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Computer science BS degree requirements: online campus

The Computer Science program focuses on the design of computers, computational processes for problem solving, and information transfer and transformation with an emphasis in improving software and system quality, security, performance and usability. The program supports the evolution of the computing and informatics disciplines, and the integration of computer and information sciences with engineering, science and other disciplines.

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. Please see your academic advisor if you have questions related to 8 semester tracking.

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

Program Structure

Online courses for this program may be offered in 7.5 weeks or 15 weeks, also known as A and B sessions during the Fall and Spring semesters. There will be some key necessary 300 level courses will be offered during a 15 week, C session time frame. Students will need to keep in mind that A and B session lower division or non CSE courses are rigorous courses with the same content as the 15 week session condensed into a 7.5 week class. Students can enroll in both sessions when enrollment for the semester opens. Students should keep an eye on their my ASU portal for upcoming enrollment dates. Students need to be mindful of the academic calendar, which can be accessed through My ASU. Or students can bookmark . The academic calendar will show important dates throughout the semester, such as drop/add dates, tuition due dates and refund dates. The drop date for the 7.5 week session is typically one day into the class.

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 make 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.

Computer science curriculum updates

  1. Fall 2024 catalog years and later:
    • See “Gold” general studies updates below.

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

Maroon general studies: 2023-2024 and earlier

HU/SB Guidelines (15 semester hours or five 3-semester hour classes)

One Class Upper Division (HU or SB) – 3 semester hours ~ MUST BE TAKEN AT A 4-YEAR INSTITUTION

  • Two Classes HU (Humanities) – 6 semester hours minimum
  • Two Classes SB (Social Behavioral) – 6 semester hours minimum

Within these five classes, select courses that include three awareness areas: cultural, global, and historical. No one class contains more than two awareness areas and this requirement must be met with two classes minimum. Contact your advisor if you have questions.

Math requirements

Computer Science (CS) is a math intensive major. It requires the following courses:

MAT 265, MAT 266, MAT 243, MAT 343, IEE 380 as well as MAT 267 OR CSE259 Logic for Computer Science

CS students are recommended to take the CSE 294 or CSE 259 Logic for Computer Science course in place of MAT 267 to better assist with their upper level programming courses.

Lab science requirements

Computer Science (CS) majors have a specific set of Lab Science course requirements for degree compliance. Follow the guidelines below for your respective degree program.

2024 and later requirements:

11 semester hours are required for the degree

Must take 8 hours (SCIT) from the same subject area or discipline. Students may also enroll in:

  1. Biology (BIO 181 and 182)
  2. Geology (GLG 101 and 103; GLG 102 and 104)

and 3 hours (SCIT) from a different subject area

2022 and later requirements:

12 semester hours are required for the degree

Must take 8 hours (SQ) from the same subject area or discipline
and 4 hours (SQ) from a different subject area

2021 and earlier requirements:

12 semester hours are required for the degree

Eight (8) semester hours must be from the same subject area (or discipline). Four (4) semester hours can be from any of the remaining Lab Science Course Options.
Lab Science Sequence Courses – (8 hours)
Must take two classes from 1 subject area.
1. Biology (BIO181 and BIO182)
2. Chemistry (CHM113 and CHM116)
3. Geology (GLG101 and GLG103; GLG102 and GLG104)*
4. Physics (PHY 121 and PHY122; PHY131 and PHY132)*
Lab Science Course Option– (4 hours)
Remaining 4 hours (select one that was not part of Lab Science Sequence)
BIO 181, GLG 101 and GLG103 OR GLG 102 and GLG104 OR GLG 110 and GLG 111 OR CHM 113, CHM 114* OR PHY 121 and PHY122

*Please note that GLG 110 and 111 and CHM 114 can only be used for individual lab science requirement and cannot be used as part of the GLG of CHM sequence)

**Both PHY and GLG separate their lectures and labs individual classes but both parts, the 3 credit lecture and 1 credit lab are required to make a 4 credit lab science class.

Technical electives

Computer Science students are required to complete 6 hours of upper division technical 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.

  • Computer Science & Engineering (CSE) – Any CSE 400 Level Courses
  • Computer Information Systems (CIS) – 415
  • Biochemistry (BCH) – 361, 461, 462
  • Biology (BIO) – 340, 345
  • Data Science (DAT) – 300, 301, 401, 402 (Either DAT 402 or CSE 475 can count towards major requirements but not both}
  • Electrical Engineering (EEE) – 302, 304, 333, 334, 335, 350, 360, 404, 405, 407, 425, 433, 434, 435, 436, 437, 439, 443, 445, 448, 455, 459, 460, 463, 470, 471, 473, 480, 481
  • Fulton School of Engineering (FSE) – 301, 404 (Limit of three hours for FSE 301 or CSE 484 Internship-Students cannot double count both courses for their degree)
  • Industrial Engineering (IEE) – 376, 381, 385, 412, 431, 456, 458, 461, 470, 474
  • Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering (MAE) – 417
  • Mathematics (MAT) – All Math 300 and 400 level classes except for MAT 300, 340, 342, 343, 485
  • Software Engineering (SER) – 421, 422, 423
  • Statistics & Probability (STP) – 421, 425, 427, 429
  • Other majors Honors thesis considered on a case by case basis- see advisor for details