Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree program provides a strong technical background for students planning to begin careers upon graduation and for those interested in graduate study in computer science. This program allows students to take more coursework in computer science and related technical areas than does the bachelor of arts degree program.

In addition to the three Options leading to the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, students may apply to Option IV, the Integrated Program, which leads to simultaneous completion of the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and the Master of Science in Computer Science, the Master of Science in Information Studies, or the Master of Science in Computational Science, Engineering, and Mathematics. The requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Option IV, are given below. The requirements for the Master of Science in Computer Science, the Master of Science in Information Studies, and the Master of Science in Computational Science, Engineering, and Mathematics are described in the Graduate Catalog.

Students who would like to pursue any of the following Options must first be admitted to the degree program. The admission processes for Options I, II, and IV are described in The Major in Computer Science; the admission process for Option III is described in the section Dean’s Scholars Honors Program.

Prescribed Work Common to All Options

In the process of fulfilling degree requirements, all students must complete:

  1. Core curriculum
  1. Skills and experience flags:
    a. Writing: two flagged courses beyond Rhetoric and Writing 306 or its equivalent, including one at the upper-division level
    b. Quantitative reasoning: one flagged course
    c. Global cultures: one flagged course
    d. Cultural diversity in the United States: one flagged course
    e. Ethics and leadership: one flagged course
    f. Independent inquiry: one flagged course

Courses that may be used to fulfill flag requirements are identified in the Course Schedule. They may be used simultaneously to fulfill other requirements, unless otherwise specified. Please note, students may not earn the cultural diversity in the United States and the global cultures flags from the same course. Students are encouraged to discuss options with their academic advisers.

  1. Options I, II, and IV: One of the following foreign language/culture choices: (Students in Option III and V are exempt from this requirement)
    1. Beginning level proficiency coursework, or the equivalent, in a foreign language
    2. First course in a foreign language and a three-semester-hour course in the culture of the same language area
    3. Two three-semester-hour courses in one foreign culture area. The courses must be chosen from an approved list available in the dean’s office and the college advising centers
  2. At least 42 semester hours of upper-division coursework.
  3. At least 21 semester hours of upper-division coursework in computer science must be completed in residence at the University.

Additional Prescribed Work for Each Option

Option I: Computer Science

  1. Mathematics 408C and 408D, or 408N, 408S, and 408M; either 340L or 341 or Statistics and Data Sciences 329C; and Mathematics 362K or Statistics and Data Sciences 321
  1. One of the following sequences of coursework:
    1. Either Biology 311C and 311D, or Biology 315H and 325H
    2. Chemistry 301 or 301H, and 302 or 302H
    3. Physics 303K and 103M, 301 and 101L, or 317K and 117M; and 303L and 103N, 316 and 116L, or 317L and 117N
  2. Three additional hours of majors-level coursework chosen from:
    1. a different sequence listed in requirement 7
    2. geological sciences
    3. upper-division mathematics, excluding Mathematics 325K, 340L, 341, and 362K
  3. The following courses in computer science: 
    1. Theory: Computer Science 311 or 311H, 331 or 331H, and three additional hours from an approved list available in the department
    2. Programming: Computer Science 312, 314 or 314H, and three additional hours from an approved list in the department
    3. Systems: Computer Science 429 or 429H, 439 or 439H, and three additional hours from an approved list available in the department
    4. 15 additional hours of upper-division courses in computer science
  4. Enough additional coursework to make a total of 120 semester hours.

Option II: Turing Scholars Honors

  1. Mathematics 408C and 408D, or 408N, 408S, and 408M; either 340L or 341 or Statistics and Data Sciences 329C; and Mathematics 362K or Statistics and Data Sciences 321

  2. One of the following sequences of coursework:
    1. Either Biology 311C and 311D, or 315H and 325H
    2. Chemistry 301 or 301H, and 302 or 302H
    3. Physics 303K and 103M, 301 and 101L, or 317K and 117M; and 303L and 103N, 316 and 116L, or 317L and 117N.
  3. Three additional hours of majors-level coursework chosen from:
    1. ​a different sequence listed in requirement 7
    2. geological sciences
    3. upper-division mathematics, excluding Mathematics 325K, 340L, 341, and 362K
  4. The following courses in computer science:
    1. Theory: Computer Science 311 or 311H, 331 or 331H, and three additional hours from an approved list available in the department
    2. Programming: Computer Science 314 or 314H, and three additional hours from an approved list available in the department
    3. Systems: Computer Science 429 or 429H, 439 or 439H, and three additional hours from an approved list available in the department
    4. Computer Science 178H and 379H
    5. 12 additional hours of upper-division courses in computer science

The courses the student chooses to fulfill requirements a through c must be approved by the Turing Scholars program director. In addition to Computer Science 429H, 178H and 379H, at least five upper-division courses chosen to fulfill requirements a through e must be honors courses. The honors thesis the student completes in Computer Science 379H must be approved by the program director.

