Data Science. Salzburg. Austria.

"Being more than just a sum of existing subjects,
the new field of Data Science provides
a modern synthesis of key disciplines,
driven by today's research questions,
and driving the world of tomorrow."

Since 2021
Going international! After five very successful years in German language, the first Data Science Master's Program at an Austrian university is now offered completely in English, making it even easier to take advantage of our international research and enterprise network. And attracting the brightest minds to Salzburg - a place with superb quality of life (and work):
Competitive application procedure - see below for how to apply.

Since 2020
The Intelligent Data Analytics (IDA) Lab Salzburg, founded in 2020, offers Data Science students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in Data Science projects. Research that is motivated by real life applications. Main topic areas at IDA are Smart Analytics, Space & Mobility, Reinforcement Learning, as well as Biostatistics & Big Medical Data.

You love the fascination to draw relevant information from big data, and make sense of it? You are an innovative thinker? You enjoy to develop computer programs? You want to establish contacts with interesting companies already while studying? Then, the Data Science Master's in Salzburg may be just the right program for you!

Data Science. One of the most rewarding and fun fields to work in!
Salzburg. The most attractive university city in Austria. One of the top 10 places in Europe for studying (see below).
Data Science in Salzburg. Shaping the future. While enjoying the present.

The unique Master's degree program in Data Science is offered by the University of Salzburg, in cooperation with more than 30 partnering enterprises, research organizations, and public authorities.

Here you see how you can apply for admission to the program:
Information about the Data Science MSc at the Admissions Department

Data Science Graduate Student Representatives: StV Data Science

Parallel to the introduction of the Master's program in Data Science, the University of Salzburg also offers the opportunity to earn a doctorate in the field of Data Science, in connection with a Doctoral School in Statistics and Applied Data Science. Depending on the dissertation topic, doctoral candidates can obtain a doctorate in the natural sciences or in the technical sciences.

Source: Salzburg Tourism

What does a Data Scientist do?

A data scientist is fit in statistics and computer science, a good team player, and s/he doesn't lose the big picture in spite of many details. Therefore, today's data scientist first has to really understand the origins of data from which information is to be extracted. To this end, it is essential to have a good communication basis with subject matter experts from different areas, and to speak a common scientific language. After understanding how the data have been generated, they are analyzed using state-of-the-art statistical techniques and the results are presented in an understandable and clear manner. That is, an arc is drawn from raw data to information, from information to knowledge, and from knowledge to making well-informed decisions. Today's data scientists play a central role in this endeavor.

What is a Data Scientist?

Why Data Science?

The term describes a mixture of skills that is and will be in high demand - namely knowledge in statistics, data analytics, business analytics, business intelligence, several areas of computer science, as well as legal and ethical principles. Successful graduates of data science programs have excellent and interesting job prospects. As early as 2012, more than 90% of of Fortune 500 companies had started data science initiatives. Existing data science teams of larger companies are being dramatically expanded.
Collecting data is done in quasi automatic manner in several technology areas (a.k.a. process mining) and doesn't require large financial resources. However, experts are scarce who can analyze the collected data in analytically sound ways. Therefore, one can safely assume that the demand for data scientists will not drop in the near future, but instead continue to increase.
Currently, we are experiencing a revolution of data mining and "big data" into a more and more quantitatively founded science and research area. As a logical consequence, societally relevant ethical and legal questions are increasingly being posed, and quality and reproducibility of the used methods become a focus of attention. Our society urgently needs people who profoundly understand the benefits and limitations of collecting and analyzing data, who are capable to estimate the positive potential of information that is latent in data, and to make it usable for the common good.

Why Data Science in Salzburg?

International students regularly vote for the Wissensstadt (city of knowledge) Salzburg as the most attractive university city in Austria, and one of the top 10 places in Europe for studying.
Why? Studying in Salzburg means studying in a fantastic environment. Salzburg is well-known as festival city, as Mozart city, Sound of Music city, as a city with extraordinarily varied and attractive outdoor and cultural offerings. Salzburg's famous old city with an ensemble of baroque buildings has been on the UNESCO world cultural heritage list since 1996. The fortress is among the most visited sights in Austria. After work, one may, for example, go for short or extended jogging or cycling tours either in the Salzach valley or in the surrounding mountain areas. Or you do laps in the nearest public swimming pool which is within 400m walking distance from campus.
And the academic environment? Our students say that it is motivating and dynamic. An excellent faculty-to-student ratio and the personal atmosphere in the departments at the University of Salzburg distinguishes our university from the educational mass production at some other locations. Here, quality matters. Among the top scientists who have joined forces for Salzburg's Data Science initiative, there are several (also younger) professors for whom dedicated advising is a top priority. Many of them are responsible for Salzburg being placed on the map of international first class science locations. And, people here love to do research across departmental boundaries. Therefore, Salzburg is an ideal place to do interdisciplinary work.

