Entry into the Data Science Major

Entry into the Data Science Major

Data Science is currently an open (uncapped) major and will remain so during the 2017-18 academic year. Students can declare themselves as Data Science majors starting September 28, 2017. However, we ask students to consider the following important factors before they decide to declare themselves as Data Science majors:

  • We recommend that students make an informed choice about the major by taking DSC 10, Math 18 and Math 20C  and by talking to the Data Science faculty and staff advisor. As data science is a new synthesis of core disciplines such as machine learning, statistics, data management and high-performance computation as well as application disciplines, it requires strong skills in computer science and mathematics and expertise in application domains.  Students will be in a better position to decide whether data science is the right major for them after taking the suggested courses and talking to the advisors.
  • Data science courses will be rolled out gradually starting Fall 2017. During the 2017-18 academic year, only lower-division courses will be offered followed by more advanced courses in subsequent years. It is not expected for upper-division courses to be released until Fall 2019. Furthermore, we expect most of the Data Science courses will be offered on a regular basis starting with the 2019-2020 academic year. As a consequence of the gradual roll-out, it will take at least 4 years to graduate with a Data Science major beginning in Fall 2017 regardless of your standing (freshmen, sophomore, junior or senior). For this reason, we do not advise students with a 2nd year or higher-level standing to declare themselves as a Data Science major.
  • If you are already in one of the capped majors (for example, CSE, Math-Computer Science, ECE), we do not recommend switching to the Data Science major for the following reasons:
    • You may already have an opportunity to gain expertise in data science since you can access several Data Science courses as part of your current major.
    • Once you leave a capped major, you may not be able to get back into that major if determined it is more aligned with your interests and goals.
  • For the next couple of years, we anticipate that the demand for Data Science classes will  exceed the class size. We expect the priority order  to change as  the number of students in Data Science major and minor evolve. For the Academic Year of 2017-2018, students will be required to place themselves on the waitlist for Data Science courses and will be manually authorized into the course bye the following course enrollment priority order:  
    1. The small number of students who declared themselves as Data Science majors in Spring 2017.
    2. Freshman and Sophomore level students (students who entered the university as New First Year Students will determined by entry year; AP credits will not put students at any disadvantage; Transfer students year level will be determined by unit level)
    3. Upper-level students; these students will be authorized to enroll at the end of Week One in waitlist order if there are still seats available in the course.
       
    We plan to offer DSC 10 each quarter during the 2017-18 academic year to try to accommodate students who intend to major or minor in data science. If you do not get into DSC 10 in the Fall quarter, please consider enrolling in Winter or Spring quarter.