2.3. Computer Science Minor

A Computer Science minor is available to most undergraduate students through CLA. The Computer Science minor is for students who want to include a basic core of computer science coursework to enhance or supplement their major program. Knowledge of computing is useful for students majoring in engineering, physical, biological, and social sciences, business, and almost any other major, including design and visual arts, just to name a few. The minor increases job opportunities and provides a base for more advanced studies and independent learning.

The minor teaches students problem-solving and computational thinking skills, as well as fundamental programming concepts, practical knowledge of computer programming languages, data structures, and algorithm development techniques that are essential to modern computing. Students have flexibility in choosing courses to meet the minor requirements. Advanced courses provide detailed knowledge in specific topics, such as databases, networks, internet programming, or game design.

To succeed, the students in the minor need to have solid analytical and abstraction skills. Students who are not planning on taking calculus should take at least a math class, such as Math 1031 College Algebra and Probability or Math 1051 Pre-calculus I, before starting the minor.

All the approved minor courses must be taken A-F, with only courses with a grade of C- or better counting towards the minor. At least 3 upper-division credits must be taken at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Students may earn no more than one undergraduate degree in computer science: a B.A. or a B.S. or a minor. Other course work can only be accepted with advisor approval.

A minor consists of 5 three- or four-credit approved Computer Science courses, including the following:

  1. One of the following introductory sequences: CSci 1133 and CSci 1933 (recommended path); CSci 1103 and CSci 1913; or CSci 1113 and CSci 1913. The discontinued courses CSci 1901 and 1902 will be allowed. We allow EE 1301 and CSCI 1913 as well, but this is not a recommended path for most students (except Electrical Engineering students).
  2. Three additional CSci courses, two of which can be CSci 2XXX, 4XXX, and 5xxx, and the other must be CSci 4xxx or higher. All CSci courses can be used, except CSci 2980, 3003, 3113Q, 3921W, 3970, 3980, 4921, 5465, and 5996. 49XX (including CSCI 4950, 4970W, and 4994H) and 59XX courses (including CSCI 5980, CSCI 5991, CSCI 5994) can be accepted only with prior advisor approval. Students interested in taking CSCI 4061 will need to request a permission number the week before courses start. 

Here are some examples of suggested sets of courses for the minor, depending on the student's interests. These are suggestions intended to provide guidance, not requirements.

  • Bioinformatics: 1133, 1933, 2011, 4041, 5461
  • Computational Science: 1113, 1913, 2033, 5302, 5521
  • Cryptography: (1133 and 1933; or 1113 and 1913), 2011, 4041, 5471
  • Data Management: 1133, 1933, 2011, 4041, 4707
  • Game Design (AI): 1133, 1933, 2011, 4511W, 5512
  • Game Design (graphics): 1113, 1913, 2011, 2021, 4611
  • Geographical Information Systems: 1133, 1933, 2011, 4041, 5715
  • Human Computer Interaction: 1133, 1933, 2011, 4041, 5115
  • Networks: (1133 and 1933; or 1113 and 1913), 2021, 4061, 4211
  • Robotics: (1133 and 1933; or 1113 and 1913), 2033, 5302, 5551
  • Theoretical Foundations: 1133, 1933, 2011, 4011, 4041
  • Visualization: 1113, 1913, 2011, 4041, 5609
  • Web Programming: 1133, 1933, 2021, 4061, 4131

All courses for the minor must be from the CSCI prefix or a cross-listed course. Students who have completed Math 2373, 2243, 2574H (Linear Algebra & Differential Equations) or Math 2142 (Linear Algebra) can't use these courses as a substitution for CSCI 2033 in the minor. Students can use these courses to meet pre-requisites for advanced courses requiring CSCI 2033.

The minor can be declared at any point (during first Computer Science course through completion of all requirements). Students must be declared in a major in order to add the minor. Students can declare the minor by meeting with the Computer Science Advisor or by emailing with their name, student id number, and a few sentences regarding their request and where they are at in terms of completing the minor.