Harvard Data Science Certificate Review

Published: October 11, 2023

Choosing a college degree is the most crucial decision students make while entering the professional era of life. Harvard University has topped the list of best colleges owing to its diverse faculty, research opportunities, and diverse array of opportunities for its students. 

The current acceptance rate at Harvard University is 4%, making it one of the most competitive Ivy League. The average annual income of Harvard University graduates is typically $84,918


Harvard Online gives students an opportunity across the globe to enroll in lifelong learning courses. The university offers certificate courses in business, public health, and social sciences. 

This review summarizes the features of Harvard’s most popular Data Science Professional Certificate.

If you are ready to find out more, keep reading! 

What is the Harvard Data Science Professional Certificate?

With the demand for skilled data scientists increasing daily, Harvard University’s professional certificate in data science allows you to jumpstart your career. By the end of the course, you will be learning R, processing and visualizing data, and applying machine learning algorithms. You will also be given case studies to give you practical insight into the professional world of data scientists.

Specification of Harvard Data Science Professional Certificate

Let’s look at some of the features of the course:

Time Duration1 year and five months
Pace2-3 hours/week; Self-paced
Course ContentData Science; Data Analysis; Data Visualization; R; Machine Learning; Probability; Statistics; Data Mining; Algorithms
Pre-requisitesUp-to-date browsers to run programming languages
Tools TaughtUnix/Linux, Git, GitHub, and RStudio
CreditsPremier Certificate
Course FeeUSD 991
Course LanguageEnglish

Harvard Data Science Certificate

Data Analyst jobs have become increasingly popular. While receiving a bachelor’s degree is a way of acquiring the level of bootcamps, online certificate programs have been made available for interested individuals. Harvard University offers online programming courses through HarvardX (edX) or HBS.

Certificate Program at Harvard in Data Science 

Harvard University offers a total of 31 courses in Data Science, of which we will be exploring the top 9 included in the Professional Certificate in Data Science.

The course duration for the first eight courses is eight weeks, requiring you to commit 1-2 hours per week, while the project is two weeks long.

  • R Basics
  • Visualization
  • Probability
  • Inference and Modeling
  • Wrangling
  • Linear Regression
  • Capstone

Data Science: R Basics

This course introduces you to R and helps you build a strong foundation in the programming language. You can follow commands of data types, vector arithmetic, perform data wrangling using dplyr, and make plots.

Data Science: Visualization

The course on visualization and exploratory data analysis uses the ggplot-2 and the programming language R to teach you data-driven findings and how to identify flaws in plots.

Data Science: Probability

This course on probability theory is based on the financial crises of 2007-2008. Course content includes concepts such as random variables, errors, Central Limit Theorem and Monte Carlo simulations to help you run statistical tests in R.

Data Science: Inference and Modeling

The instructor uses a case study of election forecasting to teach the two most important concepts of Data Science. By the end of this course, you will understand confidence intervals and p-value and use models and Bayesian statistics for predictive modeling.

Data Science: Productivity Tools

Keeping data organized and scripted can be challenging. This course teaches you the use of platforms such as Unix/Linux for organizing, and GitHub for collaborations. It introduces the usefulness of Rstudio for an integrated environment.

Data Science: Wrangling

Since cleaning data is a crucial step for data scientists, the Harvard Data Science program covers skills such as web scraping and importing different format data into R, regex, dplyr, and tidyverse.

Data Science: Linear Regression

The teachings of this course are based on a case study from Moneyball. Students will learn to quantify the relationship between two variables and remove confounders. 

Data Science: Machine Learning

This course is an introduction to the popular machine learning algorithms, performing cross-validation and principal component analysis. It offers a hands-on experience of training data as pupils build their own movie recommendation system.

Data Science: Capstone

The capstone project is a short, intensive opportunity to show your skills in data science and R. The project runs for two weeks and requires you to commit to 20 hours per week. This is designed to test your concepts on the previously taught skills of wrangling, machine learning, regression, and more. At the completion of the project, students will have a chance to showcase their data product to potential employers and programs.

The Harvard Data Science Program is a complete package for individuals looking to enter the field of Data Analysis and Science, with R being the most commonly used programming language and skill.

Harvard University Instructor

Rafael Irizarry teaches the Harvard data science certificate course, is the Professor of Biostatistics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a Professor of Biostatistics and Computational Biology at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Dr Irizarry’s expertise lies in the analysis of genomic data.

Top Reasons Why Harvard’s Data Science Certificate Is Worth It 

Besides Harvard University being ranked as one of the best institutions, we believe this Data Science Certificate program is standalone. It gives users a remote learning opportunity with statisticians as instructors and mentors.

The Harvard Certificate course and the capstone project will allow you to showcase your R programming language skills to your employers. This project gives you the creative freedom to choose your own and experiment, making you a creative data scientist.

Additionally, the course offers short and concise videos and graded assignments to emulate a class environment. It further allows you to cover the course at your own pace and cover the content across multiple course runs. 

Cost of Harvard Data Science Professional Certificate

Harvard’s Data Science Professional Certificate is currently being offered at USD 891.90 on edX instead of the full price of USD 911. For a highly competitive course, this offer should not be missed! The course fee covers test material, case studies, activities, and forums.

Alternatively, students can access and audit the nine individual courses for free. However, you will have access to a limited number of courses and test material. The verified certificate can be added for an additional $99-$149 per course.

Customer Review of Harvard Data Science Professional Certificate

Hear more about the Certificate Program from the students enrolled in the course:

“The Data Science R program was a great way to fill the gap between my professional and academic experience and gave me the confidence to tackle new challenges.”

  • Radha

“Because the instructor is a statistician, he delves into lots of statistics which really provides a solid foundation. It was indeed an interesting journey.”

  • Noura

“Would highly recommend this course to anyone interested in Data Science.”

  • Sarat

“The lectures are as short and to the point. It teaches some awesome visualization techniques with ggplot.”

  • Anonymous

Students have left positive reviews for their learning experience, course content, and flexibility. 

We are sure you will love it too. Enroll today and become a data scientist!

Other Platform Reviews


The Harvard Data Science Review covers everything you need to know about the courses, skills acquired, software teaching, and pricing options. We’ll ensure to include the specifications and student reviews to help you decide better. 

We believe you will love Harvard University’s Professional Data Science Course. Experiment with algorithms and machine learning, and participate in repository platforms such as GitHub to contribute to the world of programming!

What are you waiting for?

Enroll today and kickstart your journey of becoming a data scientist!