Foundations for Data Science

Stanford School of Engineering

  • Fee:
    Fee may apply



As of October 1, 2020 this certificate is no longer available, but is still recognized by Stanford University.

If you have any questions, please contact us at 650-204-3984 or

In order to earn this certificate participants completed the following three courses:

  • Introduction to Statistics
  • Introduction to Python
  • R Programming Fundamentals

Comprised of three comprehensive and introductory online courses, this program focused on teaching participants the foundational programming and statistics skills they need to kick-start a career in data science—no prior experience necessary.

Participants learned from Stanford faculty with step-by-step instructions, listened to insights from industry experts, and developed understanding through case studies and real-world examples. The program included ungraded programming exercises to help build and practice skills. No final exam or capstone project was required.

Students in this certificate learned

  • Statistical thinking concepts that are essential for learning from data and communicating insights; ability to perform exploratory data analysis, understand the key principles of sampling, and select appropriate tests of significance for multiple contexts.
  • R programming language from installation to basic statistical functions; ability to work with variable and external data sets and write functions.
  • Python programming language with a focus on data science applications; understanding of basic syntax, programming, and commonly used packages for data manipulation and exploration.


  • Basic familiarity with computers and productivity software
  • No calculus required
  • Helpful but not required: experience/background in a scientific or engineering discipline

Earning the Certificate and Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

Upon completing three required courses, participants received a Certificate of Completion acknowledging their successful participation in the program.

Participants earned 1 Continuing Education Unit (CEU) for each course completed within this certificate program. CEUs cannot be applied toward any Stanford degree. CEU transferability is subject to the receiving institution’s policies.