UCR poised to address growing demand for data scientists with new master's in Computational Data Science

By UCR Bourns College of Engineering |

UC Riverside’s Marlan and Rosemary Bourns College of Engineering (BCOE) has launched a new Master's program in Computational Data Science offered through a collaboration between the Computer Science and Engineering and the Electrical and Computer Engineering Departments. Unique within the UC system on its focus on the computational part of Data Science, this M.S. program provides students with the necessary training in various aspects of the data lifecycle, including data collection, data cleaning, data integration, data management, and data visualization, as well as the theories and techniques necessary for data analysis from data mining, machine learning, information retrieval, and artificial intelligence. The program builds on the extensive expertise and world-renowned research by faculty in Computational Data Science.

“This program helps to meet the growing demand for skilled data scientists and analysts across industries in the Inland Empire and California,” said Vassilis J. Tsotras, director of the Computational Data Science program and professor of Computer Science and Engineering. “UCR is becoming a major player in educating students in data science through this new M.S. and the Data Science undergraduate major we started three years ago.”

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics anticipates a 36% increased demand for Data Scientists within the next decade. The M.S. in Computational Data Science program is open to students with undergraduate degrees in quantitative fields such as engineering, physics, math, and statistics. Applicants should have some experience in programming, data structures, as well as calculus, linear algebra and exposure to probability and statistics. Students from non-quantitative fields are also encouraged to apply; for students missing undergraduate computing fundamentals, there is a sequence of "Bridge" summer courses that can be used as a first step by students before entering the MS in Computational Data Science.

The M.S. in Computational Data Science program offers two new courses that introduce students from different backgrounds to the basic tools and theoretical fundamentals of Data Science, followed by core courses that provide a broad understanding of the field. Students can then focus on various aspects of Computational Data Science and gain in-depth knowledge through specific electives. The program also includes a capstone project where students combine technical, analytic, and interpretive skills to design and execute a large-scale data science project focusing on real-world applications.

“The M.S. in Computational Data Science provides a unique opportunity for students to develop their technical skills and knowledge in Data Science," said Christopher Lynch, dean of the college and professor of mechanical engineering. "We are excited to see the impacts our graduates will have in business, science, and technology in the Inland Empire, California, and the world."

UCR has been consistently named by the U.S. News & World Report as the top public university in the nation for social mobility. Based on its research excellence, UCR was recently invited to join the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU) which comprises the top research universities in North America.

For more information, visit the program website or contact Professor Vassilis Tsotras directly at or (951) 827-2888.

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