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Course Model

The Data Science Academy uses the ADAPT: All-campus Data science through Accessible Project-based Teaching and learning model for its courses. Learn more about the ADAPT model and what it means for your course.


The ADAPT: All-campus Data science through Accessible Project-based Teaching and learning model is a way of designing student-focused courses.

The data science courses offered by the Data Science Academy (DSA) share common elements, including:

  • 1-credit special topics with the DSC 495 prefix.
  • 1-credit courses = 50 minutes in class and no more than 3 hours of out-of-class work each week.
  • Courses open to undergraduate students, graduate students, postdocs, staff and faculty as well as non-degree students.
  • Students may take as many of the courses as they wish but may not repeat a course without instructor permission.
  • Courses provide a bite of data science with a goal that students complete the course and choose to take more data science courses in the future.
  • Project-based classes. No quizzes, no tests. Yes, homework. Yes, building to a final project.
  • Final project built over the semester, not a crunch at the end while students need to focus on finals.

Course Levels

ADAPT data science courses fit into one of three levels: No Prerequisites, Suggested Skills and Research Ready.

  1. No Prerequisites (Level 1) means that courses do not require any previous data science knowledge or skills.
  2. Suggested Skills (Level 2) means that course descriptions include suggested skills and/or topical knowledge. Suggested skills can be acquired by coursework, self-directed study, work or other experiences.
  3. Research Ready (Level 3) means that students are invited to use their own research data to complete course activities. Courses may focus on ‘hot topics’ for academic, industry, non-profit or community-based research.
The ADAPT course levels, All-campus Data science Accessible Project-based Teaching and learning model graphic shows a brick wall, getting higher from left to right. On the left is level 1, No Prerequisites. In the middle is level 2, Suggested Skills. On the right is level 3, Research Ready.

More About ADAPT

For more information about the ADAPT model used for Data Science Academy courses, you can review our Data Science Academy Courses: ADAPT Design, Descriptions and Schedule document.