Master’s in Machine Learning Programs

Home » Artificial Intelligence Degree Hub » Master’s in Machine Learning Programs

What is a Master’s in Machine Learning Degree?

A Master’s in Machine Learning (ML) degree is a cross-section of mathematics, statistics, and computer science. Machine Learning classes and degrees are usually offered by universities’ Colleges of Computer Science. However, some mathematics departments house the program. A complete Master’s in ML degree typically requires 30 to 45 credits. Some programs offer smaller programs that only require nine credits.

This degree prepares you to apply algorithms, mathematics, and applications to simulate human learning. ML applications use a dataset to make predictions and learn behavior, iteratively improving the predictions and behavior. A Master’s in ML degree teaches you how to identify datasets and apply algorithms to the datasets to develop business applications. These machine learning applications are utilized in a wide range of business areas, including:

  • Financial services
  • Educational services
  • Social media and online applications
  • E-commerce
  • Transportation and logistics
  • Manufacturing
  • Health services

Industry-leading companies value Master’s in Machine Learning degrees because they demonstrate formal training in complex subjects. These complex subjects include algorithms, robotics, computer vision, linguistics, and natural language processing. Moreover, the courses often involve software development that results in a solid portfolio demonstrating expertise.

Curriculum: What You’ll Learn in a Master’s in Machine Learning Program

The majority of ML programs are specialties incorporated into Master’s of Computer Science or Masters of Electrical and Computer Engineering degrees. Most Master’s of ML programs also require one to five core classes from a list of options. For example, the Georgia Institute of Technology requires general machine learning classes in addition to algorithms. Other required courses in machine learning programs include natural language processing, deep learning, and reinforcement learning, three machine learning methods. Common electives include computer vision, networks, security, data mining, and robotics. A few programs teach ML-oriented ethics.

The core course found in most Master’s in ML programs is a graduate-level algorithms class. This class teaches fundamental skills in the design and analysis of algorithms for software applications. Graduate-level algorithms courses teach NP-completeness, i.e., how to determine the computational complexity of a problem, in addition to the most common solutions to problems found in machine learning. Machine learning engineers must be able to apply mathematical theory and statistics to data sets to develop learning applications. Some programs teach advanced statistics, such as SMU and Rice. Whereas other programs require you to have a strong background in statistics before admission, such as CSU. Many programs incorporate statistical and mathematical analysis into theoretical machine learning courses.

Many ML curriculums allow for a thesis or capstone project, such as the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Columbus State. The research projects culminate into papers and oral presentations or defenses, similar to many PhD degrees. The thesis or capstone projects are generally worth six to nine credits.

Another variance in ML programs is machine learning specialties for degrees outside of Computer Science. For example, Villanova offers a less intensive artificial intelligence and machine learning specialization for its Master’s of Business Administration degree that consists of three courses focused on how machine learning impacts businesses.

Northeastern University is one of the few programs to offer a Master’s of Applied Machine Intelligence as opposed to an ML specialization for a Master’s of Computer Science. This degree provides more depth into the study of the three most important aspects of machine learning: technology, data analysis, and human behavior. The University of Maryland is another university that offers a Master’s in ML.

Types of Master’s in Machine Learning Programs

Master’s in Machine Learning programs are usually incorporated into other master’s programs. The most common ML specialty falls under a Master’s in Computer Science. This is available at schools with robust Colleges of Computing. Therefore, in these programs, your degree will probably say “Master’s of Computer Science,” but your transcripts may indicate specialization in machine learning. On your resume, the degree would be Master’s of Computer Science, and the machine learning specialty would be described as a bullet point or subpoint under the degree.

Other universities place computing degrees in the same college as Electric Engineering. This is the second most common way machine learning master’s are earned. For example, Georgia Southern offers its machine learning education as a specialty for the Master’s of Computer Science degree, which falls under the Electrical and Computer Engineering school. There is little difference in this degree from a computer science college degree. Most experts in the industry recognize that some universities have computing degrees incorporated into the electrical engineering school instead of into a separate computer science-focused college.

