Degree Overview

Master of Science Data Analytics

Big data helps organizations in all industries and sectors forecast trends and solve problems. Data analysts turn information into action. A well-trained expert in data analytics can drive measurable results in performance and productivity—results that will get noticed by leadership.

The demand is intense for highly skilled business intelligence analysts who know their way around data modeling software, systems, and best practices. Claim your leadership role in the limitless world of big data with a Master of Science in Data Analytics.

Who the Program is For:

Do you recognize the power of data to transform the way we do business? Do you revel in turning numbers and statistics into wins for your team? Do you have a demonstrated aptitude for mathematics? Do you have what it takes to earn a graduate degree in data analytics?

This program might be a great fit for you if you’re an:

  • Established professional with a background in programming, analytics, or statistics who wants to boost your skill set and add a master’s degree to your résumé.
  • Experienced professional seeking your Oracle SQL Expert, SAS Certified Base Programmer or SAS Certified Statistical Business Analyst certifications.
  • IT expert who already has one (or more) of those certifications and wants to put them to use to help you accelerate toward the goal of a master’s degree.
  • Alumnus of WGU’s B.S. Data Management/Data Analytics program or another relevant bachelor’s degree from an accredited university.
  • Aspiring or current business intelligence analyst, database administrator, software developer, marketing manager or analyst, statistician, financial analyst, information research scientist, etc., whose career will benefit from having a master’s degree.

While you should plan to commit 15 to 20 hours a week to your studies, the degree program is flexible and adaptable to your schedule. Learn how this program works.

We won’t waste your time. As an experienced professional, you don’t need to rehash things you already know. At WGU, you prove your skills and knowledge by passing assessments as soon as you know the subject well—so you can fly through the things you already know from previous experience, accelerate through new material that you are able to learn quickly, and spend most of your time focused on mastering the rest—all adding up to make you a proven expert in data analysis. Learn more about WGU’s competency-based model here.

What You'll Learn

Essential Knowledge and Skills

With your M.S. Data Analytics degree from WGU, you’ll be a data mining, management, mapping, and munging superstar. You’ll move well beyond the fundamentals of data analysis and master the tools and techniques of a true data scientist—including tools like Oracle SQL, R, Python, and SAS.

The WGU master’s degree in Data Analytics was created with significant input from the IT leaders and academic experts who serve on our Information Technology Program Council.  This degree program requires completion of project-based courses, supporting courses, and a capstone project—all focused on the role of data technology in today’s business environment.

In addition to earning your master’s degree, while completing this program you will earn your Oracle SQL Expert Certification and two SAS certifications. You’ll learn about programming for business analysis applications, and you’ll become skilled at communicating data through advanced visualization techniques.

This program consists of 32 competency units (CUs, our equivalent to the traditional credit hour), including a capstone project. Students in this program will typically have some background in programming, analytics, or statistics, but need not be experienced in all three. Your program will include real-world projects applicable to your daily work.

Program Outcomes

  • Evaluate phenomena represented in data sets for forecasting trends and solving problems.
  • Use industry-standard tools for manipulating and representing data.
  • Communicate information and data trends using data visualization techniques.
  • Apply industry standards and best practices in data analytics to an organizational decision-making process.

Key Subject Areas

These courses add to your IT and data management credentials:

  • Statistics for data analysis

  • Fundamentals of data analytics

  • Advanced SQL

  • Data science tools and techniques

  • Data mining and analytics

  • SAS programming

  • Advanced data visualizations

What You'll Earn

IT Certifications

This program incorporates three industry-recognized certifications, giving you a competitive advantage in the real-world job market. You will study for and complete the following certification exams at no extra cost:

  • Oracle Database SQL
  • SAS Certified Base Programmer for SAS 9
  • SAS Certified Statistical Business Analyst Using SAS 9

Note: Your IT certifications may waive some degree requirements. Click here to see which IT certifications may transfer to WGU.

Capstone Project

The M.S. in Data Analytics program culminates in a capstone project. The capstone project allows you to take what you've learned and showcase your knowledge by solving a significant, real-world business problem.

How It Works

A Degree Program That Fits Your Schedule

WGU Tennessee is designed to let you go to school on your time, not according to a class schedule. Our online degree program is flexible and puts you at the center of your education: you choose when and where to complete your coursework. Once you demonstrate your competency in a subject area, you can move on to your next course.

Online learning is not easy.

You should expect to work hard and spend 20 hours or more per week on your studies. Still, your program will be flexible enough to fit into your schedule, not the other way around.

How Long Will It Take?

It Depends On You

Many students proceed faster than the normal pace designed into each program. The time in which you complete your WGU program depends upon how quickly you are able to take and pass the required assessments. Successful students who commit at least 20 hours per week to their studies are often able to complete their degrees more quickly. Although master’s degree programs are challenging and rigorous, our faculty is available to help students who are motivated to achieve their goals. It’s your degree and your time: Create your own schedule, choose your pace and achieve your personal goals.

Ultimately, the pace at which you complete your online IT program depends on how rapidly you pass assessments.

It’s your program. It’s up to you. Create your own schedule, choose your pace and achieve your personal goals.

"Employers in the information technology field increasingly are looking for students that not only have a degree but certain certifications in the technologies that are really driving the industry forward." Brad Smith, Executive Vice President for Legal and Corporate Affairs at Microsoft

How Competency-Based Education Benefits You

Put Your Existing Knowledge to Work

Western Governors University was the first university in the country to employ a cutting edge, competency-based learning model that lets you use skills and knowledge you already have to accelerate your degree program.

