Data Science & Social Systems

Put data to work to tackle society's greatest challenges

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Undergraduate B.A. Program

The B.A. degree in Data Science & Social Systems enables students to develop a triple fluency: expertise in statistical and computational methods, domain knowledge across the core social sciences, and a deep and interdisciplinary understanding of an important social problem.  

Majors in Data Science & Social Systems will complete a gateway course, courses in a set of core areas, a specialized pathway, and a capstone in which they apply data science skills to a well-defined problem. There are three parts to the core: quantitative (math, computation, statistics, and optimization), behavioral science (psychology, sociology, political science, and economics), and ethics. In addition, the gateway course to the major and the capstone will provide students with real-world examples and opportunities to apply modern computational and statistical methods to address key social challenges.

Interdisciplinary thinking is essential for the data-driven analysis of complex social problems, and this program is designed to prepare students with both superb technical training and in-depth knowledge of the social sciences. This is ideal preparation for leadership roles in industry, government, or the nonprofit sector.

Learn More About the B.A. Degree Requirements

Pathways in Data Science & Social Systems

The pathway is an opportunity for students to develop specific expertise on a topic they are passionate about and where data science methods and approaches have something compelling to offer.  Students may develop their own pathway or select one of twelve predefined pathways that focus on major societal challenges and the social systems that we need to understand to make progress.   

Faculty & Partnerships

Faculty from across the university provide leadership of the program, offer relevant courses, and advise Data Science and Social Systems majors. 

Stanford Impact Labs (SIL) is a key partner on campus for the new major. The B.A. in Data Science & Social Systems shares with SIL a commitment to interdisciplinary work, collaboration with external partners, and the ambition of using cutting-edge tools to make progress on society’s hardest problems.  


Where can Data Science & Social Systems take you?

The program in Data Science & Social Systems will prepare students for professional careers at the intersection of data and decision-making in the private, public, and non-profit sectors. This major is ideal training for careers as product managers, chief data and innovation officers in city and state government, and in philanthropies and nonprofits where technical skills and social scientific training are in high demand. 

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