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 201-0 or COMP_SCI 110-0*
- 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.
*Students who take COMP_SCI 110-0 are responsible for independently learning topics covered in STAT 201-0 that are not covered in COMP_SCI 110-0 before taking a STAT course for which STAT 201-0 is a prerequisite. STAT 201-0 topics not covered in COMP_SCI 110-0
Students are eligible to begin the Data Science major declaration process around midterm of the quarter in which they will be completing the last of these 3 fundamental requirements. Students who have already completed the 3 requirements can begin the declaration process at any time.
We strongly recommend that first-year students who wish to declare the major in this academic year complete the 3 fundamental requirements in the first two quarters they are at Northwestern. All students wishing to declare the major are strongly encouraged to complete the 3 requirements and to begin the declaration process by no later than winter quarter of their sophomore year.
All students interested in either the Data Science major or minor must join the Data Science Interest List and are encouraged to do so as early in the academic year as possible. This list helps the Department communicate with students interested in the major/minor and prepare them for the declaration process for their chosen program.
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 Program assistant, Deric Holloway, at email@example.com
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: Join the Data Science Interest List. Joining the Data Science Interest List is the required first step for students planning to declare a Data Science major. Students are eligible to join the Interest List at any time and are encouraged to do so as early in the academic year as possible.
- Note: If you are already a declared student within the Department (Data Science minor, Statistics major, or Statistics minor) and wish to declare a Data Science major, do not join the Data Science Interest List. Instead, please contact Deric Holloway at firstname.lastname@example.org for your next steps.
Step 2:Review the requirements for the Data Science major and the lists of approved related electives.
Step 3: 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 Data Science major.
If you have questions about timeline or viability, we recommend you meet with your academic advisor to discuss options.
Step 4: Begin taking the 3 fundamental courses required for declaring the major. You must be in the process of completing the 3 fundamental requirements for the Data Science major before you can begin the declaration process (see Data Science Major Declaration Requirement above). Students who plan to declare the major are strongly encouraged to complete all 3 required courses and begin the declaration process by no later than winter quarter of their sophomore year.
Step 5: Attend optional open office hours. Prospective Data Science majors who are in the process of completing their 3 fundamental requirements will have the opportunity to attend optional open office hours that are held periodically throughout the academic year in order to learn more about the Data Science major and ask any questions they may have.
Step 6: Pre-advising. Once we have determined that you have completed or are in the process of completing the last of your 3 required courses, we will contact you about your next steps.By that point, you should know if you are interested in taking the Data Science sequence courses in Python or R and when these courses would best fit into your academic plan. Please remember that this sequence of courses is taken in fall, winter, and spring quarters within a single academic year, that you are only guaranteed a seat in these courses during your assigned year, and that Data Science majors must complete these courses by no later than their junior year (and in order to take the sequence courses, you must be declared and assigned to the sequence by no later than your sophomore year).
Prior to advising, you will be provisionally assigned to a Data Science sequence year and track. You will receive a copy of your Data Science Major Advising form, which you must review and confirm for accuracy. We may also request more information and require additional steps (possibly including a brief pre-advising meeting). All required action items must be completed before you may proceed to the final steps in the declaration process.
Step 7: Advising appointment with the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Once you have completed all required pre-advising action items, you will receive directions on how to schedule your advising appointment with the Director of Undergraduate Studies, during which you will finalize your plan for the major and have your declaration form signed. Students who have completed their 3 requirements will be eligible to schedule a meeting as soon as advising appointments are available. Students who will be completing their 3 requirements in a given quarter will be eligible to schedule a meeting after midterms in that quarter.
Step 8: Submission of declaration. After your advising appointment with the Director of Undergraduate Studies 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 to pre-register 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 email@example.com
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 Data Science major, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 prior to your arrival on campus to receive information about Data Science major question and answer sessions held at the Academic Directions Fair during Wildcat Welcome
Step 3: Attend a question and answer session at the Academic Directions Fair. This is your opportunity to meet faculty, 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 List in early September.
Step 4: Review the Data Science Major Declaration Requirement (see above) and discuss when you will take the 3 required fundamental courses prior to declaring the major. We strongly recommend that first-year students who wish to declare the major complete the 3 required courses within the first two quarters they are at Northwestern.
Step 5: Once you have completed the above steps, you may begin the Steps for Current Northwestern Students