BS in Data Science

A group of student sitting in a row in front of laptops in class

The Bachelor of Science in Data Science guides students through essential concepts including data mining and visualization, data warehousing as well as ethical perspectives and policies in an increasingly digital world.

All students in the major also complete a required capstone course, during which they learn to apply the theoretical knowledge and practical skills gained in major courses to a real-world problem.

Domain Concentrations

BS students must choose from one of eight domain concentrations, which offer the opportunity to delve more deeply into an area of data science.


  • Astronomy and astrophysics
  • Biology: biodiversity and global change
  • Biology: biotechnology
  • Data journalism


  • Geospatial data science
  • Mathematical modeling
  • Physics
  • Science, technology and society

Students may petition to substitute a second major or a minor in another discipline for the domain.

Course Requirements

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Undergraduate Programs.

Program-specific curriculum:

Prerequisite courses (15 credits)
CSCI 1012Introduction to Programming with Python
MATH 1231Single-Variable Calculus I
MATH 1232Single-Variable Calculus II
MATH 2184Linear Algebra I
STAT 1051Introduction to Business and Economic Statistics
or STAT 1053 Introduction to Statistics in Social Science
or STAT 1111 Business and Economic Statistics I
or STAT 1127 Statistics for the Biological Sciences
Core courses (18 credits)
DATS 1001Data Science for All
DATS 2101Ethical Life in a Digital World
DATS 2102Data Visualization for Data Science
DATS 2103Data Mining for Data Science
DATS 2104Data Warehousing for Data Science
DATS 4001Data Science Capstone
Domain concentration (9 credits)
Students must complete a 9-credit domain concentration. Domain options are astronomy and astrophysics; biology–biodiversity and global change; biology–biotechnology; data journalism; geospatial data science; mathematical modeling; physics; and science, technology, and society.
Students may petition to substitute a second major or a minor in another discipline for the domain.
Astronomy and astrophysics domain
PHYS 1011General Physics I
or PHYS 1021 University Physics I
PHYS 1012General Physics II
or PHYS 1022 University Physics II
ASTR 2121Introduction to Modern Astrophysics
ASTR 3141Data Analysis in Astrophysics
One course from the following:
ASTR 2131Astrophysics Seminar
ASTR 3161Space Astrophysics
Biology–biodiversity and global change domain
BISC 1111Introductory Biology: Cells and Molecules
BISC 1112Introductory Biology: The Biology of Organisms
BISC 2450Organic Evolution
Two courses from the following:
BISC 2010Global Change Biology
BISC 2332Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
BISC 2333Evolution and Extinction of Dinosaurs
BISC 2454General Ecology
BISC 3454Marine Ecology
BISC 3458Plant Comparative Structure and Function
BISC 3460Conservation Biology
Biology–biotechnology domain
BISC 1111Introductory Biology: Cells and Molecules
BISC 1112Introductory Biology: The Biology of Organisms
CHEM 1111General Chemistry I
CHEM 1112General Chemistry II
BISC 2207Genetics
Two courses from the following:
BISC 2202Cell Biology
BISC 2213Biology of Cancer
BISC 3209Molecular Biology
PUBH 3201Introduction to Bioinformatics
Data journalism domain
SMPA 2110WIntroduction to News Writing and Reporting
SMPA 2111WAdvanced News Reporting
SMPA 3230Reporting in the Digital Age
One course from the following:
SMPA 3233Photojournalism
SMPA 3234Editing and Design for Print and Web
SMPA 3235WBroadcast News Writing
SMPA 3240WWashington Reporting
SMPA 3241WCampaign Reporting
SMPA 3242Investigative Reporting
SMPA 3246Specialized Reporting
Geospatial data science domain
GEOG 2104Introduction to Cartography and GIS
GEOG 3105Techniques of Spatial Analysis
One course from the following:
GEOG 3106Intermediate Geographic Information Systems
GEOG 3107Introduction to Remote Sensing
GEOG 3196Special Topics in Techniques
Mathematics domain
MATH 2233Multivariable Calculus
Three courses from the following:
MATH 3553Introduction to Numerical Analysis
MATH 3359Introduction to Mathematical Modeling
MATH 3632Introduction to Graph Theory
MATH 4981Seminar: Topics in Mathematics
STAT 4157Introduction to Mathematical Statistics I
STAT 4197Fundamentals of SAS Programming for Data Management
Physics domain
MATH 2233Multivariable Calculus
MATH 3342Ordinary Differential Equations
PHYS 1021University Physics I
or PHYS 1025 University Physics I with Biological Applications
PHYS 1022University Physics II
or PHYS 1026 University Physics II with Biological Applications
PHYS 2023Modern Physics
PHYS 3161Mechanics
PHYS 3181Computational Physics
Science, technology, and society domain
Three courses from the following:
AMST 2610Science, Technology, and Politics in Modern America
or HIST 2610 Science, Technology, and Politics in Modern America
AMST 2620Human Mind and Artificial Intelligence
AMST 2680WHashtag America
ANTH 2502Anthropology of Science and Technology: Twenty-First Century Brave New Worlds
ANTH 3531Methods in Sociocultural Anthropology
ANTH 3691Special Topics in Linguistic Anthropology
SMPA 3476Media, Technology, and Culture
SMPA 3477Information Technology and Politics
In addition to the University General Education Requirement, undergraduate students in Columbian College must complete a further, College-specific general education curriculum—Perspective, Analysis, Communication (G-PAC) as well as CCAS 1001. Together with the University General Education Requirement, G-PAC engages students in active intellectual inquiry across the liberal arts. Students achieve a set of learning outcomes that enhance their analytical skills, develop their communication competencies, and invite them to participate as responsible citizens who are attentive to issues of culture, diversity, and privilege.

Coursework for the University General Education Requirement is distributed as follows:

  • Writing—4 credits in UW 1020 University Writing and 6 credits distributed over at least two writing in the discipline (WID) courses taken in separate semesters. WID courses are designated by a "W" appended to the course number.
  • Humanities—one approved humanities course that involves critical thinking skills.
  • Mathematics or statistics—one approved course in either mathematics or statistics.
  • Natural or physical science—one approved laboratory course that employs the process of scientific inquiry.
  • Social Sciences—two approved courses in the social sciences that employ critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, or scientific reasoning.

Coursework for the CCAS G-PAC requirement is distributed as follows:

  • Arts—one approved arts course that involves the study or creation of artwork based on an understanding or interpretation of artistic traditions or knowledge of art in a contemporary context.
  • Global or cross-cultural perspective—one approved course that analyzes the ways in which institutions, practices, and problems transcend national and regional boundaries.
  • Local or civic engagement—one approved course that develops the values, ethics, disciplines, and commitment to pursue responsible public action.
  • Oral communication—one approved course in oral communication.
  • Natural or physical science—one additional approved laboratory course that employs the process of scientific inquiry (in addition to the one course in this category required by the University General Education Requirement).
  • Humanities—one additional approved humanities course that involves critical thinking skills (in addition to the one course in this category required by the University General Education Requirement).
  • CCAS 1001 First-Year Experience

Certain courses are approved to fulfill GPAC requirements in more than one category.

Courses taken in fulfillment of G-PAC requirements may also be counted toward majors or minors. Transfer courses taken prior to, but not after, admission to George Washington University may count toward the University General Education Requirement and G-PAC, if those transfer courses are equivalent to GW courses that have been approved by the University and the College.

Lists of approved courses in the above categories are included on each undergraduate major's page in this Bulletin.