General Information

The DSC minor is intended for students whose primary area of interest lies outside data science, but who are interested in acquiring competence in methods of data analysis. The DSC minor requires completion of 56 units. Courses must be taken for a letter grade with a minimum passing grade of C–.


The DSC minor is NOT capped, meaning that students are able to add or drop the minor at any time.

However, students majoring or minoring in Computer Science & Engineering are NOT able to pursue a DSC minor. Additionally, students MUST have completed at least 1 quarter at UCSD to be eligible to add the minor. This policy is in place to ensure that students can become accustomed to their major courseload before declaring the DSC minor.


DSC minors do NOT receive priority enrollment in major-restricted DSC courses, even after Second Pass begins. Please visit the Enrolling in Classes page of our website for more information.

Minor Curriculum

Lower Division (36 units)

  • COGS 9: Introduction to Data Science
  • DSC 10: Principles of Data Science
  • DSC 20: Programming and Basic Data Structures for Data Science
  • DSC 30: Data Structures and Algorithms of Data Science
  • DSC 80: The Practice and Application of Data Science
    • Requires DSC 40A as a prerequisite*
  • MATH 18: Linear Algebra (or MATH 31AH: Honors Linear Algebra)
  • MATH 20A: Calculus for Science and Engineering
  • MATH 20B: Calculus for Science and Engineering
  • MATH 20C: Calculus and Analytical Geometry for Science and Engineering (or MATH 31BH: Honors Multivariable Calculus)

Upper Division (20 units)

    • ECON 120A or MATH 183 or MATH 181A
    • MATH 189: Exploratory Data Analysis and Inference
    • DSC 140A or (DSC 148 or CSE 158(R)) or CSE 150A or (DSC 140B or CSE 151A) or COGS 118A or COGS 118B
    • DSC 106: Introduction to Data Visualization or COGS 108: Data Science in Practice
    • Upper-division DSC course

*Please note: Although DSC 40A-B are not minor requirements, DSC 40A serves as a prerequisite for required courses, and DSC 40B serves as a prerequisite for the upper-division CSE options (CSE 151A, 150A, 158) and some upper-division DSC courses. All minor students should plan to pursue DSC 40A as this is a prerequisite for DSC 80, which is a required course. Not all students will be required to complete DSC 40B. All required courses must be pursued for a letter grade, but DSC 40A-B can be taken for P/NP by DSC minors.

Please review the Course Descriptions and Prerequisites page of our website and plan accordingly.

How to Add the Minor

  1. Go to the Major/Minor Tool in your TritonLink.
  2. Add the DSC Minor.
  3. List ALL required courses (including courses already taken, courses in progress, and courses not yet taken) for the minor.
    • All DSC courses are 4.00 units.
    • The institution is where you plan to complete the course. For example, if you plan to pursue a requirement at a local community college, you would list that college as the institution. All other courses can be listed with UCSD as the institution.
  4. A Quarter-by-Quarter plan will be required if:
    • You have 150 or more total units passed.
    • You are declaring a 2nd minor.
    • You are not in Good Standing.
  5. Contact the DSC department through your Virtual Advising Center for confirmation that your application was submitted successfully.
  6. If you need to submit a Quarter-by-Quarter plan with your application and need assistance completing the plan, please meet with a DSC Advisor during drop-in hours. Advising hours and instructions can be found on the Advising page of our website.

Frequently Asked Questions

What skills can I expect to attain from the minor?

The minor is designed to provide the following primary skills and knowledge necessary for a Data Science skill set:

  • Python/R/Java (programming)
  • Statistics
  • Linear and logistic regression
  • Machine learning
  • Natural language processing
  • Data literacy
  • Project-based experience

Is the minor right for me?

The DSC minor will require students to complete a majority of the same lower-division DSC courses that DSC majors are required to complete. Therefore, if you are new to computing/programming, it is strongly recommended that you complete DSC 10 before applying for our minor.

There are many ways to pursue your interest in data science while attending UC San Diego outside of pursuing our major and minor. Below are recommended resources that are available to UC San Diego students interested in exploring data science:

As a reminder, students are able to drop the minor at any time through the Major/Minor Tool on TritonLink.

Are there any DSC courses I am not allowed to pursue as a minor?

Please be advised minor students are allowed to take additional DSC courses beyond meeting their minor requirements with the exception of DSC 180A and DSC 180B. This 2-quarter capstone series is reserved for DSC majors only. If you wish to take additional DSC courses, you must meet prerequisites as listed. Please refer to the Course Descriptions and Prerequisites page of our website in order to plan accordingly.

Are there any DSC courses I can take at another institution?

At this time, we are working to identify articulation agreements with California Community Colleges that would guarantee transferability for substituting a required DSC course. Such articulation agreements will be available through once approved. If you find a course you feel can be used to substitute a requirement, you can submit a pre-approval petition. This pre-approval petition would allow faculty to review the course before you choose to enroll to ensure the course is transferable. Instructions for this process and access to the undergraduate petition system can be found on the Petition Instructions page of our website.

What courses can meet the upper division requirement listed as “Upper-division DSC course”?

This requirement must be met by completing an upper-division DSC course specifically. If you choose to pursue DSC 106 to meet the (DSC 106 or COGS 108) requirement, you will need to complete an additional upper-division DSC course to complete all upper-division requirements. Please review the Course Descriptions and Prerequisites page of our website in order to plan accordingly.

Can I take both DSC 106 and COGS 108?

If students choose to take COGS 108, they can take DSC 106 as their chosen upper-division DSC course as a means to meet all minor upper-division requirements.

How many classes can I overlap between my major and minor?

As stated on the How to Declare a Minor (Undergraduates) page in TritonLink:

  • Lower-division courses can apply to both your major and your minor.
  • Students can use 2 upper-division courses (a maximum of 8 units) to fulfill the requirements for a minor that have also been used to satisfy the requirements of a major.
  • Students cannot use an upper-division course to satisfy the requirements of more than 1 minor.
  • Students with a double major can share a maximum of 8 units of their minor requirements with each major.

For more information, read the Academic Senate Policy on minors (Section E).

I earned a “D” in one of my minor courses. What should I do?

While earning a “D” is considered passing by University Policy, a “D” grade is not acceptable to fulfill DSC minor requirements. Students must earn a grade of a “C-” or better in all courses required for the minor (lower division, upper division, sequences, and electives). Students who receive a letter grade of a “D” technically meet prerequisite requirements to move forward to additional courses, but still MUST retake the course to meet minor requirements. We strongly suggest that students retake such courses as soon as possible to ensure that they are prepared for subsequent courses.