Bachelor of Science in Data Science

Bachelor of Science in Data Science

Not just big data. Better data.

Every organization is looking to use data to drive decision-making. A bachelor's degree in data science from Clarkson University shows you how. You'll ask and answer questions that lead to happier customers, more efficient production, better patient outcomes — and a stronger, smarter bottom line.

The emerging challenge is not just one of data storage and number crunching. Algorithms are impacting nearly every aspect of our lives — what news we will be shown, whether our résumé is viewed, if our loan application is accepted. Artificial intelligence promises potentially huge benefits for society, but it is obvious that these capabilities must be properly managed.

The science of data provides the interdisciplinary skills to effectively reason in this space — to deliver the appropriate critical thinking that machines cannot.

Why Study Data Science at Clarkson?

As a data science major at Clarkson, you'll go beyond theory and learn what it takes to solve real-world problems. Whether you're in finance, healthcare, government, retail or countless other industries, data science powers how decisions get made.

You'll build a strong core course foundation in math and computer science, with a supporting foundation in information science from the Reh School of Business as you gain a 360-degree view of the field. By the time you graduate, you'll understand the entire data science lifecycle. You'll help organizations determine what data to collect, construct the systems needed to store it, develop the algorithms to make sense of it and share what you learn with others. Our intention is to equip you with the skill set to be a leader now and for the next generation of tools.

And, Clarkson's Data Science Class of 2023 had a 100 percent placement rate.

What You'll Learn

In addition to 35 credit hours in mathematics and statistics, you'll take six hours of specially designated data science coursework, six credits of application electives and 22 credit hours in computer science and information systems.

You can take classes including:

  • Algorithm and Data Structure
  • Big Data Architecture
  • Computational Learning
  • Database Design and Management
  • Data Warehousing for Analytics
  • Ethics in Data Science and Applied Mathematics
  • Intro to Data Science
  • Math Modeling and Software
  • Probability and Statistics

The data science program consists of 35 credit hours in mathematics and statistics, 6 credit hours in data science, 13 credit hours in computer science, 8 credit hours in science, 9 credit hours in information systems, and 6 credit hours in application electives. 24 credit hours are in free electives, which is enough to complete a minor or second major if you so choose.

All courses are 3 credits unless noted.

Clarkson Common Experience

The following courses are required for all students, irrespective of their program of study. These courses are offered during the fall semester, with FY100 First-Year Seminar being required of only first-year students. Both FY100 and UNIV190 are typically taken during the fall semester of the first year at Clarkson.
FY100 First-Year Seminar (1 credit)
UNIV190 The Clarkson Seminar (3 credits)

Data Science Core Requirements

Students are required to complete the following courses:

Data Science/Information Systems

  • DS241 Introduction to Data Science
  • DS392 Ethics in Data Science and Applied Mathematics
  • IS314 Database Design & Management
  • IS415 Data Warehousing for Analytics
  • IS426 Big Data Architecture

Professional Experience

Students are required to complete the following Professional Experience:

  • MA499 Professional Experience (0 credits)

Mathematics Courses for Data Science

Students must complete the following 12 courses:

  • MA131 Calculus I
  • MA132 Calculus II
  • MA200 Introduction to Mathematical Modeling & Software 
  • MA211 Discrete Mathematics and Proof 
  • MA231 Calculus III 
  • MA339 Applied Linear Algebra
  • STAT 381 Probability
  • STAT 382 Mathematical Statistics
  • STAT 383 Probability and Statistics
  • STAT 384 Advanced Applied Statistics
  • STAT 385 Bayesian Data Analysis
  • STAT 488 Statistics Projects (1-3 credits)

Science Courses for Data Science

Computer Science

Students must complete the following four courses:

  • CS141 Introduction to Computer Science I (4 credits)
  • CS142 Introduction to Computer Science II
  • CS344 Algorithms and Data Structures
  • CS449 Computational Learning


Students must complete two of following courses:

  • Biology (BY) 4-credit course with lab
  • Chemistry (CM) 4-credit course with lab
  • Physics (PH) 4-credit course with lab

Data Science Core Electives

Application Electives

Application Electives are courses from outside the MA, STAT, CS, and IS course designations that provide depth of knowledge in some domain. Students must take two 3-credit courses at the 200 level or higher, both from the same subject area, with the particular pairing approved by the Mathematics Department.

Knowledge Area/University Course Electives

Students will have at least 18 credit hours available to use toward Knowledge Area and/or University Course electives to satisfy the Clarkson Common Experience requirements.

Free Electives*

Students will have approximately 24 credit hours available to use toward courses of their choice.

*Up to 12 credit hours of advanced (300- or 400- level) coursework in Aerospace Studies or Military Science may count toward graduation requirements. Aerospace Studies or Military Science credits at the 100 and 200 levels do not count toward the required 120 hours. Other restrictions may apply; check with the Mathematics Department for details.

As early as your first year, you'll have the opportunity to work alongside mathematics and data science faculty as they conduct research. You can also earn academic credit for your own research projects during the semester or summer.

Learn more about research at Clarkson.

Put your data science skills to work in an off-campus co-op or internship even before you graduate. Use this experience to fulfill your graduation requirement, or complete more than one assignment to explore data science's real-world applications.

Learn more about co-ops and internships.

Clarkson offers more than 200 student-run clubs and organizations. Many focus on mathematics, computer programming and other areas where you can put your data science skills to work. Or, you can just relax with a club sport or other activity.

See all clubs and organizations.

The undergraduate data science curriculum leaves enough room for you to pursue a minor. These dovetail closely with the major's scope:

Computer Science

Build a strong foundation in programming, basic software engineering principles and the design, analysis and implementation of data structures and algorithms. Then, choose electives to dive deeper into an area of your choice.

Learn more about the computer science minor.

Information Technology

Every organization is driven by data. IT experts build the networks to make that data accessible to those who need it while keeping out those who don't. This minor includes courses on problem-solving and programming, computer systems, database administration, computer networks and web technologies.

Learn more about the information technology minor.

Real-World Applications of Math

Data analytics helped Alicia Mangal '19 see an entirely new way to put math to work. "Numbers suddenly told more of a story than words … I knew I wanted to be a storyteller," she says. As a manufacturing analyst at SRCTec in Syracuse, she's putting those skills to work.

Career Possibilities

Data science has been called the "sexiest job of the 21st century" — and when you see the careers that await you, you'll understand why. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of data science jobs is expected to increase an eye-popping 36 percent by 2031.

Data scientists are needed in fields such as:

  • Banking and finance
  • Cybersecurity
  • Media and entertainment
  • Government
  • Healthcare
  • Retail and e-commerce
  • Telecommunications

Contact Us

Department of Mathematics
Phone: 315-268-2395

Interested in knowing how a data science degree can work for you? Contact us today.

100 Percent Placement Undergrad - Program Specific

Data Science Grads Are Going Places

Our graduates are already building a superior reputation for this new program. Recent graduate Izzi Grasso '21, a Goldwater Scholar, was awarded a prestigious NSF Fellowship to pursue graduate studies and is working toward her PhD in Information Science at the University of Washington.

Read More About Izzi

Take a Deeper Dive

A BS in Data Science from Clarkson prepares you for one of the world's fastest-growing fields. Ask us more today.