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Data Science, B.S.

The Saint Louis University Bachelor of Science in Data Science is an interdisciplinary program supported by the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. The curriculum is modeled upon guidelines for undergraduate programs in data science as endorsed by the American Statistical Association's Board of Directors. Classes are small and are taught by enthusiastic instructors.

Leadership

Darrin Speegle, Ph.D.

     Program Director

Curriculum Overview

The B.S. in data science is among the most rigorous degrees offered at SLU. This program combines carefully selected computer science, statistics and mathematics courses with four semesters of practica and capstone experiences. The result is an education that is rooted in the fundamentals, but also provides hands-on experience with cleaning, visualizing, analyzing and reporting on data. Students choose electives within the major to specialize more in the computer science or statistical aspects of data science. 

Fieldwork and Research Opportunities

Faculty in the data science program do research in machine learning, natural language processing, time series, topological data analysis, and in other areas of statistics, computer science and mathematics.

There are multiple research, internship and consulting opportunities for students in the data science program. Past students have done cross-disciplinary work with ArchCity Defenders, the Department of Sociology, the Department of Languages, Literature and Cultures, the Department of English, the Medical School Liver Center, while others have done work in data science itself doing research with faculty within the Departments of Mathematics and Statistics, the Department of Computer Science and the Lincoln Lab at MIT, among others.

The SLU Data Science Club provides students with an opportunity to practice their predictive modeling in competitions. Some competitions are hosted locally by SLU solely for students at SLU, while others pit SLU students against students and professionals from across the world.

Careers

The McKinsey Report estimated that the United States would face a shortfall of between 140-190 thousand people with deep analytical skills, while also needing 1.5 million managers and analysts with the know-how to make decisions based on the analysis of big data.

The Harvard Business Review calls data scientist "the sexiest job of the 21st century,” and each year from 2016-2018, Glassdoor has ranked data scientist as the No. 1 overall job in the USA in terms of the number of job openings, earning potential and career opportunities rating.  Data is being produced in many places, and companies need employees who can analyze the data and communicate about the results. Students with a B.S. in data science will be well positioned to work in technology, government, research and consulting fields, among others. 

Admission Requirements

Begin Your Application

Saint Louis University also accepts the Common Application.

Freshman

All applications are thoroughly reviewed with the highest degree of individual care and consideration to all credentials that are submitted. Solid academic performance in college preparatory coursework is a primary concern in reviewing a freshman applicant’s file.

To be considered for admission to any Saint Louis University undergraduate program, applicants must be graduating from an accredited high school, have an acceptable HiSET exam score or take the General Education Development (GED) test. 

Transfer

Applicants must be a graduate of an accredited high school or have an acceptable score on the GED.

Students who have attempted fewer than 24 semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must follow the above freshmen admission requirements. Students who have completed 24 or more semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must submit transcripts from all previously attended college(s).

In reviewing a transfer applicant’s file, the Office of Admission holistically examines the student’s academic performance in college-level coursework as an indicator of the student’s ability to meet the academic rigors of Saint Louis University. Where applicable, transfer students will be evaluated on any courses outlined in the continuation standards of their preferred major.

International Applicants

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students along with the following:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Proof of financial support must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include the courses taken and/or lectures attended, practical laboratory work, the maximum and minimum grades attainable, the grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

There are two principal ways to help finance a Saint Louis University education:

  • Scholarships: Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, service, leadership and financial need.
  • Financial Aid: Financial aid is provided in the form of grants and loans, some of which require repayment.

For priority consideration for merit-based scholarships, apply for admission by Dec. 1 and complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1.

For information on other scholarships and financial aid, visit the student financial services office online at https://www.slu.edu/financial-aid.

  1. Graduates will be able to use programming and other computer science skills to analyze and interact with data.
  2. Graduates will be able to apply statistics to analyze data sets.
  3. Graduates will be able to acquire and manage complex data sets.
  4. Graduates will be able to use technical skills in predictive modeling.
  5. Graduates will be able to visualize data to facilitate the effective presentation of data-driven insights.
Core Requirement
College core requirements54-63
For additional information about core courses
Computer Science Requirements
CSCI 1070Introduction to Computer Science: Taming Big Data3
CSCI 1300Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming4
CSCI 2100Data Structures4
CSCI 2300Object-Oriented Software Design3
CSCI 4710Databases3
CSCI 4750Machine Learning3
Mathematics/Statistics Requirements
MATH 1510Calculus I (also fulfills A&S core 4-credit Math requirement ) 4
MATH 1520Calculus II4
MATH 1660Discrete Mathematics3
MATH 2530Calculus III4
MATH 3110Linear Algebra for Engineers3
or MATH 3120 Introduction to Linear Algebra
STAT 3850Foundation of Statistics3
STAT 4870Applied Regression3
STAT 4880Bayesian Statistics and Statistical Computing3
Data Science Integration Requirements
DATA 1800Data Science Practicum I1
DATA 2800Data Science Practicum II1
DATA 4961Capstone Project I2
DATA 4962Capstone Project II2
Major Electives
Select three courses, must include at least once CSCI course and at least one STAT course, from the following:9
CSCI 3100
Algorithms
CSCI 3300
Software Engineering
STAT 4800
Probability Theory
STAT 4840
Time Series
STAT 4850
Mathematical Statistics
Total Credits121

Continuation Standards

Students must have a minimum of a 2.00 cumulative GPA in data science major courses by the conclusion of their sophomore year, must maintain a minimum of 2.00 cumulative GPA in these courses at the conclusion of each semester thereafter, and must be registered in at least one data science course counting toward their major in each academic year (until all requirements are completed).

