Data Science, B.S.

Program Overview

Do you like using mathematics to build models to solve real world problems? Do you enjoy the challenge of solving puzzles and finding patterns? Are you interested in what data tells us about both the present and the future? If so, you should consider a major in data science.

PLNU data science majors learn the mathematical, statistical, and computing techniques necessary to make meaning from large collections of data. From modeling the spread of disease, to predicting the performance of retirement plans and building business strategies, data scientists work on a very diverse collection of problems that impact people’s daily lives. With a degree in data science, you will gain the broad background that is often required for actuarial, pharmaceutical, defense, and security industries. As a bonus, if you are planning on becoming an actuary, PLNU’s curriculum is designed to meet several of the certification requirements of the Society of Actuaries.

The Department of Mathematical, Information, and Computer Sciences (MICS) is committed to working with you to help you discover who you are called to be. As a data science major at PLNU, you will be immersed in a curriculum that not only allows you to gain and apply the broad knowledge of your discipline, but also aims to help you develop the characteristics necessary to be an effective member of the communities where you work and live. As a graduate, you will be prepared to serve our complex world through your technical and professional abilities. All of this and more will be available to you in a collaborative and supportive environment of students and faculty alike.

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Undergraduate Program Base: Application Information

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Student Support

Undergraduate Program Base: Student Support

For most students, the transition into college life is one full of adjustments. There is the excitement of newfound freedoms, but also some uncertainty as you begin to make choices and take responsibility for your own future. 

At PLNU, we’re committed to supporting you — academically, professionally, spiritually, personally — so that you may be successful both in your time as a student and beyond. That’s why we offer a holistic support system that focuses on your unique experiences, particular needs, and personal and professional goals — resulting from our deep concern for you, our student.

With a focus on authentic relationships and personalized attention, our goal is to help transform you so you can follow your calling in your own career and life.

Student Support

Career Opportunities

In our increasingly data-driven society, well-equipped data scientists are in growing demand. A degree in data science can open the door to a variety of careers across many desirable industries, places where analytical abilities, mathematical modeling, and computation skills are valued assets. PLNU data science alumni have found success in the workforce through opportunities including actuarial work at Fidelity Investments, model building at SPAWAR, research at General Atomic, and cryptography at the NSA, just to name a few. Other alumni have gone on to graduate programs in mathematics and statistics.

A Bachelor of Science in Data Science can lead to careers in:

  • Actuarial science
  • Bioinformatics
  • Business analytics
  • Climate modeling
  • Cryptography
  • Data analysis
  • Data mining
  • Decision science
  • Economics
  • Financial planning
  • Fraud detection
  • Information security

Why is data science a good choice for a major?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for data science skills will drive a 27.9% rise in employment through 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.

“Along with what I learned through my coursework, being able to closely communicate with my professors proved to be critical in shaping my career path as an actuary. I know I wouldn’t be where I am at today without their help and guidance!"

Griffin Aseltine, Class of 2019

Actuary

The following are examples of positions people with degrees in data science may hold: 

Actuary

2020 Median annual salary $111,030

Actuaries’ main responsibility would be to complete complex calculations in order to determine the likelihood of various outcomes related to accidents, illnesses, consumer demand, and investments for an organization or individual employer. Actuaries typically utilize specialized computer software in order to complete their work. They often generate tables, graphs, and reports regarding their findings which are later presented to upper management to help aid their organization’s success. 

Data Scientist

2020 Median annual salary $95,000

Data scientists’ main responsibility is to find and organize clean and safe data for companies or individual employers. Data scientists analyze large amounts of complex raw and processed information and then find patterns in said data that will increase their organization’s success rates and help drive strategic business decisions. 

Data Analyst

2020 Median annual salary $66,906

Data analysts’ main job is to transform and manipulate large data sets into the form that works best for specific companies or individual employers. Oftentimes, data analysts are also responsible for tracking web analytics and analyzing A/B testing. Data analysts aid in an organization’s decision-making process by creating reports for upper management that effectively and efficiently communicate the trends and insights of their analysis.

Data science as a promising future:  

As the world of technology continues to develop at an incredible pace, individuals who have the analytical skills needed to draw conclusions from data will be fiercely desired by any employer. If you’re passionate about mathematics and data analysis, majoring in data science at PLNU will prepare you for a promising future on any path you end up taking.  

For more information about careers in data science, please visit:

Apply to PLNU today or get connected with one of our counselors for additional support and answers to any questions you may have.

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