Data Science Degree Programs in Colorado
With a buzzing Front Range startup scene, Colorado has become a landing spot for many entrepreneurs and Silicon Valley veterans seeking a healthy lifestyle and lower cost of living.
For over 25 years, the Colorado Technical Association has helped foster a thriving Colorado tech industry that drives much of the need for data science expertise. Coding academies and startup accelerators continue to churn out talented professionals and develop new tech companies anchored in the Centennial State.
There is no shortage of data scientist jobs in the capital city of Denver. The Denver Tech Center (DTC) hosts many big-name companies including Boeing, Morgan Stanley, PepsiCo, and Sprint.
Not far from Denver, neighboring Boulder is also home to one of IBM’s corporate offices, while a Colorado Springs venture capital firm (one of the state’s many such record-breaking firms) just invested $21 million for Colorado-based startups. Learn more about the Big Data scene in the Rocky Mountain State.
There are many data science-specific meetups and communities that gather throughout the state. New Tech Colorado is a group of 12,000 tech professionals who meet all along the Front Range in different cities. The coding academy, Galvanize, frequently hosts Colorado Data Science meetings where individuals gather to hear from successful entrepreneurs. Boulder / Denver Big Data is another meetup that facilitates education about emerging big data technologies and encourages members to share their experiences. Additionally, the state government actively supports the Colorado Information Marketplace and Go Code Colorado competition, which encourages diverse teams to use publicly available data to discover valuable insights.
On the conference front, both Boulder and Denver host “Startup Weeks” that offer tech entrepreneurs a chance to network and learn from industry professionals.
Career Outlook for Data Scientists in Colorado
As of May 2021, data scientists in Colorado have a mean annual salary of $105,790 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Nationally, the BLS estimates the median salary for data scientists to be $100,910.
Denver offers promising connections, and a growing tech scene and Boulder is one of the most attractive metropolitan areas in the country for data science professionals. Job prospects might be lean in Colorado, but the data science field is only going to continue growing.
If you are interested in data science career opportunities in Colorado, consider the job prospects, potential earnings, and cost of living in the state before committing to a particular school. Also, take the time to explore all your options to find the program that best suits your lifestyle and goals.
Colorado Data Science Degree Programs
In Colorado, there are many programs available for those seeking a career in data science. Nine universities across the Front Range offer advanced degrees or certificates that can be completed in person or online. Several of the state’s major universities, including the University of Colorado Boulder, the University of Colorado Denver, and Colorado State University, have made significant investments in their computer science departments and clearly believe in the future of data science.
The University of Colorado Boulder Department of Computer Science is deeply committed to a number of research projects involving large-scale data manipulation. The University of Colorado Denver has its Big Data Management and Mining Lab (BDLab) where students are challenged to tackle real-world problems through data-driven solutions, as well as other available data science programs and certificates. Colorado State University in Fort Collins recently invested $15 million in AI and big data research projects.
As a student, you have undergraduate and graduate data science programs available in Colorado. Also, if you are already working or would rather gain data science knowledge on a part-time basis, there are several online programs that can easily fit into your life.
Concerned about the costs? There are scholarship and financial aid opportunities available through university departments for many of the data science programs in the state. Below, we highlight different types of Colorado data science programs and offer a few suggestions to get you started down the right path.
Undergraduate Data Science Programs in Colorado
For undergraduate-level data science programs, there are a few options available for students who want to explore the field before embarking on their career journey. The two most notable are offered by the state’s biggest colleges, the University of Colorado Boulder and Colorado State University.
In the Fall of 2018, the University of Colorado Boulder launched a new Statistics and Data Science Major (BA) through the College of Arts and Sciences. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for a wide range of careers in which statistical methods and analyses are valuable. The University of Colorado Boulder’s program is offered by the Department of Applied Mathematics, which also has many undergraduate research opportunities available for students. To earn the degree, you must complete at least 70 credit hours of coursework. Concerned about getting in? With an undergraduate admission rate of 80%, you have a good chance of being accepted so that you can begin your data science career path.
In contrast, Colorado State University’s Data Science major includes four different areas of concentration: computer science, economics, mathematics, and statistics. The program introduces students to the concepts and skills needed to solve real-world problems using large and complex sets of data. With this program, you will be equipped with a broad range of useful tools that can be used to solve problems in the real world. Like the University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado State University’s undergraduate admission rate is in the low 80s.
