Data Science Scholars

Join the College of LAS and Discovery Partners Institute for a semester-long data science internship in Chicago.

The Data Science Scholars program is designed for current LAS students who would like to:

  • Advance their knowledge within data science, including Python programming for data management, machine learning, statistics, and visualization
  • Participate in professional development experiences while advancing data manipulation-visualization skills
  • Network with employers and alumni while enjoying life experiences in Chicago

Students who have completed STAT 200 DS or STAT 200 and STAT 107 (or are enrolled) are eligible to apply. Program participants in Fall 2021 will complete STAT/CS 277 (Algorithms and Data Structures for Data Science) and a professional development course that includes employer visits and networking events with alumni in the Chicago area.

The internships are paid, 20 hours/week experiences. Students accepted for the program will have an opportunity to meet with potential employers in March. After a networking event with employers, students and employers will complete a preference ranking process in order to to match students to internships. Please note: not all candidates will be matched with participating employers.

Available internships and responsibilities

The following are provided as examples of potential internships available, responsibilities expected, and skills developed. It is not a conclusive list, and opportunities may expand past what is listed.


2021 program details

Program dates

August 16 - December 16, 2021

Eligibility requirements

Students in any LAS major may apply to participate in this program, and they must minimally have junior standing for the Fall 2021 term and must have completed STAT 200 DS or STAT 200 and STAT 107 before the start of the program. Priority will be given to students in the social sciences, natural and behavioral sciences, and humanities. ​​​​

Program requirements

  • Students must enroll in STAT/CS 277 and LAS 199 Professional Development Seminar during the Fall 2021 term. If a student has credit for CS 225 or 277 already, they do not need to take it in the Fall 2021 term.
  • For Fall 2021, internships will be virtual placements, so students may live in Champaign-Urbana and take regular classes in addition to the two above. There will be 3 field trips on Fridays during the term, and participating interns are strongly encouraged to keep Fridays available for their internship program work. 

Costs, fees, and scholarship opportunities

  • Students will pay regular University of Illinois tuition and will receive a Life + Career Design scholarship to cover any internship program administrative fee.
  • The Fall 2021 program includes 3 field trips to Chicago that all interns are expected to participate in and the field trips may include an overnight stay.  All costs are included in the program fee.

2021 timeline

  • Applications due: February 22, 2021
  • Candidates are notified: March 5, 2021
  • Employer-student networking event: March 13, 2021
  • Networking and interviews: March 15-19, 2021
  • Matching preferences due: March 22, 2021
  • Matches announced: March 26, 2021
  • Boot camp: August 9-13, 2021
  • Orientation: August 16-20, 2021
  • Classes and internships start: August 23, 2021
  • Fall break: November 22-26, 2021
  • Internship ends: December 3, 2021
  • Classes end: December 6, 2021


If you have any questions, please contact Barbara Hancin.