Data Science

The data science program prepares students for inter-disciplinary careers related to computing and big data. Students are trained for both professional careers and graduate studies. A minor in data science may be taken in combination with any other major. 

Denise BuligaDenise Buliga (Class 2019)

  • Major: Business Administration
  • Minor: Data Science
  • Career: Intel Corporation, California

"My name is Denise Buliga and I am a senior graduating from Fisk University with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Business Administration (Accounting Concentration) and a Minor in Data Science. I am so thankful to be studying at an institution that values woman empowerment in technical fields, such as computer science and data science. ... Read more

Photo of US Map and Genome Intro

Students Presenting at Annual Fisk Research Symposium 

Students Presenting at Annual Fisk Research Symposium

 Students Celebrating Holi (Color Festival) with International Students

Students Celebrating Holi (Color Festival) with International Students

The goals of the program in data science are designed to produce graduates who can:

  • successfully qualify for positions in data science, computer science, information technology, lab technicians, and research scientists; entry into graduate schools in data science, computer and information sciences and technologies; entry into the workforce as data scientists, software engineers, and data analysts;
  • enter other professions that require a background in computer science or computer technology;
  • teach computer-related subject matter to individuals at the post-secondary level; and
  • become productive citizens who contribute to the welfare and development of their communities through their career activities.

Students who complete the major in data science will:

  • Have knowledge of the conceptual framework of the major branches of computer science.
  • Be able to apply the computer science theoretical principles to problems using the appropriate data structures and algorithms.
  • Be able to work effectively in Windows, Unix/Linux, MacOs operating systems.
  • Be able to program effectively with high-level programming languages.
  • Be able to apply the necessary technical skills that are fundamental to experimental data science.
  • Have a fundamental understanding of the relationship of computer science and mathematics to another partner discipline.
  • Be aware of the role of data and computationl thinking in society.

Data Science is an interdisciplinary field of scientific methods, processes, and systems to extract knowledge or insights from data. Virtually every area of our society is generating considerable data:  social networking, business platforms, health care and personalized/precision medicine, digital humanities for literature and historical ‘excavation’, defense and security, manufacturing and supply chain, climate change forecasting, as examples. However, without data management, curation, analysis and visualization – these data do not inform new insights.

The CORE Curriculum (37 – 42 credits) provides broad understanding of cultures, history, and the development of effective communication skills that are fostered in a liberal arts environment. In addition to CORE requirements, students complete 58-60 credits in three (3) areas: Computational Thinking, Mathematics-Statistics and Partner Discipline (e.g. Psychology, Biology, Political Science, or Business Administration). The minor requires 20-22 cr. in Computational Thinking and Statistics.

As Data Science has strong interdisciplinary focus, there are several options for a Joint Major with Data Science: Biology, Business Administration, English, History, Psychology, Political Science, Mathematics, Sociology, etc.

We have strong focus on project-based learning and interdisciplinary research. Students are engaged in research from freshmen year and participate in Annual Fisk Research Symposium and national conferences.

Students Presenting at Annual Fisk Research Symposium

Students Presenting at Annual Fisk Research Symposium

The Career Services Department trains students for competitive internships. Fisk students (with computing background) have obtained internships and full-time jobs at companies such as Google, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, IBM, Intel, Oracle, Goldman Sachs, etc.

Google-In-Residence

Google In Residence

The Google In Residence (GIR) program was founded by Google in 2013 with the mission to grow and support a more representative pipeline for the tech industry. A Google engineer serves as a visiting lecturer for the introductory computing course. The GIR instructor brings an industry perspective to campus, and works with the community to develop a strong curriculum, to support students in their internship and job search, and to grow student engagement in technical fields.

Occupations for Data Science

Computer and Information Research Scientists; Social Science Research Assistants; Life, Physical, and Social Science Technicians; Bioinformatics Scientists; Space Scientists; Forensic Science Technicians; Remote Sensing Scientists and Technologists. Check O*NET OnLine for jobs.

Students Celebrating Holi (Color Festival) with International Students

Students Celebrating Holi (Color Festival) with International Students

Community Building

Students are engaged in several social and technical activities. The Computer Science Social Club organizes Hackathons, technical workshops, and entertainment events. Similarly, students are engaged in activities related to ACM and NSBE chapters.

Contact Information

Sajid Hussain

For more information, please contact Sajid Hussain, PhD, Discipline Coordinator of Data Science.