Bachelor of Science Core Curriculum Requirements

Please note: beginning in Fall 2022, all incoming SLU undergraduates—regardless of major, program, college or school—will complete the University Core curriculum. You can find more information about SLU’s common Core here: https://www.slu.edu/core/index.php
Core Components and Credits
Foundations of Discourse3
Diversity in the U.S.3
Global Citizenship3
Foreign Language0-6
Fine Arts3
Literature6
Mathematics4
Science8
Philosophy6
Social Science6
Theology6
World History6
Total Credits54-60

Graduation Requirements

  • Complete a minimum of 120 credits (excluding pre-college level courses numbered below 1000).
  • Complete either the College of Arts and Sciences Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science Core Curriculum Requirements.
  • Complete major requirements: minimum 30 credits required.
  • Complete remaining credits with a second major, minor, certificate, and/or electives to reach the minimum of 120 credits required for graduation.
  • Achieve at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average, a 2.00 grade point average in the major(s) and a 2.00 grade point average in the minor/certificate, or related elective credits.
  • Complete department/program-specific academic and performance requirements.
  • Complete at least 50% of the coursework for the major and 75% for the minor/certificate through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
  • Complete 30 of the final 36 credits through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
  • Complete an online degree application by the required University deadline.

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester.  Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
CSCI 1070 Introduction to Computer Science: Taming Big Data 3
MATH 1510 Calculus I 4
MATH 1660 Discrete Mathematics 3
UNIV 1010 Enhancing First-Year Success 1
A&S CoreEnglish 3
 Credits14
Spring
CSCI 1300 Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming 4
MATH 1520 Calculus II 4
DATA 1800 Data Science Practicum I 1
A&S CoreTheology 3
A&S CorePhilosophy (Ethics) 3
 Credits15
Year Two
Fall
CSCI 2100 Data Structures 4
MATH 2530 Calculus III 4
CoreScience I with lab 4
CoreForeign Language 3
 Credits15
Spring
STAT 3850 Foundation of Statistics 3
Critical course:  DATA 2800Data Science Practicum II 1
CSCI 2300 Object-Oriented Software Design 3
MATH 3110 Linear Algebra for Engineers 3
CoreScience II with lab 4
CoreForeign Language II 3
 Credits17
Year Three
Fall
CSCI 4710 Databases 3
STAT 4880 Bayesian Statistics and Statistical Computing 3
PHIL 3410 Computer Ethics 3
CoreHistory 3
CoreSocial Science 3
 Credits15
Spring
CSCI 4750 Machine Learning 3
STAT 4870 Applied Regression 3
CoreFine and Performing Arts 3
CoreHistory 3
CoreSocial Science 3
 Credits15
Year Four
Fall
DATA 4961 Capstone Project I 2
CSCI/STAT Elective 3
CSCI/STAT Elective 3
CoreLiterature 3
CoreTheology 2xxx 3
General Elective 3
 Credits17
Spring
DATA 4962 Capstone Project II 2
CSCI/STAT Elective 3
CoreGlobal Citizenship 3
CoreCultural Diversity in the US 3
General Elective 3
 Credits14
 Total Credits122

Students must earn a C- or better.

Strongly recommended for capstone

Program Notes

Data Structures (CSCI 2100) and Foundation of Statistics (STAT 3850) are the two crucial courses to the degree path. Data Structures (CSCI 2100) is a prerequisite for all further study in computer science for this major; some courses have additional prerequisites. Foundation of Statistics (STAT 3850) is a prerequisite for all further study in statistics; some courses may have additional prerequisites. The courses required for Data Structures (CSCI 2100) are: Introduction to Computer Science: Taming Big Data (CSCI 1070), Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming (CSCI 1300) and Discrete Mathematics (MATH 1660). The courses required for Foundation of Statistics (STAT 3850) are: Calculus I (MATH 1510) and Calculus II (MATH 1520).  Other potential roadblocks are: 

1. Data Science Practicum I (DATA 1800) must be completed by Spring one year before the student wishes to graduate. It is a prerequisite for Data Science Practicum II (DATA 2800), offered in Spring.
2. Linear Algebra for Engineers (MATH 3110) (recommended) and Calculus III (MATH 2530) (required) should be completed before Machine Learning (CSCI 4750) and Applied Regression (STAT 4870).