General FAQs

Does the Foundations course have math, computing, and statistics prerequisites?

No. It is designed to be accessible to all Berkeley students. Freshman and Sophomores will be given priority in registration. The course is designed to allow students to gain a deep understanding of both computational and statistical concepts in a hands-on manner. You'll "discover" many of the concepts through working with real data that otherwise might be just stated dryly in texts. And you will learn many of the concepts of that are really used in modern data science, which are rarely presented even in advanced texts. Learning statistical concepts through computation on real data is not only fun, it is deep, and it is practical. And it makes all the theory that might fall all the more relevant.

What would be the difference between Foundations of Data Science and CS 194-15?

CS 194-15 Data Science is an upper-division CS course that assumes students know how to program and understand CS concepts. Foundations of Data Science is a first-year course that does not assume prior knowledge of programming and covers statistics fundamentals from the perspective of working computationally with data.

Can sophomores, juniors, seniors, and graduate students enroll in Foundations of Data Science?

The course is intended to be a introductory at the freshman level. Freshman and sophomores will receive priority in registration. Others will be able to join the waiting list. 

Will Foundations of Data Science count for my L&S Quantitative Reasoning requirement?

Yes. Please see the Requirements page for further details.

How does the workload in Foundations of Data Science compare to the CS 61 series?

 We expect the workload to be substantially less than CS 61A, but not light.

Is Foundations of Data Science a repetition of STAT 20 and CS61 combined, or something completely different?

This course is very different than either of those. You will get experience in critical thinking with data through a hands-on experience that neither of those provide. That said, there is overlap between those courses and this course. This does not assume you know either the computing concepts or the statistics concepts coming in, so it teaches those.

Does it matter which of CS/STAT/INFO offerings of Foundations of Data Science I sign up for?

No. There is only one course. It is simply cross listed. Each of the labs is also available under all three.

I'm a junior/senior and I want to get a chance to take data science before I graduate. What do I do?

Put yourself on the waiting list for Foundations of Data Science. Priority is given to freshman and sophomores, but others will be admitted as space allows.

Do the connectors have prerequisites?

It is expected that students in connector courses have either taken, or are concurrently taking, Foundations of Data Science. In general, connectors do not have other prerequisites. Please check the detailed course pages or with the instructors for specifics or expectations.

Will programs that require introductory statistics accept these courses?

Yes, in most cases. Please see the requirements page of this website. The Foundations of Data Science course along with the connector Probability and Mathematical Statistics in Data Science (STAT 88) is designed to serve as an alternative to Stat 20 and Stat 21 to satisfy the statistics prerequisite for majors such as Economics.

Can I receive credit for both Foundations of Data Science and CS 61A?


Do I have to take the Foundations of Data Science course to take a connector course?

Yes. The connectors are designed to 'connect' with the foundational course. Each complements the other.

Am I required to take a connector if I am taking the Foundations of Data Science course?

No, but we strongly encourage you to do so. 

Can I take multiple connector courses?

Yes. Each connector delves into a rich, distinct area of study. Students with a wide range of interests may be drawn to more than one of them.

How are data peer consultants trained?

  • All Data Peer Consultants receive training on consulting best practices, triage processes, and more (in collaboration with our partners at the D-Lab, Research IT, and UC Berkeley Library) at the beginning of each semester.
  • All Data Peer Consultants in their first semester participate in the DATA 198 Data Science Instructional Support Seminar course that runs every Fall & Spring.
  • Data Peer Consultants also receive mentorship throughout the semester from our partners' graduate consultants and staff consultants. 

How do I get help from Peer Consultants?

We're available to help you via live drop-in office hours M-F 11am-4pm and/or via appointment consultations.

If you would like to meet with a consultant, you can find the zoom link for the live office hours at the top of our webpage. If you would like to set up an appointment, or give us more information before you drop in to office hours at a later time, please fill out this intake form so that we can learn more about what you need help with.

My question is kind of specific, would it be possible to set up a consultation appointment?

Yes. If you have a question or topic that you would like to get help on that you believe would require a Peer Consultant's preparation in advance prior to you dropping in, please submit an intake form or send us an email at with any other inquiries.

I can’t make it to any of the drop-in hours, would it be possible to set up a consultation appointment?

Yes. Peer Consultants can also consult on an appointment basis if you're not able to make their drop-in hours. Please request a consultation appointment by submitting an intake form and we will get back to you as soon as we can. Email us at with any other inquiries.

How are peer consultants selected?

Undergraduate UC Berkeley students apply through an application and must go through an interview process. We accept applications to join the team every semester, please check the Data Science Education Program's Student Opportunities Page to learn more.