Advice for Potential Computer Science Majors
                          College of Arts and Sciences

Important: Mrs. Mayo no longer advises students who plan to graduate from the College of Engineering, including those not yet accepted to the college. Those students should contact the departmental office for asssitance.

Note: Students who enter UT before Fall, 2008, may get a CS degree from the A&S College, but in most cases must complete the degree by Summer, 2013. Please check with your advisor to see if an earlier date applies. All students who meet the College of Engineering admission requirements have the option of getting a CS degree from EECS.

Advising with Wallace Mayo is by appointment (phone 974-4483) in the A&S Advising Services for students who:

If you have been admitted to the CS major in A&S, contact Mrs. Mayo by e-mail for an appointment. She does not work summers.

Students who have completed an undergraduate degree, regardless of the major, should consider the Master of Science degree in Computer Science through the College of Engineering. Check The Graduate School admission requirements, and then contact the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS).

For job/career information, contact Career Services.

The advice below is for Arts and Sciences CS majors, but much will also apply to the CS degree in EECS.
  1. Schedule computer science courses as soon as possible to avoid taking exclusively CS your last year. Take math every semester until you complete the requirements. Take Math 300 as soon as you complete Math 142; it is the gateway to many CS courses. CS classes expect mathematical maturity.

  2. Computer Science 102 is a problem solving course that requires, at a minimum, high school algebra. Class attendance is essential, and since 102 is demanding and time consuming, you will need to manage time wisely in order to do well. Students who get behind typically cannot catch up. CS 102 or its equivalent or proficiency (see the next item) is a strict prerequisite for CS 140 and CS 160. Once 102 has been completed, a strong student who needs to speed up graduation may take 140 and 160 the same semester, providing the remaining course work is light. 102 and 140 may not be taken concurrently.

  3. The Computer Science Department does not offer proficiency exams. On the other hand, a student who knows C or C++ well and has adequate programming skills may skip CS 102 and register for 140. A petition to waive 102 will be required after completing 140.

  4. Undergraduates are required to apply to the CS Department for admission to the major. Students who have made a grade of C or better in CS 140, CS 160, and Math 141, and who have kept their noses clean, will be accepted. Apply during the semester that you are enrolled in the last of the three courses. Applications are available in Claxton 203. It is not necessary to have completed Math 142 or the lab science sequence.

  5. Watch your grades! You must make a grade of C or better in courses required for the major, including all math courses and English 360 (or 355 if you prefer). Petitions to count a grade of D toward graduation will be denied.

  6. Look at your DARS and formulate a plan of study to ensure that you have completed all prerequisites before a course you need is offered. Some upper division courses are taught only once a year, and few if any CS courses are offered during the summer. Stay alert to prerequisites and the schedule of course offerings. Example:

                        Math 141 --> Math 142 --> Math 300 --> CS 311 -- >CS 380 (often Spring only)

    This shows that CS 380, usually taught only Spring semester, has a four semesters string of prerequisites. Plan ahead!

  7. Look for courses that fulfill multiple requirements. For example, take either Philosophy 242 or 244 as one of your humanities; they also count as an oral communications course.

  8. For your lab science sequence, consider Physics 135-136 . This sequence is required for the CS degree in EECS. Be aware that Math 141 is a co-requisite for Physics 135.

  9. Math 371 may be substituted for CS 370; CS 471 and 472 are cross-listed with math (they are the same as Math 471 and Math 472). Check prerequisites before enrolling.

  10. Consider getting a math minor. In addition to the math required for a CS major, the math minor may require no additional hours of course work. A typical plan is:
    • choose Math 231 to substitute for an upper division CS elective;
    • choose CS 370 or Math 371; you may still take CS 340 as an upper division CS elective;
    • choose Math 400 as a Foreign Studies; a petition is required under the 2005 catalog;
    • take CS/Math 471 or 472, or choose another three-hour upper division math course excluding Math 399, 401, 405, and 490.
    • Note: CS 311 and 380 do not count toward the math minor; they do count toward the math major.

  11. Read the 2007 catalog to see the requirements for the CS degree in A&S, read the 2009 catalog for university policies, and visit EECS for additional information about the department. This page is not intended to be comprehensive.