Becoming a CS Major

Students in the College of Engineering generally begin the process of major affiliation during their third semester.

Students in the College of Arts and Sciences can affiliate in their third semester but are expected to start the process no later than their fourth semester.

The CS affiliation application is available online.

Note to students in the College of Engineering (COE): you must also submit the appropriate COE form (Major Affiliation, Change of Major, or Double Major).

Application Timeline (current students)

  • Applications received between January 1st and January 31st are processed by March 1st.
  • Applications received between February 1st and May 31st are processed by July 1st
  • Application received between June 1st and September 14th are processed by October 15th.
  • Applications received between September 15th and December 31st are processed by mid-January.

All potential affiliates are reviewed on a case-by-case basis relative to the following criteria:

Criterion 1: a grade of C (not C-) in all completed CS and math courses, except that for courses taken in Spring 2020, either a C- or an S will satisfy this criterion.

Criterion 2: a GPA of 2.5 or better in CS 2110/2112* and 2800/2802,
‚Äč*alternatively, a GPA of 2.5 or better in ECE 2400/ENGRD 2140 and CS 2800/2802 and CS 3110.
An S in Spring 2020 for all or any subset of these courses is acceptable as long as the GPA for the remainder of these courses that are taken for a letter grade in any semester, including Spring 2020, meets the 2.5 threshold.

Criterion 3: a GPA of 2.5 or better in Math 1120/1220/1920, and CS 2800/2802. An S in Spring 2020 for all or any subset of these courses is acceptable as long as the GPA for the remainder of these courses that are taken for a letter grade in any semester, including Spring 2020, meets the 2.5 threshold.

Note that the CS department cannot know how graduate schools, employers, and so on, will evaluate S grades. 

Examples for Spring 2020:

Case 1: A student has a B- in Math 1120 in Fall 2019 (and has taken no other math or CS courses). They receive an S in CS 2800 and an S in 2110 in Spring 2020 (and took no other math or CS courses).

Ruling: the student has met all the affiliation requirements.

Case 2a: An A&S student has AP credit for MATH 1110 and MATH 1120. In Spring 2020 they take MATH 2210, CS 2110 and CS 2800 and earn grades of S in all three courses.

Ruling: the student has met all the affiliation requirements.

Case 2b: An ENGR student has CASE credit for MATH 1920. In Spring 2020 they take MATH 2940, CS 2110 and CS 2800 and earn grades of S in all three courses.

Ruling: the student has met all the affiliation requirements.

Case 3: A student retakes affiliation-required courses in Spring 2020 in which they previously earned a grade of C-. 

Ruling: If the student receives an S or C- in Spring 2020, they will have satisfied the first criterion; the other two criteria must also be met in order to affiliate.

Case 4:  A student application is pending the outcome of Spring 2020’s grades: they need to raise their math average to a 2.5 (currently a 2.3) by earning a grade of B (not B-) or better in a critical math course.

Ruling: The student will need to take enough critical math/CS courses for a letter grade to raise their GPA to meet criteria 2 and 3.

Case 5: A student took CS 2110 last semester and earned a grade of C (2.0) and now needs a grade of B (3.0) in CS 2800 to meet the 2.5 average.

Ruling: The student will need to take CS 2800 for a letter grade to meet criterion 2 (and possibly criterion 3).

    Grades in critical courses (see below) may be considered to offset deficiencies in meeting the above criteria.

    Critical CS Courses

    • CS 2110 or 2112
    • CS 2800 or 2802
    • CS 3110
    • CS 3410 or 3420
    • CS 4410
    • CS 4820

    Critical Math Courses

    • MATH 1120 or 1220
    • MATH 1920
    • MATH 2210, 2230, or 2940
    • MATH 3360
    • MATH 4710
    • BTRY 3080
    • CS 2800 or 2802
    • CS 4850
    • ECON 3130
    • ECE 3100
    • ENGRD 2700