Data Science


Career preparation starts your first year at Western. Visit Career Services in Library 120 and online at to discover your interests, define your goals and land your dream job.

The data below is automatically collected by Burning Glass Technologies, a firm that sources job market data and provides analytics. The statistics illustrate general trends in U.S. careers, but do not precisely represent every job and salary.


For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

 CS 190 - Computer Science I (3 cred.)

An introduction to software development taught in Python. Topics include control structures, I/O, functions, strings, lists, files, other data structures and basic algorithms that use them. Emphasis is placed on good problem-solving practices, testing and debugging.

 CS 220 - Data Analytics (3 cred.)

Introductory knowledge discovery using computational, statistical, and informatics methods. Topics include analysis of any data that is in digital form, including text, symbolic data or image data, and finding patterns in science, the arts, and society. Prerequisite: CS 190 with a minimum grade of “C-”.

 CS 303 - Machine Learning (3 cred.)

A study of computer systems that learn. Topics include decision trees, concept learning, neural networks, reinforcement learning, linear and non-linear models, clustering, validation, feature selection, support vector machines and hidden Markov models with applications to the arts and sciences. Prerequisite: CS 220 Data Analytics with minimum grade of “C-”.

 CS 317 - Genome Analysis (with laboratory) (3 cred.)

This course introduces students to the appropriate mathematical techniques to answer questions about information contained in genetic sequences. These techniques may include dynamic programming, motif similarity, Bayesian models, hidden Markov models, principal component analysis, and clustering. Students use standard genome query tools to annotate genomic DNA. MATH 317, BIOL 317 and CS 317 cannot both be taken for credit. Prerequisite: MATH 151, MATH 213 and CS 190.

 CS 365 - Big Data Analytics (3 cred.)

An intensive study of big data and informatics applications for digital data. Topics include text analysis using classic works and social media, numeric analysis using economic and scientific data and symbolic analysis using genomic data. Emphasis is on programming solutions to complex problems. Prerequisite: CS 220 with minimum grade of “C-”.

 CS 440 - Distributed Computing for Machine Learning and Data Analysis (3 cred.)

A programming intensive introduction to distributed computing with attention to applications in machine learning and data analysis. Topic includes distributed sequential analysis methods, distributed Markov model-based methods, and distributed support vector machine-based methods. Prerequisite: CS 303 or CS 365 with a minimum grade of “C-”.

 MATH 151 - Calculus I (4 cred.)

A study of differential calculus, including limits, continuous functions, Intermediate Value Theorem, tangents, linear approximation, inverse functions, implicit differentiation, extreme values and the Mean Value Theorem. This course also introduces Integral calculus including anti-derivatives, definite integrals, and the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. Prerequisite: ACT math score of 27 or above; SAT math score of 630 or above; MATH 141 with a minimum grade of C-; or Accuplacer university-level mathematics test with a score of 95 or above. GT-MA1

Faculty & Staff


Marc Rubin, Ph.D. headshot
Assistant Professor of Computer Science
Phone: 970.943.2802
Office Location: Hurst Hall 212


Program-Based Scholarships

John Peterson Memorial Scholarship In Computer Science


  • Students majoring in Computer Information Science
  • Completed a minimum of 12 credit hours at Western, 3 of which can be applied toward their majors
  • Must have minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Plan on enrolling in at least nine credits


This scholarship is provided by Stephen Watson.

Amount: $500

Selected by: Math and Computer Science Scholarship Committee


Contact the Mathematics & Computer Science Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2015 | Hurst Hall 128

Institutional Scholarships

Common Scholarships

Western offers approximately 70 common scholarships for which a wide variety of students are eligible (e.g., locals, veterans, transfers). Apply for any number of these common scholarships using Western’s Common Scholarship Application, which is due April 1. For more information, visit our scholarships page.

Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

Western Colorado University alumni can nominate prospective students for a $500 scholarship ($250 per semester) for first year only. Application deadline is typically June 1. For more information, visit

Neighboring States Program

Students with a permanent address from one of the seven contiguous neighboring states to Colorado who have demonstrated financial need are automatically considered for a special $1,000 per year grant, totaling $4,000 over four years.

The Western Neighboring States program can be added to WUE, CP or merit scholarships. So, if you are a permanent resident of one of those seven states—and show financial need—you are eligible.

For more information about the Neighboring States program, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Presidential Promise

The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.

Tuition Discount Programs

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Western Merit Scholarship

Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student's GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship. 

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.

Get Involved

A college education is more than just taking courses. Meet new people, apply your skills and stretch beyond your comfort zone. Make your education an experience.

  • Independent Projects: Students have worked on projects such as facial recognition software, a gesture-controlled quadcopter, machine learning, Android apps, an online guided tour, commercial websites and self-guiding vehicles.
  • Information Technology Services: Many Computer Science students work for the Western IT Department, keeping student and university computers and networks running smoothly.
  • Internships: Students have gotten internships with Lockheed Martin, Amazon, Raytheon, Dell, Northrop Grumman and other companies large and small. Computer Science internships pay well and very often lead directly to a permanent job.

Data science is a rapidly growing field that provides new ways of understanding anything that can be captured in digital form. Data scientists use computer science, statistics, mathematics and creative design to analyze data sets in search of solutions for complex problems. Contrasting with data analytics, data science is a broader field that focuses on asking questions, writing algorithms and building statistical models.

The Data Science emphasis is built on a Computer Science foundation of programming, database management, web development and software engineering. Students supplement their core courses with advanced computer science and math courses in data analytics, machine learning, distributed computing, calculus and statistics.

The Data Science minor begins with core Computer Science I and II courses then opens up to a selection of upper-division Computer Science electives. Students must take 12 elective credits but may customize their selection depending on what their specific interests are. This track has a lower math requirement and is ideal for students who wish to add technical data science skills to a major in another discipline.

Learn More

Reach out for more information about the program.

Professor of Mathematics, Chair of the Department of Mathematics & Computer Science
Office Location: 
Hurst Hall 210

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