  1. Enough additional coursework to make a total of 120 semester hours

Option III: Computer Science Honors

  1. Breadth requirement: An honors mathematics course; Computer Science 311H and 314H; one of the following two-semester sequences: Biology 315H and 325H, Chemistry 301H and 302H, Physics 301, 101L, 316, and 116L; and either an additional three hours chosen from these courses or Physics 315 and 115L. Credit earned by examination may not be counted toward this requirement.

  2. At least six semester hours of upper-division coursework in mathematics

  3. Computer Science 429H, 331H, 439H, and 12 additional hours of upper-division coursework in computer science

  4. A section of Undergraduate Studies 302 or 303 that is approved by the departmental honors adviser

  5. A section of Rhetoric and Writing 309S that is restricted to students in the Dean's Scholars Honors Program

  6. Computer Science 379H and a three-semester-hour upper-division research course approved by the departmental honors adviser

  7. 25 additional semester hours of coursework approved by the departmental honors adviser

  8. Six semester hours of coursework in the College of Liberal Arts or the College of Fine Arts

  9. Enough additional coursework to make a total of 120 semester hours

Option IV: Integrated Program

  1. Mathematics 408C and 408D, or 408N, 408S, and 408M; either 340L or 341 or Statistics and Data Sciences 329C; and Mathematics 362K or Statistics and Data Sciences 321

  2. One of the following sequences of coursework:

    1. Either Biology 311C and 311D, or Biology 315H and 325H

    2. Chemistry 301 or 301H, and 302 or 302H

    3. Physics 303K and 103M301 and 101L, or 317K and 117M; and 303L and 103N316 and 116L, or 317L and 117N

  3. Three additional hours of majors-level coursework chosen from:

    1. a different sequence listed in requirement 7

    2. geological sciences

    3. upper-division mathematics, excluding Mathematics 325K340L341, and 362K

  4. The following courses in computer science:

    1. Theory: Computer Science 311 or 311H, 331, or 331H, and three additional hours from an approved list available in the department

    2. Programming: Computer Science 312 , 314 or 314H, and three additional hours from an approved list available in the department

    3. Systems: Computer Science 429 or 429H, 439 or 439H, and three additional hours from an approved list available in the department

    4. Nine additional hours of upper-division courses in computer science

  5. Enough additional coursework to make a total of 120 semester hours

Option V: Teaching (Senior grades)

  1. History 329U or Philosophy 329U

  2. Mathematics 408C and 408D, or 408N, 408S, and 408M; either 340L or 341 or Statistics and Data Sciences 329C

  3. One of the following sequences of coursework:

    1. Biology 311C and 311D

    2. Chemistry 301 or 301H, and 302 or 302H

    3. Physics 303K and 103M301 and 101L, or 317K and 117M; and 303L and 103N316 and 116L, or 317L and 117N

  4. The following courses in computer science:

    1. Theory: Computer Science 311 or 311H,  331 or 331H, and three additional hours from an approved list available in the department

    2. Programming: Computer Science 312,  314 or 314H, and three additional hours from an approved list available in the department

    3. Systems: Computer Science 429 or 429H, 439 or 439H, and three additional hours from an approved list available in the department

  5. The requirements of one of the following certification areas:

    1. For computer science certification:

      1.  Mathematics 362K and Statistics and Data Sciences 321

      2. An additional sequence chosen from the following:

        1. ​​Biology 325 and 337 (Topic 2: Research Methods: UTeach)

        2. At least three hours of upper-division coursework in chemistry approved by the undergraduate adviser; and Chemistry 368 (Topic 1: Research Methods: UTeach)

        3. Physics 315 and 341 (Topic 7: Research Methods: UTeach)

      3. 15 additional hours of approved computer science upper-division coursework

    2. For computer science and mathematics certification:

      1. ​​​Mathematics 315C, 333L, 362K, either 360M or 375D, and Statistics and Data Sciences 321

      2. 12 additional hours of approved computer science upper-division coursework.