In WGU's online degree programs, students advance by demonstrating their competence in each subject area. You’ll be able to move quickly through material you already know so you can spend your time focusing on what you still need to learn.

  • You’ll work with your assigned Faculty Mentor on a personalized Degree Plan that establishes the pace at which you move through the program.

  • With few exceptions, you’ll be able to choose when and where you study.

  • You’ll complete as much work as YOU choose during each six-month term.

  • You’ll collaborate with your Faculty Mentor to determine the learning resources that will help you develop and demonstrate your competency in each subject area.

  • You’ll be required to complete at least 12 CUs per term for bachelor's degree programs and 8 CUs per term for graduate degree programs in order to make On Time Progress. If you choose to and are able, you can add courses and move more quickly through your program.

How Much Will It Cost?

Less Than You Think

We're committed to keeping tuition low and making sure our online education degree programs remain the very best value for hardworking students. WGU doesn't spend money on classrooms, research facilities, or football stadiums. Instead, we focus on keeping costs low. And because we charge tuition at a flat-rate each term, if you complete coursework ahead of schedule, you can save yourself money as well as time.


You pay for time—not credits

  • No matter how many courses you complete each term, your tuition stays the same.

  • The more courses you complete each term, the fewer terms you have until graduation.

  • Our competency-based model gives you the opportunity to accelerate your progress.

  • If you complete your program ahead of schedule, you'll save both time and money.

Tuition and Fees

For this program, a full-time course load is 8 competency units per term. Because we allow you to complete extra courses at no extra cost, you may be able to increase the value of your program by dedicating extra time to your studies.

  • $3,540: Tuition per 6-Month Term
  • $145: Resource Fee per 6-Month Term
  • $150: Program Fee per 6-Month Term
  • $65: One-Time Application Fee

The Data Analytics online master's degree program at WGU is designed to be affordable for hard-working adults with bills to pay.

Learn more about tuition and fees.

When We Say Affordable, We Mean It

WGU's Data Analytics degree program is typically about half the cost of other equally reputable IT programs. Other schools charge as much as $625 per credit, which can ultimately cost between $25,000 and $50,000 for your degree. WGU is different. You’ll save thousands with our affordable, flat-rate tuition and an online learning model that won’t require you to buy expensive textbooks. In fact, you can earn your master’s degree from WGU for as little as $14,160.

Financial Aid

You Can Afford to Earn a Degree

WGU's financial aid experts are on hand to help you finance your education in the smartest way possible. 76% of WGU students receive some type of financial aid.

Federal Financial Aid is available to most students.

Respected, Recognized, and Accredited

Northwest Commission Accredited

Western Governors University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The Northwest Commission is also responsible for the accreditation of other major universities in the West, including the University of Washington, the University of Oregon, Gonzaga University, and the University of Utah, among many others. Learn more about accreditation here.

An online IT degree from WGU Tennessee tells employers that you're serious about success.

Take the next step into a prosperous future.

WGU Graduates Succeed

Become a Success Story

Our latest survey of leading employers speaks volumes about our ability to prepare grads to work in many industries:


of employers said WGU grads exceed expectations.


of employers rated WGU graduates’ job performance as very good or excellent.


of employers consider WGU graduates prepared for their jobs.


of employers said they would hire another WGU graduate.

Note: 2017 Survey of Employers by Harris Poll

You can learn more about how employers view WGU grads by exploring our National Student Success and Performance Data.

"The big draw was the fact that it was online. I could work at my own pace." James Dye,
WGU Alumnus

How a Course Works

Prove What You Know and Move Forward

You set your own pace by demonstrating your skills. In the online degree programs at WGU Tennessee, you'll advance through each course by first mastering the course content, then completing and passing challenging assessments that measure your knowledge and skills in each subject area.

These rigorous assessments (tests, papers, assignments, and projects) let you demonstrate your competence in each subject area in order to pass the course and earn competency units (CUs), our equivalent to the traditional credit hour.

WGU Tennessee sets a high standard, and we want our students to succeed. You'll be given ample opportunity to master the subject matter and re-take assessments as needed in order to graduate.

Get Started

Enrollment is easy. View our Enrollment Checklist for the easy steps to getting started.

Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally or nationally accredited college or university, and must also demonstrate experience with data analysis through at least one of the following methods:

  • Option 1: A bachelor’s degree in information systems, systems engineering, data management, data analysis, computer science, mathematics, software, statistics, accounting/finance.
  • Option 2: Hold an Udacity nanodegree in data analytics.
  • Option 3: Submit a resume for review showing at least 3 years of significant and recent experience in data analysis.
  • Option 4: Verification of a current Oracle SQL, Oracle BI, or SAS certification that has been earned in the past five years.

See more about College of Information Technology Admission Requirements

Speak to an Enrollment Counselor and Apply Today

You'll be on your way to a successful career. A world of opportunity awaits.

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Question and Answer

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How does WGU keep its tuition so low?

As a nonprofit university, WGU doesn’t need to benefit shareholders. Our students are our main concern. We also try to keep our operating costs low. And since we’re an exclusively online university, we don’t need to maintain expensive classroom buildings, a campus, and other non-academic programs. 

Should I consider financial aid?

Using financial aid is a personal decision. When making this decision, you should know that a degree is a great investment in yourself that will pay for itself many times over. Individuals with a bachelor’s degree earn on average almost a million dollars more over the course their careers compared to those without one. A master’s degree typically has a similar impact on your wallet. You should definitely consider federal financial aid if it means the difference between getting your degree or not. Speak to an Enrollment Counselor to learn more.


Is WGU Tennessee a good fit for you?

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