Academic Information for Majors

This page provides resources for Computer Science majors at Oxy.

Computer Science Tracks
About the Senior Comprehensive Project
Code of Conduct
FAQ
Forms


Computer Science Tracks

To complete the Computer Science major, you must take an additional six courses on top of the required core coursework. These six additional courses will vary depending on which of the following three pathways through the major you select. See Major at a Glance for an overview of these requirements.

Computer Science Pathway

To complete the computer science pathway through the major, your six additional courses must be in Computer Science, and they must meet the following requirements:

  • All six courses must be at the 200-level or above in at least two different subfields of computer science. The subfields are artificial intelligence, interfaces, security, systems, and theory.
  • At least three of these courses must be 300-level.
  • COMP 317: Algorithms Analysis is strongly recommended for students interested in graduate school.

Students will graduate with broad working knowledge of the many facets of the field, while maintaining freedom to pursue specific topics in depth. Students may count two courses at most from the Additional Electives list towards the major in this pathway.

Mathematics Pathway

To complete the major with a mathematical emphasis, you must take or pass out of Calculus II. You must also take:

  • MATH 210: Discrete Math
  • MATH 214: Linear Algebra
  • COMP 317: Algorithms Analysis
  • MATH 352/COMP 352: Computability and Complexity -OR- COMP 353: Information Theory
  • Two additional courses in Computer Science at the 300-level or above
  • Two additional courses in Mathematics. Students may apply any 4-unit Mathematics course at the 300-level towards this requirement. Students may also apply MATH 212: Multivariate Calculus towards this requirement.
CS+X Pathway

If you are interested in pursuing the CS + X pathway, you must submit a CS+X proposal to the Computer Science Department Chair no later than two semesters prior to the semester of graduation and at least two weeks before Advising Week.

The proposal must include the following:

  • The theme for the concentration, its connection to computer science and technology, and what additional knowledge an interdisciplinary concentration would provide.
  • The list of 6 courses (24 credits) at the 200-level or above, including 2-3 courses in Computer Science and 3-4 courses outside Computer Science, that you will take to complete the major. You should specify which courses you have already completed and estimate when the remaining courses will be offered.
  • A fallback plan for completing the traditional computer science pathway, if the courses for the CS + X concentration are not available or are full.
  • Signatures of your faculty advisor and a faculty member outside of computer science who agrees to act as an outside advisor for the senior comprehensive project.

Complete the CS+X proposal form

Sample Computer Science + X Themes

CS + Bioinformatics.

Students select four courses from the following:

  • BIO 268: Biostatistics
  • BIO 326: Molecular Evolution and Phylogenomics
  • BIO 369: Oceanography
  • BIO 370: Field Ecology
  • BIO 373: Computational Biology
  • COMP 347: Machine Learning
  • CHEM 355: Bioinformatics

Sample Four-Year Plan: CS + Bioinformatics

First Year:

  • COMP 131: Fundamentals of Computer Science
  • BIO 105, 106, 110, or 115
  • BIO 130 (if interested in CHEM 355 Bioinformatics)
  • Calculus 1

Second Year:

  • COMP 149 Mathematical Foundations
  • COMP 229 Data Structures
  • COMP 239 Computer Systems
  • BIO 280 (if interested in BIO 326), 260, or 270

Third Year:

  • COMP 347 Machine Learning
  • COMP 390 Junior Seminar
  • CS elective
  • Biology 326, 369, 370, or 373, -OR- CHEM 355

Fourth Year:

  • COMP 490 Senior Seminar
  • CS elective
  • Two of Biology 326, 369, 370, or 373, -OR- CHEM 355

CS + Technology and Society.

Students select four courses from the following:

  • DWA 281: Media and Global Change
  • MAC 260: Topics in Digital Culture
  • POLS 346: Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
  • SOC 365: Mass Media and Consumer Society
  • SOC 375: Globalization
  • UEP 305: Urban Data Analysis

Sample Four-Year Plan: CS + Technology and Society

First Year:

  • COMP 131 Fundamentals of Computer Science
  • Calculus 1
  • SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology

Second Year:

  • COMP 149 Mathematical Foundations
  • COMP 229 Data Structures
  • DWA 281 Media and Global Change
  • POLS 101 American Politics and Public Policy

Third Year:

  • COMP 390 Junior Seminar
  • COMP 239 Computer Systems
  • SOC 365 Mass Media and Consumer Society
  • SOC 244 Constitutional Law
  • CS elective

Fourth Year:

  • COMP 490 Senior Seminar
  • POLS 346 Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
  • SOC 375 Globalization
  • CS elective

CS + Environmental Sciences.

