The Minor in Data Science will expose students to the conceptual framework for the emerging field of data science, including four central areas of focus: analytics, systems (data engineering), design (communications), and value (ethics). These components combine to form the practice of data science. Through exposure to these critical domains of data science, students in the minor will receive the education needed to understand rapidly evolving data science concepts from theory to practice.

Earning a minor in data science will prepare you for careers or post­graduate work using data skills, providing a solid foundation for further exploration in the field. Join our community of undergraduate data science students!

Minor Requirements

Minor students are required to take one course from each of the five categories listed below, totaling 15 credits; three courses (9 credits) must be data science (DS) courses. Students who declared the minor prior to Fall 2022 must complete two DS courses (6 credits).

Foundational Programming Course (select one)

  • DS 1002 (formerly 2001): Programming for Data Science (students cannot enroll if previously completed CS 1110 or CS 1120)
  • CS 1110: Introduction to Programming
  • CS 1111: Introduction to Programming
  • CS 1112: Introduction to Programming
  • CS 2110: Software Development Methods
  • PHYS 1655: Introduction to Python for Scientists and Engineers / CS 1113: Introduction to Programming

Analytics Course (select one) 

  • DS 2006: Computational Probability (no longer meets the requirement for students who declare the minor in Fall 2024 or later)
  • DS 3001: (formerly 4001 Practice of Data Science): Foundations of Machine Learning 
  • DS 3005: Mathematics for Data Science (no longer meets the requirement for students who declare the minor in Fall 2024 or later)
  • DS 3006: Inference and Prediction (no longer meets the requirement for students who declare the minor in Fall 2024 or later)
  • CS 4774: Machine Learning
  • PSYC 5710: Machine Learning and Data Mining
  • STAT 5630: Statistical Machine Learning
  • APMA 3150 / STAT 3080: From Data to Knowledge (no longer meets the requirement for students who declare the minor in Summer 2023 or later)

Systems Course (select one)

  • DS 2002 (formerly 3002): Data Science Systems 
  • CS 4750: Database Systems (for CS majors)
  • COMM 3220: Database Management Systems and Business (for Commerce majors)
  • SYS 2202: Data and Information Engineering (for Systems Engineering majors)

Data Design or Value Course (select one)

Recommended Courses:

  • DS 2003 (formerly 3003): Communicating with Data
  • DS 2004: Data Ethics
  • DS 4003 Data Design II: Interactive Applications (no longer meets the requirement for students who declare the minor in Fall 2024 or later)
  • SARC 5400: Data Visualization
  • APMA 2500 / STS 2500: Ethical Analytics 

The below courses are also options:

  • COMM 3810: Business Ethics
  • COMM 4520: Data Exploration and Visualization with R
  • LPPP 4210: Integrating Ethics in Public Policy
  • NASC 4200: Leadership and Ethics
  • NUIP 3311: Research, Ethics, Advocacy, and Leadership: Quality, Safety, and EBP
  • PLAN 3813-001: Methods of Community Research and Engagement, School of Architecture
  • LPPS 5360: Imagining Equitable Policy
  • STS 4600: The Engineer, Ethics, and Professional Responsibility
  • NUIP 4311: Research, Ethics, Advocacy, and Leadership

Domain Elective or Final Project (select one)

  • DS 4002: Data Science Project Course - Students work in groups to complete several projects throughout the semester using different types of data (tabular, images, text, time, etc.). AFTER JANUARY-TERM 2025, THIS COULD WILL NO LONGER BE OFFERED DURING FUTURE J-TERMS. IT WILL ONLY BE OFFERED DURING FALL AND SPRING TERMS. 
  • Students can also select one of the following data science applied electives:
  • BME 3636: Neural Network Models
  • CHE 4561: Data Science in Chemical Engineering 
  • COMM 4260: Business Analytics (course no longer offered)
  • COMM 4351 - Marketing Analytics for Big Data
  • COMM 4230: Info Technology in Finance 
  • COMM 4520: Ethical Application of Artificial Intelligence
  • COMM 4522: Business Analytics with Python
  • CS 3710: Introduction to Cybersecurity 
  • CS 4501 Human-Robot Interaction
  • CS 4774: Machine Learning (no longer meets the requirement for students who declare the minor in Summer 2023 or later)
  • DS 5110 Big Data Systems
  • ENGL 3500: Hacking for Humanists 
  • EVSC 3020 GIS Methods
  • EVSC 4080: Quantitative Methods in Environmental Sciences 
  • EVSC 5040 Messy Data
  • GSVS 4100 Evidence for Sustainability Policy
  • PHS 3102: Introduction to Public Health Research: Population Data Analysis 
  • STAT 4220 Applied Analytics for Business
  • STAT 4630: Statistical Machine Learning 
  • STAT 4800 Advanced Sports Analytics I (formerly STAT 4559 Sports Analytics)
  • STAT 4996: Capstone

Declaring the Minor

The Minor in Data Science is open to students from all backgrounds, majors, and schools of enrollment. There is no application, and entry to the minor is not competitive. 

