Today, nearly every business, government, social media platform, and educational institution collects and analyzes data about its users, logistics and operations, and media presence with the goal of extracting valuable insights and utilizing the resulting efficiencies.

The data science BS program produces graduates with the sophisticated analytical and computational skills required to thrive in a quantitative world where new challenges are encountered at an ever-increasing rate. 

The Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science and the Department of Computer Science collaborate to offer the major in data science. The program is administered by the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science in consultation with the Department of Computer Science.  

Why Study at Iowa

Faculty members in the Departments of Computer Science and Statistics and Actuarial Science are known worldwide for the quality of their research and teaching. Iowa students can pursue individual research projects and work one-on-one with a professor in a specialized field. 

Undergraduate to Graduate (U2G) Option

Students in the data science BS program are eligible to participate in either the Statistics and Actuarial Science U2G combined BS/MS degree program or the Computer Science U2G BS/MCS degree program. Interested students should consult their adviser as early as possible. 

Course Work

The data science major emphasizes the statistical/probabilistic and algorithmic methods that underlie the preparation, analysis, and communication of complete data. With its focus on technical foundations, the data science program promotes skills useful for creating and implementing new or special-purpose analysis and visualization tools. It also promotes a fundamental understanding of how to best handle uncertainty when making data-driven decisions. 

Data science majors develop data preparation skills, including writing software to obtain, extract, merge, clean, and/or transform raw data. Analysis of information extraction methods include machine and statistical learning, statistical modeling and inference, and algorithm efficiency analysis. 

Data visualization, report writing, and oral presentations are important communication methods. The major includes two capstone courses that emphasize communication, ethics, and teamwork. 

In addition to courses required for this major, students also must complete the requirements of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences GE CLAS Core.    

See Data Science in the UI General Catalog to learn more about required courses and graduating with honors. 

Admission Requirements

Students interested in this major need to meet the requirements for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Data science majors may not earn a second major or a minor in computer science or statistics, a major in computer science and engineering (College of Engineering), the certificate in large data analysis, or the certificate in social science analytics. Second majors or minors in other fields are permitted. 

Review our Areas of Study to select a major. 

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Student Opportunities

In addition to having nearly 600 Student Organizations, Iowa students choose from multiple Study Abroad Programs and Undergraduate Research Opportunities.


Iowa graduates have job placement rates ranging from 86-100 percent, depending on their area of study. The Pomerantz Career Center offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs.

Data scientists apply their understanding of statistics as well as algorithm and software design to create and develop the next general of data analysis tools. They are employed by a wide variety of institutions and industries, including government, businesses, scientific research facilities, financial institutions, health care, colleges, and universities. The use and collection of big data continues to expand in all of these.


The Office of Admissions and the Office of Student Financial Aid are great resources for students seeking scholarships.

Application Process

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