Data Science Minor

students learning


UBC's Data Science Minor is an interdisciplinary program that enables students to gain the skills necessary to perform data science tasks in conjunction with the skills they learn in their major.

In this minor, students gain an understanding of key data science concepts such as how to program using data, use statistics on data, and how to use machine learning and statistical models. The Minor in Data Science is an interdisciplinary and interdepartmental undergraduate program administered through the Faculty of Science. This program is open to any UBC-Vancouver undergraduate student and aims to accept students from diverse educational backgrounds, particularly those that are not exposed to data science topics within their major specialization. You can find out more information by clicking on the headings on this page.

Prerequisites for admission to the minor

A minimum grade of 68% in DSCI 100 and a minimum grade of 68% in (a) one of CPSC 110, CPSC 107, CPSC 103, EOSC 211, MATH 210, PHYS 210, ECON 323, COMM 337, APSC 160 or (b) any CPSC course numbered 200 or higher.

Students applying for the Data Science minor must, at the time of application, satisfy the prerequisites for admission mentioned above and the requirements imposed by their home faculty.

Program requirements for completion of the minor

The lower and upper-level requirements can be completed at any time, but note that taking the courses prior to admission into the minor will not impact your chances of getting admitted. See the FAQ below for more information about the admission process.

Lower-level requirements

  1. Data Science: DSCI 100. 
  2. Statistical Inference: STAT 201.  
  3. Programming: One of CPSC 203, CPSC 210, CPEN 221. For most non-CS majors, we recommend taking CPSC 203 (and selecting CPSC 103 as the prereq for 203).
  4. Calculus: One of MATH 100, MATH 102, MATH 104, MATH 110, MATH 120, MATH 180, MATH 184, SCIE 001. 

Upper-level requirements

There are 6 courses (18 credits) of upper-level requirements. The requirements are:

  1. Statistical inference: STAT 301
  2. Machine learning: CPSC 330
  3. Ethics: Once of DSCI 430, CPSC 430
  4. Three of the following five options:
    1. Reproducible data science: DSCI 310
    2. Data visualization: DSCI 320
    3. Cloud computing and big data: One of CPSC 416, CPSC 436C
    4. Databases: One of CPSC 368, CPSC 304, COMM 437
    5. Discipline-specific data science courses: One of COMM 335, COMM 365, COMM 414, COMM 415, CPSC 322, CPSC 340, CPSC 406, ECON 398, ECON 425, EOSC 410, INFO 419, LING 342, MATH 441, MATH 442, MICB 405, MICB 425, PHYS 410, PSYC 359, STAT 406, STAT 447B, STAT 450.

New data science courses

Among the courses listed above, the following are newly created for the data science program.

DSCI 310 Reproducible and trustworthy workflows for data science

  • Data science methods to automate the running and testing of code and analytic reports, manage data analysis software dependencies, package and deploy software for data analysis, and collaborate with others using version control.
  • Pre-reqs: DSCI 100 and either (a) one of CPSC 203, CPSC 210 or CPEN 221 or (b) MATH 210 and one of CPSC 107, CPSC 110.
  • Credits: 3

DSCI 320 Visualization for data science

  • Analysis, design, and implementation of static and interactive visual representations. Visualization literacy. Data communication. Exploratory Data Analysis. Application of theoretical principles to visualization development.
  • Pre-reqs: STAT 201 and one of CPSC 203, CPSC 210, or CPEN 221.
  • Credits: 3

CPSC 368 Databases in data science

  • Overview of relational and non-relational database systems. Role and usage of a database when querying data. Topics include data modelling, query languages, and query optimization.
  • Pre-reqs: One of CPSC 203, CPSC 210, CPEN 221.
  • Credits: 3

An example path through the minor

Consider a student in Psychology who is interested in the Data Science minor. This example student might complete their courses in the following order:

  • Lower:
    • DSCI 100 
    • CPSC 103
    • CPSC 203
    • STAT 201
    • MATH 102
  • Upper:
    • STAT 301
    • CPSC 330
    • DSCI 430
    • DSCI 310
    • DSCI 320
    • PSYC 359

Program learning outcomes

  • Identify and collect data necessary to answer a given research question through sampling and/or through extracting data from pre-existing sources (relational databases, html web pages, web APIs, etc)
  • Manipulate messy, ill-formed data to extract meaningful insights.
  • Map and apply an appropriate data analysis approach to a given research question and the data at hand.
  • Select data science methods to work with diverse data types across diverse subject-area domains.
  • Build statistical models that are appropriate given the distribution(s) of the data, and appropriately quantify uncertainty of resulting estimates and predictions.
  • Apply fundamental programming principles in the data analysis process to make analysis code readable, modular, accurate and scalable.
  • Communicate results of data science experiments to diverse audiences through data visualizations, written work and oral presentations.
  • Employ best practices for collaboration for projects that involve both code and people.
  • Perform and communicate results from analyses that are fair, equitable and honest.
  • Employ workflows that facilitate reproducible and transparent data analyses.

Frequently asked questions

Contact info

Many of the questions we receive are already answered on this page. Please make sure that you have read the program information and FAQ before reaching out to Due to the large number of emails we receive, we will prioritize answering questions that are not already answered on this page.


Musqueam First Nation land acknowledegement

UBC Science acknowledges that the UBC Point Grey campus is situated on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm.

Learn more: Musqueam First Nation

Faculty of Science

Office of the Dean, Earth Sciences Building
2178–2207 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC Canada
V6T 1Z4
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