The least common degrees are titled Master’s in Machine Learning. These are usually identified as “professional studies” degrees. For example, Northwestern and Rice offer their ML degrees under a professional studies college. Some schools combine artificial intelligence and machine learning specialties but then require separate courses for each. These degrees are less generalized and sometimes viewed as less rigorous than general Master’s of Computer Science degrees with a focus or specialization into machine learning. However, others view these specialized degrees as more focused on machine learning training because they do not require or allow for electives outside of machine learning.

What are the Differences Between Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Degree Programs?

Artificial Intelligence is a broad field that covers any software applications that replicate human behavior. Machine learning, however, requires using a dataset to train an application on future behavior. For example, the Georgia Tech Machine Learning for Trading course uses historical stock market trading data to train a machine learning model on how to optimally invest in stocks for the future. Artificial Intelligence generally covers this concept since investing is human behavior. But it does not require that the model use historical stock market data to learn how to invest in the future.

Foundational coursework for both artificial intelligence and machine learning-focused degrees covers a lot of the same content. However, machine learning requires advanced knowledge of mathematical concepts, such as statistics and discrete math. The dataset in machine learning is analyzed using these mathematical concepts. Artificial intelligence, however, focuses on broader, more dynamic techniques for replicating human behavior.

Artificial intelligence specializations are more geared towards robotics. This includes everything from manufacturing to online chatbots. The overall idea is to behave reasonably in the human world. Machine learning, however, is more targeted towards analyzing historical data, predicting the future, and behaving in an optimal way based on those predictions. Machine learning also trains robots, but it does so on data analysis techniques. So, for example, where artificial intelligence would teach robots to move materials around in a manufacturing environment, machine learning would predict the materials needed to produce the products in a manufacturing environment to optimize production.

Admissions Requirements for Machine Learning Programs

Admissions requirements vary because machine learning specialties require knowledge in a variety of concepts. Mathematics, statistics, and computer science majors tend to excel in machine learning programs as long as they are expert programmers. Students who lack knowledge in any one of those three fields tend to require extra training to succeed.

However, many master’s programs focused on ML do not require full degrees in these specialties. For example, USC just requires a degree in a hard science major, engineering, or math. These degrees, in modern universities, frequently require programming and complex mathematical analyses. You may have to put in extra effort in learning high-level algorithms and theoretical computer science concepts. But a machine learning degree is doable with a background in hard science, engineering, or math.

Jobs for Master’s in Machine Learning Graduates

The electric vehicle industry uses machine learning extensively. For example, electric vehicles can plan travel routes to efficiently stop for charging on long-distance routes. The system has a dataset for where charging stations are located. It also has a dataset for when this particular vehicle needs to be charged. The vehicle uses the datasets together to plan the most efficient travel route and stops for charging. Electric vehicles use machine learning algorithms throughout their systems to ensure efficient operation.

Another career in machine learning involves power grid management. An efficient machine learning algorithm can predict when demand will peak and when the power supply can be scaled back. The result is more efficient power management. Computer scientists with expertise in machine learning are necessary for this career path.

Logistics and supply chain management utilize machine learning, as well. Machine learning engineers specialize in constraint-based predictive modeling. Experts are needed to account for unpredicted supply chain interruptions, such as global pandemics. Machine learning algorithms need to quickly learn from unexpected datasets and adapt the predictions and behavior for unexpected data. Expert machine learning engineers are needed to create these machine learning algorithms.

E-commerce utilizes machine learning for improving search results and targeted advertising. Computer scientists with specialties in machine learning utilize customer-specific datasets to train the machine learning algorithms to customize search results and advertisements for users.

Frequently Asked Questions About Machine Learning Degrees

How Many Master’s in Machine Learning Programs Are there?

We found 41 degrees with either a focus in Machine Learning or a professional degree in Machine Learning. About 30% of these programs are offered online. Typically, the programs last for 12 to 36 months. Some programs are more flexible on schedules.

