Computer-based information systems facilitate, enable and often define the relationships between corporations and consumers, buyers and suppliers, businesses of all sizes, social networks, and citizens and their governments. Understanding these relationships and effectively addressing the collection, flow, and distribution of information is vital to the effectiveness of any modern organization, enterprise, or government agency.

The Bachelor of Arts in Data Science is a cooperative degree program offered by the Viterbi School of Engineering and the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Students complete 128 units, including at least 70 units of courses in Dornsife College and at least 38 units of courses in Viterbi School of Engineering. Units completed in Viterbi include the basic programming and data science requirements while units completed in Dornsife College include the general education and writing requirements, the foreign language requirement, and an advisor-approved disciplinary specialization of at least 24 units (including at least 16 units of upper-division coursework). This specialization must form a coherent focus on a discipline that provides students with insight into a domain in which data science can be usefully applied; this is normally another departmental or interdepartmental major for the BA degree, permitting students to satisfy most or all of the requirements for a double major (see Undergraduate Degree Programs for rules governing the overlap of courses allowed for a double major).

The program teaches students to understand, design and implement effective solutions to meet organizational, societal and management needs for information and decision support. All students undertaking this degree program must have knowledge of the following areas (the core):

Information systems and technology fundamentals

Programming basics

Statistics

Datamanagement

Machine learning

Data visualization

Admissions are made by the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Students normally apply to the program in the spring of the freshman year.

Prospective USC students cannot apply directly to this major. Data Science majors are required to pair the program with another Bachelor of Arts degree within Dornsife. We recommend that prospective students interested in this major apply to the major they would like to combine with Data Science. After beginning their coursework at USC, they may meet with a Data Science advisor to discuss how they will use its concepts to explore data within their current major before officially adding the Data Science major.

To add the Data Science major, students must have:

1) a declared BA in Dornsife (any BA in Dornsife is permissible) and

2) a B or better in one of: CSCI 103, ITP 265, or DSCI 250.

The most up to date description of the program is in the USC Catalogue. Course descriptions are available here.

Major Core Requirements (30 - 32 units, 8-9 Courses):

Programming Requirement (6 - 8 units):

ITP 115 Programming in Python (2 units)

Choose One Option:

Option One:

ITP 265 Object-Oriented Programming (4 units)

Option Two:

CSCI 102L Fundamentals of Computation (2 units)

CSCI 103L Introduction to Programming (4 units)

Option Three:

CSCI 299 (113x): Programming Fundamentals for Computational Science (4 units)
CSCI 299 (114x): Programming for Applications for Computational Science (4 units)

Data Science Requirement (16 units):

DSCI 250 Introduction to Data Science (4 units)

DSCI 351 Foundations of Data Management (4 units)

DSCI 352 Applied Machine Learning and Data Mining (4 units)

DSCI 454 Data Visualization and User Interface Design (4 units)

Statics/Probability Requirement - Choose One Course (4 units):

BUAD 310g Applied Business Statistics (4 units)

EE 364 Introduction to Probability and Statistics for Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (4 units)

MATH 208x Elementary Probability and Statistics (4 units)

MATH 407 Probability Theory (4 units)

MATH 408 Mathematical Statistics (4 units)

Basic Math Requirement - Choose One Course (4 units):

MATH 118gx Fundamental Principles of Calculus (4 units)

MATH 125g Calculus I (4 units)

Data Science Electives - Choose Four Courses (16 units):

DSCI 429 Security and Privacy (4 units)

ITP 301 Front-End Web Development (4 units)

ITP 310 Design for User Experience (4 units)

ITP 349 Enterprise Data Analytics (4 units)

ITP 489 In-Memory Data Modeling and Analytics (4 units)

Disciplinary Specialization (24 units):

Complete at least 24 units of courses in an advisor-approved area of disciplinary specialization relying on course work in the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences. At least 16 units must be at the upper-division level. The disciplinary specialization must form a coherent focus on a discipline that provides students with insight into a domain in which data science can be usefully applied.

Notes:

A grade of C (2.0) or better is required for each of the courses taken for the core major requirements: programming requirement, data science requirement, statistics/probability requirement, and basic math requirement.

Current students follow degree requirements in effect for the academic year they began their studies at USC. If you are a current student, please refer to your STARS report or the appropriate USC Catalogue for your year. Students seeking to advance their catalogue year to follow updated curricula may contact their department advisor.