The Goergen Institute's data science major teaches undergraduate students to collect, curate, analyze, and make discoveries from large-scale data. The major combines computer science, statistics, and the student's choice of advanced coursework in an application area. It equips students with the technical skills to process and draw conclusions from data, and trains them to apply their conclusions to real-world challenges.
Through advanced coursework, students focus on one of a variety of application areas, including:
- Biomedical signals and imaging
- Brain and cognitive sciences
- Earth and environmental science
- Economics and business
- Political science
Why Data Science
In the digital age, data is everywhere - from healthcare and medicine, to government, business, and social media. Consequently, data science has become one of the fastest growing fields in recent years, with a projected job growth of 27.9 percent between 2016 and 2026. (Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics)
However data science is more than just a career - it is a crucial tool. By learning how to interpret and apply data, we can better understand and even solve some of the greatest challenges facing the world today. Students who study data science have the opportunity to become change-makers, shaping this ever-growing field and transforming science, business, and our everyday lives.
The University of Rochester was one of the first institutions to offer an undergraduate data science degree program. At Rochester, data science students benefit from the Goergen Institute's distinctive position as the University's interdisciplinary data science hub. They can participate in unique, interdepartmental research collaborations, work with industry to gain hands-on data analytics experience, and have access to a wide variety of affiliated faculty members from across campus.
Students also benefit from being able to tailor their degree to their interests. Data science students at Rochester choose from a range of application areas and can choose between Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees. In addition, with just over 6700 undergraduates, the University of Rochester offers a top-tier, research university experience in a close-knit, community-oriented environment.
Through the semester-long capstone project, students get a taste for working in the industry, conducting real-world analytics projects using data provided by sponsoring organizations. Capstone students work in teams of three to four to understand their sponsor's business problem, clean and analyze data, and devise an appropriate solution. Students also explore ethical issues related to the use of data science.
Choosing Between a BA and a BS
Many of the core requirements for the data science Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) are the same. BS students must take three additional supplementary courses to complete their degrees. With fewer required courses, the BA program offers students greater flexibility and is typically the preferred choice for students interested in a double major. However, the BS program provides students with a more immersive data science experience.