Study Computer Science and Data Science at the University of Montana

Earn your degree in computer science at UM and gain the knowledge and skills to join an exciting, vibrant and constantly evolving field — and land an exciting well-paid job after graduation. 

Data science is a degree concentration focused on the mathematical and software skills needed for state-of-the-art statistical approaches used in machine learning — methods key to analyzing web traffic, building facial recognition systems, and predicting weather and other dynamic phenomena.

As a data science major, you’ll learn from faculty respected in their field who are engaged with student outcomes and highly available. Hands-on learning is key to the program — you’ll also participate in research and internship opportunities that help hone your analytical and real-world skills.


Data Scientist has been named "Best Job in America" by Glassdoor


of UM computer science alumni are working in a field related to their program of study


estimated average salary of UM graduates with a bachelor's in data science

Other data science program options

What can you do with a computer science degree?

The growth of Big Data has driven the demand for data scientists. Today, data science is used in various industries, including business, marketing and finance. Thanks to the data science degree program at UM—one of the first in the nation—employers interested in making data-informed predictions find graduates capable of solving these problems from the date of hire.

Data science majors who wish to further their education also seek out a bachelor’s degree in mathematics or a minor in mathematics, a bachelor’s in mathematics-computer science, or physics and economics.

Data science jobs

Students who develop strong proficiency in this field can enjoy numerous scientific opportunities, like a recent UM Computer Science graduate who was hired as a full-time engineer working on scientific software in Travis Wheeler’s research group. Another graduate recently accepted a full-time position as a programmer in scientific computing. Another received an early career prize from the International Association of Cryospheric Sciences.

Data science majors can find positions as:

  • Software engineer
  • Network administrator
  • Data analyst
  • Computer programmer

Data science salaries

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for data scientists is $103,930.

Video: Computer Science Graduate Program

Students in UM’s Computer Science discuss the relevance of Computer Science to various pressing social and environmental concerns.

“Classes were very well structured, included a variety of useful information, had useful homework and tests, and the lectures were engaging and enthusiastic. You could really tell these professors knew what they were talking about.”

Experiential learning in the data science degree program

Data science is something that’s put into practice, not just learned — that’s why experiential learning at UM is part of every data science major’s journey. Internships and research opportunities enable students to have practical, hands-on experience they can take into life after college.

Internships for computer science majors

The machine learning and data analysis skills gained during your training as a computer science major are key for internships in local and national tech firms. At the end of the internship, you take away practical application that can give you a jump on the competition as you pursue your career.

Undergraduate research experiences for the bachelor's in computer science

Research is a large part of UM’s legacy. Douglas Brinkerhoff was part of a consortium awarded a grant worth over $1M to study an Alaskan glacier. This research has funded Computer Science students and will continue to do so. Jesse Johnson was recently a Fulbright scholar to Namibia. He has recently uncovered a novel approach for numerically solving the famous Bernoulli curves of steepest descent, a classic mathematics problem encountered by Newton and other visionaries in history.

We offer this same opportunity to data science majors—providing paid research opportunities with scientists in their respective fields as well as with faculty. Students also have research opportunities across UM departments and disciplines. In addition, they have access to a large, research-oriented computer cluster available to all researching students.

Career development in the bachelor’s in computer science

UM has proudly built a cutting-edge interdisciplinary program with top businesses to prepare graduates for the jobs of the future.

Student clubs such as the Computer Science Club, Women in Computing, and the University of Montana Computer Science Club, also help foster strong relationships and networks that could net out in possible job opportunities in the future.

You’ll also work with the best. The founder of the program in Math, for instance, wrote the first data science textbook, which is used in our courses. It introduces you to the blend of math and statistics used to study large data sets and the more nitty gritty techniques used in "data cleaning.”

Scholarships for data science majors

At UM, we want to do everything we can to make your experience with us rewarding—that includes helping you pay for tuition or other costs. We offer a number of scholarships, including the JR Scholarship for $10,000 per year. Learn more about scholarship opportunities for data science majors.

Data science degree requirements

You’ll find the courses in data science both fascinating and useful, covering such topics as Practical Big Data Analytics, Real-Time Analytics and Marketing Analytics. You’ll learn the foundational methods, e.g., convolutional neural networks exascale language models, and random forests, used in modern statistics and data analysis.

View all classes for the bachelor’s degree in data science.