Department of Computer Science, College of Science and Engineering
94 credits of data science, computer science and mathematics (plus 12-15 credits in supporting science)
Data Science is the study of the mathematical and computational methods for extracting meaning from data. It involves the collection, processing, organization, quantitative analysis, visualization and modeling of data. It is interdisciplinary, drawing from the fields of computer science, mathematics, statistics, and information science, among many others. As data plays an increasingly important role in understanding and discovery across a wide range of disciplines, data science provides a set of tools that enable scholars to better analyze and answer important problems in their own field. In this way, data science often serves as a hub to foster collaboration within and across organizations.
Why Consider a Data Science Major?
Data science empowers you to solve important, challenging problems that are otherwise impractical or impossible to solve. These data-centric problems exist everywhere, from science, the arts, business, the humanities and social sciences, engineering and beyond. Today’s world is accumulating data at unprecedented rates, the sheer magnitude of which means that the insights, knowledge, and discoveries buried within that data cannot be found through traditional techniques alone. Algorithms to learn from this data have already revolutionized many fields, from speech recognition to computer vision, producing breakthroughs in artificial intelligence.
The skills you will obtain in the Data Science program will enable you to obtain, process, organize, analyze, visualize and model the troves of data out there. Beyond the intellectual satisfaction of data science work, these skills are in high demand. Data science jobs are among the fastest growing in the country, and data scientists often land interesting, challenging and lucrative jobs directly out of college.
Communications Facility 495
Communications Facility 499
Bond Hall 202
Machine Learning Scientist | Data Scientist | Data Engineer | Data Analyst | Data Consultant | Data Architect
How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):
Admission to the Data Science major is a two-phase process. Students are advised to declare the pre-major as soon as they are enrolled in CSCI 145 by contacting the Data Science Undergraduate Advisor and completing the pre-major application. Transfer students should seek advising immediately upon transfer to Western. Students cannot apply to the Data Science major until they have completed the pre-major courses, namely, CSCI 141, CSCI 145, CSCI 241, CSCI 301, and DATA 311. Data Science pre-major courses may have access restrictions during Phase I registration to support enrollment goals and timeliness to degree for Data Science majors.
Admission to the Data Science major is based on a student’s math readiness, academic performance in CSCI 241, CSCI 301, DATA 311 and satisfactory progress toward university requirements. We also look at the student’s involvement in the CS Department community (e.g., clubs, activities, research, volunteering). Students interested in Data Science as well as students with pre-major status are strongly encouraged to seek academic advising quarterly to ensure a balanced academic plan that integrates Data Science coursework, foundation coursework and university requirements are met in a timely manner.
Students may retake at most one of CSCI 241, CSCI 301 or DATA 311 to improve their major application GPA. We make exceptions only in cases of hardship withdrawal from the quarter. Please note that we count late withdrawals as one attempt.
The application to the Data Science major includes an application which can be found on the Computer Science Department website at cs.wwu.edu. Students should apply to the major by the deadline posted in the quarter they will complete the pre-major courses. Before admittance, students will agree upon the math components of their plan of study with an advisor in the Mathematics Department. Once admitted to the Data Science major, students will be assigned an academic advisor from the Computer Science faculty. Please check the department website for up-to-date admission procedures.
A grade of C- or better is required for a student’s major or minor courses, and supporting courses for majors and minors.