Admission Requirements

In order to be admitted to the Master's programme in Data Science, students must hold a Bachelor's degree from a recognized domestic or foreign university or post-secondary educational institution. The Bachelor's degree shall be in Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, or a field considered equivalent to one of the above.
If a student's Bachelor's degree is not deemed equivalent to an acceptable extent, the student may be admitted conditional on a required completion of additional work worth up to 45 ECTS points; these requirements must be satisfied by the end of the Master's program. Only the Rectorate or a member of staff at the University of Salzburg designated by the Rectorate is authorised to make a determination of equivalency and thus whether a student will be admitted.

Application Deadline

Registration is possible for each semester. For current registration deadlines, see. online pre-registration.


All the relevant information (documents, etc.) can be found here:
Information about the Data Science MSc at the Admissions Department


For prospective Data Scientists, it is essential - not only as preparation for the working world, but also in particular to experience first-hand the applicability of learned methods and techniques - to work practically and with real data, and also to understand the processes by which these data are produced.
Data Science should not be conducted in abstract academic castles in the air, detached from reality. Therefore, an industrial internship in the course of the Master's program Data Science is not only recommended, but even mandatory. There are cooperations with about 30 companies, public authorities, and other organizations that are interested in Data Science and can often provide internship opportunities themselves.


University Bulletin (Mitteilungsblatt)

Flexible Elective Module EM7


Data Science Faculty

Nikolaus Augsten is a full professor in the Department of Computer Sciences at the University of Salzburg, where he heads the Database Group. He received his PhD degree in Computer Science from Aalborg University, Denmark, in 2008, and holds a MSc degree from Graz University of Technology, Austria. Prior to joining the University of Salzburg in 2013, he was a researcher at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy. He was on leave at TU München, Germany, in 2010/2011 and visited Washington State University in 2005/2006. In his research, Augsten deals with technical issues of efficiently storing, updating, and querying large amounts of data. He is particularly interested in similarity queries, which do not require an exact match, but allow some degree of fuzziness. His research is motivated by concrete applications and results in new algorithms that are implemented and tested on the motivating application. More than a dozen of his works were published in the most prestigious outlets of the database field. He is the first author of an article that was selected among more than 500 submissions to receive the Best Paper Award at the IEEE International Conference on Data Enginering, Long Beach, CA, in 2010. Augsten regularly serves on the program committee of the most important international database conferences and has been an associate editor of the VLDB Journal.

Why am I fascinated by Data Science?
"Data science requires the management of large data collections that must be efficiently stored, retrieved, and combined. Traditional data engineering techniques are often not equipped for the large data volumes or the specific requirements that we find in data science applications. I'm fascinated by the data engineering challenges that arise in this context, and I love to develop new techniques and systems to address them. "

Arne Bathke was born in Hamburg and grew up in Northern Germany and Norway. He studied mathematics in Göttingen, spent study time abroad in Italy and the USA, and obtain his doctoral degree in 2000. Afterwards, he has worked for 11 years in the United States as statistics professor at the University of Kentucky, where he was also inaugural director of the Applied Statistics Laboratory, a comprehensive statistics consulting facility on campus.
Arne Bathke's research deals with developing and evaluating new statistical methods, and he has given numerous invited talks, lectures and workshops on five continents. On the other hand, he is also interested in the application and improvement of statistical procedures in interdisciplinary cooperations with colleagues from other fields, from medicine and biology to economics. About half of his more than 100 publications in international journals result from cooperation projects.
Among other awards, Arne Bathke was named "Henry Clay Ambassador" by the Mayor of Lexington (Kentucky) for his civil engagement, and he has received two university-wide awards for excellence in teaching and advising. Furthermore, he has been President of the International Biometric Society - Region Österreich-Schweiz (IBS-ROeS), is on the board of the Austrian Statistical Association (ÖSG), Executive Editor of the Biometrical Journal, and on the editorial board of two further international statistics journals (International Journal of Biostatistics, Journal of the American Statistical Association).

