Declaring the Major in Data Science
Prior to declaring the major in Data Science, students are required to complete 3 courses that provide the student with experience in the fundamental components of Data Science:
- STAT 202 or STAT 210 or STAT 232 (may be fulfilled by receiving AP credit for STAT 210)
- One of the MATH courses required for the major (MATH 220-1, 2 or MATH 230-1 or MATH 240 or their equivalent courses) taken at Northwestern. Which MATH course a student will take as their first MATH course at Northwestern depends on their placement as determined by AP/IB credit and the Mathematics Department as well as the MATH sequence requirements of any other majors/minors the student intends to pursue. Please see https://www.math.northwestern.edu/undergraduate/first-year-focus/index.html for more guidance on MATH courses.
- COMP_SCI 110 or COMP_SCI 111 (or STAT 201* - option for First Year students only)
*In 2022-2023, the Department of Statistics and Data Science will offer STAT 201 Intro to Programming for Data Science as a trial course, and it will be accepted as a replacement course for COMP_SCI 110 or COMP_SCI 111. Registration for this course is restricted to First Year students only.
Students may begin the pre-advising portion of the declaration process for the major as soon as they have started the second of the three required courses.
We suggest First Year students who wish to declare the major complete the 3 required courses in their first two quarters they are at Northwestern.
We recommend all students interested in either the Data Science major or minor join the Data Science Interest List (opens Sept 1 each year). This list helps the department communicate with students interested in the major/minor and prepare them for their declaration process.
If you are a student currently enrolled in courses at Northwestern University, please follow the Steps for Current Northwestern Students
If you are a student who is transferring to Northwestern University in Fall, please follow the Steps for Incoming Transfer Students
If you are a First-Year student who will be starting Northwestern University in Fall, please follow the Steps for Incoming First-Year Students
If you are an advisor with questions about the major declaration process, please contact Undergraduate Programs assistant, Deric Holloway, at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are a student currently enrolled in courses at Northwestern University, please follow the steps outlined below to declare the Major in Data Science
Step 1: Review the requirements for the Major in Data Science and the lists of approved related electives.
Step 2: Review your overall academic plan for your time at Northwestern. Determine the number of courses you still need to take in order to fulfill all Major requirements. Also consider any off-campus educational experiences that you are interested in pursuing or that are required for another major (such as study abroad or Chicago Field Studies) and that might restrict the number of quarters you have remaining to complete all courses for the Major. If you have already declared other majors or minors, please review Weinberg’s double counting rules so that you are aware of which requirements for your other majors/minors will and will not count towards a Major in Data Science: https://weinberg.northwestern.edu/undergraduate/degree/double-counting-faq.html
If you have questions about timeline or viability, we recommend you meet with your academic advisor to discuss options.
Step 3: Begin taking the three courses required for declaring the major. You must be in the process of completing these courses for the Data Science major before you can begin the declaration process (see Data Science Major Declaration Requirement above). Once you have completed steps 1 and 2 and have started taking the second of the three required courses, you may proceed to Step 4.
Note: If you have already completed all three of the required courses, contact Deric Holloway at email@example.com for further instructions.
Step 4: Complete the Major in Data Science Pre-Advising Survey. Once you have begun taking the second of the three required courses, please complete the Pre-Advising Survey to communicate your intention to declare the major and to receive communications and instructions from the department about the process.
Pre-Advising Survey: https://northwestern.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_b77pAIEMaRN8dCe
Step 5: Attend an optional open office hours session if you have questions. After completing the Pre-Advising survey, we will be in touch with you to provide additional instruction and information about open office hours sessions where you can learn more about the Data Science major and ask any questions you may have.
Step 6: Pre-advising appointment. Once students have completed or are close to completing the third of the three required courses to declare the major and have communicated this as instructed, they will begin the declaration process with a pre-advising appointment to review their coursework and establish a plan for the completing the major. By this point, students should know if they are interested in taking the data science sequence courses in Python or R and when these courses would fit into their academic plan. Please remember that this sequence of courses is taken in Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters within a single academic year and that you are only guaranteed a seat in these courses during your assigned year.
