Press release
May 27, 2015

UCI Launches First Undergraduate Data Science Program in the UC System

The new Bachelor of Science degree will enable the Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences to educate the next generation of data scientists.

Irvine, Calif. – UC Irvine’s Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS) has announced the launch of a new Bachelor of Science degree in Data Science, making UCI the only campus in the UC system to offer an undergraduate major or minor in Data Science. Approved by UCI’s Academic Senate in April, the new program will begin with its first cohort of undergraduates this fall.

“As the first undergraduate program of its type in the region, the new major will uniquely position UCI to become a leader in the training and mentoring of future data scientists,” said Padhraic Smyth, Director of the UCI Data Science Initiative, which partnered with the ICS Departments of Statistics and Computer Science to facilitate the new Data Science major.

The new interdisciplinary Data Science major focuses on the science of data analysis by training undergraduates at the interface of statistics and computer science. The program teaches students how to utilize their knowledge of statistical and computing principles to analyze and solve real-world data analysis problems.

“UC Irvine is uniquely positioned to be a leader in data science education, because it is one of the very few universities in the United States where statistics and computer science are both organizationally and physically together, allowing faculty to continue their close collaboration,” said Jessica Utts, Chair of the ICS Department of Statistics, where the Data Science program will be housed, making it the department’s first undergraduate major.

The demand for graduates with skills in both statistics and computer science currently outpaces supply. According to a 2011 McKinsey Global Institute study on big data, demand for individuals with data analysis skills will grow to almost 500,000 individuals by 2018, with a projected shortfall of about 200,000 individuals with deep analytical skills, as well as a shortage of 1.5 million managers and analysts to analyze big data and make decisions. The new undergraduate Data Science degree will help fill this void by preparing students for jobs across a variety of sectors, including Web and technology (e.g., Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Samsung), finance (Wall Street, banking and insurance), engineering, medical and public health.

For more information on the BS in Data Science, visit

About the UC Irvine Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences: As the only computing-focused school in the University of California system, the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences provides computer science and information technology leadership for the 21st century through its innovative and broad curricula, research and development of emerging technologies, and collaborations to address societal concerns. The Donald Bren School's three departments-computer science, informatics and statistics-serve to reshape domains as far reaching as education, art and entertainment, business and law, the environment and biological systems, healthcare and medicine. To learn more, visit:

Matt Miller
(949) 824-1562

Media interested in interviewing ICS faculty, students or alumni should contact Matt Miller at (949) 824-1562 or via email at