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Computer Science Degree Requirements 2019

Fall 2019 - Spring 2023

The first six (core) courses, which are taken in the freshman and sophomore years, lay a strong foundation for computer science majors. Each student then selects a Track in which to complete 6 advanced courses. Each Track has 2-4 Required Courses and a list of potential electives. A student may complete more than one Track if desired.

The flexibility of the Computer Science curriculum comes from requiring only six foundational (core) courses followed by one or more Tracks, which allow students to deepen their understanding in a specific area of computer science. Some intersection between tracks allows specialization in multiple areas, for example, Systems Programming and Software Engineering.

All beginning computer science majors are required to take CS 19100, Freshman Resources Seminar and CS 19300, Tools. These are 1 credit courses that Computer Science students take in their first semester. Students are equally encouraged to take CS 29100, Sophomore Development Seminar, and CS 39100, Junior Resource Seminar.

All CS core courses, all track requirements, and their pre-requisites, regardless of department, must be completed with a grade of C or better.

Core Requirements (21)
Course Title Credits Semester
CS 18000 Problem Solving and Object-Oriented Programming 4 1
CS 18200 Foundations of Computer Science 3 2
CS 24000 Programming in C 3 2
CS 25000 Computer Architecture 4 3-4
CS 25100 Data Structures and Algorithms 3 3-4
CS 25200 Systems Programming 4 4

Transfer credit (including credit from regional campuses) for 100 and 200 level core courses is possible only if those courses are taken before the student enters the Purdue West Lafayette Computer Science program.



To view course details for all tracks at the same time, click Computer Science Track Details Prior to Fall 2019 (PDF) or Computer Science Track Details as of Fall 2019 (PDF).

The Department of Computer Science does not accept transfer credit for 300 or 400 level CS coursework (with the exception of pre-approved Study Abroad coursework). 

No course can be counted both for required and elective credit. (This holds for all tracks).


Computer Science Tracks
Tracks Prior to Fall 2019  Fall 2019 - Spring 2023
Track Chair
Computational Science and Engineering Track: Introduces computer science basics of Computational Science and Engineering. Link Link David Gleich
Computer Graphics and Visualization Track: Prepares students for work and/or for graduate school in computer graphics, visualization, and related areas. Link Link Daniel Aliaga
Database and Information Systems Track: Prepares students to apply database principles, algorithms, and optimization techniques to design, build, and manage current and future database and information systems. Link Link Walid Aref

(Algorithmic) Foundations Track: (Formerly: Foundations of Computer Science) Gives students a broad education on foundational concepts, tools, and techniques underlying existing and future areas of computer science.

Link Link Mikhail Atallah
Machine Intelligence Track: Prepares students to work in fields related to analysis of data, including areas such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, information retrieval, and data mining. Link Link Chris Clifton
Programming Language Track: Prepares students to work in fields related to program understanding, analysis, manipulation and transformation. Link Link Ben Delaware
Security Track: Prepares students to design and develop secure software and to use techniques for testing and assessing systems for secure operation. Link Link Ninghui Li
Software Engineering Track: Prepares students to design and develop large software products, be familiar with analysis, design, testing, and maintenance, and be able to work in teams. Link Link H.E. Dunsmore
Systems Software Track: (Formerly: Systems Programming) Prepares students to build low-level operating system software, system tools, and programs that communicate over a network. Link Link Douglas Comer

Detailed BS in Computer Science Description and Plan of Study from the University Catalog


College of Science Requirement Restrictions

Teambuilding and Collaboration (Cannot be met through credit-by-exam)

Approved course & approved experience: No departmental restrictions

Unacceptable courses for credit for CS students in College of Science

Curriculum Resources

Computer Science prerequisite flowchart (PDF)

Visit the College of Science Curriculum Resources page to find Degree Progression Guides.

Last Updated: Nov 1, 2023 8:55 AM

Department of Computer Science, 305 N. University Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907

Phone: (765) 494-6010 • Fax: (765) 494-0739

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