B.S. in Data Science (BSDS)


I'm in high school. Can I apply straight into the School of Data Science?

No. High school students should refer to the first-year admission process through the Office of Undergraduate Admission.

I am not a first-year student. Can I still apply to the BSDS?

No. Due to the three-year structure of the BSDS program, only first-year students may apply. Second-, third-, and fourth-year students, as well as transfer students, may pursue the undergraduate Minor in Data Science, or consider one of our graduate programs.

Do I need to have all the prerequisites completed before I apply to the BSDS?

The admission committee reviews applications after grades have been submitted in the Spring. The prerequisites (DS 1001 and DS 1002) must be completed or in progress at the time of application to be eligible to apply to the major. The admission committee has no preference in which semester you take the prerequisite courses. 

I received test or transfer credit for CS 1110, or took a different programming class. Will that meet the programming prerequisite?

In lieu of DS 1002: Programming for Data Science, the programming requirement may be met the following ways: 

  • By taking another equivalent course at UVA 
    • CS 1110/1111/1112: Introduction to Programming 
    • PHYS 1655/CS 1113: Introduction to Python for Scientists and Engineers (no other UVA courses will meet the requirement) 
  • By test credit 
    • AP Computer Science A with a score of 4 or 5 
    • IB HL Computer Science with a score of 5, 6, or 7 
  • By placement test 
    • Passing the CS 1110 Place-out Test. If you pass this test, you will receive a notation in SIS that will be imported during the application process. Python is the preferred language; we expect students to know Python and it will be used on Day One of the BSDS.  

Can I double-major with the BSDS?

First-year undergraduate students majoring in any department may apply to the BSDS.

When admitted to the BSDS program, your school of enrollment shifts to the School of Data Science. It is only possible to double-major with another program in the College of Arts and Sciences or the Youth and Social Innovation program in the School of Education and Human Development. Our Student Affairs team will work with you if you plan to double-major upon admission to the School of Data Science. A student who has a second major in the College can only double-count two courses toward both majors.

Other ways to learn data science include the undergraduate Minor in Data Science, or consider one of our graduate programs.

Can I double-minor as a School of Data Science student?

Yes. Students in the School of Data Science may have up to two minors from other schools of enrollment. BSDS students cannot declare the Minor in Data Science. 

What is the application process like?

Students apply to the BSDS in the spring of their first year. You can access the application in early March, and the application is due after the end of the Spring semester. To apply, you must have completed or be enrolled in the two prerequisites (DS 1001 and DS 1002 [or equivalent]). The application includes your final essay from DS 1001, one recommendation, a resume, your transcript, and some brief short-answer questions. You can view the application requirements and timeline here.

What factors are considered by the admissions committee?

We are looking to craft a community of motivated scholars who are passionate about collaboratively solving the world's challenges using data science; intellectually curious; ready to engage with a rigorous STEM curriculum; and who will build and contribute to our inclusive community.

The Admission Committee reviews each applicant holistically, meaning we consider a balance of factors - your DS 1001 final essay, recommendation, resume, your transcript, and responses to short answer questions. Please review the Admissions page for more information about the application process.

Will my standardized test scores (SAT, ACT, TOEFL, etc.) be considered as part of my application for admission?


Do you offer/require an interview for admission?


I'm an Echols Scholar. If admitted, what happens to my Echols Scholar status?

Echols Scholars are welcome to apply to the BSDS program to continue their academic pursuits. For the BSDS, you must take ENWR 2510: Advanced Writing Seminar to fulfill your First Writing Requirement; however, your remaining general education requirements will continue to be waived. 

The only real impact Echols Scholar will experience on transferring to the School of Data Science is the loss of priority registration; however, once enrolled at the School of Data Science, priority registration is much less important due to the small cohort size. The Echols notation will always remain on your transcript, and students will always be welcome at Echols events and alumni activities.

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