Computer Science

Department/Program Description.

The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science offers a major in mathematics and a major in computer science. We also participate in the Informatics and Modeling Certificate Program, described below.

Each student's course of study is designed to provide an introduction to the basic areas of mathematics or computer science and to provide the technical tools that will be useful later in the student's career. The course of study is planned in consultation with the department's advisory committees or the student's faculty advisor.

Admission to the Major.

Every student is welcome to major in Mathematics. Students are advised to finish calculus up to Math 222 and linear algebra (either Math 221 or 223) before making the decision.

An undergraduate may achieve the BA with honors in mathematics or honors in computer science via one of several routes:
  • The honors thesis, written under the supervision of a faculty member under conditions monitored by the University Committee on Honors
  • (Mathematics only) A strong performance in a suitable sequence of courses, normally including some graduate courses, selected in consultation with a member of the department's advisory committee. The candidate also is expected to prepare a public lecture on a topic chosen together with a faculty advisor.
  • (Mathematics only) The comprehensive examination, offered by the department and/or by visiting consultants to select students nominated by the faculty.
Related Programs or Certificates.

BA/MA Program: Interested students should inquire about the combined BA/MA program. Advanced undergraduates may enroll in graduate (500-level) courses.

Additional Information.

Lectures. The departmental colloquium series presents lectures on recent research by invited mathematicians and computer scientists from other institutions. Advanced undergraduates are encouraged to attend these colloquia and to participate in graduate seminars. The undergraduate Math Club hosts informal talks in mathematics; accessible to students at all levels.

Admission to the Major.

Entry requirements:

To declare the Computer Science major, a student must:

  • have earned a C or higher in COMP 211;
  • have either earned a C or higher in COMP 212 or be enrolled in COMP 212 and be earning a grade of C or higher based on completed work; and
  • have either earned a C or higher in MATH 228 or be enrolled in MATH 228 and be earning a grade of C or higher based on completed work.


The MATH 228 requirement applies to students declaring the COMP major after June 30, 2016.

Major Requirements.

Computer Science

To complete the Computer Science major, a student must complete the following courses:

  • COMP 211, 212;
  • COMP 231 or COMP 331;
  • COMP 301, 312, 321;
  • two additional electives;
  • MATH 228 and either MATH 221 or MATH 223.


  • COMP 231 was offered academic year 2014-15 and earlier; COMP 331 will be offered academic year 2015-16 and later.
  • Any COMP course at the 300+ level except COMP 409-410 (Senior Thesis Tutorials) can be used as an elective for the major.
  • At most, one individual or group tutorial may be used as an elective unless prior approval is given.
  • Only 1.0-credit courses taken A-F may be used to satisfy major requirements.
Related Programs or Certificates.

Informatics and Modeling Certificate. The department is an active participant in the Informatics and Modeling Certificate ( The certificate provides a framework to guide students in developing analytical skills based on the following two pathways:

  • Computational Science and Quantitative World Modeling (CSM-
  • Integrative Genomic Sciences (IGS-

The CSM pathway introduces students to modeling techniques and provides students with a foundation in the quantitative simulation, evaluation, and prediction of natural and social phenomena. The IGS pathway introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of bioinformatics and its relationships to molecular genomics, evolution, structural biology, and bioethics. The department offers courses that support both pathways such as COMP211 and COMP212 and also offers special interdisciplinary courses for the IGS pathway such as COMP327 and COMP350. The certificate requirements are described in the links for the two pathways.