Step 7: Advising appointment with the Director of Data Science. After attending a pre-advising appointment, students will receive directions on how to schedule their advising appointment with the Director of Data Science, during which they will finalize their plan for the major and have their declaration form signed. Pre-advising must be completed before you can schedule an advising appointment with the Director of Data Science.
Step 8: Submission of declaration. After your advising appointment with the Director of Data Science and after you have successfully completed all 3 required fundamental courses (with a grade of C- or better), Deric Holloway will submit your signed declaration form to Weinberg. Please allow 3-5 business days for processing. Once you show in CAESAR as having declared the Major, you will be able to register for STAT courses restricted to Data Science Majors and be eligible for pre-registration for select STAT courses.
If you have questions or wish to petition to make changes to your plan of study for the Major, please contact Deric Holloway at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you determine you need to drop the Major after declaration, please contact Deric Holloway for directions.
Step 1: Meet with your Academic Advisor. Before attempting to declare the Major in Data Science, all incoming transfer students should meet with their school Academic Advisor to make sure they understand the requirements for graduation and to discuss their desired majors, minors, and certificates with their Advisor to determine what is viable within their time at Northwestern.
Step 2: Resolve any needed transfer credit articulation changes (if applicable). Per the Northwestern Registrar, “Transfer credits may appear as a specific Northwestern course (i.e. PSYCHOLOGY 110), as an unspecified course at a particular level with a department (i.e. BIOL_SCI 1XX), or as general credit (i.e. GEN_CRED 1XX). The subject and level of the course is determined as closely as possible after reviewing publicly available materials, such as course descriptions, to compare the prior courses with the curriculum at Northwestern. A student can work with the relevant department to seek approval for a different articulation after the evaluation is complete, if that seems warranted.” https://www.registrar.northwestern.edu/registration-graduation/transfer-and-test-credit/incoming-transfer-students.html
If you have questions about whether an unspecified course or general credit might be considered as equivalent to a STAT course, please contact Deric Holloway with the course information. If there are any transfer credits that articulated as an unspecified course or general credit and that you would like to have considered for approval as equivalent to a non-STAT course, please contact the department which offers that course at Northwestern.
Step 3: Contact Undergraduate Program Assistant for next steps. Contact Undergraduate Program Assistant Deric Holloway at email@example.com with the email subject “DS Major Pre-Advising for Incoming Transfer Student”. In your email, please include:
- your name and student ID number
- the year in school you are transferring in as
- the date you met with your Academic Advisor and their name
Remember, it is important that you meet with your Academic Advisor and that your transfer credits have been articulated prior to contacting Deric Holloway.
Advisors working with transfer students who have questions about the Data Science major requirements should contact Deric Holloway.
Step 1: Review the requirements for the Major.
Step 2: Join the Incoming First-Year Student Data Science Major Interest List to receive information about the Wildcat Welcome information sessions for the major.
Step 3: Attend an information session for the Major during Wildcat Welcome to ask questions, decide which introductory courses for the major you might be interested in and eligible to take, and prepare for registration. Information on the dates, times, and how to register for these sessions will be emailed to students on the Incoming First-Year Student Data Science Major Interest in early September.
Step 4: Review the Data Science Major Declaration Requirement (see above) and discuss when you will take the 3 courses you are required to take prior to declaring the major. We suggest First Year students who wish to declare the major complete the 3 required courses in their first two quarters they are at Northwestern.
Step 5: Join the Data Science Interest List (opens Sept 1 each year). This list helps the department communicate with students interested in the Data Science major/minor and prepare them for their declaration process.
Step 6: As soon as you have started the second required course, you may begin the Steps for Current Northwestern Students
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