Computer Science Major and Minor Requirements

Computer Science Major (B.S.)

A major in computer science requires 11 units: four basic courses, three core courses, two electives, one mathematics course, and one Senior-Year Experience (SYE).

Computer Science Curriculum Chart

Foundation courses 

  • CS 140.         Introduction to Computer Programming
  • CS 219.         Techniques of Computer Science
  • CS 220.         Computer Organization
  • CS 256.         Data Structures
  • CS 362.         Algorithm Analysis
  • MATH 280. Bridge to Higher Mathematics

Electives (any four)

Any 300-level CS course can count as an elective.


This requirement is typically satisfied by taking a course designated as an SYE, such as CS 450, CS 489, or CS 498. However, a student with a second major may instead satisfy this requirement by taking an SYE course for that major. Finally, if necessary, and with the permission of the department chair, this requirement may be satisfied by taking an additional project-oriented CS elective. More information can be found here.


Honors work in computer science provides the student with an opportunity for more independent and creative work in pure or applied computer science. A minimum GPA of 3.5 in the major is required to receive honors in computer science. In addition, each student applying for honors must complete a departmentally approved honors project. Interested students should consult the department chair.

Here is a worksheet to help plan your course of study.


Computer science majors are encouraged to complete CS 220, CS 256, and Math 280 as soon as possible, ideally by the end of the sophomore year, because these courses are either required or recommended for several upper-level courses in the major.

Although only one mathematics course is required, computer science majors are strongly encouraged to consider other courses in mathematics and statistics, particularly if they are interested in pursuing graduate study.

Students planning to participate in an off-campus program should seek early advice from the department on the best way to plan their major program.

Computer Science Minor

Six courses are required for the minor in computer science: CS 140, CS 219, CS 220, CS 256, and two 300-level CS electives.

Here is a worksheet to help plan your course of study.

Advanced Placement

Students who earn a 4 or 5 on AP Computer Science Principles will receive credit for CS 140. Students who earn a 4 or 5 on AP Computer Science A will receive credit for CS 219. Whether credited or not, CS140 requirements may be waived for students with sufficient programming background.