vision
  • Math Fundamentals for Engineers and Data Scientists

This online master's can be finished in one year with their 8-week accelerated terms.


The University of Texas at Austin

College of Natural Sciences

Austin, Texas

University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Austin offers an online Master's degree in Artificial Intelligence, which includes instruction in Machine Learning.

Classes are asynchronous, which means that there is no set time to attend classes, which allows for flexibility.

Credits: 30 credit hours (each course is 3 hours, so there are 10 courses)

Elective courses include:

  • Case studies in Machine Learning
  • Online Learning and Optimization
  • AI in Healthcare
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Automated Logical Reasoning

The Ethics in AI class is the only required course, and the remaining 27 hours are Electives.


Tulane University of Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

Tulane University

Tulane University offers the online Master of Science in Computer Science with a specialization in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

This degree can be completed in 20 to 28 months (which amounts to five semesters), and there is no requirement of having a GRE test or score for admission.

Courses include:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Game Programming
  • Machine Learning and NLP (Natural Language Processing)
  • Data Visualization

Credits required: 30 credit hours (9 core credits and 21 elective credits)


University of San Diego

San Diego, California

University of San Diego

The University of San Diego offers the online Master of Science in Applied Artificial Intelligence degree. This program is the same for online and on-campus students.

This program focuses on teaching applied ai and machine learning, which means that students will use ai and machine learning to solve real world problems.

Online students learn proficiency in these domains of AI:

  • Deep Learning
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Internet of Things
  • Computer Vision

Online courses include:

  • Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
  • Data Analytics and Internet of Things
  • Machine Learning: Fundamentals and Applications

The time it takes to get this online degree is 20 months (less than two years). Courses last for seven weeks, are taken one at a time, and two courses are taken for each semester. This AI programs culminates in a capstone project.


Drexel University

College of Computing and Informatics

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Drexel University

Drexel offers the Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning degree online, that is also available on-campus.

This program is customizable, offering three online graduate certificates, which, when combined, are given credit for a full master's. This allows part time or full time students to choose three certificates from among a varied and wide array of certificate programs.

For example, the first certificate can be 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 core courses:

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

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


Colorado State University Global

Aurora, CO

Colorado State University Global

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

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

The Online Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning degree is for those with an interest in designing technical solutions for real-world problems. Coursework in Discrete Mathematics and Quantitative Business Analysis must be completed before starting this program. This ai degree program teaches:

  • 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 core 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.


Southern Methodist University

Dallas, TX

Southern Methodist University

The online Master of Science in Data Science at Southern Methodist University is interdisciplinary, drawing on experts from these departments:

  • 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 a 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

This program teaches mathematical foundations and advanced computational algorithms. The algorithms can be applied to solving complex problems. Upon graduate may pursue highly technical careers such as:

  • Data Architect
  • Programmer
  • Application Developer
  • Statistician

Credit requirements: 33.5 credits

Selection of core 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.

Program length: twenty to twenty four months.

Start dates: January, May, August, and November.

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


Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA

Georgia Institute of Technology

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

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

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 track. This includes six hours of core classes 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.


Stevens Institute of Technology

Hoboken, NJ

Stevens institute of Technology

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 with machine learning foundations. Students then develop real-world applications in a variety of fields including:

  • Computer vision
  • Speech recognition
  • 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.


Milwaukee School of Engineering

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee School of Engineering

The online Master of Science in Machine Learning is offered by the Milwaukee School of Engineering.

This degree is unique, designed to address machine learning applications to solve industrial problems, and launch products developed from machine learning.

Required core courses include:

  • Machine Learning Capstone
  • AI Ethics and Governance
  • Mathematical Methods for Machine Learning
  • Machine Learning Production Systems
  • Applied Machine Learning

As students take the courses, they earn these two certificates:

  • Machine Learning Engineering Graduate Certificate
  • Applied Machine Learning Graduate Certificate

As part of the program, students will have access to their supercomputer called "ROSIE".

Master's in Machine Learning Overview

Machine Learning is a specialized branch within computer science. Machine learning courses teach data mining, data analysis, machine learning techniques and creative thinking on how to build modern AI machine learning systems using emerging technologies. Deep technical training, natural language processing, electrical engineering, human computer interaction are key components of what core MS students learn.

These advanced programming and 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. and Machine Learning methods and data visualization can also be studied within Data Science degrees. A master's in machine learning can enable students to be proficient in scientific computing, data mining, data analysis, and high performance computing.

Machine Learning Engineer - career information

The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists Machine Learning Engineers as Computer and Information Research Scientists. These positions earned $136,620.00 as the average median salary. The projected growth rate is 23% (much higher than most career fields), adding 8,300 more positions.

Machine Learning Engineers create and deploy algorithms for certain purposes, often for solving a business issue or problem.

Data Scientists - Career Information

Data Scientists research, collect, clean, analyze, and present large data sets to accomplish various tasks and inform decision making. Data Scientists earn an average median salary of $103,500, with a projected job growth rate of 35%, adding 59,400 new positions in the coming decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

More resources:

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 Master's Degree Program 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 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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