Requirements: Domain Emphases

What are Domain Emphases?

Domain Emphases give students a grounded understanding of a particular domain of data-intensive research, relevant theory, or an integrative intellectual thread. A Domain Emphasis is comprised of three courses chosen from a list. Each Domain Emphasis is rooted in a lower division course, which is typically also a prerequisite for the upper division courses. 

A Domain Emphasis is not limited to courses that are intended to be specifically for data science. Rather, they should bring the data science student into the context of a domain. That may involve understanding the vocabulary, methods of study, theoretical foundations, or cultural outlook of the domain. The student needs to become able to build the bridges with data science in carrying out the emphasis, rather than expecting each course to do it for them.

Students will select one course from a short list of lower-division prerequisites, and two courses from a list of upper-division courses. The lower division course is a required element of the Domain Emphasis. However, students with advanced standing or other special situations may consult with a Data Science advisor about substituting a third upper-division course from the approved list for the required lower-division course, if appropriate.

What to think about when selecting a domain emphasis:

  • Courses you take for the 7-course L&S Breadth requirement may fulfill the lower-division course for a domain. Even if you don’t yet know which domain to choose, your breadths may work for you for the major as well.

  • Allow yourself some flexibility—choose three or four upper-division courses from the domain list that you’d like to take, rather than two, so you can make sure you continue making progress if you are unable to take a particular course.

  • Be advised that it is important to examine whether seats are typically available in the courses for the domain you select—many courses in other departments have priority enrollment groups.