- U of A
- Data Science
The First-Year Data Science Program is designed to help first year students build a solid foundation for their data science education. All new students take a common set of data science foundation courses. These classes will help students understand the foundations of data science and guide them to decide on a concentration at the end of their first year.
First- Year Data Science is more than just a set of classes. It also provides orientation, peer mentoring, academic advising, basic career advising, and academic skills development.
Peer Mentoring is a form of mentorship that takes place between a person who has lived through a specific experience and a person who is new to that experience. In the case of Peer Mentoring in the First-Year Data Science Program (FYDS), your Peer Mentor will be an upperclassmen Data Science student who will have experienced many of the challenges, obstacles, and experiences that await you. Your Peer Mentor will be a resource for you in the realms of FYDS, the University of Arkansas, college level academics, and the overall transition to college life.
Peer Mentor meetings will consist of some specific topics, typically ones that prove useful for most first-year students. These topics are geared towards helping you better transition not only academically to a university setting, but also professionally and socially. But what if these topics are not useful for you specifically? Then we encourage you to take charge of the conversation with your mentor. What do you want to know about FYDS, the University of Arkansas, or college life in general? Do you know all the ways of bolstering your resume? Do you know when you should start including things such as internships, study abroad, or campus organization involvement? There are so many things you and your mentor can discuss, but it is up to you to make the most of this time together.
- Understanding Blackboard/UASuccess/UAConnect/Outlook/Other tips and tricks to the UofA online tools and apps
- Interacting with instructor/professors: the benefits and when to start
- Resume review
- How to survive your first year of college
- Study Abroad/Internship/Research
- Keeping up with personal wellness and time management at college
Peer Mentoring is a required component of your DASC courses (1001/1011 in the Fall & 1222 in the Spring). As such, your weekly meetings with your Peer Mentor will count as a grade towards your DASC course. Failure to meet with your Peer Mentor will result in the loss of points that week, with each meeting being roughly a percentage point of your overall DASC grade.
FYDS and the University of Arkansas place a lot of value in the Peer Mentoring program, as such we expect you to treat this opportunity with sincerity and respect. It might be a mandatory process, but it is one that we have seen work, when utilized effectively by students.
If you are experiencing issues with your Peer Mentor or your meetings, please do not hesitate to contact the coordinator for the program, Ms. Lee Shoultz. She oversees not only the Peer Mentors but also the placement and specifics of the process. She would be more than happy to discuss with you any concerns you have and help you reach a resolution. If you have not heard from your Peer Mentor by the first week of classes in either the Fall or Spring semester, please first check your Spam Folder and then contact Lee Shoultz immediately.
Data scientists make sense of huge sets of data to help businesses, governments, nonprofits and other organizations make smarter decisions. The university's interdisciplinary Bachelor of Science in Data Science will prepare students for a successful career in data science with a strategic skill set, including the ability to:
- Use and apply state-of-the-art technologies for data representation, retrieval, manipulation, storage, governance, understanding, analysis, privacy, and security.
- Develop descriptive, predictive and prescriptive models to abstract complex systems and organizational problems, and to use computational methods to draw data-supported conclusions.
- Use foundational knowledge and apply critical thinking skills to identify and solve problems, make decisions, and visualize data, all with an awareness of societal and ethical impacts.
- Adapt analytics concepts to interpret and communicate findings and implications to senior decision-makers.
- Work effectively in an interdisciplinary team and transfer findings between knowledge domains and to others with no domain experience.
- Communicate using technical and non-technical language in writing and verbally.
We are excited to welcome you to the Data Science Program – the first interdisciplinary major at the University of Arkansas. We have designed an online orientation to teach you about Data Science, the classes you will take this fall, and resources to prepare you for your virtual one-on-one advising appointment and the start of your first semester.
Parents and supporters, we encourage you to watch the orientation videos and read through the Student Guidebook with your student. We have a Parent Guidebook that will share ways and resources to support your student during orientation and in the fall. While your student has selected an interdisciplinary major, they are able to take advantage of resources in all three colleges. The College of Engineering Academic Coach has prepared a video just for parents and family.