Some programs expect a dedicated schedule. Other programs allow you to adapt the course schedule to fit your full-time job or other obligations. If you plan to earn a Machine Learning master’s degree at the same time you work full-time or have other time-consuming obligations, you should look for programs that allow for a lengthy time to complete them and that do not require you to devote a full semester to interning in machine learning.

Are Machine Learning Programs Hard?

Machine learning programs require advanced skills. If you have a solid foundation in discrete mathematics, statistics, and programming in languages like Python, you will find the program rewarding. Even if you do not feel prepared for these skills, you can take courses on Udemy, Coursera, and similar websites to reinforce your skills.

Further, to prepare for a master’s in ML program, speak with alumni, mentors, admissions counselors, professors, and current students for advice. Many of these people frequently comment on message boards like Discord or Reddit. In fact, many of these programs, like the Georgia Tech Online Master’s of Computer Science program, have dedicated subreddits.

Are GRE Scores Required for Admission to Master’s in ML Programs?

Most programs still require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). However, some do not require it. Instead, they look at the applicant’s education and experience background as evidence they will succeed in the program. Some programs require foreign language assessments, such as the TOEFL, even if they do not require the GRE. To be sure, you should contact the admissions staff for requirements. Many application websites have contact forms for questions like this.

Schools with Master’s in Machine Learning Programs

Air Force Institute of Technology

Wright-Patterson AFB, OH | Graduate School of Engineering and Management

Certificate in Data Science - Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning Track

Learn More:

Boise State University

Boise, ID | Graduate College

Graduate Certificate in Machine Learning

Learn More:

Bowie State University

Bowie, MD | Department of Computer Science

MS in Computer Science - Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Specialization

Learn More:

California Institute of Technology

Pasadena, CA | Center for Technology and Management Education

Certificate in Machine Learning for Advanced Analytics

Learn More:

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA | School of Computer Science

Master's in Machine Learning

Learn More:

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA | School of Computer Science

Master's in Machine Learning (5th-Year option)

Learn More:

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA | Machine Learning Department

PhD in Machine Learning & Public Policy

Learn More:

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA | Machine Learning Department

PhD in Neural Computation & Machine Learning

Learn More:

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA | Machine Learning Department

PhD in Statistics & Machine Learning

Learn More:

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA | Machine Learning Department

PhD Program in Machine Learning

Learn More:

Colorado State University-Global Campus

Greenwood Village, CO | Graduate Department

Online Master's in Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning

Learn More:

Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY | Computer Science Department

Online Master of Science in Computer Science - Machine Learning

Learn More:

Columbus State University

Columbus, GA | Computer Science, Information Technology and Design

Graduate Certificate in AI and Machine Learning

Learn More:

Columbus State University

Columbus, GA | School of Computer Science

Online MS in Applied Computer Science - AI and Machine Learning

Learn More:

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY | eCornell

Online Certificate in Machine Learning

Learn More:

DePaul University

Chicago, IL | Institute for Professional Development

Online Certificate in Fundamentals of Statistics and Machine Learning Using R

Learn More:

DePaul University

Chicago, IL | Institute for Professional Development

Online Certificate in Machine Learning and Deep Learning

Learn More:

Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA | College of Computing & Informatics

Online Graduate Certificate in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Learn More:

Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA | College of Computing & Informatics

Online MS in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Learn More:

Duke University

Durham, North Carolina | Pratt School of Engineering

Online Master of Engineering Management - Data Analytics and Machine Learning

Learn More:

Duke University

Durham, NC | Thomas Lord Departmet of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Master of Engineering in Autonomous, Intelligent Systems and Machines

Learn More:

Duke University

Durham, NC | School of Engineering

Master of Engineering in ECE - Data Analytics & Machine Learning

Learn More:

Duke University

Durham, NC | Thomas Lord Departmet of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Master of Science in Autonomous, Intelligent Systems and Machines

Learn More:

Duke University

Durham, NC | School of Engineering

Master of Science in ECE - Data Analytics & Machine Learning

Learn More:

