Click here for more details: MLBA_Major

Any other questions, please contact your advisor or Prof. Krishna Padmanabhan (

MLBA Major: Student FAQ

  1. Why is the department introducing the MLBA major? How will it help me?

The department are being responsive to the changes in the marketplace that have embraced the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) in many, if not most industries. Being familiar with these areas enables you to compete successfully in fields that are shaping the future of Data Science.  (Eg. Cutting edge Applications: Self-Driving cars, Drones, Natural Language Understanding, Game-playing robots)

This program also distinguishes SJU from other programs in the region that do not yet offer this specialization or official recognition of the student’s specialized training.

  1. What are the required courses for this major?

In addition to the 3 DSS core courses [DSS 200, 210, 200], students majoring in MLBA are required to take:

  • DSS 325 (Python)
  • DSS 420 (Data Mining)
  • DSS 415 (Data Visualization, new course in Spring 2021) *
  • DSS 451 (AI/ML for Business Fall 2020)* – DSS 420 is a pre-requisite
  • DSS 455 (ML methods, Spring 2021)* – DSS 451 is a pre-requisite
  • An additional DSS elective is also required, for a total of 9 DSS courses.

(* – New Course for 2020-21)

  1. What is the ideal course sequence for me if I am interested in MLBA?

Interested students should be taking DSS420 during the Fall or Spring of their junior year. This enables them to take DSS451 in Fall of their Senior year, followed by DSS 455/415 in Spring.

DSS 325 can be taken concurrently with DSS451 in the Fall, if not taken previously

  1. I am a Sophomore. How about me?

Sophomore year is still DSS 200, 210 and 220 unless any credits have been awarded for these.

  1. Fall 2020 Next steps if I am interested in this major
  • Rising Seniors with DSS 420: Enroll in DSS 451 (and DSS 325 if needed)
  • Rising Seniors without having taken DSS420 will unfortunately not be eligible for DSS451/MLBA
  • Rising Juniors: Enroll in DSS 420 and DSS 325 during your junior year
  • Contact your advisor or Prof. Krishna Padmanabhan if you need further information.
  1. When can I declare my new major or minor in MLBA?

The major and minor have both been approved to begin in Fall of 2020.  You may begin declaring your new major or minor during the summer of 2020.  As with our BIA major, you will be able to register for any class without having first declared the major or minor.  The course sequences for the MLBA major, MLBA minor and the BIA/MLBA double major will be available on the HSB advising website in the latter part of the Spring 2020 semester.  We are building an MLBA student distribution list to keep all potential majors and minors updated.  Please complete this google form to include your name on this list:

  1. Will MLBA improve my job prospects?

It is estimated that over the next few years, the job market will robust for graduates that specialize in or demonstrate knowledge of AI and ML. As more businesses embrace automation, smart devices and software to analyze, predict and serve customer’s needs, this major will position our students to capitalize well on that trend. This is one of the keys reasons the department has introduced this new major.

Any other questions, please contact your advisor or Prof. Krishna Padmanabhan (