The aim of this degree is to provide students with technical skills and knowledge for rigorously investigating physical and social phenomena. The BS is a transformative approach that integrates science at George Mason University based on the combination of real-world computer science skills, data acquisition and analysis, scientific modeling, applied mathematics, and simulation. As an interdisciplinary STEM-designated program, this degree addresses the current central role of computation in the areas of "big data," modeling, and simulation. Graduates of the program will possess the computational, scientific, and mathematical skills necessary for participating effectively as members of the scientific simulation and data analysis groups that are of increasing importance in the federal and public sectors, and in high technology firms. Additionally, graduates of the program will be well prepared to pursue graduate studies.

Admissions

University-wide admissions policies can be found in the Undergraduate Admissions Policies section of this catalog.

To apply for this program, please complete the George Mason University Admissions Application.

Policies

Students must fulfill all Requirements for Bachelor's Degrees, including the Mason Core.

The university's writing intensive requirement for the major will be met upon successful completion of CDS 302 Scientific Data and Databases.

For policies governing all undergraduate programs, see AP.5 Undergraduate Policies.

Banner Code: SC-BS-CDS

Degree Requirements

Total credits: minimum 120

Students should refer to the Admissions & Policies tab for specific policies related to this program.

Core Required Courses

CDS 130Computing for Scientists3
CDS 151Data Ethics in an Information Society (Mason Core)1
CDS 230Modeling and Simulation I3
CDS 301Scientific Information and Data Visualization3
CDS 302Scientific Data and Databases 13
CDS 303Scientific Data Mining3
Total Credits16

Extended Core Courses

Select 18 credits from the following:18
Introduction to Computational and Data Sciences (Mason Core)
and Introduction to Computational and Data Sciences Lab (Mason Core)
Introduction to Computational Social Science
Introduction to Agent-based Modeling and Simulation
Introduction to Scientific Programming
Topics in Computational and Data Sciences
Introduction to Social Network Analysis (Mason Core)
Machine Learning Applications in Science
Modeling and Simulation II
Topics in Computational and Data Sciences
Computational Science Tools
Introduction to Scientific Programming
Total Credits18

Mathematics Courses

Select 10-11 credits from the following:10-11
Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (Mason Core)
Analytic Geometry and Calculus II
Discrete Mathematics I (Mason Core)
Linear Algebra
Numerical Analysis I
Total Credits10-11

Statistics Courses

Select 6 credits from the following:6
Introductory Statistics I (Mason Core)
Introductory Statistics II
Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists I
Probability for Engineers
Total Credits6

Science and Engineering Courses

Select 6 credits from either one of the following:6
Any course offered by the College of Science or the Volgenau School of Engineering.
Total Credits6

Mason Core and Elective Credits

In order to meet a minimum of 120 credits, this degree requires an additional 63-64 credits, which may be applied toward any remaining Mason Core requirements (outlined below), Requirements for Bachelor's Degrees, and elective courses. Students are strongly encouraged to consult with their advisors to ensure that they fulfill all requirements.

Elective Course Suggestions

CDS 410Numerical Analysis II3
or MATH 447 Numerical Analysis II
CDS 421Computational Data Science3
CDS 461Molecular Dynamics and Monte Carlo Simulations3
CDS 487Electronic Structure Computations3
CDS 490Directed Study and Research1-3
CDS 491Internship1-3
CDS 492Capstone in Data Science (Mason Core)3

Mason Core

Some Mason Core requirements may already be fulfilled by the major requirements listed above. Students are strongly encouraged to consult their advisors to ensure they fulfill all remaining Mason Core requirements.

Foundation Requirements
Written Communication (ENGH 101)3
Oral Communication3
Quantitative Reasoning3
Information Technology and Computing3
Exploration Requirements
Arts3
Global Understanding3
Literature3
Natural Science7
Social and Behavioral Sciences3
Western Civilization/World History3
Integration Requirements
Written Communications (ENGH 302)3
Writing-Intensive 13
Synthesis/Capstone 23
Total Credits40

Computational and Data Sciences, BS/Computational Science, Accelerated MS

Overview

This option enables enthusiastic, highly qualified, undergraduates to obtain the Computational and Data Sciences, BS and the Computational Science, MS within the accelerated time frame of five years. The program requires 144 credits total, allowing students to undertake graduate coursework during their final year in the bachelor's degree. Upon completion of this 144 credit BS/MS combined program, students are exceptionally well prepared for undertaking doctoral studies or entering the professional workforce.

