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Doctor of Philosophy in Data Science

Unleash the Power of Data with NCU’s PhD-DS

Make informed decisions and drive growth with the 100% online Doctor of Philosophy in Data Science (PhD-DS) degree program at Northcentral University. Get an edge in the dynamic data science field by increasing your knowledge through a PhD-DS aligned with industry needs, including the CRISP structure.

NCU’s PhD-DS program is designed and taught by experienced technology professionals, so you’ll build practical, real-world knowledge. You’ll explore relevant topics, including data mining, big data integration, databases, and business intelligence. Additionally, the curriculum covers data visualization, critical analysis, and reporting, along with the strategic management of data.

The PhD-DS degree program will prepare you to conduct research in data science by exploring each stage of the data science life cycle in depth from applied and theoretical perspectives. You’ll receive unmatched personal attention through our unique one-to-one learning model, which pairs you with a professor in each course, so you get the support and guidance you deserve.

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  • NO Residency
  • NO Group Work
  • 100% Online Learning
  • 100% Doctoral Faculty

Program Outcomes

As a graduate of Northcentral University’s Doctor of Philosophy in Data Science (PhD-DS) program, you’ll be able to:

  • Develop knowledge in data science based on a synthesis of current theories
  • Explain theories, applications, and perspectives related to data science
  • Evaluate theories of ethics and risk management in information systems
  • Formulate strategies for data and knowledge management in global organizations
  • Contribute to the body of theory and practice in data science

Program at a Glance

Credit Hours: 60
Courses: 20
Recommended Completion Time: 40 Months

The Doctor of Philosophy in Data Science (PhD-DS) program can be completed in 60 credits. Each course runs eight weeks and dissertation courses run 12 weeks.


Students may complete the PhD program in a minimum of 60 credits. Additional credit hours may be allowed as needed to complete the dissertation research. If granted, additional courses will be added to the student degree program in alignment with the SAP and Academic Maximum Time to Completion policies. Students who do not complete their program under these policies may be dismissed.

*Those whose writing skills need additional practice, as determined by three or more items scored as “needs improvement”, will be required to take TIM-7200.


  • TIM-8500 - Principles of Data Science
  • TIM-7200 - Scholarly Communication for Technology Leaders *
  • TIM-8501 - Exploratory Data Analysis
  • TIM-8520 - Inferential and Predictive Analytics
  • TIM-8550 - Data Preparation Methods
  • TIM-7020 - Databases & Business Intelligence
  • TIM-8530 - Big Data Development
  • TIM-8130 - Data Curation
  • TIM-8525 - Multivariate Analysis
  • TIM-8535 - Univariate Analysis
  • TIM-8540 - Critical Analysis, Interpreting, and Reporting Data
  • TIM-8510 - Data Visualization & Communication
  • TIM-7211 - Introduction to Research Design and Methodology for Technology Leaders
  • TIM-7221 - Quantitative Research Design for Technology Leaders
  • TIM-7225 - Directed Quantitative Research
  • TIM-8590 - Seminar in Ethical Data Science
  • CMP-9701DS - PhD Pre-Candidacy Prospectus
  • DIS-9901A - Components of the Dissertation
  • DIS-9902A - The Dissertation Proposal
  • DIS-9903A - Institutional Review Board (IRB) and Data Collection
  • DIS-9904A - The Dissertation Manuscript and Defense

The PhD-DS degree prepares you to conduct research in data science by exploring each stage of the data science life cycle from theoretical and applied perspectives. You’ll explore related topics, including data mining, big data integration, business intelligence, data visualization, critical analysis, and strategic data management. These skills will qualify you to pursue a range of occupations that include:

  • Data Scientist
  • Data Engineer
  • Data Science Manager or Director
  • Machine Learning Engineer or Scientist
  • Research Scientist or Analyst

According to Emsi labor market analytics and economic data1, data science careers span a variety of technology, manufacturing, and service sectors, including:

  • Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
  • Manufacturing
  • Finance and Insurance
  • Colleges and Universities
  • Retail
  • Information Services

SOURCE: Emsi Labor Analyst- Report. Emsi research company homepage at (Report viewed: 4/19/2022).

DISCLAIMER: The data provided is for informational purposes only. Emsi data and analysis utilizes government sources to provide insights on industries, demographics, employers, in-demand skills, and more to align academic programs with labor market opportunities. Cited projections may not reflect local or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth. Current and prospective students should use this data with other economical data to inform their educational decisions.

The University may accept a maximum of 12 semester credit hours in transfer toward the doctoral degree for graduate coursework completed at an accredited college or university with a grade of “B” or better.

The PhD-DS degree program also has the following requirements:

  • GPA of 3.0 (letter grade of “B”) or higher
  • University approval of Dissertation Manuscript and Oral Defense completed
  • Submission of approved final dissertation manuscript to the University Registrar, including the original unbound manuscript and an electronic copy
  • Official transcripts on file for all transfer credit hours accepted by NCU
  • Students need to meet financial obligations before being issued their complimentary diploma or degree-posted transcript


To speak with an enrollment advisor, call (866) 776-0331 or email


Why Choose Northcentral University?

  • Classes Start Weekly: Your PhD-DS in Data Science is flexible with our year-round enrollment and weekly class starts
  • 1:1 Teaching Model: Our 100% doctoral faculty meet with you one-on-one, so you can focus on what matters — making a difference with your degree
  • Online Community: To help students feel less isolated in a virtual learning environment, we created a community space called The Commons. The purpose was to create an interactive space for students to make real-time connections, meet, share ideas, and support each other through their academic journeys

  • NO Residency
  • NO Group Work
  • 100% Online Learning
  • 100% Doctoral Faculty


Northcentral University’s dedicated admissions team is here to help you throughout the admissions process. We accept and review applications year-round, and once admitted, you can begin your studies as soon as the next week.

To apply to the Doctor of Philosophy in Data Science (PhD-DS) degree program, you must have a conferred master’s or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited academic institution.

Questions? Call our admissions team at 866.776.0331 or request information and an advisor will be in touch soon. Ready to apply? Start your NCU application today.

Successful completion and attainment of Northcentral University degrees do not lead to automatic or immediate licensure, employment, or certification in any state/country. The University cannot guarantee that any professional organization or business will accept a graduate's application to sit for any certificate, licensure, or related exam for professional certification.

Program availability varies by state. Many disciplines, professions, and jobs require disclosure of criminal history, and several states require background checks to apply to or be eligible for certain certificates, registrations, and licenses. The existence of criminal history may also subject an individual to denial of an initial application for a certificate, registration, or license or result in the revocation or suspension of an existing certificate, registration, or license. Requirements can vary by state, occupation, and licensing authority.

NCU graduates will be subject to additional requirements on a program, certification/licensure, employment, and state-by-state basis that can include one or more of the following items: internships, practicum experience, additional coursework, exams, tests, drug testing, earning another degree, and other training/education requirements.

All prospective students should review employment, certification, and licensure requirements in their state and contact the certification/licensing body of the state or country where they intend to obtain certification/licensure to verify that these courses/programs qualify in that state/country before enrolling. Prospective students should also regularly review their state or country policies and procedures relating to certification/licensure, as those policies are subject to change.

Northcentral University degrees do not guarantee employment or salary of any kind. Prospective students are strongly encouraged to review desired job positions to review degrees, education, and training required to apply for their desired positions. Prospective students should monitor these positions as requirements, salary, and other relevant factors can change over time.