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Best Masters Programs in Machine Learning (ML) for 2021

These are the best universities to pursue a master’s degree in machine learning, with research rankings in AI and machine learning research.

Towards AI Team
Dec 19, 2020 · 7 min read

Last updated, January 7, 2021

onsidering various factors such as the research areas, research focus, courses offered, duration of the program, location of the university, honors, awards, and job prospects, we came up with the best universities to help you in your choosing process. This article is most suited for individuals who’d like to pursue a master’s degree with a focus on machine learning and need some guidance on their decision making.

Feel free to jump to the end if you are only looking for the university names.

Note: The universities mentioned below are in no particular order.

Machine Learning Department at CMU, Best Masters Programs in Machine Learning (ML)
Machine Learning Department at CMU, Best Masters Programs in Machine Learning (ML)
Source: Carnegie Mellon University

1. Carnegie Mellon University

Program Name: Master of Science in Machine Learning
Research Ranking in Machine Learning: 1
Research Ranking in AI: 1
Duration: 9 months to 2 years
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Core courses: Advanced machine learning, statistics, research, statistical machine learning, data analysis, artificial intelligence, data science.
Tracks available: Masters of Science in Machine Learning, Fifth Year Masters in Machine Learning, Secondary Masters of Science in Machine Learning, Masters of Computational Data Science, Master of Science in Computer Science.
Focus areas: Machine learning, artificial intelligence, NLP, computer vision, robotics, deep learning, data mining, web and information retrieval, computer science, and others.

Contact the Machine Learning Department at CMU.

Berkeley Engineering, Best Masters Programs in Machine Learning (ML)
Berkeley Engineering, Best Masters Programs in Machine Learning (ML)
Source: University of California Berkeley

2. University of California — Berkeley

Program Name: Masters in Data Science, Masters in EECS
Research Ranking in Machine Learning: 2
Research Ranking in AI: 15
Duration: 1–2.5+ years
Location: Berkeley, California
Core courses: Research design, data engineering, machine learning, data mining, ethics and privacy, data visualization, computer science, statistical analysis.
Tracks available: Masters in Data Science, Masters in EECS with a focus on machine learning.
Focus areas: Machine learning, artificial intelligence, NLP, computer vision, deep learning, data mining, web and information retrieval, and others.

Contact UC Berkeley.

Stanford University, Best Masters Programs in Machine Learning (ML)
Stanford University, Best Masters Programs in Machine Learning (ML)
Source: Stanford University

3. Stanford University

Program Name: Masters of Science in Computer Science
Research Ranking in Machine Learning: 3
Research Ranking in AI: 3
Duration: 1–2+ years
Location: Stanford, California
Core courses: Mathematical and theory foundations, computer systems, applications, research, artificial intelligence.
Tracks available: Masters of Science in Computer Science with a focus on machine learning.
Focus areas: Computer science, Machine learning, artificial intelligence, NLP, computer vision, deep learning, data mining, web and information retrieval, and others.

Contact Stanford Engineering.

MIT, Best Masters Programs in Machine Learning (ML)
MIT, Best Masters Programs in Machine Learning (ML)
Source: MIT

4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Program Name: Master of Science in EECS
Research Ranking in Machine Learning: 4
Research Ranking in AI: 5
Duration: 1–2+ years
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Core courses: Computer architecture and logic design, computer science, high-level mathematics, electrical engineering basis, artificial intelligence.
Tracks available: Masters in EECS with a focus on machine learning.
Focus areas: Machine learning, artificial intelligence, NLP, computer vision, deep learning, data mining, web and information retrieval, and others.

Contact MIT EECS.

Cornell University, Best Masters Programs in Machine Learning (ML)
Cornell University, Best Masters Programs in Machine Learning (ML)
Source: Cornell University

5. Cornell University

Program Name: Masters in Computer Science
Research Ranking in Machine Learning: 5
Research Ranking in AI: 2
Duration: 1–2+ years
Location: Ithaca, New York
Core courses: Mathematical and theory foundations, computer systems, applications, research, artificial intelligence.
Tracks available: Masters in Computer Science.
Focus areas: artificial intelligence, machine learning, computer science, programming languages and logic, scientific computing and applications, systems, theory, and computation.

Contact Cornell Engineering.

University of California — San Diego (UCSD), Best Masters Programs in Machine Learning (ML)
University of California — San Diego (UCSD), Best Masters Programs in Machine Learning (ML)
Source: UCSD

6. University of California — San Diego (UCSD)

Program Name: Masters in Computer Science
Research Ranking in Machine Learning: 6
Research Ranking in AI: 12
Duration: 1 to 2+ years
Location: San Diego, California
Core courses: Computer architecture and logic design, computer science, high-level mathematics, electrical engineering, artificial intelligence, machine learning.
Track available: Masters in Computer Science.
Focus areas: Machine learning, artificial intelligence, NLP, computer vision, deep learning, data mining, web and information retrieval, and others.

Contact UCSD.

