Engaging students in data science

Berkeley’s Data Science education program provides a foundation for students in all fields to engage capably and critically with data and creates pathways to advanced-level work.  The program starts from one simple fact: Faculty across Berkeley see a critical need to prepare our students for a data-rich world.

The program starts at the introductory level, with a pathbreaking foundational course (Foundations of Data Science, or Data 8) that combines instruction in core computational and statistics concepts while enabling students to work hands-on with real data in a range of fields. It is designed to be accessible to undergraduates of any intended major, and does not require prior experience in the field. Foundations of Data Science is not a university requirement but satisfies prerequisites or requirements in many departments and counts for the Letters and Science Quantitative Reasoning requirement.   

A set of innovative connector courses enable students to apply core skills from the foundational course to real-world issues that relate to students’ areas of interest. Topics range from ecology to social networks, from history to neuroscience. Additional advanced courses enable students to delve more deeply into methods and theory.  

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These courses form the beginnings of a data science education program that Berkeley seeks to build over the next several years. 

Faculty from other institutions who are interested in developing a data science program are invited to visit our implementation page.