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Graduate Students

Advanced Data Science Option

Grad students conferencingThe Advanced Data Science option prepares the next generation of thought leaders to both apply new data science methods and build new data science tools. It recognizes Ph.D. students whose thesis work focuses specifically on advanced data science tools and provides an advanced education to students who will push the state-of-the-art in data science methods, such as developing new machine learning methods.

Students enrolled in this option can expect to interact with students in similar programs in genome sciences, statistics, oceanography, computer science & engineering and astronomy.

The Advanced Data Science option is an official UW degree option which will be part of your degree title and appear on your transcript.


The Advanced Data Science Option overlays our standard course requirements. In other words, students must satisfy the universal requirements (see the PhD Handbook pp. 32-33), in addition to the Data Science Option requirements (PhD Handbook pp. 34-35). The latter impose some extra constraints on course selection. However, note that some of the required data science courses will substitute for other, standard required courses.

Course requirements

1. Students must take three out of the four following courses:

            Data Management: CSE 544 - Scientific Computing

            Machine Learning: CSE 546 or STAT 535 - Scientific Computing

            Data Visualization: CSE 512 - Scientific Computing

            Statistics: STAT 509 or sequence of STAT 512 and 513 - Math & Statistics

2. STAT 509 or STAT 512 and 513 can substitute for the Chem E Math & Statistics requirement that most students fill with Chem E 512. CSE 544, CSE 546, STAT 535 and CSE 512 can all substitute for Chem E 465 A to help satisfy the Course Breadth Requirement (PhD Handbook p. 32) in the area of Scientific Computing and Simulation.

3. eScience Community Seminar
To further expand students’ education and create a campus-wide community, students will register for at least 4 quarters in the weekly eScience Community Seminar.

4. eScience Institute
Students interested in data science should also check out other activities that we are carrying out in the eScience InstituteThe eScience Community Seminar is one of those activities. Other relevant activities include various tool and method-oriented workshops as well as speaker series. Visit for more information. 

In addition, the track complements the activities of the eScience Institute  and leverages ongoing activities associated with the Moore/Sloan Foundation Data Driven Discovery Initiative, involving the University of Washington, New York University and the University of California, Berkeley.


ChemE Ph.D. students who choose to enroll in the Advanced Data Science Option must have approval of their research advisor. Email this approval to the Graduate Program Manager Barry Wall. There is no additional admission procedure.

If you have any questions about the Advanced Data Science Option, please email Prof. David Beck (