Enrollment expansion continues with new data science degree

The iSchool is pleased to announce its newest degree offering, the Bachelor of Science in Information Sciences + Data Science (BS/IS+DS). The degree combines interdisciplinary courses in mathematical foundations, data science fundamentals, computational fundamentals, and social impact in data science. In addition, it incorporates meaningful research or discovery experiences, including practicum, independent study, and study abroad coursework.

The BS/IS+DS is part of a campus-wide partnership between the iSchool and other colleges, including the Gies College of Business, the Computer Science Department in the Grainger College of Engineering, and the Department of Statistics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Students who are continuing at the University of Illinois may apply to transfer into the program for the fall 2022 semester, and new students may apply for fall 2023 admission.

“The iSchool is uniquely positioned to provide students with the skills they need to be successful in the rapidly growing field of data science,” said Dean and Professor Eunice E. Santos. “We currently offer data science pathways in two of our degree programs and have a number of faculty working in this important research area, so partnering with other units on campus on the new data science degrees is a natural next step. Students in the BS/IS+DS will learn how to derive and present impactful insights from data, leading to a deeper understanding that builds knowledge and wisdom. It is the human-centered approach we take toward data collection, analysis, and visualization that sets the iSchool apart.”

The new degree is yet another addition to the academic offerings of the rapidly growing iSchool at Illinois, which has significantly expanded the scope of its degree programs. These programs include the launch of the BS in information sciences (BS/IS) in 2020 and the MS in information management (MS/IM) in 2016. In addition, the iSchool assumed administration of all campus Informatics programs in 2020, leveraging its leadership in strengthening mutual teaching and research efforts. These programs include the Informatics PhD, MS in Bioinformatics, undergraduate and graduate minors (minor in informatics, minor in game studies and design, and graduate minor in game studies), and the CU Community Fab Lab, a makerspace for designing and prototyping.

“The growth of our School in the past five years has more than doubled our enrollment, increasing the diversity of our student population across gender, race, and ethnicity and enriching experiences inside and outside of the classroom. In addition, our faculty has grown by nearly two-thirds in the past four years, broadening the scope of our teaching, research, and engagement and our societal impact in local, national, and global communities,” said Santos.

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