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BS in Information Sciences + Data Science

Create data-driven solutions

Are you interested in analyzing data? Do you want to help people use information to achieve their goals? If so, our bachelor's degree in information sciences + data science (BS/IS+DS) is right for you.

As a BS/IS+DS student, you will learn how to collect, organize, analyze, and store data in ways that help organizations manage processes and make decisions. You also will learn how to communicate and collaborate so that you can work effectively with others.

Our interdisciplinary curriculum combines information sciences, statistics, computer science, and math to prepare you for a successful career or graduate studies.

The BS/IS+DS is part of a campus-wide partnership to provide interdisciplinary education in data science. It consists of a collaboration between the iSchool and other colleges, including the Gies College of Business, the Computer Science Department in Grainger Engineering College, and the Statistics Department in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Learning objectives

Computers with charts and graphs used in office
  • Demonstrate proficiency with statistical and computational analysis of data
  • Create informative and accurate visualizations of data
  • Build and evaluate data-based models
  • Describe, curate, and manage data
  • Understand and manage issues of reproducibility
  • Understand and address ethical issues in data science, such as access, bias, and privac
  • Apply data science skills and concepts in projects or research, and communicate and interpret results

Careers

The iSchool is dedicated to student success, and our career services team collaborates across campus to leverage resources in support of our students. These resources include multiple platforms and programs to facilitate career readiness and job search strategy. In addition, our School offers career coaching, mentoring, a career fair, employer site visits, individual counseling, and internship and practicum opportunities to prepare students for professional success.

After graduation, you'll be able to analyze information challenges in a variety of industries, including finance and insurance, information technology, and professional, scientific, and technical services. Examples of careers include data analyst, data scientist, database administrator, technology consultant, and data visualization engineer.

  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an increase of 27.9% in data science jobs from 2016 to 2026.

Coursework

The BS/IS+DS requires a total of 123 course credit hours:

  • General Education courses
  • Data Science (DS) Core courses
  • Information Sciences (IS) Core courses and IS electives
  • Meaningful Research or Discovery Experience courses

DS Core

The DS Core includes cross-college courses in mathematical foundations, data science fundamentals, computational fundamentals, and social impact in data science.

  • Mathematical Foundations
    • Calculus: MATH 220
      • or Calculus I: MATH 221
      • or Calculus for Business I: MATH 234
    • Linear Algebra for Data Science: MATH 227
      • or Linear Algebra with Computational Applications: MATH 257
  • Data Science Foundations
    • Data Science Discovery: STAT/IS/CS 107
    • Data Science Exploration: STAT 207
    • Modeling and Learning in Data Science: CS 307
  • Computational Fundamentals
    • Algorithms and Data Structures for Data Science: CS 277
  • Social Impact in Data Science
    • Ethics and Policy for Data Science: IS 467
    • Data Management, Curation, and Reproducibility: IS 477

IS Core

  • Introduction to the iSchool: IS 100
  • Introduction to Information Sciences: IS 101
  • Social Aspects of Information Technology: IS 202
  • Research Design for Information Sciences: IS 204
  • Introduction to Database Concepts and Applications: IS 206
  • Information Sciences and Culture: IS 308, 309, 310 or 311

Meaningful Research or Discovery Experience courses

One of the most important skills a student will gain in an IS+DS degree will be the ability to present data in meaningful ways. A research or discovery experience is as much a pillar of this degree program as both the data science core coursework.
6 Hours Required. Select from:

  • Independent Study: IS 189, IS 389, INFO 199, or INFO 299
  • Information Sciences Practicum: IS 249
  • Advanced Research Design: IS 304
  • Colloquium: IS 400
  • Study Abroad Experience with one or more courses focused on discovery (work with advisor for approval)
  • Students may complete a “Special Request Petition” to use another relevant course/independent study (work with advisor for approval)

Eligibility for BS/IS+DS

Current Illinois students may apply for the BS/IS+DS degree during the application periods.

  • Minimum Academic Requirements (Required - no exceptions)
    • MATH 220/221/234 Complete with a B+ or higher
    • STAT/IC/CS 107 Complete with a B+ or higher
    • At least one IS Core course (IS 101, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206) Complete with a B+ or higher
    • Minimum Illinois/Overall 3.67 GPA
    • Minimum DS+IS Major 3.67 GPA (includes all courses included in the DS+IS curriculum, and all IS/INFO courses)
  • Application
    • Curriculum Change: Current iSchool BS/IS students (application available in May and emailed to students)
    • Intercollegiate Transfer (ICT)Current Illinois students not currently in the iSchool BS/IS

Discovery experience: Global learning

As a BS/IS+DS student, you have the opportunity study abroad as part of your core curriculum. Our School partners with Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange (IAGE) to help you enrich your global perspective, and our advisors are also available to assist you in determining how an international program can satisfy your academic plan.