Graduate Data Science Programs in Colorado
The Colorado academic system offers myriad graduate level on-campus data science degree programs. From graduate certifications to doctorate programs, Colorado possesses program diversity, both in terms of specialization and delivery. The University of Colorado and Colorado State University systems offer a variety of ways you can complete data science degrees. Prefer not to enroll at a big school? No problem. There are several options available for attaining a high-quality education at smaller institutions such as Regis University and Colorado Technical University.
Master’s in Data Science Programs in Colorado
On-campus university programs for data science master’s degrees are available primarily in Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins. The University of Colorado Denver offers the most optionality for those who want to specialize in a specific area within the field of data science.
The University of Colorado Boulder Master of Data Science program is one of the best in the country and focusing heavily on data use for AI applications. They also offer a few more specialized Master’s programs: an MS of Applied Mathematics (with a specialization in Statistics and Data Science) and an MS of Business Analytics.
The CU Denver Business School offers a Master’s in Business Analytics program that can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis. Completion requires 30 credit hours that are typically spread over two years. The business school offers a large number of scholarship awards every year to help students pay for their degrees. The University of Colorado Denver also offers an online Master’s in Information Systems program with eight specializations. Students must complete at least 30 hours of coursework and have the option to complete the program on a full-time or part-time basis.
Alternatively, Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins offers a Master of Applied Statistics Data Science Specialization degree that can be completed in one year as a full-time student or up to four years as a part-time student. The program requires at least 27 credits and can be completed on-campus or in person. 2022 tuition is $21,987 ($811 per credit). To help mitigate costs, the Department of Statistics offers a number of scholarship opportunities for active students. Online Master’s degrees in Data Analytics and Information Technology Management are also available through CSU Global.
Regis University, a private academic institution in Denver, has a Master of Science in Data Science program that can be completed on campus or online. The program consists of 36 total credit hours and two practicum courses. For your application to be competitive, you must have several years of relevant work experience or a bachelor’s degree in computer science, in addition to a fundamental understanding of statistics and computer programming. All in, the 2022 program costs $33,120 ($920 per credit).
Located in Colorado Springs, Colorado Technical University offers an online Master of Science in Computer Science program with a Data Science concentration consisting of 48 credit hours that focuses on insight extraction from structured and unstructured sets of data. Additionally, Colorado Tech also offers an MBA program with a Data Analytics concentration.
The University of Denver offers a robust data science program for postgraduate students, offering both an online and on-campus Master’s degree in data science. For those looking to expedite the process and get a data science certification in just 24 weeks, University of Denver also offers a data analytics bootcamp.
Data Science Ph.D. Programs in Colorado
In terms of Ph.D. programs for data science in Colorado, there are only two schools that currently offer this level of education and area of study. A new unique fellowship opportunity exists for students who have already been accepted to The University of Colorado Denver’s Computer Science and Information Systems Ph.D. program. Students must complete 60 total hours of dissertation research and classroom credits in order to earn their Ph.D. in Big Data Science and Engineering. The 2022 program is offered through on-campus classes only and costs $37,260 ($621 per credit) for Colorado residents. On the financial aid front, the Big Data Science and Engineering Fellowship completely covers tuition and fees in addition to providing an annual stipend.
At Colorado Technical University, students can earn a Doctor of Computer Science in Big Data Analytics. The program consists of 100 credits that can be completed in three years. The entire curriculum is available online, but the degree also includes in-person symposium experiences. If you have already completed your master’s at Colorado Technical University, you are eligible to receive a Lifelong Learning Grant to pay for your doctorate.
Graduate Certificate Programs in Colorado
If completing a lengthy degree program is not a fit for your career goals or current stage of development, universities in Colorado do offer four graduate certificate programs available in data science-related fields, two of which are offered online. Certificate programs are a great option for gathering new skills and gaining knowledge in a specific area without the time and financial commitment required for completing a rigorous degree.
Regis University offers a 4-course, 12-credit Data Science graduate certificate. The program costs $9,000 in total and lasts 32 weeks. You must have a bachelor’s degree from the past two years in a relevant field or three or more years of relevant work experience to be considered for acceptance.
The University of Colorado Denver offers a Graduate Certificate in Biomedical Data Science consisting of 12 credit hours (plus 3 internship credit hours) that can generally be completed in one year.
Explore your Degree Options
This concise guide is designed to help narrow down your search for the right data science program from Colorado colleges and universities. Explore the list of featured Colorado programs below, and to continue your journey, Discover Data Science can help you take the next step in gathering more information or applying for the data science degree program best suited to your goals.
2021 US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary and employment figures for data scientists reflect national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed January 2023.