East Tennessee State University

Johnson City, TN | Department of Computing

Masters in Computer Science - Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Learn More:

George Mason University

Fairfax, VA | Department of Computer Science

MS in Computer Science - Machine Learning

Learn More:

Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA | College of Computing

Online M.S. in Computer Science - Machine Learning

Learn More:

Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA | Colleges of Computing, Engineering, and Sciences

Georgia Southern University

Statesboro, GA | College of Engineering and Computing

Online Master of Science in Computer Science - Machine Learning

Learn More:

Georgia State University

Atlanta, GA | College of Arts & Sciences

M.S. in Data Science and Analytics - Big Data and Machine Learning Concentration

Learn More:

Howard University

Washington, DC | Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Accelerated Master of Science in Computer Science - Algorithms and Machine Learning

Learn More:

Howard University

Washington, DC | Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Traditional Master of Science in Computer Science - Algorithms and Machine Learning

Learn More:

Lamar University

Beaumont, TX | College of Engineering

Certificate in Machine Learning

Learn More:

Louisiana State University

Baton Rouge, LA | LSU Online

Online Graduate Certificate in Cloud Computing and Machine Learning

Learn More:

Marquette University

Milwaukee, WI | The Graduate School

Online Certificate in Machine Learning for Engineering Applications

Learn More:

Marquette University

Milwaukee, WI | Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Master's in Electrical and Computer Engineering - Machine Learning and Algorithms (Course Option)

Learn More:

Marquette University

Milwaukee, WI | Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Master's in Electrical and Computer Engineering - Machine Learning and Algorithms (Thesis Option)

Learn More:

Maryville University

Saint Louis, MO | Maryville Online

Online Certificate in Machine Learning

Learn More:

Milwaukee School of Engineering

Milwaukee, WI | Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department

Machine Learning Graduate Certificate

Learn More:

Missouri University of Science and Technology

Rolla, MO | Business and Information Science and Technology Department

Online Graduate Certificate in AI, Machine Learning and Automation in Business

Learn More:

Northeastern University

Boston, MA | College of Professional Studies

Master of Professional Studies in Applied Machine Intelligence

Learn More:

Northern Illinois University

Dekalb, IL | The Graduate School

Ph.D. in Computer Science - Machine Learning Area of Emphasis

Learn More:

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL | McCormick School of Engineering

PhD in Computer Science - Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Research Group

Learn More:

Oakland University

Rochester Hills, MI | Professional and Continuing Education

Certificate in Data Analytics and Machine Learning (ML Ops) on the Cloud

Learn More:

Princeton University

Princeton, NJ | Center for Statistics and Machine Learning

Graduate Certificate Program in Statistics and Machine Learning

Learn More:

Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN | Simplilearn

Post Graduate Certificate in AI and Machine Learning

Learn More:

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Troy, NY | Rensselaer at Work

Graduate Certifcate in Machine Learning and AI

Learn More:

Rice University

Houston, TX | Computational Science and Engineering Department

Master of Computational Science and Engineering (MCSE) - Machine Learning

Learn More:

Rice University

Houston, TX | Department of Computer Science

Online Master of Data Science - Machine Learning

Learn More:

Rutgers University

New Brunswick, NJ | School of Engineering

Online Certificate in Machine Learning for Electrical and Computer Engineers

Learn More:

Rutgers University

New Brunswick, NJ | School of Arts and Sciences

Master of Science in Computer Science - Machine Learning

Learn More:

Saint Louis University-Main Campus

Saint Louis, MO | SLU Workforce Center

Online Certificate in Machine Learning for Artificial Intelligence - Classification Methods and Algorithms

Learn More:

Saint Louis University-Main Campus

Saint Louis, MO | SLU Workforce Center

Online Certificate in Machine Learning for Artificial Intelligence - Regression Methods and Algorithms

Learn More:

San Jose State University

San Jose, CA | College of Graduate Studies

Online MS in Statistics - Machine Learning

Learn More:

