Trouble choosing University for Masters in CS (preferably ML or DS specialisation)

Hi folks! Would be very grateful if y’all could help me out on this.

Basics : GRE = 323, TOEFL = 111, GPA = 9.3, Internships= 4 months in IT field. ,Publications= none

I am highly interested in pursuing specialization in Machine Learning or Data Science. I did some research and found these universities to be the best fit for my area of interest and I am applying to all.

  1. University of Cali, Berkeley (highly ambitious)
  2. University of Cali, Irvine
  3. Georgia Tech (ambitious)
  4. University of Southern California (most preferred due to Cali state and proximity to Silicon Valley)
  5. University of Colorado Boulder.
  6. Columbia University (spec in DS , ambitious)
  7. University of Chicago (Data Analytics)
  8. NCSU.

I would prefer California state , and would like to have a mix of both ie. academics and social life.
So I feel GaTech should be excluded because its too demanding.

Could you please suggest me some other Universities? Any sort of other advice ? Should I exclude any Uni from my list as there’s no chance at all?

When choosing a graduate program, you generally don’t chose a school, you choose a professor you want to work with. Being interested in their work and meshing with their personality is FAR more important than the name of the school. Research the literature for specific things you find interesting and look up the programs they were done at. This is assuming you want to do a thesis based MS. Some Masters are just course based, so it is more about what the coursework offerings at the institution are.

If you are restricted to CA, that’s fine, but you will give up some opportunities. That said, I’m sure there are plenty in CA.

Then there’s funding. Are you expecting money in the form of RA or TA, or are you full pay? There is a big difference. Terminal MS programs are cash cows for many schools.

Hope that focuses you a little. Good luck!

My nephew graduated with a data science masters degree from Cal a few years ago. He did the online program and got a great job. His degree does not say online, just Cal data science.