Data science new major at Mount Holyoke

By Christian Feuerstein

Mount Holyoke College is launching a new major in data science for students interested in using data-driven novel insights to tackle real-world problems across a range of disciplines.

The new major will officially be available to students starting in fall 2019, after being approved by the faculty in February 2019.

Data science is a way to extract meaningful knowledge from large amounts of complex data by using scientific methods, statistics, and computing tools. The major emphasizes how to be effective, ethical and judicious consumers of data while preparing students to communicate data concepts and outcomes.

“Having a major in this field is very appropriate for Mount Holyoke College, given our historic strength in the sciences and our commitment to the liberal arts and empowering students to address difficult questions across a range of areas,” said Valerie Barr, Jean E. Sammet Professor of Computer Science and chair of the computer science department. 

Students will have rigorous training in statistics and computer science, but they will study across disciplines such as the sciences, humanities and social sciences. 

“I am thrilled that the data science major will be available to students this year. It is the result of years of collaboration and work by faculty across the College,” said Jon Western, vice president for academic affairs. “With a focus on applying computational and statistical reasoning to disciplines in the humanities, social sciences and sciences across the College, the new major is in keeping with our liberal arts mission and our commitment to meeting the emerging needs and opportunities of our increasingly complicated world.”

For more information on the new data science major, visit

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