Welcome New Bears! If you were recently admitted as a transfer student for Fall 2022 and would like more information about Data Science at UC Berkeley, please connect with us by filling out this contact form. We'll get back to you with opportunities to engage with the Berkeley Data Science community.

Welcome to Data Science at Berkeley! We’re excited to tell you about our program and help you navigate the major.  If you aren’t able to find the answer to your question here, please don’t hesitate to email us at ds-advising@berkeley.edu.

Please note, admissions to the College of Letters & Science is handled by the UC Berkeley Admissions office.  For questions related to eligibility or likelihood of admission, contact UC Berkeley Admissions.

Berkeley's Data Science Major

Who majors in Data Science? 

Our students come from all sorts of backgrounds and interests, with very diverse career pursuits.  Some of our students are in research, others spend their summers in internships. The Data Science major is very flexible and allows students to create a curriculum that best fits their educational goals. We encourage you to explore the upper division curriculum, including our unique Domain Emphasis requirement, to get a sense if this is the right major for you.

Step One: Preparation for the Data Science Major

As one of the criteria considered in the admission review process, transfer students are encouraged to complete as many as possible of the lower-division courses toward their intended major. However, applicants are not expected to complete all of the prerequisites prior to transfer, since some courses are very rarely offered outside of UC Berkeley.

See below for details about how transfer credit can be applied to the lower-division requirements in the Data Science major. You can also find more information about what equivalent courses are offered at your community college on the UC Berkeley Admissions Transfer Guides website.

Per UC Berkeley policy, transfer courses completed at other institutions in Spring 2020 with a grade of Pass are acceptable to satisfy requirements toward the Data Science major or minor. 

Offered on a limited basis outside of UC Berkeley. The following are officially articulated courses equivalent to Data C8 at California community colleges: 

  • CIS 107 at San Jose City College
  • CompSci 8 at El Camino College
  • Math 211 at Skyline College
  • Math 108 at City College of San Francisco
  • CS 118 at Santa Barbara City College
  • CSIT 128 at Palomar College

Students who have completed a course based on the Data 8 curriculum at one of our partner institutions may also be able to petition for credit after transferring. Most transfer students should expect to take Data 8 at UC Berkeley.

Generally expected to be completed prior to transfer. Transfer students from a California Community College may use www.assist.org to find pre-approved courses. We also accept Advanced Placement or other high school exam credit, per the Math department guidelines.

Students with transfer credit from a non-California Community College will need to have their coursework reviewed for equivalency by the Math department after transferring.

Recommended to complete prior to transfer if possible. Note that assist.org articulation agreements for Math 54 frequently list courses in both Linear Algebra and Differential Equations; only Linear Algebra is required for the Data Science major.

However, it is encouraged to take Differential Equations if your schedule permits, as the additional math coursework will better prepare you for upper-division work at UC Berkeley.

It is generally recommended to have some experience with computer science and coding prior to transfer, even if your college does not offer courses equivalent to UC Berkeley’s program structures and data structures requirements.

Courses equivalent to Computer Science 61A (generally taught in Python) are rarely offered outside of UC Berkeley. For more information about transfer credit for CS 61A, please view the EECS Transfer Course Equivalency website.

Courses equivalent to Engin 7 (generally taught in Matlab) may be found at other colleges. Transfer students from a California Community College may use assist.org to find pre-approved courses.

Courses equivalent to CS 61B (generally taught in Java) may be found at other colleges. Transfer students from a California Community College may use assist.org to find pre-approved courses. For more information about transfer credit for CS 61B, please view the EECS Transfer Course Equivalency website.

If you already know which Domain Emphasis you wish to pursue, you may plan to take a lower-division course toward your Domain Emphasis prior to transfer, if offered.

While assist.org does not list these courses under the Data Science major, you can often find equivalent courses approved under other majors (for example, look under the Sociology major for Sociology 1, or the Economics major for Econ 1).

It is possible to overlap your lower-division Domain Emphasis course with your College of Letters & Science breadth course requirements.

If you have room in your schedule to take additional courses in preparation for the Data Science major, we strongly recommend the following:

  • Take additional courses in math and statistics, such as differential equations, multivariable calculus, discrete math, or probability.
  • Consider taking courses in additional programming languages such as Python, C++ and r. Outside of the classroom, consider gaining experience through free online resources, jobs, internships, or personal projects.
  • Take additional courses toward your intended Domain Emphasis area, which may satisfy prerequisites for courses you wish to take at UC Berkeley.

Step Two: Admission as a Data Science-intended Major in the College of Letters & Science

All applicants to UC Berkeley should ensure that they are satisfying the criteria for admission as a transfer student. For any questions about eligibility or likelihood of admission, please contact the UC Berkeley Admissions office

Data Science major advisors are available to help ensure that you are as prepared as possible to transfer into the Data Science major at UC Berkeley. However, we do not review applications or have input in the admission decision. If you have a question about the major, email ds-advising@berkeley.edu. 

Step Three: Entering Berkeley - Your First Semester

Congratulations on your acceptance to Berkeley! It’s important to note that you are not officially declared in the Data Science major. You should assume that you will spend your first semester finishing up any lower division prerequisites that you were unable to take at your previous college. Once you complete all lower division requirements, you may apply for the major. Learn how to declare the Data Science major here.

You’ll be going through several orientation programs both online and in-person to help you acclimate to the university. The most important piece of advice we have for you is: Do not overload your first semester schedule.

Sample Course Plan

The following sample plan is based on a transfer student who has already completed 1 year of calculus, linear algebra and data structures, as well as L&S 7-Course Breadth or IGETC.

All students should work with a Data Science Advisor to develop an individualized plan based on your specific situation.



Data C8

CS 88 or 61A

Lower-division Domain Emphasis

Data C100

Probability (ex. Stat 140)

American Cultures/Upper-division Outside Major

Computational & Inferential Depth #1

Upper-division Domain Emphasis #1

Upper-division Domain Emphasis #2

Computational & Inferential Depth #2

Modeling, Learning & Decision Making (ex. Data C102)

Human Contexts & Ethics (ex. Data C104)