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Bachelor of Science in Information and Data Sciences California Institute of Technology



Course info


The information and data sciences are concerned with the acquisition, storage, communication, processing, and analysis of data. These intellectual activities have a long history, and Caltech has traditionally occupied a position of strength with faculty spread out across applied mathematics, electrical engineering, computer science, mathematics, physics, astronomy, economics, and many others disciplines. In the last decade, there has been a rapid increase in the rate at which data are acquired with the objective of extracting actionable knowledge -- in the form of scientific models and predictions, business decisions, and public policies. From a technological perspective, this rapid increase in the availability of data creates numerous challenges in acquisition, storage, and subsequent analysis. More fundamentally, humans cannot deal with such a volume of data directly, and it is increasingly essential that we automate the pipeline of information processing and analysis. All areas of human endeavor are affected: science, medicine, engineering, manufacturing, logistics, the media, entertainment. The range of scenarios that concern a scientist in this domain are very broad -- from situations in which the available data are nearly infinite (big data), to those in which the data are sparse and precious; from situations in which computation is, for all practical purposes, an infinite resource to those in which it is critical to respond rapidly and computation must thus be treated as a precious resource; from situations in which the data are all available at once to those in which they are presented as a stream.

As such, the information and data sciences now draw not just upon traditional areas spanning computer science, applied mathematics, and electrical engineering -- signal processing, information and communication theory, control and decision theory, probability and statistics, algorithms -- but also a range of new contemporary topics such as machine learning, network science, distributed systems, and neuroscience. The result is an area that is new, fundamentally different that related areas like computer science and statistics, and that is crucial to modern applications in the physical sciences, social sciences, and engineering.

The Information and Data Science (IDS) option is unabashedly mathematical, focusing on the foundations of the information and data sciences, across its roots in probability, statistics, linear algebra, and signal processing. These fields all contribute crucial components of data science today. Further, it takes advantage of the interdisciplinary nature of Caltech by including a required set of application courses where students will learn about how data touches science and engineering broadly. The flexibility provided by this sequence allows students to see data science in action in biology, economics, chemistry, and beyond.

Course options

Here are the different ways in which you can study Bachelor of Science in Information and Data Sciences.

Full Time (4 years)

Tuition fees

$52,506.00 (37,25,589) per year


01-Oct-19, 06-Jan-20, 30-Mar-20, 29-Sep-20


Division of Engineering and Applied Science

1200 East California Blvd,



91125, United States

Entry requirement for international students

International citizens must have completed Caltech's required academic preparation during their secondary school career.

Academic Preparation Requirements

4 years of math (including calculus)
1 year of physics
1 year of chemistry
3 years of English (4 years recommended)
1 year of U.S. history/government (waived for students in schools outside the U.S.)

Additional requirements of our international citizen applicants: TOEFL scores: Required of all international citizens unless 1) your native language is English or 2) you have studied for two or more years in a school where English is the language of instruction.

California Institute of Technology*

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* Please check with your chosen school for the exact entry requirements for your programme.

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