Our orientation videos, guidebooks, FAQs and website will help answer many of your questions. You will have the opportunity to ask questions during your advising appointment – be sure to keep a list of questions. If you still need assistance, send us an email from your UARK account to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your student ID number along with your questions or concerns.
To get started,
- Make sure you have read through information and FAQs for Advising & Registration.
- Prepare for your one-on-one advising appointment by watching our orientation videos and completing the Pre-Advising Form.
PLEASE NOTE: A laptop will be required in order to complete the Data Science Program.
As you plan to attend your summer orientation session, you will need to complete the following steps to prepare for your one-on-one advising appointment. Write down questions you have. If they are not answered in the overview video or in the guidebooks please ask them at your appointment.
- Check your UARK email account. You will receive an email from UASuccess Calendar 5 days prior to your orientation session with your specific one-on-one advising appointment time. The email will contain information on your initial math placement based on ACT and SAT scores on file. You will use this information to complete the Fall Math Verification Form in Step 3.
- Watch the Orientation Overview video to learn about the Data Science Program and begin the orientation advising process.
- Complete the Fall Math Verification Form to determine your starting math class. Then you will watch the video below that pertains to your fall math class:
- Watch the State Minimum Core Requirements video to learn about the requirements specific for data science degrees.
- Watch the General Semester Information video to learn about credit hours, scholarship renewal requirements, FERPA 3rd Party Release, 8 semester degree completion program, and UAConnect notifications.
- Watch the Honors College video to learn more about joining the Honors College.
- Complete the Data Science Pre-Advising Form to provide your advisor with information necessary to prepare for your advising appointment and plan your fall schedule. This form should be completed at least 24 hours before your advising appointment.
- Read the Student Guidebook in its entirety prior to your one-on-one advising appointment.
- Familiarize yourself with UAConnect. You can view tips for help with UAConnect.
- Prepare the following to discuss with your academic advisor:
- Draft a list of questions you may have about courses, transfer credits, AP credits, and the First-Year Data Science program.
- Review the Data Science Laptop Requirement.
- Review your AP and transfer course credits to ensure scores have been sent to the University of Arkansas.
- Log in to UAConnect and look around. UAConnect is where you will enroll in the classes you discuss with your advisor.
Preparing for Your Advising Appointment
- You will receive an email from UASuccess with notes from your advising appointment.
- You will register for the courses indicated in your email. You can use the following
- Step by Step Instructions for UAConnect and Schedule Planner.
- Student UAConnect Help Center for help navigating the system
- Video example of Schedule Planner Basics
- Video example of Using Locks to narrow down classes in Schedule Planner
- Video example of Using Options to narrow down class sections in Schedule Planner
- Video example of DROP and SWAP features in UAConnect
- Video example of Enrolling in class in UAConnect without using Schedule Planner
- Once you have finished registering for fall classes, you need to complete the Peer Mentor Match Survey. You will need to have your schedule pulled up to complete the survey.
- Make sure you have submitted any transfer credit or test credit to the UofA.
Our orientation videos, guidebooks, FAQs and website will help answer many of your questions. If you still need assistance, send us an email from your UARK account to email@example.com. Include your student ID number along with your questions or concerns.
Data Science students will need a laptop from their very first introductory classes through their senior capstone Practicum. The following are the minimum specifications for your laptop:
- Intel Core i5 11th generation or newer processor OR Apple M1 Pro or newer processor
- Minimum 16 GB of memory
- Minimum 1 TB of solid-state storage (SSD)
- Rated battery life of 10 hours
- v14” LCD screen with a minimum resolution of 1920 x 1080
- Accidental damage and handling coverage for 3 years
- Wifi 5 or better
- Operating System: Ability to run the latest versions of Windows Pro Edition, macOS, or Linux
Many of the tools and software packages for Data Science have been developed on or for macOS. While the programs you need will run on Windows-based systems, if you are already a macOS user, we encourage you to stick with macOS. If you do not have a preference between Windows and macOS, then we recommend a macOS-based system. All software, beyond the Operating System, that you will need will be available through the University and in environments through your courses and labs. Note: Tablet devices such as Chromebooks, iPads, and Surfaces are NOT sufficient to meet the above requirements for stand-alone (local) processing, working memory, and data storage. If you have specific questions about the laptop requirement or specifications, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.