Major in Computer Science
The following requirements have been updated for students beginning Fall 2016 or later. To see Computer Science Major requirements for students entering prior to Fall 2016, click here.
A Santa Clara University undergraduate majoring in Computer Science (in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science) must fulfill the standard University and College Core Curriculum requirements for a Bachelor of Science degree. (Students should confirm university, college, and departmental requirements with the SCU Undergraduate Bulletin corresponding to their freshman year.)
** The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science Chair will not sign a petition to major in Computer Science until CSCI 10 and at least one other CSCI or MATH course have been completed and the student has gotten at least a C in every CSCI and MATH course they have taken.
Departmental Requirements for a Major in Computer Science
Lower Division Courses
- MATH 11, 12, 13, 14, 51, 53
- CSCI 10, 60, 61
- One of ANTH 1, PHYS 31, CHEM 11, or ENVS 21
- COEN 20 and 20L, COEN (or ELEN) 21 and 21L
Upper Division Courses
- MATH 122, CSCI 161, CSCI 163A, and COEN 177 and 177L
Five additional 4 or 5-unit upper-division courses in one of the following emphases:
- Algorithms and Complexity emphasis:
- CSCI 162, CSCI 163B or CSCI 164, MATH 177 (for students arriving Fall 2018, CSCI 164 is not acceptable).
- Two more courses from MATH 175, MATH 176, MATH 178, CSCI 165, CSCI 181, MATH 101 or any other additional upper division CSCI or COEN course
- Data Science emphasis:
- CSCI 183, MATH 123, CSCI 184 or COEN 178 & L (for students arriving Fall 2018, COEN 178 is not acceptable).
- One course from CSCI 164, CSCI 166 or any other upper division CSCI course
- One other course from CSCI 164, CSCI 166, COEN 166, or any other upper division CSCI or COEN course
- Security emphasis:
- MATH 178, CSCI 181, CSCI 180 or COEN 152 & L (for students arriving Fall 2018, COEN 152 is not acceptable)
- One course from MATH 175 or any other upper division CSCI course
- One course from COEN 161 and 161L, COEN 146 and 146L, or any other upper division CSCI or COEN course
- Software emphasis:
- CSCI 169, CSCI 187 or COEN 178 & L, COEN 146 & L (for students arriving Fall 2018, COEN 178 is not acceptable)
- Two more courses from CSCI 183, CSCI 168, CSCI 164, or any other upper division CSCI course
- Though COEN 163, COEN 166, COEN 168 are recommended, they do not count toward the five courses
Individual emphasis of the student's choosing: In order to pursue this emphasis, a student must get their courses approved and get their advisor's signature at least three quarters before they graduate. Three of the five upper division courses must be CSCI or MATH. The following are two examples:
- Computer Science & Art emphasis:
- CSCI 168, COEN 165/ARTS 173, ARTS 174
- Two more courses from CSCI 164, MATH 101, or any other upper division CSCI course
- Computational Biology emphasis:
- CSCI 164, BIOL 178, BIOL 175
- Two more courses from CSCI 183, CSCI 168, or any other upper division CSCI course
- Though COEN 178 is recommended, it does not count toward the five courses
It is highly recommended that students (especially students in the Software emphasis) take additional upper-division courses beyond the minimum required for the degree, e.g. COEN 178 (Databases).
Other areas of focus (with corresponding courses) may be developed in consultation with an academic advisor.
A sample four-year curriculum for a Computer Science Major (incorporating the 2016 core curriculum) can be found here: Computer Science Sample Curriculum 2017
(The complete listing of upper division courses may be found in the most recent edition of the University Bulletin available at this link.)
Five-Year Combined B.S. in Computer Science and M.S. in Computer Engineering or Software
The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science cooperates with the Department of Computer Engineering in offering the option of a five-year combined B.S. and M.S. program for those majoring in computer science.
A sample five-year curriculum for a B.S. in Computer Science combined with an M.S. degree (incorporating the 2016 core curriculum) offered by the Department of Computer Engineering can be found here: Computer Science BS/MS Five-Year Sample Curriculum 2017
Various Ways of Studying Computing At Santa Clara
Since the 1970s, various ways of studying computing have developed in universities. Santa Clara provides programs in three different departments, each in a different College or School of the University. Some specifically ask about the difference between Computer Science and Computer Engineering programs. An excellent description is provided by the University of Maine which also describes in many ways the situation at Santa Clara.
(The complete listing of upper division courses may be found in the most recent edition of the University Bulletin.)