Undergraduate Admissions

About the Program

Data science is the emerging discipline of analyzing data generated by any phenomenon to develop an understanding of the phenomenon; and use this insight for various societal functions. The Bachelor of Science degree in Data Science program is designed for students who want to learn the fundamentals of statistical and algorithmic tools while also gaining experience with methods appropriate for managing and processing big data. 

Why pursue a degree in Data Science at the University of Minnesota?

There is a growing demand for talented professionals that can harvest, process, analyze data and extract insights. There is no single discipline at the University of Minnesota that brings together these diverse skills to solve such societal problems. This is a new and growing academic discipline that has attracted significant attention in business, physical sciences, biological and health sciences, and research. 

A number of high profile research reports and articles suggest the growing demand-and-supply gap and the need for developing human capital in all these areas. Broadly trained data scientists are needed by a wide variety of organizations such as large internet companies like Google and Microsoft, retail firms like Walmart and Target or smaller regional retailers, financial firms like banks or credit card companies, many different Government departments in the military, intelligence, law enforcement, human services, health, as well as in scientific and medical research.

The University of Minnesota already has a uniquely large combination of faculty in data management and analysis, predictive modeling, machine learning, statistical analysis, and their applications across the entire gamut of areas. This expertise is distributed over several departments and colleges, and the key goal of this program is to provide a single mechanism to make all this expertise easily accessible to the student. 


Big data engineer
Business intelligence analyst
Data engineer
Data mining analyst
Data scientist
Data warehouse architect
Database administrator
Information officer
Machine learning engineer

Admissions Overview

Students interested in studying data science at the University of Minnesota should apply to the College of Science & Engineering for the Bachelor of Science degree. Once prospective students are admitted to the college, they can then take required lower division courses in data science. Students officially enter the data science major once they have successfully applied for upper division status, which is usually near the end of their sophomore year.

Admission to the University

Admission is done by the college, rather than by the department. More admission information is available at CSE Prospective students, as well as on the University Admissions website.

Admission to the Data Science Major

Most students are admitted to the university as lower division students, and must take certain classes before being admitted to “upper division,” i.e., to a specific major. Most students apply to upper division near the end of their sophomore year.

What is it like to earn a data science degree at the University of Minnesota?

The data science degree at the University of Minnesota consists of a foundation of math and science classes. Here are the different attributes and supporting requirements:

  • Liberal Education Requirements: These university-wide requirements ensure a student has a broad education covering a number of different areas.
  • Required Data Science Classes: These classes provide a solid foundation in computer science, math, and statistics. 
  • Upper Division Major Electives: Students can take approved courses from the following departments: computer science, electrical engineering, industrial and systems engineering, math, and statistics.
  • Free Electives: These allow students to study other topics that interest them, to get a minor, to do interdisciplinary work, or to take additional related courses to attain greater depth or breadth.