For more detailed information, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Application Requirements

Applicants to all graduate programs at George Mason University must meet the admission standards and application requirements for graduate study as specified in the Graduate Admission Policies section of this catalog1. Application information for this Accelerated Master's program can be found on the Department of Computational and Data Sciences website. Applicants must have an overall undergraduate GPA of at least 3.00 and have completed at least 90 credits. Additionally, applicants will have completed the following courses with a GPA of 3.00 or better:

CDS 230Modeling and Simulation I3
CDS 205Introduction to Agent-based Modeling and Simulation3
or CDS 251 Introduction to Scientific Programming
CDS 301Scientific Information and Data Visualization3
CDS 302Scientific Data and Databases3
CDS 303Scientific Data Mining3
CDS 411Modeling and Simulation II3
Select one from the following:3
Molecular Dynamics and Monte Carlo Simulations
Directed Study and Research
Computational Science Tools
Total Credits21

Students must maintain an overall GPA of 3.00 or higher in graduate coursework and should consult with their faculty advisor to coordinate their academic goals within the modeling and simulation or data science emphases of the Computational Science, MS.

Reserve Graduate Credit

While in undergraduate status, a student may take a maximum of six graduate credits as reserve graduate credits and apply those credits to a master's program. Reserve graduate credits are not counted toward the 120 credits required in the undergraduate degree.

Bachelor's Degree (selected), Bioinformatics Management, Accelerated PSM

Overview

This degree option allows highly qualified George Mason University bachelor's students to earn a Bioinformatics Management, PSM degree in less time than if they had first graduated with a BS degree and then applied to the PSM program sequentially.

Admission and Processing Requirements

Students in the Biology, BS; Chemistry, BS; Computational and Data Sciences, BS; Neuroscience, BS; or Physics, BS with an overall GPA of at least 3.00 in their last 60 credits are welcome to apply to the Bioinformatics Management, PSM accelerated master's program. Applicants to this accelerated master's should have previously taken courses in molecular biology, computer science, calculus, physical chemistry, and statistics. Students with deficiencies in one or more of these areas may be required to take additional courses from the undergraduate curriculum.

The GRE requirement is waived for students accepted into this accelerated program.

By the beginning of the undergraduate student's senior year, they should submit a Graduate Application for Accelerated Master's Program form (obtained from the College of Science's Office of Academic and Student Affairs).

By at least the beginning of their senior year, students should seek out the Bioinformatics Management, PSM Program Director who will aid the student in choosing the appropriate graduate courses to take and help to prepare the student for graduate studies.

In their senior year, accelerated master's students must complete the two graduate courses indicated on their Accelerated Master's Program Application with a minimum grade of 3.00 in each course. They must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.00 in all coursework and in coursework applied to their major. In the semester specified on the application (around the completion and conferral of the undergraduate degree), students must submit the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition form (found on the Office of the University Registrar website) and will subsequently be admitted into graduate status.

Reserve Graduate Credits

Students admitted to this program may take graduate courses after completing 90 undergraduate credits, and up to 6 credits of appropriate graduate coursework may be used in partial satisfaction of the requirements for the undergraduate degree. If students earn at least a 3.00 GPA in these classes, they are granted advanced standing in the master's program and must then complete an additional 25 credits to receive the master's degree. 

To apply these credits to the master's degree, students must request that the credits be moved from the undergraduate degree to the graduate degree using the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition form found on the Office of the University Registrar website (as noted above).

Students may take up to 6 additional approved graduate credits as reserve graduate credit. These credits do not apply to the undergraduate degree but will reduce the subsequent master's degree credits accordingly (e.g., with 6 credits counted towards undergraduate degree plus the maximum 6 reserve credits, the PSM could be completed with 19 post-bachelor's credits). The ability to take courses for reserve graduate credit is available to all high achieving undergraduates with the permission of the School of Systems Biology.

Policies

For more detailed information on accelerated master's in general, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees.

For policies governing all graduate programs, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.