Data Science

  • Data Science is the study and application of methods that extract knowledge from frequently large, diverse sets of data. Data can come from anywhere: newspaper articles, satellite images, or genomes for example.
  • You can pursue a minor in Data Science, or work with an advisor to construct a self-designed major in Data Science.  
  • You do not need past programming experience to be successful in Data Science.
  • You will learn to work in research labs aligned with the program.
  • With Data Science training, you will be more competitive for many exciting jobs - from music and linguistics, to government and biology. 
Societal Implications of Data Science : Going Beyond Methods

Data Science at W&M provides a novel learning environment. We push students beyond methods and towards critically considering the implications of big data and algorithms on our society. 

Topics in Data Science are constantly evolving, and so do our courses. Example issues drawn from previous coursework have included:

  • How big data and algorithms are influencing sentencing in the legal system.
  • How algorithms choose - intentionally or not - who to save in a car crash.
  • How websites such as are impacting the future of human genetics.
What about Coursework?

Data Science has four core courses that every student will take:

  • An introduction to Computer Programming designed for non-CS majors with no or limited computer coding experience.
  • An introduction to Modeling designed for Data Science students
  • A philosophy course - options include those considering the moral implications of data
  • An applications course, in which students apply their skills to solve problems of interest to them.

You will work with a faculty advisor to select relevant upper-level coursework to complete the degree. You can also opt to take a capstone research course.