As part of our series How to Fully Fund Your PhD, here is a list of US universities offering fully funded PhD programs in Data Science. Data Science entails a combination of statistical analysis and data mining where researchers analyze data and build models using program languages such as R, Python, and SQL. Unlike computer science, which focuses on software engineering, data science aims to understand the data itself, uncover patterns, and use it to predict outcomes. A Data Science PhD opens opportunities for those aiming to advance their careers in academia, industry, research, and even create a startup initiative of their own.
“Full funding” is a financial aid package for full-time students that includes full tuition remission and an annual stipend or salary during the entire program, usually 3-6 years. To receive this funding, students will typically teach or complete a research project in their chosen subject. Considering fully funded programs is essential because not all universities grant funding to their doctoral students. By including smaller and lesser-known schools in your research, you optimize your chances of finding the perfect fully funded program for you.
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In Evanston, Illinois, Northwestern University offers a fully funded PhD in Statistics and Data Science. This comprehensive program equips students with knowledge of statistical theory, data science methodologies, and their versatile applications across diverse fields. The program offers financial support through university fellowships, teaching, and research assistantships. With a commitment to the academic journey, Northwestern ensures funding for five academic years and five summers, contingent on satisfactory academic standing.
Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, provides a fully funded PhD program in Data Science. Noteworthy for its strong interdisciplinary approach, the program adapts to the evolving interests of students and faculty. It aims to showcase the broad applicability of data science research across various disciplines. The program emphasizes that the future of data science spans beyond specific domains. Successful applicants enjoy a generous annual stipend and opportunities to serve as both research and teaching assistants.
William & Mary University, based in Williamsburg, Virginia offers a fully funded PhD in Data Science. The Ph.D. track is offered as a specialization within Applied Science, with the core mission of training students in the use of exceptionally large, heterogeneous datasets to drive decision-making across a wide range of fields (from Physics to the social sciences). Graduate students complete a core sequence of coursework as a cohort, and then work closely with an advisory committee to complete the degree program. Competitive stipends and tuition are provided to selected students (stipends for AY23-24 are $29,000).
Boston University in Massachusetts provides a fully funded Computing & Data Sciences PhD. This program focuses on solving problems and synthesizing knowledge related to systematic, generalizable, and scalable extraction of insights from data. It also highlights the design of new information systems and products for actionable use of insights across diverse application domains. The funding model ensures five years of stipend support of $43,000 annually, a 100% tuition scholarship, and a health insurance credit for PhD students in good standing.
Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, offers a fully funded PhD in Statistics and Data Science. The program encompasses key areas such as statistical theory, probability theory, information theory, bioinformatics and genetics, classification, data mining and machine learning, neural nets, network science, optimization, statistical computing, and graphical models and methods. Admission typically includes full tuition and a generous stipend for five years. Students commonly serve as teaching assistants and receive dissertation fellowships in their final year to focus on their research.
New York University provides a fully funded Ph.D. in Data Science. This innovative program aims to cultivate researchers fluent in the emerging field of data science within a nurturing educational environment. Students will engage with a broader range of fields under the guidance of interdisciplinary faculty. Successful candidates are assured financial support, including tuition coverage and a competitive stipend for up to five years during the fall and spring semesters. Additionally, CDS offers entrepreneurship workshops and a one-time award to cover prospective start-up expenses.
The University of Virginia, located in Charlottesville, VA, offers a fully funded PhD in Data Science. This program equips students with the skills and knowledge needed for research and discovery in data science methods. PhD students receive financial support from the School of Data Science throughout their enrollment, covering full tuition, fees, and the premium for single-person coverage. Students may also receive a fellowship, research assistantship, or teaching assistantship, providing annual living support of approximately $33,000 per year.
The University of Nevada-Reno, in Reno, Nevada, presents a fully funded PhD in Statistics and Data Science. This program is crafted to provide comprehensive training in modern statistics, focusing on extracting knowledge from data. With interdisciplinary research and a focus on computational skills, students are prepared to pursue a wide variety of jobs. Students accepted into the Statistics and Data Science PhD program receive a stipend of $2,200, a tuition waiver, and a subsidized medical plan. Additionally, students have the opportunity to pursue departmental and University-wide scholarships.
Stanford University, in California, offers a fully funded PhD in Biomedical Data Science. This intellectually rigorous program emphasizes research in novel computational methods, including biomedical informatics, biostatistics, AI/ML, generative AI, and foundation models, with the aim of advancing biology and medicine. All PhD students receive full funding that covers tuition, stipend, and health insurance.
The University of Tulsa & Team8 Cyber Fellows present a fully funded PhD position, providing a unique opportunity for students aspiring to advance research and development in cyber, data science, and machine learning. This collaborative initiative merges TU’s College of Engineering & Natural Sciences with Team8’s expertise in company-building, fostering an environment to address real-world industry challenges and translate cutting-edge research into innovative start-ups. Successful candidates will enjoy full tuition remission, a competitive living stipend, potential summer internships, and the perks associated with university graduate student employment while actively engaging with TU faculty on transformative projects.
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