Data Science

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All courses, faculty listings, and curricular and degree requirements described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice.

Program Focus

Data science is concerned with drawing useful and valid conclusions from data. Data scientists develop mathematical models, computational methods, and tools for exploring, analyzing, and making predictions from data. They ask appropriate questions about data and interpret the predictions based on their expertise of the subject domain.

The primary goal for the data science major is to train a generation of students who are equally versed in predictive modeling, data analysis, and computational techniques. To this end, in addition to learning about data science models and methods, students will acquire expertise in a particular subject domain. The major also educates students about the societal impact of data science so that they can make responsible decisions as data science practitioners.

Majors in Data Science

The major consists of 116 units with fifty-six units from lower-division courses and sixty units from upper-division courses. The lower-division curriculum includes calculus and linear algebra courses for sixteen units, data science courses for twenty-eight units, and subject domain courses for twelve units. The program includes twenty units of elective courses that will enable students to embark upon an in-depth exploration of one or more areas in which data science can profitably be applied. Alternatively, students can choose to explore the mathematical, statistical, and computational foundations of data science in even greater depth.

All majors will be required to undertake a senior project that will give them an opportunity to creatively synthesize much of what they have learned in the data science courses for addressing problems in chosen domains.

Lower Division

Students are expected to complete the following fifty-six units by the end of their sophomore year. All courses must be taken for a letter grade and passed with a minimum grade of C–.

Upper Division

Students must complete sixty upper-division units. All courses must be taken for a letter grade unless offered Pass/Not Pass only. A minimum grade of C– is required.

  1. Core Courses (thirty-two units): MATH 183 or MATH 181A, MATH 189, DSC 100, DSC 102, DSC 106, CSE 150, CSE 151, CSE 158
  2. Senior Project (eight units): DSC 180A-B
  3. Electives (twenty units)

Minor in Data Science

This minor is intended for students whose primary area of interest lies outside data science, but who are interested in acquiring competence in methods of data analysis. It requires completion of fifty-six units. Courses must be taken for a letter grade with a minimum passing grade of C–.

Lower Division (thirty-six units)

Upper Division (twenty units)

Policies and Procedures for Data Science (DSC) Undergraduate Students

Data Science Undergraduate Admissions

Because of the large number of students interested in data science and the limited resources available to accommodate this demand, the university has declared the data science major “capped.”

Admission directly into DSC is limited for freshmen effective fall 2018. Students will be selected by the UC San Diego Office of Undergraduate Admissions based on the students’ holistic review scores and availability of slots in the Data Science Undergraduate Program.

The Data Science Undergraduate Program is not accepting transfer students at this time.

Continuing Students

UC San Diego students who would like to change from another major into the Data Science Undergraduate Program may apply to the major via the capped major application. Applications will be accepted twice per year and must be submitted on or before the deadline. Please see the department website at for details.

Eligibility requirements:

  1. Successful completion of twenty-four units (for letter grade) at UC San Diego (to ensure that students are making progress toward their degree).
  2. Completed all screening courses for the major.

Applications will be ranked by the student’s GPA in the screening courses on the date of the application.

Students who apply later than their sixth academic quarter at UC San Diego will not be considered.