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A data science program for everyone

Professional Certificate in
Foundations of Data Science

What you will learn

  • How to think critically about data and draw robust conclusions based on incomplete information.
  • Computational thinking and skills, including the Python 3 programming language for visualizing and analyzing data.
  • How to make predictions based on machine learning.
  • How to interpret and communicate data and results using a vast array of real-world examples.

This Professional Certificate gives you a new lens to explore the issues and problems that you care about. You’ll learn how to combine data with Python programming skills to ask questions and explore problems that you encounter in any field of study, in a future job, and even in everyday life.

This program will help you become a data scientist by teaching you how to analyze a diverse array of real data sets including economic data, geographic data and social networks. Typically, the information will be incomplete and there will be some uncertainty involved. You will then study inference, which will help you quantify uncertainty and measure the accuracy of your estimates. Finally, you will put all of your knowledge together and learn about prediction using machine learning.

The program focuses on a set of core concepts and techniques that have broad applicability. Unlike “bootcamps” for programmers, it presents data science as a way of thinking, in which interpretation and communication are as important as computation and statistical methods.

We all have to be able to think critically and make decisions based on data. Thus, the program aims to make data science accessible to everyone.

It is designed specifically for students who have not previously taken statistics or computer science courses. No prior programming experience is needed. The program is based on Data 8, Berkeley’s fastest-growing class, taken by 1,000+ students each semester.

You don’t have to download any software – a browser is all you need. Open up a window and prepare to have some fun.

Expert instruction
3 skill-building courses
Progress at your own speed
4 months
4 - 6 hours per week
For the full program experience

Courses in this program

  1. BerkeleyX's Foundations of Data Science Professional Certificate

  2. 4–6 hours per week, for 5 weeks

    Learn the basics of computational thinking, an essential skill in today’s data-driven world, using the popular programming language, Python.

  3. 4–6 hours per week, for 5 weeks

    Learn how to use inferential thinking to make conclusions about unknowns based on data in random samples.

  4. 4–6 hours per week, for 6 weeks

    Learn how to use machine learning, with a focus on regression and classification, to automatically identify patterns in your data and make better predictions.

    • Data Science is one of the fastest growing job areas in the US, drawing demand from a variety of industries including technology, manufacturing, retail, government, and finance.
    • An enormous variety of organizations need to augment their capacity to make effective data-driven decisions.
    • The average salary for an Entry Level Data Scientist is $118,748. (Source: Glassdoor)

Meet your instructors

from University of California, Berkeley (BerkeleyX)
John DeNero
Giancarlo Teaching Fellow in the EECS Department
UC Berkeley
David Wagner
Professor of Computer Science
UC Berkeley
Ani Adhikari
Teaching Professor of Statistics
UC Berkeley

Experts from BerkeleyX committed to teaching online learning

Program endorsements


Foundations of Data Science is unique in how it builds a strong foundation in data science, with no expectation of prior programming experience or mathematics beyond high school algebra. Google is proud to provide the platform beneath this initial offering of the Foundations of Data Science Profession Certificate program. It is a fantastic way for anyone to get introduced to computing, while discovering how to get insight from data.

Maggie Johnson , Vice President of Education and University Programs, Google

At Microsoft, we’ve helped Berkeley's revolutionary Data 8 course Foundations of Data Science grow from initial pilot to thousands of students, entirely in the cloud. The Foundations of Data Science Professional Certificate program on edX brings this unique integrated introduction to computing and statistics, all in the context of real world data, to people worldwide forging their own path in the digital economy.

Joseph Sirosh , CVP, Cloud AI, Microsoft


Berkeley’s Foundations of Data Science Professional Certificate Program allows you to learn the computing and statistics you need to unlock the power of your data, as we say at Cloudera. In a seamless platform from notebook to cloud, students focus on how to formulate - and communicate - sound conclusions from interesting data about the world.

Mike Olson , Chief Strategy Officer, Cloudera

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