Data Science Education

The Center for Data Science, situated within the Robert and Donna Manning College of Information and Computer Sciences, is the college’s leading proponent of data science education.

The college has many offerings designed to prepare students for careers in the data science and computing industry.

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Students pursuing the Bachelor’s in Computer Science have the opportunity to take many data science-related courses offered by the College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS), including:

  • INFO 248 – Introduction to Data Science
  • INFO 348 – Data Analytics with Python
  • CICS 108 – Foundations of Data Science
  • CICS 109 – Introductions to Data Analysis in R
  • CICS 210 – Data Structures
  • COMPSCI 187 –  Programing with Data Structures
  • COMPSCI 240 – Reasoning Under Certainty
  • COMPSCI 345 – Practice and Applications of Data Management
  • COMPSCI 348 – Principles of Data Science
  • COMPSCI 370 – Introduction to Computer Vision
  • COMPSCI 383 – Artificial Intelligence
  • COMPSCI 328 – Mobile Health Sensing and Analytics
  • COMPSCI 389 – Introduction to Machine Learning
  • COMPSCI 403 – Introduction to Robotics: Perception, Mechanics, Dynamics, and Control
  • COMPSCI 490A – Applications of Natural Language Processing

Be sure to meet with your CICS advisor to discuss your interest in data science and how you might best pursue opportunities. We also encourage you to make a strong positive impression on your instructors, and then use office-hours visits to explore whether and how you can be connected with a research lab or pursue an independent study

CICS also offers the Informatics major, which is designed to teach undergraduate students the design, application, use, and impact of computational principles and technology. Entrants into the major choose either a Data Science concentration or a Health and Life Sciences concentration. The Data Science track is designed to teach students alternative ways to analyze, visualize, and reason about enormous quantities of information. 

The BS in Informatics is interdisciplinary and includes courses from other departments at UMass as part of the degree. These outside courses are chosen by the student, and they reflect our field’s broad relevance. 

The Master’s Concentration in Data Science, an optional concentration in the Master’s in computer science offered by the college, was created to help meet the need for expanded and enhanced training in the area of data science. The Master’s Concentration in Data Science teaches you to develop and apply methods to collect, curate, and analyze large-scale data, and to make discoveries and decisions using those analyses. It requires coursework in theory for data science, systems for data science, data analysis, and statistics.

There are three pillars to Data Science: statistical skills, computer science and domain expertise. The Master’s Certificate in Statistical & Computational Data Science is offered jointly through the Statistics and Computer Science departments. This program blends topics in statistical methods, statistical computing, machine learning and algorithm development to train students to become effective data scientists for any domain. 


Students pursuing the Master’s certificate in Statistical & Computational Data Science will develop the ability to work with large databases, and to manage and evaluate data sets and create meaningful output that can be used in effective decision making.


Visit the Certificate in Statistical and Computational Data Science page on the CICS website for information on course requirements and to submit the pre-application. 

Students enrolled in the Master’s Concentration in Data Science are encouraged to apply to the Industry Mentorship Program, which matches small teams of Data Science Master’s students with industry-proposed projects. This program provides industry partners with cutting edge data science solutions while allowing our Master’s students to develop skills on real-world projects.

Through close collaboration with industry partners, PhD student advisors, and faculty experts, students develop industry-relevant skills, gain networking opportunities, and expand their data science expertise while working on highly relevant problems. The mentorship program has led to a number of publications in top tier journals in addition to job and networking opportunities with industry leaders.

CICS offers the Computer Science Ph.D. program, which features world-renowned faculty, interdisciplinary research, and an emphasis on collaboration. Doctoral students are immersed in research projects that have real-world implications and critical impact.


There are two different Ph.D. tracks: the M.S./Ph.D. track and the Ph.D.-only track. The majority of computer science students are admitted into the M.S./Ph.d. Track, meaning that they intend to work towards a Ph.D., but will acquire a master’s degree along the way. Students admitted into the Ph.D.-only program usually arrive at UMass having already earned an MS degree at an accredited university.


Our doctoral program provides students with assistantships during their first full year and during each following academic semester. Assistantships provide a tuition waiver as well as a 95% discount on the UMass Amherst health insurance plan.