Skip to main content

Overview for Undergraduates


Undergraduate Data Science Minor

In January 2021, Vanderbilt launched a new trans-institutional undergraduate Data Science Minor that spans the Blair School of Music, the College of Arts and Science, the School of Engineering, and Peabody College and is affiliated with the Data Science Institute. Undergraduates in Data Science are introduced to the fundamentals of this interdisciplinary field, with coursework in computer programming, statistics, machine learning, and visualization, interwoven with ethical considerations of collecting, curating, analyzing, visualizing, and interpreting data. The minor in Data Science prepares students for advanced coursework in statistics and data analysis, scientific computing and simulation, machine learning and visualization, and high performance computing and big data.

For information about the Data Science Minor see here:

For requirements of the Data Science Minor see here:

Related Undergraduate Programs and Courses

Students may also be interested in undergraduate minors in Quantitative Methods or in Scientific Computing.

For information about the Quantitative Methods Minor see here:

For information about the Scientific Computing Minor see here:

In addition, students in any major at Vanderbilt can help prepare themselves for future education or employment in Data Science with foundational courses in mathematics, statistics, computation, machine learning, or visualization, along with a variety of elective courses. Existing Vanderbilt courses that cover key Data Science topics can be found here:

What is Data Science?

Data Science is an emerging interdisciplinary field whose goal is to extract knowledge and enable discovery from complex data using a fusion of computation, mathematics, statistics, and machine learning. Datasets can be as varied as maps of the known universe, MRI images, human genomes, medical records, stock market transactions, educational data, historical texts, infrastructure systems, or website clickstream data. Over the coming decades, Data Science is expected to have significant impacts on basic and applied research in the sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities, and engineering as well as impact all sectors of the economy from health care to education, government, transportation, finance, manufacturing, construction, and urban planning.

Data Science has the potential to improve individual and community health and education; develop smart communities that enable efficient circulation of people, goods, and services; enable informed decision making in public and private sectors; and enhance environmental sustainability and overall quality of life. Given the wide range of applications and potential benefits, the powerful tools and techniques of Data Science must be used effectively, ethically, and responsibly.