Santa Clara University

Santa Clara, CA | Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

MS in ECE - Signal Processing and Machine Learning

Learn More:

Southern Methodist University

Dallas, TX | DataScience@SMU

Online M.S. in Data Science - Machine Learning

Learn More:

St. John's University

Queens, NY | Department of Mathematics and Computer Sciences

Master of Applied and Computational Mathematics - Artificial Intelligene and Machine Learning

Learn More:

Stevens Institute of Technology

Hoboken, NJ | Schaefer School Of Engineering & Science

Online Graduate Certificate In Application Of Machine Learning To Pharmaceutical Development

Learn More:

Stevens Institute of Technology

Hoboken, NJ | Schaefer School Of Engineering & Science

Online Graduate Certificate in Machine Learning

Learn More:

Stevens Institute of Technology

Hoboken, New Jersey | Department of Computer Science

Online Master of Science in Machine Learning

Learn More:

SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY | Computer Science Department

Master's in Computer Science - AI and Machine Learning

Learn More:

University of California-Irvine

Irvine, CA | Division of Continuing Education

Online Certificate in Machine and Deep Learning

Learn More:

University of California-San Diego

La Jolla, CA | UC San Diego Extension

Online Specialized Certificate in Machine Learning Methods

Learn More:

University of Central Florida

Orlando, FL | Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering

Doctorate in Computer Engineering - Intelligent Systems and Machine Learning

Learn More:

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL | Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering

Online Graduate Certifcate in Machine Learning

Learn More:

University of Illinois at Chicago

Chicago, IL | College of Engineering

Online Master of Engineering - Machine Learning

Learn More:

University of Maryland-College Park

College Park, MD | Science Academy

Master of Professional Studies in Machine Learning

Learn More:

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI | Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department

Master of Engineering (MEng) in Data Science and Machine Learning

Learn More:

University of Missouri-Columbia

Columbia, MO | College of Engineering

AI and Machine Learning Graduate Certificate

Learn More:

University of Nevada-Las Vegas

Las Vegas, NV | Department of Computer Science

Master of Science in Computer Science - AI and Machine Learning Track

Learn More:

University of New Orleans

New Orleans, LA | Department of Computer Science

Graduate Certificate in Machine Learning and AI

Learn More:

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA | Penn Engineering

MSE in Robotics - Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Specialization

Learn More:

University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA | Viterbi School of Engineering

MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering - Machine Learning and Data Science Track

Learn More:

University of Tennessee Knoxville

Knoxville, TN | Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Graduate Certificate in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Learn More:

University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX | Texas Executive Education

Online Post -Graduate Certificate in AI & Machine Learning

Learn More:

University of Texas at Dallas

Richardson, TX | Naveen Jindal School of Management

Online Graduate Certificate in Applied Machine Learning

Learn More:

University of Utah

Salt Lake City, UT | School of Computing

MS in Computer Science - Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing Track

Learn More:

University of Washington - Seattle

Seattle, WA | Professional and Continuing Education

Online Certificate in Machine Learning

Learn More:

University of Washington - Seattle

Seattle, WA | Department of Statistics

Ph.D. in Machine Learning and Big Data

Learn More:

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Madison, WI | College of Engineering

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering - Machine Learning and Signal Processing

Learn More:

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

Milwaukee, WI | College of Engineering & Applied Science

Online MS in Computer Science (Professional Track) - Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Natural Language Processing

Learn More:

Villanova University

Villanova, PA | School of Business

Online MBA - Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) Track

Learn More:

Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, VA | Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Master's in Engineering in Machine Learning & Applications

Learn More:

Walsh University

North Canton, OH | Division of Mathematics&Sciences

Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning Certificate

Learn More:

Washington University in St. Louis

Saint Louis, MO | McKelvey School of Engineering

Graduate Certificate in Data Mining & Machine Learning

Learn More:

Wentworth Institute of Technology

Boston, MA | School of Computing & Data Science

Online Master of Science in Applied Computer Science - Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Learn More:

Find More Machine Learning Programs

Online Master’s in Machine Learning Programs