Data Science

Course Planning Specifics: Data Science

Over the summer, your advisor will work with you to select course preferences for A and B terms and register you for classes before the semester begins. It is expected that you will take three classes in both terms in most cases. You will register for C and D term classes later in the fall semester.   

In addition to the course recommendations below that are specific to your major, each student must complete 4 Wellness and Physical Education courses in their four years at WPI. You are welcome to add a PE course to any term. PE courses are worth 1/12 unit, unlike major subjects discussed in course recommendations which are worth 1/3 unit, and can be taken in addition to the 3 courses recommended below. 

For more information on the degree requirements for your major click here.

More advising support materials for Data Science can be found on their website  and in their resources.

A Term Recommendations

The Computer Science introductory curriculum emphasizes program design; as part of this focus, the order in which languages are introduced is Racket/Scheme, followed by Java and then C/C++.   DS Majors are required to take three computer science courses total. It is recommended in A Term to take CS 1101 (Intro to Programming), CS 1102 (Accelerated Intro to Programming), or CS 1004 (Intro to Programming for Non-Majors), .

DS Majors are required to take five classes in Math throughout their four years. It is recommended that you take Math in A and B terms of your first year. In choosing which Math course you will begin with, please consider the following.  

As a DS major you are required to take two courses in the Calculus sequence as well as both MA 2611 and MA 2612 (Statistics).

  1. Complete the Math Placement Exam. The Math Placement Exam will tell you which Calculus course you should start in based on your current knowledge. If you are recommended to start in MA 1020, this will be your math course for both terms.
  2. Consider if you have AP Credit:
    Students who obtain a score of “4” or “5” on the AB-level Exam will receive credit for MA 1021 and MA 1022 and should begin with MA 1023/1033 in A term followed by MA 1024/1034 in B term.
    Students who obtain a grade of “4” or “5” on the BC-level Exam will receive credit for MA 1021, MA 1022 and MA 1023 and could begin with MA 1024 in A-term then MA 2051 in B-term, OR MA 1033 in A-term followed by MA 1034 in B-term. 
  3. Students who received a 6 or 7 on the IB will receive 2/3 credit of MA 1000, and should use the math placement exam results to decide which math class to take.
  4. Consider the possibility of retroactive credit. If the Math Placement Exam recommends that you start in MA 1022 or MA 1023/1033 but you do not have AP credit, this could be a great option for you. If, in your first year, you complete MA 1022 and MA 1023/1033 on your first attempt you will receive credit for MA 1021. If, in your first year, you complete MA 1023/1033 and MA 1024/1034 on your first attempt you will receive credit for MA 1021 and MA 1022.  In determining if this is the right path for you, we strongly recommend completing the Math Placement exam and following the suggestion given to you. 

The sequence MA 1033 Theoretical Calculus III and MA 1034 Theoretical Calculus IV is an alternative to the MA 1023, MA 1024 sequence in A and B terms. The sequence is designed to give a deeper and more mathematically rigorous presentation of the relevant calculus topics. If you really enjoy math and have credit for Calculus I and II already, you should consider this sequence instead of the MA 1023-MA 1024 sequence.

  1.  

Your third course should be a Humanities and Arts or Science course. More information is available about these courses below.

Every student at WPI must complete the Humanities and Arts (HUA) Requirement. This consists of 6 courses in HUA subjects. The subjects available for HUA are:

  • Art (AR)
  • Music (MU)
  • Drama/Theatre (EN/TH)
  • Foreign Language- Spanish (SP), German (GN), Arabic (AB), Chinese (CN)
    • For Spanish Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Angel Rivera (arivera@wpi.edu)
    • For German Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Daniel DiMassa (ddimassa@wpi.edu)
    • For Arabic Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Mohammed El Hamzaoui (melhamzaoui@wpi.edu)
    • For Chinese Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Wen-Hua Du (wdu2@wpi.edu)
    • For English Language (International Students) Information, Please Email: Professor Althea Danielski (amdanielski@wpi.edu) and Professor Esther Boucher-Yip (efboucher@wpi.edu)
  • Literature (EN)
  • Writing/Rhetoric (WR, RH)
  • International Student English (ISE)
  • History (HI)
  • International Studies (INTL)
  • Philosophy (PY)
  • Religion (RE)

You should pick courses in subjects you are interested in. When you come to campus you will learn more about the HUA requirement and how you will complete it. 

Science courses include courses in Biology, Chemistry, or Physics. 

B Term Recommendations

DS 1010 is the first course in the Data Science Core and will put you on the path to take future DS courses. DS 1010 may also be offered in the other terms (e.g., A-term, C-term and D-term).