Georgia Institute of Technology, Best Masters Programs in Machine Learning (ML)
Georgia Institute of Technology, Best Masters Programs in Machine Learning (ML)
Source: Georgia Tech

7. Georgia Institute of Technology

Program Name: Masters in Computer Science
Research Ranking in Machine Learning: 6
Research Ranking in AI: 13
Course Duration: 1 to 2+ years
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Core courses: Advanced machine learning, statistics, research, statistical machine learning, data analysis, artificial intelligence.
Tracks available: Masters in Computer Science with a specialization in Machine Learning.
Focus areas: Machine learning, artificial intelligence, NLP, computer vision, deep learning, data mining, web and information retrieval, computer science, and others.

Contact Georgia Tech.

University of Washington, Best Masters Programs in Machine Learning (ML)
University of Washington, Best Masters Programs in Machine Learning (ML)
Source: University of Washington

8. University of Washington

Program Name: Masters in Computer Science, Master of Science in Data Science.
Research Ranking in Machine Learning: 7
Research Ranking in AI: 6
Duration: 1 to 2+ years
Location: Seattle, Washington
Core courses: Computer architecture and logic design, computer science, high-level mathematics, electrical engineering basis, artificial intelligence, data science, machine learning, applied machine learning, statistical analysis.
Tracks available: Master of Computer Science, Master of Science in Data Science.
Focus areas: Machine learning, artificial intelligence, NLP, computer vision, deep learning, data mining, web and information retrieval, and others.

Contact the University of Washington.

UCLA, Best Masters Programs in Machine Learning (ML)
UCLA, Best Masters Programs in Machine Learning (ML)
Source: UCLA

9. University of California — Los Angeles (UCLA)

Program Name: Masters of Science in Computer Science
Research Ranking in Machine Learning: 8
Research Ranking in AI: 7
Duration: 1 to 2+ years
Location: Los Angeles, California
Core courses: Computer architecture and logic design, computer science, high-level mathematics, electrical engineering, artificial intelligence, machine learning.
Tracks available: Master of Science in Computer Science.
Focus areas: Machine learning, artificial intelligence, NLP, computer vision, deep learning, data mining, web and information retrieval, and others.

Contact UCLA.

UIUC, Best Masters Programs in Machine Learning (ML)
UIUC, Best Masters Programs in Machine Learning (ML)
Source: UIUC

10. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)

Program Name: Master of Science in Computer Science
Research Ranking in Machine Learning: 9
Research Ranking in AI: 4
Course Duration: 1 to 2+ years
Location: Champaign, Illinois
Core courses: Computer architecture and logic design, computer science, high-level mathematics, electrical engineering, artificial intelligence, machine learning.
Tracks available: Master of Science in Computer Science.
Focus areas: Machine learning, artificial intelligence, NLP, computer vision, deep learning, data mining, web and information retrieval, and others.

Contact the UIUC.

Columbia University, Best Masters Programs in Machine Learning (ML)
Columbia University, Best Masters Programs in Machine Learning (ML)
Source: Columbia University

11. Columbia University

Program Name: Master of Science in Computer Science
Research Ranking in Machine Learning: 10
Research Ranking in AI: 12
Duration: 1 to 2+ years
Location: New York City, New York
Core courses: Computer architecture and logic design, computer science, high-level mathematics, electrical engineering basis, artificial intelligence.
Tracks available: Master of Science in Computer Science.
Focus areas: Computational biology, computer security, foundations of computer science, machine learning, NLP, network systems, software systems, vision, graphics and robotics, artificial intelligence, theory.

Contact Columbia University.

📚 Check out our editorial recommendations on the best machine learning books. 📚

To summarize, we have listed the best universities for a master program with a focus area in machine learning below:

  1. Carnegie Mellon University
  2. University of California — Berkeley
  3. Stanford University
  4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  5. Cornell University
  6. University of California — San Diego (UCSD)
  7. Georgia Institute of Technology
  8. University of Washington
  9. University of California — Los Angeles (UCLA)
  10. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  11. Columbia University

If there is anything that may need to be revisited or improved, please email us.

References

[1] US News & World Report, College Rankings, https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges

[2] CSRankings: Computer Science Rankings, Machine Learning & Data Mining, http://csrankings.org/#/index?mlmining

[3] CSRankings: Computer Science Rankings, Artificial Intelligence, http://csrankings.org/#/index?ai

[4] US News & World Report, Best Graduate Schools, Top Science Schools, AI Rankings, https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-science-schools/computer-science-rankings

[5] CSRankings: AI, CV, ML, Data Mining, NLP, Web Information and Retrieval, http://csrankings.org/#/index?ai&vision&mlmining&nlp&ir

[6] Google University Search Rankings, https://mktg.best/c0hwy

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Towards AI

Towards AI is the world’s leading multidisciplinary science publication. Towards AI publishes the best of tech, science, and engineering. Read by thought-leaders and decision-makers around the world.

Towards AI Team

Written by

Publishing the Best of Tech, Science, and Engineering | Editorial → https://towardsai.net/editorial | Subscribe→ https://towardsai.net/subscribe — @Towards_AI

Towards AI

Towards AI is the world’s leading multidisciplinary science publication. Towards AI publishes the best of tech, science, and engineering. Read by thought-leaders and decision-makers around the world.

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