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Frequently Asked Questions in Computer Science


You should make every effort to take CSI 201 and MAT/CSI 240 during your first year. If your schedule allows, you should also take CSI 202.

A score of 4 or 5 on the A exam gives you credit for CSI 201. A score of 3 on the AB exam gives you credit for CSI 201. A score of 4 or 5 on the AB exam gives you credit for CSI 201 and CSI 202. Note that our Computer Science curriculum teaches Python as the first language instead of Java.

Since you can change classes during the first week of the semester, the main thing to keep in mind is to leave openings in your schedule in case you need to change classes.

The most popular courses for distribution are CSI 201 and MAT 109. CSI 201 is “Computer Science I”. It's a first course in computer programming that many students find both interesting and useful. MAT 109 is “Statistics”, which can also be very useful, especially for social science majors. Some majors, like Business, have courses that are taught within that department that count for distribution. Be sure to check with your advisor and with faculty in the areas you might like to study to see which courses they recommend for distribution. This is also a something to talk to other students about.

All of them. Seriously, though, you should take as many different computer science courses as possible so you have an idea of the various areas of computer science that you might be interested in. In particular, you should try to take CSI 450 and CSI 470.

The senior capstone experience in computer science consists of a prototype (computer program), a written thesis, and an oral presentation. Recent thesis topics may be found here.

Some students find a topic in the process of their course work. Others come to a faculty member and ask for a choice of topics. If you are not sure which topic you want to study, it is a good idea to talk with a few different faculty members and get some ideas. Many times, a faculty member can offer a quick summary of several possible topics. You can do a little preliminary research on a few areas and then come to a decision.

Yes. Various majors can be combined with a CSI major. Recently, we have had several double majors. Some majors (like math or physics) blend particularly well with CSI since several courses can count for both majors. Of course, your schedule will be a bit tighter as you complete the requirements for two majors. Just be sure to check with advisors from both departments to make sure you stay on track from semester to semester.