Study Abroad for Data Science Majors

Planning for Study Abroad

Who should study abroad?

The Data Science BA program strongly encourages all students to consider studying abroad, whether for a summer, a semester or a full year. Many universities around the world offer excellent courses in data science, computer science, statistics, or any of our domain emphases that can easily be applied to the major requirements at Cal. UC Berkeley Study Abroad Advisors and the Data Science major advisors will work with you to design an individualized program plan to fit your interests.

Why study abroad?

By studying abroad as a Data Science major, you will gain a more global perspective and understanding of data, and of the different cultural values around data privacy that exist around the world. You will also gain more global experience and cultural awareness that will be valuable in any career field. Not to mention, you will meet interesting people and have an amazing, unforgettable experience!

How much does study abroad cost?

Studying abroad can be the same cost or even less expensive than studying at UC Berkeley, depending on your program. 

  • View the Berkeley Study Abroad center’s information on finances
  • You can also apply financial aid toward study abroad programs, and your aid package will be adjusted to the cost or your program.
  • Berkeley Study Abroad also offers scholarships to aid students in funding their study abroad opportunities. 

When should I go abroad?

Be sure to pay attention to the start and end dates of each program, as many do not align with the start and end dates of the semester at UC Berkeley. If you want to study abroad in your final semester, also note that your program end date may conflict with Commencement events.

  • Freshman Admits: Most students study abroad during junior year, although there are a growing number of programs available to sophomores. In choosing when to study abroad, you may want to consider whether you plan to apply for summer internships, and when the recruiting period for your career field takes place (for example, recruiting for summer internships in software engineering often takes place during the previous Fall semester). See our sample 4-year plans for freshman admits.
  • Junior Transfer Admits: As a junior transfer, it will be difficult to study abroad in your junior year unless you begin the planning process as soon as you are admitted. It is more likely that you will be able to study abroad in your senior year, during the summer, or during an extra semester if you are willing to extend your time at Cal. See our sample 2-year and 2.5 year plans for junior transfers.

NOTE: If you are planning to study abroad in senior year, consult with an L&S College Adviser in advance to make sure you will satisfy the L&S Senior Residency and Residency in the Major requirements.

Where should I go abroad?

Data Science majors have participated in study abroad programs all over the world.

  • Research whether the programs you are interested in offer coursework in English. Unless you are fluent in another language, consider carefully before enrolling in upper-division data science coursework in another language, even if you technically meet the prerequisites. 
  • If you hope to take courses toward the Computational & Inferential Depth requirement, consider UC EAP programs that are strong in Computer Science or Math & Statistics course offerings.
  • If you hope to take courses toward your Domain Emphasis, use UC EAP’s Programs by Major webpage to find programs with a focus on areas relevant to your Domain Emphasis.
  • If you hope to take courses toward the L&S 7-Course Breadth requirement, check out UC Berkeley’s Pre-Approved Breadth Database.

Credit for Study Abroad Courses

Any courses abroad will need to be petitioned and reviewed by Data Science faculty. Please make an appointment with a Data Science advisor before you go abroad to discuss your intended courses and the petition process. If you are going on UC EAP, note that you will also need a major advisor's signature on your EAP Academic Planning Form.

Minimum requirements for course eligibility toward the major:

  • A course must be transferable for upper-division credit and a minimum of 3 semester units to satisfy an upper-division requirement in the Data Science major.
  • All courses toward the major must be completed with a letter grade of C- or better, or equivalent.

General tips on petitioning courses abroad: 

  • Courses will rarely be offered as Data or Data Science. Try looking for courses under Computer Science, Statistics, Information Science, or Mathematics, or a discipline related to your Domain Emphasis.
  • Compare the course syllabus with similar UC Berkeley courses that are already approved for the Data Science major. Look for similarities in prerequisites, course materials and topics covered.
  • If a course has already been approved by a UC Berkeley department as equivalent to a course that is approved for the Data Science major (for example, a course has already been approved by the EECS department as equivalent to CompSci 188 at UC Berkeley), then the course will count toward the Data Science major subject to the course eligibility requirements above.
  • You will need to be able to provide an English-language syllabus for our faculty to review. If you are having trouble finding one, please contact a Berkeley Study Abroad Advisor for assistance. Generally, the syllabus should include a course description, the textbook or reading materials used, assignments, and a weekly schedule.  

Previously Approved Course Database

View our list of courses that have been previously approved for the Data Science major. These courses are not pre-approved so you must still submit a petition to count any course abroad toward your Data Science major. There is also no guarantee that the same courses will be offered or available when you study abroad.

Academic Advising While Abroad

Data Science Advising offers online appointments via Google Hangouts. Schedule an online appointment regularly through CalCentral by choosing Google Hangouts Advising as both the Type and Reason for your appointment. You can also contact us anytime at ds-advising@berkeley.edu.