Data Science

Apply computational and quantitative thinking to innovative lines of inquiry

Undergraduate B.S. Program

The B.S. in Data Science is the successor to the major in Mathematical and Computational Science (MCS). The goals of our program remain ambitious: we aim to provide a broad and deep understanding of the foundations of the discipline, training nimble and versatile data scientists. Increasing data size and availability, enhanced computational power, and progress in algorithms and software make this an ever exciting area. 

Students pursuing the B.S. in Data Science will acquire a core mathematical knowledge, upon which they will build competences in computation, optimal decision making, probabilistic modeling, and statistical inference. By learning the theory behind data science, the students develop the capacity to stay up-to-date in a field that is evolving rapidly. They learn to design new methodologies and quickly get up to speed with new developments.

In addition, electives and pathways in Data Science provide students the opportunity to develop their interests.  Students can explore how inferential and computational thinking can be effective in areas as diverse as finance, biology, marketing, and engineering; or they can choose to acquire greater depth in one of our core disciplines. 

The Data Science program is interdisciplinary in its focus, and sponsored by Stanford’s departments of Statistics, Mathematics, Computer Science, and Management Science & Engineering.  Students are required to take courses in each of these departments. 

Learn more about the B.S. Degree Requirements

I think [Data Science] is one of the best majors offered at Stanford; it is a "liberal arts" major for the computationally-minded. It has served me very well and it was fun to work towards the major because the classes were easy to balance since they were so different and exciting. I really think it is a gem that showcases Stanford's best departments all under one degree. It prepared me well for my doctoral work and my postdoc.

Faculty & Partnerships

In 1971, four professors -- Rupert Miller from Statistics, Arthur Veinott, Jr. from Operations Research, John Herriot from Computer Science, and Paul Berg from Mathematics -- created an interdisciplinary group to meet the need of having an undergraduate program for students interested in applied math.  The Data Science major is the legacy of these collaborations.

Today, the program utilizes the faculty and courses of the departments of Computer Science, Mathematics, Management Science and Engineering, and Statistics. The variety of topics covered in the courses that make up the degree program require expertise in a wide selection of subject disciplines; by utilizing the resources of several departments in teaching the courses, we hope to give the students the best possible introduction to mathematical and information sciences.

Where can Data Science take you?

Every year, our students continue to pursue their passions in a variety of positions in industry and academia.  The B.S. in Data Science is an ideal major to prepare students for graduate study in quantitative fields such as computer science and statistics, and for careers in a range of industries that require quantitative work, such as information technology and finance.  

Ready to join our community?