  • Email:
  • Phone: (615) 329-8524
  • Office: 321 Park Johnson Hall
  • Address: Fisk University, 1000 17th Ave. North, Nashville,TN 37208

 

Balance Sheets

  1. B.A. & Joint Majors
  2. B.S.
  3. Minor
  4. Dual Degree
  5. Pre-Med & Allied Health

Requirements for the data science major are 58-60 credits, in addition to the University degree requirements are:

 Required computer science coursework  28 credits, including:

Course NumberCourse Name
Computational Thinking Foundation (12 credits)
CSCI 110/110-LIntroduction to Computer Science I (and Lab)
CSCI 120/120-LIntroduction to Computer Science II (and Lab)
CSCI 241Data Structures & Algorithms
Advanced Computer Science Courses (12 credits)
CSCI 280Mathematical Modeling
CSCI 312Database Management
CSCI 380Machine Learning
Seminar Courses (4 credits)
CSCI 201/202Sophomore Seminar
CSCI 301/202Junior Seminar
CSCI 410Senior Seminar

Mathematics and Statistics courses (12 credits):

Course NumberCourse Name
MATH 120Calculus I, or equivalent
MATH CourseApproved by the advisor
Any one course in statistics.
NSCI 360Statistics, or
MATH 390Bio-Statistics, or
BAD 260 Applied Statistics, or
HSS 280Statistics for the Social Science Research

Mathematics requirement--in lieu of the CORE mathematics course , data science majors take MATH  and other prerequisites as appropriate according to placement test results.

Major Electives (18-20 cr.)

18-20 credit hours (approved by the advisor) of any major: Biology, Business Admin., English, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, etc.

A few sample joint majors are given below: 

Psychology + Data Science (Joint Major)

Course NumberCourse Name
PSY 180General Psychology
PSY 262Learning and Cognition
PSY 221Intro to Personality
PSY 310Exp/Quasi-Exp Research
PSY 341Social Psychology
PSY 481Senior Seminar

Political Science + Data Science (Joint Major)

Course NumberCourse Name
PSCI 111Introduction to Political Science
PSCI 122American Political System (CORE Group E)
PSCI 221International Politics
PSCI 231Classical Political Theory
PSCI 254Black Community Politics
PSCI 305Constitutional Law

Mathematics + Data Science (Joint Major)

Course NumberCourse Name
MATH 125Discrete Math
MATH 130Calculus II
MATH 240Linear Algebra
MATH 270Ordinary Differential Equations
MATH 390Scientific Computing

Requirements for the data science major are 58-60 credits, in addition to the University degree requirements are:

 Required computer science coursework  28 credits, including:

Course NumberCourse Name
Computational Thinking Foundation (12 credits)
CSCI 110/110-LIntroduction to Computer Science I (and Lab)
CSCI 120/120-LIntroduction to Computer Science II (and Lab)
CSCI 241Data Structures & Algorithms
Advanced Computer Science Courses (12 credits)
CSCI 280Mathematical Modeling
CSCI 312Database Management
CSCI 380Machine Learning
Seminar Courses (4 credits)
CSCI 201/202Sophomore Seminar
CSCI 301/202Junior Seminar
CSCI 410Senior Seminar

Mathematics and Statistics (20 credits):

Course NumberCourse Name
MATH 120Calculus I
MATH 130Calculus II
MATH 125Discrete Mathematics
MATH 240Linear Algebra
Any one course in statistics.
NSCI 360Statistics, or
MATH 390Bio-Statistics, or
BAD 260 Applied Statistics, or
HSS 280Statistics for the Social Science Research

Mathematics requirement--in lieu of the CORE mathematics course , data science majors take MATH and other prerequisites as appropriate according to placement test results.

Major Electives (10-12 cr.)

10-12 credit hours (approved by the advisor) of any major: Biology, Business Admin., English, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, etc.

Sample Courses for Psychology and Business Administration are given below.

Psychology

Course NumberCourse Name
PSY 262 Learning and Cognition
PSY 310 Exp/Quasi-Exp Research
PSY 221 Intro to Personality

Business Administration

Course NumberCourse Name
MGT 280Management Principles
MGT 330Production Operations
MGT 380Entrepreneurial Development

The minor in data science is available to any student who is not majoring in data science/computer science.

The program requires the successful completion (grade of "C" or better) of 22-24 semester hours of courses in computer science, including:

Course NumberCourse Name
CSCI 110/110-LIntroduction to Computer Science I (and Lab)
CSCI 120/120-LIntroduction to Computer Science II (and Lab)
CSCI 241Data Structures and Algorithms

Any one course in statistics.

Course NumberCourse Name
NSCI 360Statistics, or
MATH 390Bio-Statistics, or
BAD 260 Applied Statistics, or
HSS 280Statistics for the Social Science Research

Electives (6 - 8 credits)

Course NumberCourse Name
CSCI 280Mathematical Modeling
CSCI 380Machine Learning
Or, any other course approved by the advisor

Arnold Burger

The Fisk-Vanderbilt Dual Degree program is a 3+2, five-year program that allows a student to earn both a Bachelor's Degree in science from Fisk plus a Bachelor's Degree from Vanderbilt in engineering.

For more information, please contact Dr. Arnold Burger, .


Phyllis Freeman, PhD 

For Pre-Medical and other allied health professions (Nursing, Pharmacy, etc.), students can do a joint major of Data Science and Biology, or Data Science with another related discipline.

Contact Dr. Phyllis Freeman,  for more information.