Interdisciplinary Data Science


iCLA’s Interdisciplinary Data Science major aims to equip students with skills that will be increasingly essential skills in our 21st century. Within the context of a liberal arts education, Data Science transcends technicalities, nurturing critical thinking and problem-solving capabilities. The study of Data Science acts as a unifying force, bridging diverse disciplines and offering an interdisciplinary lens to approach real-world challenges. The curriculum of iCLA’s Interdisciplinary Data Science major has been carefully crafted to address the growing demand for professionals well-versed in data analytics while emphasizing ethical considerations in data utilization. We integrate Data Analytics techniques with Domain Knowledge, offering distinct pathways in Data Science for Finance, Data Science for Psychology, and Data Science for Political Economy.

"Taking an interdisciplinary approach in my studies has been instrumental in shaping my understanding of data science and its applications to broad contexts.iCLA’s Data Science courses not only equipped me with technical skills but also fostered a deep appreciation for the intersection of data science with other disciplines. The practical insights I gained from tackling real-world applications and the collaborative nature of the coursework have proven invaluable in my professional endeavors.

Currently as a graduate student, I find myself applying the knowledge and methodologies I learned in iCLA’s classes to address complex challenges in my research. Taking an interdisciplinary perspective has undoubtedly enriched my problem-solving skills and allowed me to approach issues with a comprehensive mindset. I believe the Interdisciplinary Data Science program will be a cornerstone for students aspiring to make a meaningful impact in the world."



Why study Interdisciplinary Data Science?

Delving into Interdisciplinary Data Science at iCLA will provide you with a holistic education. We go beyond technical proficiency by offering specialized pathways in Data Science for Finance, Political Economy and Psychology. You will gain insights into human behavior, societal structures, and political dynamics, enriching your analytical skills. This interdisciplinary approach prepares you for careers where navigating data and its implications in diverse contexts is essential. It is a unique blend of data expertise and a broader understanding of the complexities that shape our world.

What will I study?

As you progress through the curriculum, you will have a clear roadmap to guide your academic journey. The curriculum is structured into three main levels: Introductory Courses, Core Courses, and Advanced Courses. The major culminates with you undertaking the Seminar and Graduate Research Project. Each section encompasses Data Science courses, which delve into Programming, Mathematics, and Statistics, and area studies courses, which determine the specific study path, focusing on Finance, Political Economy or Psychology. In your final Graduate Research Project you will apply the knowledge and skills acquired throughout the program to an area of research you choose.

Course Structure

  • Academic Reading Across Disciplines

  • Composition 1

  • Composition 2

  • Expository Research Writing

  • Foundation for College Success

  • Modern World History

  • Japanese Language 1

  • Japanese Language 2

  • Internship (optional)

  • Coding Bootcamp: Python

  • College Algebra

  • Data Visualization Techniques in Python

  • Introduction to Computer Science

  • Introduction to Data Science

  • Introduction to Python Programming

  • Machine Learning

  • Mathematics for Data Science

  • Science, Society & Self

  • Statistics

  • The Art & Science of Decision-Making in an Era of Accelerating Change

  • Graduate Research Project

  • Accounting

  • Econometrics

  • Financial Management

  • Investment

  • Introduction to Fintech: Reshaping the Financial World

  • Portfolio Management

  • Risk Management

  • Introduction to Political Science

  • Microeconomics

  • Political Economy of Development

  • Political Economy of Trade and Industrial Policy

  • Introduction to Psychology

  • Social Psychology

  • Economic Psychology

  • Cyberpsychology

  • Consumer Psychology

  • Research Design

  • Methods of Social Research

  • Marketing

  • Fundamentals of Sound and Music

  • Introduction to Language Concepts

  • Sociolinguistics

  • Macroeconomics

  • Non Profit/Social Enterprise Management

*Each student should complete the compulsory courses of the common curriculum within their first year and a half of studies, and can take major courses simultaneously. In addition to the courses listed above, iCLA students can choose from a wide variety of electives from the other majors, or from our courses in Data Science, Quantitative Reasoning, Japanese Language and Health and Physical Education. Students will need to pass Japanese Language 2 or pass an exemption test demonstrating equivalent Japanese language ability in order to graduate.

Study Abroad Partners

All students are eligible to apply for either one or two semesters of study abroad at one of iCLA’s 60+ partner universities. The study abroad program does not extend the length of your degree as most credits earned can be transferred towards your graduation requirement. All of our exchange partnerships are based on mutual tuition fee waiver. Below are some of the partners most suited to our Interdisciplinary Data Science major students.

What can I do next?

After completing our major in Interdisciplinary Data Science with Finance, Political Economy or Psychology, you will be equipped with an adaptable skill set that opens doors to various opportunities. The interdisciplinary background opens diverse career pathways, allowing you to contribute meaningfully to a wide variety of sectors. Some examples of career pathways include:

  • Work as a data analyst or scientist, applying analytical skills to solve problems in financial, political or psychological contexts.
  • Pursue a Masters or Ph.D. in Data Science, Finance, Political Economy, Psychology, or related fields for in-depth expertise.
  • Engage in research projects that explore the intersection of Data Science with Finance, Political Economy or Psychology.
  • Contribute to policy analysis using data-driven insights in the political landscape.
  • Provide consultancy services, offering data-driven solutions to businesses or governmental organizations.
  • Collaborate with nonprofits, leveraging data for social impact and change.
  • Share knowledge by becoming educators, teaching Data Science or related subjects.
  • Start ventures focusing on data-driven solutions for financial, political or psychological challenges.
  • Apply data insights in public relations to understand public sentiment or political trends.
  • Combine writing skills with data expertise to work in data journalism, explaining complex issues through data visualizations.

Our Interdisciplinary Data Science Faculty

Message from the Program Coordinator, Professor Abhishek Parida

“In today’s digital age, vast amounts of data are generated across various fields. Understanding Data Science allows individuals to make sense of this data, derive insights, and make informed decisions. With the increasing relevance of Data Science across diverse sectors in our society, there arises a necessity for a course structure that is pertinent and adaptive to the evolving lifestyle, which is the real reason why introducing Data Science at an early stage is crucial to demonstrate its practical application in solving everyday problems. Apart from its evident significance in scientific fields, there is a growing necessity to educate and build a workforce capable of comprehending its practical implications. Furthermore, the remarkable impact of data in shaping our world is phenomenal, and future discoveries will depend significantly on various forms of data analysis. A need for more individuals skilled in data analytics and related fields is emerging. To be part of this transformative era, one can acquaint themselves with the fundamental workings and principles of data science.”

Dr. Abhishek Parida

Dr. Abhishek Parida

Specialization: Computer Science, Gravitational Wave Physics, Data Science