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. 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 advisors. 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 freshmen-level courses will be offered followed by more advanced courses in subsequent years. We expect most of the data science courses will be offered on a regular basis starting with the 2019-20 academic year. As a consequence of the gradual roll-out, it will take at least 4 years to graduate with a data science major if you start as a data science major in Fall 2017 regardless of your standing (freshmen, sophomore, junior or senior). For this reason, it is not advisable for students with a 2nd year or higher-level standing to declare themselves as data science majors.
  • 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 an opportunity to gain expertise in data science since you can access several data science courses as part of current major.
    • Once you leave a capped major, you may not be able to get back into the major.
  • For the next couple of years, we anticipate that the demand for data science classes will  exceed the class size. When you enroll in a DSC course, you will be wait-listed by default and will be manually cleared for enrollment based on the following priority order for Fall 2017. We expect the priority order  to change as  the number of students in data science major and minor evolve.
    1. The small number of students who declared themselves as data science majors during 2016-17.
    2. First-year students (Freshmen): Among the first-year students, priority will be given to those who are seriously considering becoming data science majors. In particular, students from certain capped majors (all CSE majors, CE majors from ECE, Math-CS majors in Mathematics) will be given lower priority among the first year students.
    3. Second-year students (Sophomore)
    4. All others
    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.