Why This Matters


    The median annual wage for database administrators is more than twice the median $39,810 salary for all other U.S. occupations.


    The demand for database administrators is expected to grow faster than the average rate of all other occupations as the adoption of cloud-based services and the need for companies to synthesize data and present it to stakeholders and board members is expected to continue.


    It’s projected there will be 145,300 database administrators and architects nationwide to help manage and develop customized data solutions for businesses across every industry.

Our Research

This list covers graduate programs in database management that equip students with the specialized technical skills necessary to organize and manage large-scale data projects. Degrees offered include Master of Science in Information Technology, Master of Science in Computer Science, Master of Science in Data Science, Master of Science in Information Systems, and Master of Science in Information Technology Management. Students can choose from on-campus, online, and blended learning formats.

National and regional accreditation organizations recognize programs in database management that uphold a high academic standard. The schools on this list are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), the leading national accreditor for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Programs are also accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), and Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 71 hours to write this article
  • 203 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 290 education programs we compared

The Top 36 Master’s in Database Management Degree Programs

Best Master's in Database Management Degree Programs
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What You Should Know About This Degree

When choosing a career in information technology, you should also consider specializing in data governance. Data governance deals with the development of laws surrounding data and privacy and implementing those regulatory measures. While database management deals with efficient and effective ways to handle data, data governance is more concerned with the ethical and long-term implications of how data is used, transferred, and stored. You might also consider similar degree programs such as Master of Data Science or Master of Data Analytics. While database management deals closely with the storage of data sets, data science specializes in the analysis and visualization of Big Data to build algorithms and improve machine learning. Determine what type of roles you’d like to pursue when deciding which major is right for you.

As the global database management systems market continues to rise over the next decade, graduates can obtain certifications to enhance their skills and demonstrate their expertise for future employees. Graduates should consider pursuing certifications such as the Art of Service Master Data Management Certification, DAMA Certified Data Management Professional (CDMP), and Data Governance and Stewardship Professional (DGSP).

The job outlook for graduates remains very positive as more companies look to organize, digitize, and manage over the next decade.

What’s Next?

Ask yourself these questions when researching graduate programs in database management:

  • Am I eligible for this program? Students who wish to pursue a master’s degree in database management must hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in a relevant field. Many programs also require you to demonstrate previous coursework in logic, computer programming, and statistics. Some schools may require a minimum GPA and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score.
  • How long does it take to complete this online degree? Most Master’s in Database Management degree programs take between 18 months to three years to complete. The programs on this list require a minimum of 30 credits to graduate.

Every program has its own academic prerequisites and application deadlines. Research information specific to the program to which you are applying by visiting the school’s website.

Higher education programs require financial investment, and you should decide how you will cover the cost of your studies. Some employers may pay for part or all of your academic-related costs. You may also be eligible for scholarships and grants.