Students select four courses from the following:

  • BIO 268 (Biostatistics)
  • BIO 373 (Computational Biology)
  • GEO 255 (Spatial Analysis with Geographic Information Science)
  • MATH 395 (Mathematical Models in Biology)
  • BIO 369 (Biological Oceanography)
 

CS + Logical, Philosophical, and Mathematical Foundations.

Students select four courses from the following:

  • COMP 307 (Mathematical Structures of Computer Science)
  • MATH 350 (Mathematical Logic)
  • MATH 352 (Computability and Complexity)
  • PHIL 275 (Logic, Problem Solving and Education)
  • PHIL 325 (Metalogic)
  • PHIL 365 (Philosophy of Science)
  • PHIL 375 (Theory of Knowledge)
  • PHIL 385 (Metaphysics)
 

CS + Languages and Linguistics. Students take the following four courses:

  • COGS 330 (Linguistics for Cognitive Science)
  • COMP 331 (Natural Language Processing)
  • LING 301 (Introduction to Linguistics)
  • PHIL 370 (Philosophy of Language)
 

 

About the Senior Comprehensive Project

In your senior year, as part of your graduation requirements, you will complete a project on a topic in computer science. You will work on your project as part of your coursework in the Computer Science Senior Seminar (COMP 490). All majors take COMP 490 in the fall semester of the senior year. If you’re considering studying abroad, you must coordinate with the department to ensure the completion of your senior comprehensive project.

At the end of COMP 490, you will present your completed project to the computer science faculty at a public showcase open to the campus community. In addition to your project, you are also required to complete a written thesis on your work.

If you are pursuing the CS+X pathway, you must complete a comprehensive project related to your theme.

Examples of Past Projects
  • Shasta Clokey ('18): Motus Tracker App (Building a Mobile Controller for Motion in VR Using the Android Sensor Framework)
  • Max Marion ('18): Using Seq2Seq Encoder-Decoder Architecture to Generate Couplets
  • Ellen Shin ('18): Exploring Web Development
Earning Distinction on the Comprehensive Project

Distinction will be awarded by the Computer Science faculty (and in consultation with external faculty for students pursuing CS+X) to exceptionally strong comprehensive projects.

Graduating With Honors

Honors in Computer Science may be awarded to graduating seniors who demonstrate excellence in their coursework and earn a grade of “pass with distinction” on their senior comprehensive project. To be eligible, students must have a 3.5 grade point average in the major and a 3.25 overall grade point average.

 

Code of Conduct

The Computer Science department endorses the code of conduct developed by the student-led Open Source club and expects computer science students to abide by it.

 

FAQ

Q: Would I be able to study abroad and still complete all the computer science major requirements?

Yes, however, please be aware that COMP 390: Computer Science Junior Seminar is a required course for all computer science majors and is only offered in the spring. For this reason, please plan to study abroad in the fall of your junior year.

The following programs in Oxy’s current study abroad portfolio would serve computer science majors particularly well. Please work closely with your advisor to determine how computer science credits from these programs will transfer over:

  • Denmark. DIS Copenhagen has a Computer Science program with an emphasis on video game development.
  • United Kingdom. Three of our current exchange partners in the UK have computer science majors.
  • New Zealand. University of Otago has a computer science major.
  • Australia. University of Melbourne has six different undergraduate majors in their School of Computing and Information Systems.
  • Hungary. The Budapest Semesters in Mathematics have several courses that are particularly relevant to theory of computer science.

Q: Can I substitute electives for the upper division courses for a computer science minor?

No.

Q: Can I use the same upper division course for my CS+X major and my major or minor in X?

You can double count all but two courses among the upper division requirements.

Q: Can I get funding for going to conferences or for other projects?

Oxy provides multiple resources of student funding. The URC has funding for academic projects and for collaborating with faculty. ASOC also provides funding for various activities. Finally, you can also apply for CS department travel funding.

 

Forms