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Data Science Major

Southwest Minnesota State University is offering a Bachelor of Science in Data Science. The Data Science Major is designed to meet the needs of students desiring a career or advanced study in the many fields related to data science. As data is increasingly being used to make decisions in all disciplines, students majoring in data science are encouraged to supplement their learning with domain specific knowledge by completing second majors or minors in many programs such as mathematics, computer science, the natural and social sciences, and business.

What is Data Science?

Data Science is a burgeoning, interdisciplinary field with enormous expected and current employment opportunities. While data science resides at the intersection of the technical fields of computer science, mathematics, and statistics, domain knowledge in an applied area of study is an essential component for the practicing professional. If data science is the process of extracting meaning from data, we need to know what meaning is! Technical courses provide the tools to work with data and to create models from the data. The domain knowledge courses help one to understand what it is we are looking at -- the meaning. What do our results give us and are they meaningful? It is one of the fast growing fields today and there is a high demand for Data Science majors with very attractive salaries and benefits.

Internship and Scholarships Opportunities

The multinational Schwan’s Food Company, with home offices located in Marshall, has been a tremendous source of internships and entry-level employment for students who wish to remain in southwestern Minnesota. For those who wish to look elsewhere, data science jobs are abundant in the metropolitan areas of Minnesota as well as in national and international settings. In addition, students may continue their education at the graduate level.
Southwest Minnesota State University offers a wide variety of scholarship opportunities including need-based scholarships awarded through our financial aid office, University Awards based on academic performance, and hundreds of merit-based scholarships made possible by our generous donors. The Mathematics and Computer Science department offers Abacus scholarship based on academic performance.


The Mathematics/Computer Science Club and the STEM club provide an outlet for activities that are more focused. Professors also encourage students to attend and participate in the professional conferences that are available. Normally, the department/faculty provide the transportation and registration fees as a further indication of the importance of these activities. Students are encouraged to take part in other university-wide activities including music, theatre, student government, athletics, and much more.


Classrooms equipped with the latest in educational technology are available to the students in the Mathematics Program at SMSU. The computer software programs Minitab, SPSS, Geometers Sketch Pad, and MAPLE are available and used in many courses throughout the curriculum. Students have access to these packages and others in several computer labs across campus. The campus has a site license for MAPLE, which includes copies of MAPLE for each student. The Math Learning, located in Academic Commons, provides a place to hold study groups and receive individual tutoring. Together, these facilities provide students with the support they need to develop cooperative learning groups and become successful mathematicians.

Program Highlights

The Data Science curriculum was created in consultations with a panel of experts from local and greater Minnesota businesses in order to fulfil the needs of industries. The major provides students the sound knowledge in Data Science, Mathematics, and Computer Science needed to excel in the area of data science. Students completing this major may continue with graduate studies in data science in order to enhance their knowledge.

Last Modified: 8/21/23 4:34 PM | Website Feedback