B.S. in Data Science Overview


The BSDS curriculum provides a solid foundation in the key data science principles and applications necessary to support organizational data needs and strategies. Students will gain proficiency in the fundamentals of data science programming, mathematical and analytical algorithms, data systems and pipelines, and data visualization and presentation. 

With an emphasis on developing students’ ability to tackle real-world problems, the core coursework will equip students to understand and correctly apply data science in a broad range of organizations and contexts. 

Learning Outcomes 

Pursuing a B.S. in Data Science will prepare you to become an expert in the field and work at the cutting edge of a new discipline. According to LinkedIn’s most recent Emerging Jobs Report, data science is booming and data scientist is one of the top three fastest-growing jobs. A B.S in Data Science from the University of Virginia opens career paths in public or private industry. Graduates of our program will:

  • Identify, formulate, and solve complex problems by applying principles of data analytics, mathematics, systems, value, and design 
  • Effectively communicate data products and findings to a range of audiences 
  • Assess and diagnose ethical and professional conflicts in data science to make informed judgments 
  • Appreciate the benefit of diverse perspectives when working within and leading data science teams 
  • Lead and complete data-driven projects by establishing clear goals, planning tasks, and meeting objectives

The B.S. in Data Science degree program will require 120 credit hours. A final project course will be required. The Undergraduate Record represents the official repository for academic program requirements. 

Program Requirements 

Prerequisites for Admission

The BSDS program has prerequisites of the following two courses, which must be completed or in progress at the time of application:

  • DS 1001: Foundation of Data Science (3 credits)
  • DS 1002: Programming for Data Science (3 credits)*

Both courses are offered in the fall and spring semesters, do not have prerequisites, and may be taken concurrently. Students interested in pursuing the BSDS program must take both courses in their first-year to be eligible to apply. 

Learn more about the application process on our Admissions page.

*Refer to our FAQs for alternatives to DS 1002.

BSDS Curriculum

Once admitted to the program, BSDS students will follow a three-year curriculum: 

First Year of Major: Understand


  • DS 2022 – Systems I: Intro. to Computing  
  • DS 2026 – Computational Probability  
  • MATH 1190/1210/1310 or APMA 1090 – Calculus I* 


  • DS 2023 – Design I: Communicating with Data 
  • DS 2024 – Value I: Ethics & Policy in DS  
  • DS 3025 – Mathematics of DS 

Second Year of Major: Apply


  • DS 3021 – Analytics I: Machine Learning I, Foundational Concepts  
  • DS 3022 – Systems II: Cloud Architecture & Sustainable Pipelines 
  • Concentration Course 


  • DS 4021 – Analytics II: Machine Learning 
  • DS 4023 – Design II: Interactive Applications & Dashboards 
  • Concentration Course 

Third Year of Major: Analyze, Evaluate, Create


  • DS 3026 – Principles of Inference & Prediction  
  • DS 4024 – Value II: Data Ethics 
  • Concentration Course  
  • 2nd Concentration Course (Optional) 


  • DS 4022 – Final Project 
  • 2nd Concentration Course (Optional) 
  • 2nd Concentration Course (Optional) 

*AB or BC Calculus with a score of 4 or 5, or IB HL Mathematics with a score of 5, 6, or 7 will also meet this requirement. 

Sample Concentrations

All students will select at least one concentration (3 classes/ 9 credits) from among several different options offered within the School of Data Science and in collaboration with other schools across Grounds. Students may elect to complete more than one concentration. 

Sample Concentrations: 

  • Analytical Concentration
  • Systems Concentration
  • Design Concentration
  • Value Concentration

General Education Requirements

In addition to the BSDS curriculum, all BSDS students must complete the following general education courses from the Literacies and Disciplines:

General Education Requirements:

  • Rhetoric for the 21st Century, First Writing Requirement: 3-6 credits 
  • Artistic, Interpretive, and Philosophical Inquiry: 3 credits 

  • The Chemical, Mathematical, and Physical Universe: 3 credits

  • Cultures and Societies of the World: 3 credits

  • Historical Perspectives: 3 credits

  • Living Systems: 3 credits

  • Social and Economic Systems: 3 credits

  • Science and Society: 3 credits

First-year prospective BSDS students are advised to stay on track with the curricular requirements of their home school; any course completed that does not count toward the requirements listed above will count toward the overall electives needed to complete their degree. 

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