Program of Study

The ten course units for the Data Science degree are divided into three categories:

(As long as the prerequisites for the courses are met, students can complete these courses in any sequence) 

1.  Foundations (two course units)

  • Programming Languages & Techniques (PL): Programming Languages & Techniques (CIT 590) or Introduction to  Software Development (CIT 591) 
  • Probability: ENM 503 Intro to Probability & Statistics or STAT 510 Probability or MATH 546

If students have taken these courses as part of another program, this may be waived.

For submatriculants, the probability requirement may be waived with successful completion of ESE 301 or STAT 430; the programming requirement can be waived with successful completion of CIS 120. A student may also waive the requirement with any other relevant course after getting department approval.  

Please understand that CIS 120/ESE 301/any other relevant undergraduate course can only be used to waive these requirements and CAN NOT be used as courses to count towards the master’s degree. Upon waiving these requirements, students must take Technical Electives or a course of their choice (subject to department approval) in lieu of them.

2. Core Requirements (three course units)

  • Mathematical Foundations: Mathematical Statistics (STAT 512) or Linear Algebra/Optimization (CIS 515)  or Computational Learning Theory (CIS 625)
  • Big Data Analytics: Big Data Analytics (CIS 545)
  • Mining and Learning: Intro to Machine Learning (CIS 519) or Machine Learning (CIS 520) or Modern Data Mining (STAT 571)

3. Technical & Depth Area Electives (five course units)

Students must choose courses from 3 different buckets, one bucket of which can be a 2 semester sequence of thesis/practicum. Two of the courses must represent a depth sequence, which could be the thesis/practicum or (for bucket options B-J) two courses, one of which builds on the other (e.g. is a prerequisite).

BUCKETS for Technical & Depth Area Electives


Register for two credits of DATS 597/Master’s Thesis or two credits of DATS 599/Master’s Independent Study. Suggestions for projects will be provided to students. Students may choose from these suggested projects or may also come up with their own project/advisor ideas. Students will be mentored jointly by the Program Director and by an advisor in the area of the project, and must receive approval by Faculty Director.
• Brain-Computer Interfaces (BE 521)
• Network Neuroscience (BE 566)
• Modeling Biological Systems (BE 567)
• Bioinformatics (STAT 953)
• Computational Neuroscience (PHYS 615)
• Econometrics (ECON 705, ECON 706, ECON 721, ECON 722)
Applied Probability Models in Marketing (MKTG 476/776)
Generally, any course in which the primary focus is a physical/chemical/biological/mechanical application area that may be studied computationally is allowed. Example courses include:

• Chemical Engineering:

1. Advanced Chemical Kinetics and Reactor Design (CBE 621)

2. Transport Processes II (Nanoscale Transport) (CBE 641)

3. Interfacial Phenomena (CBE 535)

• Mechanical Engineering:

1. Aerodynamics (MEAM 545)

2. Nanotribology (MEAM 537)

3. Micro and Nano Fluidics (MEAM 575)

• Bioengineering:

1. Nanoscale Systems Biology (BE 555)

2. Fundamental Techniques of Imaging I & II (BE 546/547)

3. Biomedical Image Analysis (BE 537)

• Materials Science and Engineering

1. Electronic Properties of Materials (MSE 536)

2. Phase Transformations (MSE 540)

3. Elasticity and Micromechanics of Materials (MSE 550)


• Software Systems (CIS 505)
• Software Engineering (CIS 573)
• Computer Systems Programming (CIT 595)
• Advanced Programming (CIS 552)
• Internet and Web Systems (CIS 555)
• Programming and Problem Solving (CIS 559)
• Databases (CIS 550)
Sample Survey Methods (STAT 920)
Observational Studies (STAT 921)
• Computational Linguistics (CIS 530)
• Computer Vision (CIS 580, CIS 581)
• Advanced Topics in Computer Vision (CIS 680)
• Computational Learning Theory (CIS 625)
• Data Mining: Learning from Massive Datasets (ESE 545)
• Modern Data Mining (STAT 571)
• Advanced Topics in ML (CIS 700)
• Forecasting and Time-Series Analysis (STAT 910)
• AIgorithms (CIS 502, CIS 677, CIT 596)
• AI (CIS 521)
• Learning in Robotics (ESE 650)
• Modern Regression for the Social, Behavioral and Biological Science (STAT 974)
• Atomic Modeling in Materials Science (MSE 561)
• Multiscale Modeling of Biosystems (BE 559)
• Molecular Modeling and Simulations (CBE 525)
• Computational Science of Energy and Chemical Transformations (CBE 544)
• Finite Element Analysis (MEAM 527)
• Computational Mechanics (MEAM 646)
• Simulation Modeling and Analysis (ESE 603)
• Control of Systems (ESE 505)
• Topics In Computational Science and Engineering (ENM 540)
Numerical Methods (ENM 502)
Linear Algebra/Optimization (CIS 515)
Complex Analysis (AMCS 510)
Introduction to Optimization Theory (ESE 504)
Regression Analysis (STAT 621)
Stochastic Processes (STAT 533)
Convex Optimization (ESE 605)
• Information Theory (ESE 674)

Information re: Data Science (DATS) Minor can be accessed here

More Information

  • Information re: Computer & Information Science courses and faculty can be accessed here
  • Information re: Statistics courses and faculty can be accessed here
  • Information re: Electrical & Systems Engineering courses and faculty can be accessed here
  • Information re: Bio engineering courses and faculty can be accessed here
  • Information re: Physics courses and faculty can be accessed here
  • Information re: Economics courses and faculty can be accessed here
  • Information re: Marketing courses and faculty can be accessed here
  • Information re: all courses offered at the University of Pennsylvania can be accessed here