Step 1: Declare a Major

Declare a major within your current school of enrollment. Your major must be reflected in SIS for the minor declaration to be processed. 

Step 2: Review Minor Requirements

Map out courses you have already taken toward the minor and your plan to complete any outstanding requirements, paying special attention to your school’s policy of double-counting courses and the requirement of three DS courses. Send questions about minor requirements and the declaration process to sdsminor@virginia.edu.

Step 3: Declare the DS Minor

Complete this minor declaration form.

Step 4: Meet with an Advisor (optional) 

Meet with the Student Success Advisor for questions about completing the minor. Advising hours are offered during the fall and spring semester while classes are in session. Email sdsminor@virginia.edu for questions about the minor.

Step 5

Once the minor declaration form is processed by both the School of Data Science and your school of enrollment, you will see the minor reflected in SIS and be able to enroll in DS courses.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the deal with double-counting? 

We understand students may be completing majors and minors with overlapping coursework throughout the University, making the data science minor a winning complement to many degree programs. 

Data science courses count toward the graduation hours in any school of enrollment. Your school of enrollment may restrict the double-counting of courses toward majors and minors. Contact your major advisor or school registrar to double-check their policies.

I’m in the College of Arts and Sciences pursuing a major that includes one or more requirements for the minor. Can I count these major requirements toward the data science minor? 

The College of Arts and Sciences Academic Rules state that “credits applied toward a major may not be applied toward a minor." Consult the Undergraduate Record for more information on academic rules.  

I’m not in the College of Arts and Sciences and am pursuing a major that includes the programming and systems requirement for the minor. Can I count these major requirements toward the data science minor?

Yes, but the remainder of the minor courses must be data science courses (DS XXXX). 

Can I enroll in data science courses without being in the minor?

No. All DS courses that count toward the minor require students to have the minor declared in SIS. 

When can I declare the minor in data science?

You can declare the minor after your major is declared in SIS. Minor declaration forms will not be approved without a major on record in SIS. 

Is there a specific order that minor courses must be taken? 

Students should take the programming requirement first, followed by systems and design, then analytics. The domain elective or final project course is meant to be the culmination of your minor coursework and should be saved for the final course of the minor.

Can I get a course that is not listed above to satisfy a minor requirement? 

No, only courses listed on the website and in the Undergraduate Record can be used to satisfy the minor requirements. 

Can I use test or transfer credit to satisfy minor requirements?

If you have test credit or transfer credit in SIS for a course that meets a minor requirement, it can be used to satisfy the requirement.

If I pass the CS Place-Out test, will it satisfy a minor requirement?

No, you must have credit in SIS for a course that satisfies a minor requirement.  The CS place-out test will not satisfy a minor requirement.   

I plan to study abroad; how do I get a course approved to satisfy a minor requirement? 

Make sure your school of enrollment will allow you to transfer the credit for the course you are taking abroad. Declared minors must email the Program Director with the course syllabus attached and specify which requirement you are proposing the course to fulfill. If approved, contact sdsminor@virginia.edu once the course is completed and posted in SIS, so the course can be directed to the minor requirement.  

I’m in the College of Arts and Sciences pursuing a B.A. in Computer Science. Can I satisfy the Foundational Programming requirement with one of the following courses: CS 1110, CS 1111, CS 1112, or CS 1113? 

Prerequisites do not fall under the double-counting rules. If CS 1110, CS 1111, CS 1112, or CS 1113 is being used to satisfy your major prerequisite, you may also use it to satisfy the Foundational Programming requirement for the minor. 

For More Information

Meet with the Student Success Advisor for questions about completing the minor. Advising hours are offered during the fall and spring semester while classes are in session. Email sdsminor@virginia.edu to request a meeting during the summer. Send questions about minor requirements and the declaration process to sdsminor@virginia.edu. For questions about the field of data science and course selection to support your professional goals, connect with the undergraduate program director Brian Wright at brianwright@virginia.edu

Upcoming Events

Join the School of Data Science’s Student Success Advisor to discover more about the undergraduate minor in Data Science. During this virtual event, you will learn more about course requirements, the declaration process, and hear from one of our current minor students.

March 13 from 4-4:30 p.m. ET: Register here

March 14 from 4-4:30 p.m. ET: Register here

View All