Short Guide

Introduction

Welcome to the Computer Science Undergraduate Short Guide. This contains the most important information for computer science majors, and provides links to more detailed information and resources. All computer science undergraduates should be familiar with the information here.

APAS reports

Your APAS report, available through the University One Stop page, lists all the degree requirements and tracks your progress towards fulfilling them. Learn how to read this report, and check with an advisor if you have any questions.

Advising

Advising for lower division students is done through the college. Advising for upper division students is done by the department. The CS&E Department has three main means of advising:

  • CS advisors are available for phone, e-mail, or walk-in advising in the CS main office.
  • The CS&E Department sponsors an “Advising Day” each semester around the start of registration for the following semester. This event consists of presentations on popular topics, such as the upper division emphasis, as well as additional time for students to ask questions and discuss items with advisors. Watch for announcements of this online and in Keller Hall.

Additionally, the university has a number of advising-related websites and offices. See the University One Stop page.

Upper division CS students are not required to meet with advisors prior to registering. However, they are required to meet with them to get their upper division emphasis and math elective approved before applying for graduation. CS students are also strongly encouraged to meet with advisors upon being accepted into upper division, as well as at any other time they have advising questions.

The CS Track and UD Math Oriented Requirement

All students completing the BS degree must complete an upper division track. The purpose of the upper division track is to allow students to select a coherent program of courses specific to their interests. The rules below are for students admitted to the U in Fall 2013 or later. Students admitted prior to Fall 2013 should consult the full undergraduate guide for their specific requirements.

The upper division track consists of courses in these categories:

  • Required Track Courses - 2 specific courses that are required as the basis for each track. These courses will uniquely identify each track, and they cannot be substituted.
  • Selected Track Courses - 2 courses that are selected from a group of courses defined for each track. This category allows the student to provide depth or breadth within a specific track area while allowing some flexibility.
  • Track Elective Courses - These courses give the student a great deal of flexibility to tailor the track. Some of these credits can be taken from an area other than computer science. Approved track electives can be found at z.umn.edu/cscitrackelectives.
  • Students are also required to take an upper division math-oriented course. Options include: CSci 4011, 5302, 5304, 5403, 5421, 5471, 5481, 5525, and 4XXX or 5XXX math courses. If a math course is selected it must have a sophomore-level course as a prerequisite and be 3 or 4 credits. Students can declare the course they intend to use to satisfy the upper division math oriented elective requirement when they fill out the upper division track form (link above). Math courses with 4xxx/5xxx numbers will satisfy the advanced math oriented elective requirement. Some faculty recommended Math options include Math 4151, 4152, 4428, 4707, 5248, 5251, and 5447. Math 2283/3283W, 4005, 4065, 4067W, 4113, 4116, 4118, 5067, 5068, 5075, and 5076 do not fulfill the math oriented elective requirement. Students who took multivariable calculus or sequence, sets and foundations prior to Fall 2002 (Fall 2003 for transfer students) may use that course as the math oriented elective.

  • Students must earn a minimum of 23 credits between their track and ud math oriented requirement. 11 of the 23 credits must be from CSCI courses.

The flexibility incorporated into the track structure will allow for a great deal of individual customization of each track.

During their junior year, students should meet with the Computer Science advisor to plan a track based on the student’s academic interests. Students who are interested in tracks that have a large number of prerequisite courses should start planning sooner

CLA students completing the BA program aren’t required to have a track for their 8 credits of 4000-5000 level CSCI electives. They are strongly encouraged to choose courses from the same area for their electives. CLA students don’t have the upper division math-oriented requirement as part of their program as well.

Course information

The department course webpage and University One Stop page contain additional information about CS (and other) courses.

Opportunities

A Computer Science degree involves more than taking a set of required classes. The CS degree allows a number of free electives (required credits that have no constraints on them). Much computer science work is interdisciplinary; therefore, students are encouraged to use these credits to learn about other fields, for example by getting a minor.

In-class learning is only part of the university experience, so students are strongly encouraged to participate in other opportunities the university offers. These include student clubs, undergraduate research projects, learning abroad experiences, honors programs, undergraduate TA work, scholarships, etc.

Applying for graduation

The One Stop graduation page lists steps for applying for graduation. Do not miss the application deadline, which is usually during the first week of the semester in which you plan to graduate.

CLA has both Fall and Spring commencement ceremonies; has Spring ceremonies ( students graduating in Fall may attend the ceremony in the Spring). Contact your college office to sign up, or for more information.