Major Requirements

The Data Science Undergraduate Program underwent a curriculum revision that will be in effect for the 2020-2021 Academic Year. This update is scheduled to be published in the Academic Catalog on June 17, 2020. All students who entered UCSD before Fall 2020 have the right to follow their original curriculum and will only have the option to follow the new curriculum if they choose to do so. More information about these options are included below.

Current students should direct all academic questions regarding their curriculum options to DSC Student Affairs through their Virtual Advising Center. Incoming students should direct all questions to DSC Student Affairs through

Major Requirements

Entered UCSD Fall 2020 and thereafter

The major consists of 112 units with fifty-two units from lower-division courses and sixty units from upper-division courses. The lower-division curriculum includes calculus and linear algebra courses for sixteen units, data science courses for twenty-eight units, and subject domain courses for eight units. The program includes twenty units of elective courses that will enable students to embark upon an in-depth exploration of one or more areas in which data science can profitably be applied. Alternatively, students can choose to explore the mathematical, statistical, and computational foundations of data science in even greater depth. 

All majors will be required to undertake a senior project that will give them an opportunity to creatively synthesize much of what they have learned in the data science courses for addressing problems in chosen domains.


Students are expected to complete the following fifty-two units by the end of their sophomore year. All courses must be taken for a letter grade and passed with a minimum grade of C–.

  • Data Science: COGS 9, DSC 10, DSC 20, DSC 30, DSC 40A-B, DSC 80 (twenty-eight units)
  • Mathematics: MATH 18 or MATH 31AH, MATH 20A-B-C or MATH 31BH (sixteen units)
  • Subject Domain Courses: Students must choose one of the following two-course sequences (eight units)
    • Business Analytics and Econometrics: ECON 1 and ECON 3
    • Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence: COGS 14A and COGS 14B
    • Science: BILD 1 and BILD 3
    • Social Sciences: (POLI 5 and POLI 30) or (SOCI 60 and USP 4)


Students must complete sixty upper-division units. All courses must be taken for a letter grade unless offered Pass/No Pass only. A minimum grade of C– is required.

  1. Core Courses (thirty-two units): ECON 120A or MATH 183 or MATH 181A, MATH 189, DSC 100, DSC 102, DSC 106, CSE 150A, CSE 151A, CSE 158
  2. Senior Project (eight units): DSC 180A-B
  3. Electives (twenty units)
    • Any upper-division data science course not used to fulfill other requirements with the exception of DSC 197, 198, and 199.
    • Any of the following: BICD 100 and BIEB 174; COGS 108, 109, 118C-D, 120 (cross-listed with CSE 170), 121, 180, 181, and 189; CSE 106,151B, 152A, 152B, 156, 166, 170 (cross-listed with COGS 120) and 180; ECON 120B and 120C; ESYS 103 (cross-listed with MAE 124); LIGN 167; MAE 124 (cross-listed with ESYS 103); MATH 152, 173A-B, 180A-B-C, and 181A-B-C-D-E-F, and 194; MGT 103 and 153; POLI 117 (cross-listed with SIO 109), 137, 170A, 171, 172, and 173; PSYCH 106; SIO 109 (cross-listed with POLI 117) and 132; SOCI 102, 103M, 108, 109, 109M, 136, 165, and 171; USP 122, 125, 138, 153, 172, 175, and 180.
    • Students may petition to satisfy up to eight elective units using upper-division courses not on the list below but in their subject domain.
    • Students will be expected to fulfill all prerequisites for all courses, which may entail additional coursework beyond the data science major requirements.
    • A maximum of twelve units of courses offered Pass/Not Pass only may be taken.

Entered UCSD Prior to Fall 2020

Students who entered UCSD before the Academic Year of 2020-2021 are allowed to follow our Transition Plan, which accommodates students who are interested in meeting major requirements between the old curriculum, and our new curriculum. Students who have questions or concerns regarding these accommodations should contact the Undergraduate Advisor immediately through the Virtual Advising Center.

Students who entered UCSD prior to Fall 2020 can choose one of the three options:  

  1. Strictly follow the old requirements as presented in the Academic Catalog when they entered the major. This Academic Catalog is reflected in the individual student’s degree audit.
  2. Follow only the new requirements as presented in the 2020-2021 Academic Catalog. These students must notify DSC Student Affairs through their Virtual Advising Center for their degree audit to be updated to the 2020-2021 Academic Catalog.
  3. Pursue a combination of the old requirements and the new requirements with the following flexibility:
    1. Students are allowed to complete the new lower division subject domain options to facilitate meeting prerequisites for electives.
    2. Students are allowed to pursue elective courses from the combined list of elective courses from their original academic year catalog and from the new requirements.

i. Students who choose to follow option 3 are required to notify DSC Student Affairs through their Virtual Advising Center for each individual degree audit update needed.