Data Science

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
    • Minor
    • Emphasis

    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.


    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

    Early Action Credit

    If a student is accepted to Western by Nov. 1 and qualifies for a merit scholarship, the student will receive an additional $500 for the first year. Use our Net Price Calculator to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

    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

    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

    Faculty & Staff


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

    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.

    Careers & Opportunities

    Students will have a wealth of opportunities to pursue research projects that will prepare them for professional work right after graduation. Entry-level data scientists earn around $100,000 per year and work in areas as diverse as text analysis, signal analysis and genome analysis.

    Past student projects are as diverse as the field itself. Research topics have included developing gene predictors for genome analysis, Twitter-feed analysis for public opinion surveying, signal analysis for nanopore detectors, text analysis such as for polysemy detection in the writings of Machiavelli and analysis of iambic pentameter in works of Shakespeare and others.

    Learn More

    Reach out to Robert A. Cohen, Ph.D. for more information.