Interdisciplinary Education in Data Science

At Illinois, we are planning to launch a new series of undergraduate degrees that combine Data Science with other disciplines. The X + Data Science (X + DS) family of degrees will prepare Illinois students to lead society's digital transformation.

What is Data Science?

Society is being rapidly transformed by the rise of digital technology and the emergence of massive data sets. Data Science is the art of extracting new knowledge and finding meaningful information in a huge sea of data.  

An important new field, Data Science  includes principles for data collection, storage, integration, analysis, inference, communication, and ethics.

X + DS at Illinois

The X + Data Science degree programs at Illinois are being designed from the ground up to be interdisciplinary and inclusive.

  • Interdisciplinary: Digital transformation is impacting all fields, so collaborative work in an application domain is important part of a Data Science education. X + DS majors take core coursework in an application domain of their choosing.
  • Inclusive: Our core Data Science coursework has fewer technical prerequisites and requirements than most programs in computer science, mathematics, or statistics. This makes X + DS more accessible to people from all backgrounds.   

Four X + DS degree programs are currently under review by the Illinois Higher Board of Education: Accountancy + Data Science, Astronomy + Data Science, Finance + Data Science, and Information Systems + Data Science.

Growing Demand

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has projected a 27.9% growth in Data Science occupations during the period from 2016 to 2026, driven by the demand for workers who can handle big data. BLS projects that occupations in Data Science and Mathematical Science will far outpace the average growth rate for all occupations.

Jobs related to digital transformation, including roles like data scientist and data engineer, are one of three categories highlighted by LinkedIn's "Jobs on the Rise in 2021" report.  

STAT 107: Data Science Discovery

Data Science Discovery is the intersection of statistics, computation, and real-world relevance. It is the first data science course at the University offered to undergraduate students who do not have any prior experience.

Read The Daily Illini Article

New Data Science Center Planned Near Main Quad

Plans for a new statewide innovation network to accelerate job creation and economic growth include building a world-class center devoted to the fast-growing field of data science.

Learn More

X + DS Toolkit

Illinois units seeking to establish a new X + Data Science degree can access a toolkit containing a degree framework and proposal templates.  U of I Box login is required.

Get the Toolkit

Interdisciplinary Illinois

A leader in interdisciplinary education and research, the University of Illinois seeks to give all Illinois students the opportunity to have a meaningful exposure to Data Science. X + DS will provide a new pathway to foster education across disciplines, supporting the University's Strategic Plan.