Why am I fascinated by Data Science?
"It is exciting to find structures hidden in complex data. And, since Data Science already plays a central role today in many areas, we have the opportunity to not only advance scientific methodology, but also to work on interdisciplinary teams with remarkable researchers from a diverse array of fields, and to learn from these colleagues about their own subjects."

Thomas Blaschke studied Geography and Geoinformatics and worked as a researcher, senior lecturer and professor in Germany, Austria and the UK. He also held temporary affiliations as visiting scientist and guest professor in several countries including a US Fulbright professorship. He is full Professor and Co-Director of the Department of Geoinformatics - Z_GIS, Director of the Doctoral College GIScience and vice-president of the Society for Geoinformatics, GeoIT & Navigation.
His research interests include methodological issues of the integration of GIS, remote sensing and image processing also with aspects of participatory approaches, decision making and human-environment interaction. His academic record yields 370+ scientific publications including 125 journal publications. He is author, co-author or editor of 17 books, received several academic prices and awards including the Christian-Doppler Prize 1995 and was elected as a corresponding member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in 2015. He has been and is project leader in various international and national research projects and serves on various editing boards of international journals, conference committees and for a dozen national research councils.

Why am I fascinated by Data Science?
"I was always fascinated by spatial questions and spatial analysis as a key methodology. Over the last years I collaborated with other disciplines and learned from integrated projects which include e.g. text or sentiments which may then be put in a space-time context - whether it's big or small data."

Christian Borgelt is professor of Data Science and is assigned half to the Department of Mathematics and half to the Department of Computer Science at the University of Salzburg. He studied computer science and physics at the University of Braunschweig, received his PhD in 2000 and habilitated in computer science at the University of Magdeburg in 2006. From 2006 to 2016, he was Principal Researcher of the Intelligent Data Analysis Unit at the European Center for Soft Computing in Mieres, Spain. Afterwards, he held a substitute professorship in computer science at the University of Konstanz from 2017 to 2018. Since October 2018, he is at the University of Salzburg.
His interests include many different machine learning and data analysis techniques, with a particular focus on frequent pattern finding, artificial neural networks, and graphical models. However, he is also involved in decision trees, clustering algorithms, and prototype-based classification methods, as well as other soft computing and computational intelligence techniques.

Why am I fascinated by Data Science?
"Humans learn from experience, i.e., in the end from observational data, more and much more extensively than other animals. Data science is, one could say in analogy to Carl von Clausewitz, the continuation of learning from experience by other means (namely mathematical and informatic). How far this can take us beyond human experience is a gripping voyage of discovery."

After studying Philosophy, Psychology, and German Language and Literature at the University of Freiburg and at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Leonhard Menges wrote his doctoral thesis at the Department of Philosophy at Humboldt-University Berlin. He spent a term at the University of Oxford in 2014. From February 2016 till September 2017, he was Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter (lecturer) at the University of Lübeck where he set up a philosophy program for non-philosophy students. Since October 2017 he teaches at the University of Salzburg. In his research he focuses on questions surrounding blame and responsibility and on questions surrounding the right to privacy.

Why am I fascinated by Data Science?
"New technologies raise many important ethical questions like 'who is morally responsible when a self-driving car causes a crash?' or 'is my right to privacy protected in the digital sphere?'.
The M.Sc. program Data Science at the University of Salzburg enables students not only to work with big and small data, but also to discuss and perhaps even answer these and other fundamental ethical questions."

Klaus Nowotny is associate professor of economics at the University of Salzburg and member of the research staff at the Austrian Institute of Economic Research WIFO. He studied economics at the University of Linz and earned his doctorate from the University of Innsbruck in 2006, after which he worked full-time at WIFO. In 2012, Klaus Nowotny joined the University of Salzburg where he habilitated in 2017. In 2013 he also spent some months as a visiting researcher at the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research mainly focuses on regional economic aspects of international migration and cross-border commuting with an emphasis on applied econometrics.

Why am I fascinated by Data Science?
"The most interesting economic and scientific questions are, for me, always empirical. A sound knowledge of empirical methods and the ability to use them effectively to solve complex problems provide a solid foundation for exciting careers."

