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Computer science BA degree requirements: West Valley campus

The Computer Science BA program at our West Valley campus provides the knowledge and skills to prepare students for entry-level software development positions. With less emphasis on math and theory, the program will attract a broader set of students to computing and provide opportunities for students to customize their degree with other areas of interest. The program is a joint initiative with Applied Computing program at the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. The program equips students with essential computing fundamentals while empowering them with the flexibility to delve into diverse disciplines, preparing them for careers spanning a wide array of domains that demand both computational expertise and domain-specific knowledge. 

Critical requirements

Arizona State University has adopted an 8 semester tracking model, which monitors completion of “critical” lower division and “necessary” upper division courses specific to each degree. This set of courses was designed to serve as predictors of academic success in the degree program. The lower division “critical” courses are shaded grey on the flowcharts and indicated on the major map. Upper division “necessary” courses are indicated with stars on the major maps. All courses listed on both the major map and the flowchart are required.

University policy allows students to retake a course one time. Students who are not successful in passing a course after a second attempt will be asked to identify a new major. SCAI Advising will only entertain third time repeat petitions for students with extenuating circumstances. Please see your academic advisor if you have questions related to 8 semester tracking or course third time repeats.

**Students are subject to any individual course prerequisite changes despite their catalog year.

A message from our program chair

Based on feedback from our alumni and industrial advisory board members as well as feedback provided by some of you either directly to the Program Chair or through end-of-semester course evaluations, we are implementing following changes to ensure that you have better support for junior and senior year classes. This is in line with our constant endeavor to improve your educational experience at ASU and to make sure you get the best education in our Computer Science and Computer Systems Engineering programs.

Gold general studies: 2024-2025 and later

General Studies Gold is the name of ASU’s general studies curriculum, which specifies the requirements for undergraduate students in catalog year 2024-2025 and forward.

The General Studies Gold framework reduces the complexity of the current general studies curriculum (now known as General Studies Maroon, and required of students in catalog years 2023-2024 and earlier). General Studies Gold will require the same number of credits and will provide greater transparency to students, faculty, and staff.

Required categories in the General Studies Gold curriculum include:

  • Humanities, Arts and Design (HUAD) 6 semester hours min
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (SOBE) 3 semester hours min
  • American Institutions (AMIT) 3 semester hours min
  • Governance and Civic Engagement (CIVI) 3 semester hours min
  • Global Communities, Societies and Individuals (GCSI) 3 semester hours min
  • Sustainability (SUST) 3 semester hours min

Math requirements

Computer Science (BA) is a less math intensive major than the Computer Science (BS). It requires the following courses:

MAT 210, MAT 243, STP 226

Lab science requirements

Computer Science (BA) majors have to take two (4 credit) SCIT general studies lab science courses.

Upper division communication electives

Communication is a key aspect of being able to work effectively on a team. That said, our Computer Science BA program requires an upper division communications course to round out our students curriculum. Select one of the following:

COM 316, COM 317, COM 353, COM 371, COM 415, COM 416, COM 457, COM 459, COM 471, COM 477 are recommended, any 300 or 400 level COM course will also work for this requirement.

Upper division computing electives

Computer Science BA students are required to complete 21 hours of upper division computing electives with a grade of “C” or better. Students can choose from the list of courses below. Please note that some courses may require additional prerequisites and approvals to register. Students can contact their advisor for details on how to request overrides for non-SCAI classes.

  • Applied Computing (ACO) – ACO 321, 331, 351, 361, 394, 420, 423, 430, 431, 432, 461, 484, 494, 492, 493, 499 (additional ACO courses may be approved upon request)
  • Computing & Informatics (CPI) – CPI 310, 350, 360 (additional CPI courses may be approved upon request)
  • Computer Science & Engineering (CSE) – CSE 335, 365, 445, 446, 460, 463, 484, 492, 493, 499 (additional CSE courses may be approved upon request)
  • Software Engineering (SER) – SER upper division courses may be considered on a case by case basis
  • Other majors Honors thesis considered on a case by case basis- see advisor for details

Computing capstone /experiential learning requirement

Experiential learning courses are essential for our students to have the research and industry experience to enter the workforce one their degree is completed. These courses may not be taken concurrently in the same semester. Only one of ACO 482 or ACO 494 Industry Capstone Projects may apply for three out of the six credit hours. All students must take at least three credit hours of CSE 484 or ACO/CSE 499, and may choose to take all six credit hours as CSE 484 and/or ACO/CSE 499, if they desire. See academic advisor for questions.