B.S. in Data Science: Foundations Track

IMPORTANT NOTES: The Data Science major has a capped admission process which means entrance into the major will only be open to continuing students through a lottery.   Please see the Data Science Change of Major page for additional details about the lottery and eligibility requirements.

This track emphasizes the underlying computer science, engineering, mathematics and statistics methodology and theory, and is especially recommended as preparation for graduate study in data science or related fields.  

These requirements were put into effect Fall 2022.  Requirements from previous years can be found in the General Catalog Archive.

Preparatory Subject Matter (39 units)


  • MAT 21A Calculus    
  • MAT 21B Calculus    
  • MAT 21C Calculus    
  • MAT 22A Linear Algebra    

Computer Science

  • ECS 17 Data, Logic, and Computing    
  • ECS 32A Introduction to Programming    
  • ECS 32B Introduction to Data Structures   


  • STA 35A Statistical Data Science I    
  • STA 35B Statistical Data Science II    
  • STA 35C Statistical Data Science III    

Depth Subject Matter (52 units)

Core Coursework

Computer Science

  • ECS 116 Databases for Non-Majors    
  • ECS  117 Algorithms for Data Science
  • ECS  119 Data Processing Pipelines

Probability & Statistics 

  • STA  108 Linear Regression 
  • STA  141A Fundamentals of Statistical Data Science    
  • MAT 135A Probability OR STA 131A Introduction to Probability Theory   

Machine Learning

Choose one: 

  • ECS  111 Applied Machine Learning for Non-Majors   
  • MAT 170 Mathematics for Data Analytics & Decision Making    
  • STA 142A Introduction to Statistical Learning    


  • MAT 167 Applied Linear Algebra  OR  ECS 130 Scientific Computation
  •  MAT 168 Optimization    

Science & Technology Studies

  • STS  101 Data & Society    

Upper Division Electives

Three elective courses in a related discipline.     

Three upper division courses approved by major advisor; they should be in statistics, mathematics, computer science or cover quantitative aspects of a substantive discipline. A list of pre-approved electives can be viewed here.

Pre-Approved Electives

Total Units: 91

Sample Schedule


  • Feel free to hold off on taking ECS courses until your sophomore year if you would prefer to take only two major courses in your first year. Some students benefit from focusing solely on the MAT and STA classes in their first year.
  • These sample plans have most major courses in the 1st and 2nd year, but you can easily take a lighter course load and spread out your courses more evenly into your 3rd and 4th years as needed.
  • Your priority should be to complete all preparatory requirements by the end of your sophomore year. You may also begin taking upper division courses in your 2nd year, but it may not be necessary to complete all of your major requirements in four years. Do not take any upper division courses in your 1st year!
  • Remember that balance is key and you have to make the best possible schedule for YOU! Meet with your major advisors on a regular basis to help you update your academic plan. 
  • Academic Planning Resources:
FreshmanFallWinter Spring
  ECS 17ECS 32A
 MAT 22ASTA 108STA 141A
 ECS 32BECS 116 
 STS 101  
 ECS 119MAT 167 or ECS 130ECS 111 or MAT 170 or STA 142A
 MAT 135A or STA 131AECS 117 
  MAT 168