While data science is best taught at the master's level, a few bachelor’s level programs do exist, as well as a few closely related concentrations and preparation courses. A selection of undergraduate programs in data science and related fields are profiled here.
Through its School of Physics, Astronomy and Computational Sciences, George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., offers a Bachelor of Science in Computational and Data Science. This program includes 18 credits in CDS plus physics, math, statistics, science, electives, and an optional research project. The BS in Computational and Data Science positions students to use computers and data to solve modern problems. Graduates of the program are prepared for “interdisciplinary scientific simulation and analysis groups in the public and private sector” or graduate education in the sciences.
New Jersey’s highly regarded Seton Hall University offers an undergraduate certificate in Data Visualization and Analysis. The program is offered jointly through the Department of Math and Computer Science and the Department of Psychology. The course load includes 15 course credits plus a three-credit internship. The undergraduate program requires an online application with transcripts and resume and includes a psychology prerequisite.
The certificate program can be used to supplement a bachelor’s degree with courses in data visualization and data analysis. Graduates may be well positioned for business analyst jobs or, if coupled with a computer science degree, further education in data science at the master’s level.
While Rutgers University (New Brunswick, N.J.) doesn’t offer a bachelor’s degree in data science, they do offer a related program at the undergraduate level. Through the Rutgers Business School there is an available major in Business Analytics and Information Technology. It includes four required courses and three electives.
The program is geared toward students with an aptitude for computer programming and quantitatively oriented material. Students learn to manage data, understand it, and then use that understanding for planning and decision making. As data science calls for a level of business understanding, this program positions graduates well for graduate work in the field. Graduates are also prepared for work in technical and managerial capacities on IT projects.