Information for Fall 2023 Admitted Transfer Students:

Welcome new bears! Data Science is classified as a high-demand major for new students admitted beginning in Fall 2023. Data Science has not historically been restricted; all students who met the lower-division criteria have been allowed to declare. If you were recently admitted for Fall 2023 and would like more information about Data Science at UC Berkeley, please connect with us by filling out this contact form. Please also review this FAQ.

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

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?

  • ~1400 students are declared in the Data Science major
  • 1 in 5 Data Science students is a transfer student
  • Women make up nearly half of the Data Science student population

Our students come from all types of backgrounds and interests, with career pursuits including Data Analyst, Machine Learning Engineer, Software Engineer, Business Intelligence Analyst, Research Scientist, and beyond.  The Data Science major is interdisciplinary and includes classes from every corner of campus.  This interdisciplinary approach allows students to create a curriculum that best fits their educational goals, including graduate school and career pursuits. 

To get a sense if this is the right major for you, we encourage you to explore the upper division curriculum, including our unique Domain Emphasis requirement.  If you’d like to see where our Data Science alumni go after graduating, check out Berkeley Career Center’s Bear Destinations.

To understand how to prepare for the Data Science major at your California community college, visit  Incoming transfer students are expected to have the majority of the lower division curriculum complete before their first fall semester at UC Berkeley.  *As of April 2023, Data 8 is only offered at a limited number of CCCs.  Click here to see a list of CCCs that offer Data 8.  

New in Fall 2023 - Transfer Admit to Major

Transfer students who are offered admission to the College of Letters & Science during academic years 2023-24 and 2024-25, and have selected the Data Science major on their application, will be directly admitted into the major. These students will not have to go through the process of applying to or officially declaring their major because they will have already been admitted (or declared) into their major.  

If you did not select Data Science as your major when applying to UC Berkeley, you may apply for an exception to declare the major, no later than the end of their 2nd semester in attendance (see FAQ for details).  Please use this contact form to indicate your interest and an advisor will reach out to you.  To read more about how this policy may affect you, please visit the Direct Admission-to-Major FAQ.

Your First Semester at UC Berkeley

Congratulations on your acceptance to Berkeley! You’ll be going through several orientation programs both online and in-person to help you acclimate to the university:

  • Summer before transfer:  Outreach from Data Science staff advisors and peer Transfer Mentors, guidance for choosing classes and creating your academic plan, and support building your community at Cal.
  • Golden Bear Orientation (GBO): This is a university-wide orientation for all incoming students (Frosh & Transfer).  You’ll learn about university, college, and major requirements & resources.
  • DS Transfer Course: 1-unit, P/NP fall course for incoming transfer students in Data Science focused on navigating campus resources, understanding the Data Science major and coursework, building community, and preparing for internships.

Our Top 3 Recommendations for New DS Transfer Students

  1.  Regularly check your @berkeley email address. This email address is how Berkeley staff will be communicating with you (this includes DS major advising, Berkeley Career Center, College of L&S, and more).  
  2.  Join the Data 001 Ed Forum.  This is another communication channel for DS staff & faculty to communicate with students, as well as how students can communicate with each other.  You'll need an @berkeley email address to sign up. You can set your preferences and choose how often you want to receive updates. Click here to sign up.
  3.  Connect with your Data Science Transfer Mentor (DSTM).  If you are a fall 2023 incoming, declared DS transfer student, you will receive an email in early June from your DSTM.  These are current transfer students who are available to answer all your questions, from what classes to take to the best place to study on campus.  


What classes should I take during my first semester?

For your first semester, you should expect to take your final lower division major prerequisite classes that you weren’t able to take/complete at your community college.  Most transfer students find their classes at Berkeley to be a much different experience than their classes at community college; often finding the pace of instruction to be much quicker and the classes more time consuming overall.

It’s recommended for students in all STEM majors to take only 2 technical classes per semester, and this is especially true for transfer students in their first semester.  Click here to see sample program plans for Data Science transfer students. 

ASSIST says that the Data Structures/CS 61B course I took only partially satisfies Berkeley's requirements. Do I still have to take the class here?

Yes. If you see the text, “Articulation subject to the completion of a university course,” this means your CS 61B class is not fully transferable. Please contact the Computer Science Dept at to discuss whether a bridge course or taking the full course at UCB is best for you after you transfer.

I only took the Linear Algebra course in the 2-part Math 54-equivalent at my community college.  Will that fulfill the Data Science requirement? 

Yes, Data Science will accept just the Linear Algebra course in an Assist-approved Math 54-equivalent series.  

Is it possible to graduate in 2 years? 

Yes, see sample plans for examples. The more classes you have completed before you transfer, the more possible it will be for you to graduate in 2 years. You may want to consider taking Data 8 during the summer before you start in the fall.  Data 8 is available at a limited number of California Community Colleges.  See the latest list of Data 8-equivalent courses (updated Spring 2023).

Is it possible to graduate in more than 2 years? 

Yes, see sample plans for examples. Transfer students are guaranteed four semesters, however, if you are under the unit limit (130 units) during your 4th semester, you may request a 5th semester from the College of Letters & Science. If you want to keep this option open, it’s important that you meet with a DS advisor early to plan your semesters to ensure you’re eligible.

I was admitted as declared Data Science, but I want to pursue Computer Science.  Is that possible?

Please visit the CS transfer webpage for more information. 

I’m interested in the Data Science minor.  How do I learn more? 

It’s a good idea to start planning early if you want to pursue the Data Science minor.  The Data Science minor is currently open for any UC Berkeley student to declare, upon meeting the listed declaration criteria. However, seats in classes may be restricted, so it may be challenging to enroll in the necessary classes to declare and complete the minor. Meet with your major advisor and/or a DS advisor to ensure you can complete all the requirements by your graduation date.  See here for more information.

How do I meet with a Data Science advisor?

The fastest way to get a quick question answered by a DS advisor is through a drop-in appointment or by emailing  However, if you require a longer appointment, those are also available.  Please visit this page to learn about your different advising options.