Most students follow CS 1101 or CS 1102 with CS 2102 Object-Oriented Design Concepts (offered in Terms B and D), but again students with previous experience may elect to follow with CS 2103 Accelerated Object-Oriented Design Concepts (Offered in Term B only).  

 

Your third course should be a Mathematics Course or a Humanities and Arts Course. More information is available about these courses below. 

 

DS Majors are required to take five courses in math throughout their four years. In B Term you should take the next course in the Calculus series or Statistics series beyond your A term course. The following is the typical MA sequence for WPI Students.

MA 1021

MA 1022

MA 1023/1033

MA 1024/1034

MA 2051

OR

MA 2611

MA 2612

In order to select which Math course you should take first please consider the following. 

  1. Complete the Math Placement Exam. The Math Placement Exam will tell you which Calculus course you should start in based on your current knowledge. If you are recommended to start in MA 1020, this will be your math course for both terms.
  2. Consider if you have AP Credit:
    Students who obtain a score of “4” or “5” on the AB-level Exam will receive credit for MA 1021 and MA 1022 and should begin with MA 1023/1033 in A term followed by MA 1024/1034 in B term.
    Students who obtain a grade of “4” or “5” on the BC-level Exam will receive credit for MA 1021, MA 1022 and MA 1023 and could begin with MA 1024 in A-term then MA 2051 in B-term, OR MA 1033 in A-term followed by MA 1034 in B-term. Students who obtain BC credit for MA 1021/1022/1023 are able to receive credit for both MA 1023 and MA 1033.
  3. Students who received a 6 or 7 on the IB will receive 2/3 credit of MA 1000, and should use the math placement exam results to decide which math class to take.
  4. Consider the possibility of retroactive credit. If the Math Placement Exam recommends that you start in MA 1022 or MA 1023/1033 but you do not have AP credit, this could be a great option for you. If, in your first year, you complete MA 1022 and MA 1023/1033 on your first attempt you will receive credit for MA 1021. If, in your first year, you complete MA 1023/1033 and MA 1024/1034 on your first attempt you will receive credit for MA 1021 and MA 1022.  In determining if this is the right path for you, we strongly recommend completing the Math Placement exam and following the suggestion given to you. 

The sequence MA 1033 Theoretical Calculus III and MA 1034 Theoretical Calculus IV is an alternative to the MA 1023, MA 1024 sequence in A and B terms. The sequence is designed to give a deeper and more mathematically rigorous presentation of the relevant calculus topics. If you really enjoy math and have credit for Calculus I and II already, you should consider this sequence instead of the MA 1023-MA 1024 sequence.

Every student at WPI must complete the Humanities and Arts (HUA) Requirement. This consists of 6 courses in HUA subjects. The subjects available for HUA are:

  • Art (AR)
  • Music (MU)
  • Drama/Theatre (EN/TH)
  • Foreign Language- Spanish (SP), German (GN), Arabic (AB), Chinese (CN)
    • For Spanish Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Angel Rivera (arivera@wpi.edu)
    • For German Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Daniel DiMassa (ddimassa@wpi.edu)
    • For Arabic Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Mohammed El Hamzaoui (melhamzaoui@wpi.edu)
    • For Chinese Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Wen-Hua Du (wdu2@wpi.edu)
    • For English Language (International Students) Information, Please Email: Professor Althea Danielski (amdanielski@wpi.edu) and Professor Esther Boucher-Yip (efboucher@wpi.edu)
  • Literature (EN)
  • Writing/Rhetoric (WR, RH)
  • International Student English (ISE)
  • History (HI)
  • International Studies (INTL)
  • Philosophy (PY)
  • Religion (RE)

You should pick courses in subjects you are interested in. When you come to campus you will learn more about the HUA requirement and how you will complete it. 

 

After reviewing the above recommendations, please be sure to review Registration Information below regarding searching for courses. 

Registration Information

As you begin to plan your course preferences, consider using one of the following methods: 

  • Visit the Course Listings page. On this page, you can search for courses you are interested in and filter your search by subject, term, keyword, etc. 
  • Log into Workday. Once you log onto Workday, click on the Academics worklet. From there, click on Find Course Sections. Navigate to the appropriate term and filter your search by several fields such as subject, meeting pattern and open sections, all found on the left-hand side. If you know a specific course you are looking for, type in the course's name in the search bar to be brought directly to those offerings. 

Please note: As you begin to search for courses, it is helpful to review the recommended or suggested background included in the course descriptions. Recommended background is coursework or information that has been identified as important for you to have or understand before taking that course. Suggested background is helpful information to have but may not be absolutely necessary in order to excel in the course. 

Your Academic Support Advisor is available to assist you with questions. You will have an opportunity to connect with them during your First Year Welcome Experience, or you may reach out via email.