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Major in Computer Science (Prior to Fall 2016)

Students who arrived before Fall 2016 and wish to switch to the new major requirements should contact the Chair of Mathematics and Computer Science and give their student ID numbers.

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 has specified that the science requirement of the core curriculum is fulfilled by taking Physics 31 and 32 (formerly 4 and 5) (and the corresponding labs).

** 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 at least a 2.0 GPA in CSCI & MATH courses.

Departmental Requirements for a Major in Computer Science

Lower Division Courses

Computing Courses

  • CSci 10 (Introduction to Computer Science [C++])
  • CSci 60 (Object-oriented Programming)
  • CSci 61 (Data Structures)
  • Computer Engineering 20 (Embedded Systems) and Lab
  • Computer Engineering 21 (Logic Design) and Lab

Mathematics Courses

  • Math 11, 12, 13, 14 (formerly numbered 21 before Fall 2009) (Calculus I - IV)
  • Math 22 (Differential Equations) (Required for those graduating in 2011 or before)
  • Math 51 (Discrete Mathematics) (Class of 2012+)
  • Math 52 (Abstract Algebra)
  • Math 53 (Linear Algebra)
Upper Division Courses

Computing Courses

Seven upper division courses as follows:

  • CSci 163 (Theory of Algorithms)
  • CSci 161 (Automata Theory and Formal Languages) or CSci 166 (Numerical Analysis)
  • Two other upper division course from the Computer Science  courses in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science or from Math 144, 176, and 177
  • COEN 177 (Operating systems)
  • One other upper division course from courses offered in the Computer Engineering department
  • One additional upper division course either from computer science courses in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science or from the Computer Engineering Department

Mathematics Courses

Two additional upper division courses in mathematics in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science with the exception of Math 165 and 166.  (Math 122 [Probability and Statistics I] is highly recommended. Math 102 is also recommended.)

Students are encouraged to select one of the following areas of focus to guide their choices of upper division courses:

  • Foundations: CSci 161, Math 176, 177, COEN 173
  • Numerical Computation: Math 144, CSci 165, 166, COEN 145
  • Software: CSci 161, 169, COEN 174, COEN 176 or 178
  • Graduate Preparation: CSci 166, Math 176, 177, COEN 175

Other areas of focus (with corresponding courses) may be developed in consultation with an academic advisor.

Students should note that SCU provides the opportunity of a 5-year combined BS-MS program in computer science in collaboration with the Department of Computer Engineering. More details below.

For students entering before Fall 2009 (and transfer students entering during the 2009-2010 academic year), a sample four-year curriculum for a Computer Science Major can be found at this link.

For students entering in Fall 2009 and afterwards, a sample four-year curriculum for a Computer Science Major (incorporating the 2009 core curriculum) can be found at this link.

(The complete listing of upper division courses may be found in the most recent edition of the University Bulletin available at this link.)

Departmental Requirements for a Major in Computer Science
with an Emphasis in Cryptography and Security

The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science offers a program providing an emphasis in cryptography and security for students who wish to prepare themselves for careers related to software and computer security.

Participation in this program is noted on the student's transcript.

All students in the program must complete the University and College of Arts and Sciences requirements for a B.S. in Computer Science (Mathematics), and in particular:

  • Math 178 (Cryptography)
  • CSci 181 (Applied Cryptography)
  • COEN 146 (Computer Networks) and COEN 152 (Intro. Computer Forensics)
  • Math 122 (Prob & Stats) and CSci 182 (Digital Steganography) are recommended.

For students entering in Fall 2013 or later, the required courses are changed to the following list:

  • Math 178 (Cryptography)
  • CSci 181 (Applied Cryptography)
  • COEN 146 (Computer Networks) and COEN 152 (Intro. Computer Forensics)
  • Math 122 (Prob & Stats) and COEN 150/250 (Intro. Information Security) are highly recommended.
Emphasis in Data Science

Complete the requirements for a bachelor in science degree in computer science with the following specifications and additions:

  • MATH 122, 123
  • CSCI 10, 60, 61, 183
  • COEN 178
  • Two courses from CSCI 163, 164; CSCI/MATH 165, 166; COEN 166, 169; ECON 174
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.

For students entering before Fall 2009 (and transfer students entering during the 2009-2010 academic year), a sample five-year curriculum for a B.S. in Computer Science combined with an M.S. degree offered by the Department of Computer Engineering can be found at this link.

For students entering in Fall 2009 and afterwards, a sample five-year curriculum for a B.S. in Computer Science combined with an M.S. degree offered by the Department of Computer Engineering can be found at this link. 

(The complete listing of upper division courses may be found in the most recent edition of the University Bulletin.)