Astronomy + Data Science, BSLAS

for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts & Sciences Major in Astronomy plus Data Science

department website:

department faculty: Astronomy Faculty

advising: Astronomy advising

overview of college admissions & requirements: Liberal Arts & Sciences

college website:


The Department of Astronomy also offers a BSLAS in Computer Science & Astronomy

for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts & Sciences Major in Astronomy plus Data Science

Minimum required major and supporting course work normally equates to 62-66 hours
General education: Students must complete the Campus General Education requirements including the campus general education language requirement.
Twelve hours of 300 and 400-level courses must be taken on this campus.
Minimum hours required for graduation: 120 hours
Departmental distinction: To graduate with distinction requires a specified minimum grade point average in all Computer Science, Statistics, Information Science, and Mathematics courses listed below. A GPA of 3.25 is required for Distinction, 3.5 for High Distinction, and 3.75 for Highest Distinction. 

Required Data Science Core28-31
Mathematical Foundations
MATH 220Calculus4-5
or MATH 221 Calculus I
Linear Algebra: Select one of the following (MATH 227 or MATH 257 is recommended)2-4
Linear Algebra for Data Science
Linear Algebra with Computational Applications
Introductory Matrix Theory
Applied Linear Algebra
Data Science Fundamentals
STAT/CS/IS 107Data Science Discovery4
STAT 207Data Science Exploration4
CS 307Modeling and Learning in Data Science4
Computational Fundamentals
CS 277Algorithms and Data Structures for Data Science4
Ethics and Responsibility in Data Science
IS 467Ethics and Policy for Data Science3
IS 477Data Management, Curation & Reproducibility3
Required Astronomy Coursework31-32
PHYS 211University Physics: Mechanics4
PHYS 212University Physics: Elec & Mag4
PHYS 213Univ Physics: Thermal Physics2
PHYS 214Univ Physics: Quantum Physics2
MATH 231Calculus II3
MATH 241Calculus III4
ASTR 210Introduction to Astrophysics3
ASTR 310Computing in Astronomy3
Advanced Astronomy Courses - Select two courses from the following:6-7
Stellar Astrophysics
Planetary Systems
Galaxies and the Universe
Astronomical Techniques
Research or Discovery Experience3
Individual Study
Senior Thesis
One of the most important skills a student will gain in an Astronomy & Data Science degree will be the ability to present astronomical data in meaningful ways. A research or discovery experience is as much as pillar of this degree program as both the data science core coursework (Part 1) and the coursework in Astronomy (Part 2).
This experience should be developed with an advisor before the end of a student’s sophomore year and result in the creation of one or more artifacts documenting the experience. A minimum of 3 credit hours must be specifically designated to the preparation and the completion of the experience component.
Examples of possible experiences may include:
● A semester study-abroad with at one or more courses focused on discovery while attending the international institution.
● A multi-semester capstone experience within the student’s area of specialization.
● A semester co-op experience outside Champaign-Urbana focused on a subject within the student’s area of specialization.
● A multi-semester undergraduate research experience under the direction of Illinois faculty.
● A summer NSF REU program focused within a student’s area of specialization.
Total Hours62-66