After studying mathematics and completing his PhD at the Vienna University of Technology, Wolfgang Trutschnig was Associate Researcher at the interdisciplinary European Center for Soft Computing (Spain), where was PI in various applied projects.
Complementing his basic research mainly in the field of copulas and dependence modelling, he enjoys working in interdisciplinary research projects. Additionally, over the last 15 years he has gained a lot of experience in applied projects and statistical consulting.
Wolfgang Trutschnig is full professor and director of the Intelligent Data Analytics (IDA) Lab Salzburg.

Why am I fascinated by Data Science?
"Working in applied projects with companies makes you realize more then ever how important it is to use state-of-the art data analysis techniques."

Martin Weichbold studied sociology and political science and habilitated in sociology and empirical social research at the University of Salzburg in 2005, where he has since been an associate professor at the Department of Political Science and Sociology. In addition, he is involved in national and international networks and organizations on methodology of empirical social research. His scientific interest focuses on the acquisition of data in the social sciences, whether through surveys or other methods of empirical social research. Numerous publications, editorships, and third-party projects have dealt with different aspects, but a central focus is always the question of how to ensure a high quality of social science data. Since 1 October 2019 Martin Weichbold dedicates himself mostly to his Vice Rectorate of "Academic Affairs".

Why am I fascinated by Data Science?
"It seems that we are being overrun by a flood of data. It is important not to be blinded by the abundance of data, but to always ask: What do these data actually say? What do they stand for? I consider this to be a central task of a scientific approach. But then we can gain fascinating insights into society - or any other field."

Charlotte Werndl ) is Professor of Logic and Philosophy of Science and Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics. She studied philosophy and mathematics with a focus on statistics in Salzburg. She then went to the University of Cambridge to complete her PhD in philosophy. This was followed by a postdoc at Oxford University before she returned to Salzburg, for several years (first as Assistant Professor and then Associate Professor) at the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method at the London School of Economics.
Charlotte Werndl's research focuses on the philosophy of statistics, the philosophy of climate science, and the foundations of statistical mechanics. She has numerous publications in the best journals in her field and is a leading international researcher. This is also reflected in her work as an editor for the journals Philosophy of Science and Review of Symbolic Logic. In 2011, she received the Cushing Memorial Prize in History and Philosophy of Physics for excellence in research.

Why am I fascinated by Data Science?
"Data Science raises many fundamental conceptual and ethical questions, such as the extent to which privacy should and can be protected on the internet and whether classical statistical hypothesis testing is really a good way to test hypotheses. Addressing these questions in an interdisciplinary way is at once immensely important and exciting."

Hannes Winner is Full Professor of Economics at the University of Salzburg, permanent scientific consultant at the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO), and Research Fellow at the Centre for Business Taxation at the Oxford University. He studied economics at the University in Innsbruck and visited several universities, among others the London School of Economics and the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence. Hannes Winner's research focuses on public economics, health economics and applied econometrics. He has published in leading academic journals such as Journal of Public Economics, Journal of International Economics, or European Economic Review.

Why am I fascinated by Data Science?
"Working with real data gives a fascinating view on economic issues. Improved computer performance and better data access make it easier to handle large individual datasets ("big data"). This requires a sound knowledge of empirical methods, but also it is a lot of fun!"

Selected Cooperation Partners

(due to legal reasons just a small selection)
Industriellenvereinigung Salzburg
Porsche Informatik
Blumatix Consulting
Eurofunk Kappacher
Wissen:stadt Salzburg
Land Salzburg
ITG Salzburg
Salzburger Landeskliniken
Stiftung Mozarteum Salzburg
IDA Lab Salzburg

Media... about Data Science in general
Media.... about Data Science in Salzburg

Regarding general admissions questions:
Admissions Department, University of Salzburg

Regarding administrative questions:
Andrea Baumgartner, Office, Department of Artificial Intelligence and Human Interfaces,

Questions regarding prerequisites, curricular matters, and PhD studies:
Arne Bathke, Director, Curricular Committee, Data Science,

Regarding the student side of the Master studies, student life in Salzburg and other questions:
The team of Data Science Graduate Student Representatives,

About Us
University of Salzburg
Data Science Core Faculty
Jakob Haringer Straße 6, Techno 6, 2OG
5020 Salzburg
Austria, Europe

Represented by:
Arne Bathke, University of Salzburg

Telefon: +43. 662. 8044.1001

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