Funding Your Degree

We understand graduate school is an investment of your time and resources. There are several options to help pay for graduate school, including departmental scholarship, financial aid, and working as a graduate student. 

Most MSDS students start their careers with a salary of more than double that of the tuition they pay, and many see a significant return on their investment as they advance in their careers. This page covers the expected tuition for your program, the ways you might pay for it, and our graduates’ estimated salaries.

Online MSDS Program Tuition

On average the program is around $43,000 for tuition and fees, not including any financial aid in the form of loans or external scholarships. Below shows how credits hours are priced for each semester of the program this year, so you can get a better idea of what the program might cost for you.

Semesters 1-3

  • Tuition per credit hour: $1,337
  • Fees per credit hour: $9
  • Credits per semester: 6
  • Total cost per semester: $8,076 

Semesters 4 and 5

  • Tuition per credit hour: $1,337
  • Fees per credit hour: $9
  • Credits per semester: 7
  • Total cost per semester: $9,422 

A non-refundable $400 tuition deposit is required if an offer of admission is accepted. The deposit will be applied towards tuition. Tuition and Fee rates are subject to change every academic year, as approved by the University of Virginia.

How will you pay tuition?

Students have a variety of options to fund their tuition. Some of the most frequently used funding options are included below, but we encourage you to consult with the Financial Aid Office regarding federal loans available to graduate students and/or a financial advisor when determining the best options available.

Need-based Fellowship

  • Some online MSDS students may also qualify for need-based fellowships. To apply for need-based fellowships, you must indicate you are interested in being considered for the fellowship on your application and complete the 2022-23 FAFSA by the application deadline.
  • We encourage you to submit the FAFSA early to ensure adequate processing time by UVA’s Graduate Financial Aid Office, and necessary deadlines are listed below.

Financial Aid

Many students may qualify for financial aid in the form of student loans. UVA Student Financial Services awards only federal aid to graduate students. This includes Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Direct Graduate PLUS Loans (if interest is indicated on the application) and Federal Work Study.

Other Scholarships

We recommend using the FastWeb scholarship search site or looking into the data science scholarships discussed in this article, though others are good as well.