      3.  Biology 337 (Topic 2: Research Methods: UTeach), or Chemistry 368 (Topic 1: Research Methods: UTeach), or Physics 341 (Topic 7: Research Methods: UTeach)

  6. 18 semester hours of professional development coursework consisting of:

    1. Curriculum and Instruction 651S

    2. Curriculum and Instruction 365C or UTeach-Natural Sciences 350 

    3. Curriculum and Instruction 365D or UTeach-Natural Sciences 355

    4. Curriculum and Instruction 365E or UTeach-Natural Sciences 360

    5. UTeach-Natural Sciences 101110, and 170

  1. Enough additional coursework to make a total of 127 semester hours

Special Requirements

Students in all Options must fulfill both the University's general requirements for graduation and the college requirements. They must also earn a grade of at least C- in each mathematics and science course required for the degree, and a grade point average in these courses of at least 2.00. More information about grades and the grade point average is given in General Information.

To graduate and be recommended for certification students who follow the teaching option must have a University grade point average of at least 2.50. They must earn a grade of at least C- in the supporting course in requirement 6, and in each of the professional development courses listed in requirement 11 and must pass the final teaching portfolio review. For information about the portfolio review and additional teacher certification requirements, students should consult the UTeach-Natural Sciences academic adviser.

Enrollment in Computer Science 312 , 311 or 311H, and 314 or 314H is restricted to computer science entry-level majors. All other computer science courses that may be counted toward a degree in computer science are restricted to students who have been admitted to the computer science major or have the consent of the undergraduate faculty adviser.

An undergraduate may not enroll in any computer science course more than once without written consent of an undergraduate adviser in computer science. No student may enroll in any computer science course more than twice. No student may take more than three upper-division computer science courses in a semester without written consent of an undergraduate adviser in computer science.

Additional Requirements for Option II

Students in Option II, the Turing Scholars program, must maintain a University grade point average of at least 3.30 and a grade point average in computer science of at least 3.30; in rare circumstances, this grade point average requirement will be waived for students whose honors thesis has been judged by the Department of Computer Science Undergraduate Thesis Committee to be truly outstanding. In addition to this grade point average requirement, students in Option II must know and abide by the academic and disciplinary policies given in this catalog and in the General Information Catalog. Those who fail to do so will be considered for academic dismissal from the Turing Scholars program. Under special circumstances and at the discretion of the director, a student will be allowed to continue in the program under academic review. A student who is academically dismissed from the program may enter another computer science program if he or she fulfills the scholastic standards for continuance in the University given in General Information. Students in scholastic difficulty should discuss their problems with a Turing Scholars program academic adviser and the director.

Additional Requirements for Option III

To graduate under Option III, students must remain in good standing in the Dean’s Scholars Honors Program, must earn grades of at least A- in the departmental research and thesis courses described in requirement 10 above, and must present their research in an approved public forum, such as the college’s annual Undergraduate Research Forum. More information about the Undergraduate Research Forum is available at https://cns.utexas.edu/.

Additional Requirements for Option IV

Satisfactory Progress

Students are expected to make continuous progress toward the degree by completing required computer science coursework each semester. Those who fail to take program coursework two long-session semesters in a row will be removed from the program and re-enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science Option (I, II, or III) that they were following before admission to the Integrated Program (Option IV). Students will be notified before this action is taken; they must meet with their academic adviser upon being notified.

Probation

The student is placed on probation if his or her grade point average in required undergraduate computer science courses falls below 3.00. Except with the consent of the undergraduate adviser or the graduate adviser, a student on probation may not take graduate computer science courses.

Dismissal

The student is dismissed from the Integrated Program if (1) he or she fails to improve his or her academic performance significantly while on probation, or (2) he or she will not achieve a grade point average of 3.00 even by earning grades of A in all remaining required undergraduate computer science and graduate courses.

Like all students, those in the Integrated Program must know and abide by the academic and disciplinary policies given in this catalog and in the General Information Catalog. Those who fail to do so will be considered for academic dismissal from the program. Under special circumstances and at the discretion of the director, a student may be allowed to continue in the program under academic review. A student who is academically dismissed from the program may enter another computer science program if he or she fulfills the scholastic standards for continuance in the University given in the General Information Catalog. Students in scholastic difficulty should discuss their problems with an academic adviser and the undergraduate faculty adviser.

Graduation

To receive the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Master of Science in Computer Science, Master of Science in Information Studies, or Master of Science in Computational Science, Engineering, and Mathematics degrees through the Integrated Program, a student must have a University grade point average of at least 3.00 in the coursework in the Master of Science Program of Work. He or she must also have a grade point average in graduate computer science and information studies, or computational science, engineering, and mathematics coursework of at least 3.00.

Order and Choice of Work

The student must consult the faculty adviser each semester regarding order and choice of work.

Note: Computer science courses with numbers ending in H are intended for students in Option II, the Turing Scholars program, and Option III, computer science honors. Students outside these Options may enroll in these courses only with the special consent of the honors director.