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Data Science

major, minor

Computer Science / Majors & Programs / Data Science

Degree Overview

Glance at the headlines today, and it quickly becomes clear that businesses, non-profits, and governments all desperately need people who can wisely collect, interpret, and apply data. In Calvin's data science program, you'll learn to analyze and understand data—and put it to effective use in a business, scientific, or social setting.

Calvin is one of the first Christian institutions to offer a data science program. Here, you’ll take foundational classes in computer science, statistics, and mathematics. Then you’ll pair your analysis and critical-thinking skills with a subject area that fits your career goals—like biology, geography, business, economics, or political science.

You’ll tie it all together with a capstone project that you can proudly present to employers, who are eager to hire data scientists like you.

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Program Distinctives

Christian perspective - Here, all your classes are taught by Christian professors who are experts in their fields. They’ll challenge you to take ethical issues seriously. You’ll carefully consider how data can be used to empower business and improve lives.
Practical approach - Calvin’s robust core requirements mean that you’ll take four or five classes in another field of interest. You’ll apply your data science skills to that field before you graduate, giving you practical experience and expertise.
Expanding opportunities - If you crunch the data on data science job openings, you’ll see that it’s a rapidly expanding field—more and more industries see the benefit of using analytical data. You’ll graduate with deep experience and a wide-open career path.

Degree Information

  • Overview

    This major combines roughly equal portions of computer science and statistics with a substantial cognate in a domain area of the student’s choice, where they will apply their data analysis skills.

  • Courses
  • Suggested Course Schedule

    The following course schedule provides a suggested framework for students pursuing a data science major. Students planning for the shift to 2 & 4-hour courses starting in Fall, 2023 should note that:

    • DATA 202 will become a 4-hour course.
    • DATA 303 will be replaced by two 2-hour courses: DATA 304 & DATA 385.
    • The CS and MATH/STAT electives will require hours (rather than courses): 8 hours for CS; 4 hours for MATH/STAT.
    • The domain study will require 12 hours (rather than 15 hours).

    Schedule Notes:

    1. CS 106 is preferred here, but CS 108 or 104 (rare) can work as well.
    2. Math core is easily covered in the major, and there are other MATH/STAT options to choose from.
    3. This schedule assumes that BS students opt out of World Languages II but fail to exempt out of World Languages I. Students can choose to opt out of a different Knowledge & Understanding category.
    4. This assumes that students cannot count any of their DS domain cognate courses as tagged core courses.
    5. STAT 243 is common here, but there are other options for basic probability and statistics.
    6. CS Electives are 4-hour or 2-hour courses; we assume CS 212 (4) and two 2-hour electives.
    7. DS students must either take tagged courses in the core/major or add tagged elective courses.
    8. This can be any K & U course, not including Math and Science.
    9. Students needs 124 total hours to graduate.

    The Data Science program is an interdisciplinary selection of Computer Science, Data, Mathematics, and Statistics. For more information about the program, please contact the Chair of Computer Science or the Chair of Mathematics & Statistics.


    A Data Science student must complete a cognate, consisting of at least 15 hours, with the same departmental prefix (BIO, ECON, GEOG, POLS, etc.; the BUS-related courses, e.g., BUS/ACCT/FIN, can be treated as having the same prefix) other than CS, MATH, or STAT, and with at least 6 must be at the 300-level, unless a department recommends otherwise.

    Students should choose course combinations in consultation with their advisor.

Degree Information


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