BA in Computer Science

Students majoring in Computer Science (CS) learn to understand and evaluate the organization, design, and construction of hardware and software systems for computing. Additionally, they attain a level of mathematical ability allowing them to formally abstract and analyze computational processes. They analyze problems that require computation to answer, and design and implement solutions that are efficient and effective.


All students entering as first year students in Fall 2018 and after will pursue coursework in the BU Hub, a general education program that is integrated into the entire undergraduate experience. BU Hub requirements are flexible and can be satisfied in many different ways, through coursework in and beyond the major and, in some cases, through co-curricular activities. Students majoring in Computer Science will ordinarily, through coursework in the major, satisfy BU Hub requirements in Quantitative Reasoning, as well as some requirements in Communication and the Intellectual Toolkit. Remaining BU Hub requirements will be satisfied by selecting from a wide range of available courses outside the major or, in some cases, co-curricular experiences.

The major in Computer Science requires a total of fifteen 4-credit courses, all completed with a grade of C or higher.

CS students are expected to be comfortable with standard high school mathematics as a well as calculus at a level equivalent to completion of CAS MA 123.

The 15 courses required for the major are divided into four groups: A, B, C, and D. Students must take all courses in Group A, at least 2 courses from Group B, at least 2 courses from Group C, and a total of 15 courses from Groups A–D.

Group A: Foundational Courses  

These courses build essential foundations for the study of CS. Students must take all five.

  • CAS CS 111 Introduction to Computer Science 1
  • CAS CS 112 Introduction to Computer Science 2
  • CAS CS 131 Combinatoric Structures
  • CAS CS 210 Computer Systems
  • CAS CS 330 Introduction to the Analysis of Algorithms

Group B: Formal Tools

These courses provide training in basic algorithms and formal methods. Students must take at least two from this group.

  • CAS CS 132 Geometrical Algorithms
  • CAS CS 235 Algebraic Algorithms
  • CAS CS 237 Probability in Computing

Group C: Central Topics

These courses are more advanced than Groups A and B, and cover broadly important subfields of CS. Students must take at least two from this group.

  • CAS CS 320 Concepts of Programming Languages
  • CAS CS 332 Elements in the Theory of Computation
  • CAS CS 350 Fundamentals of Computing Systems

Group D: Electives

  • All CAS CS courses at the 400 and 500 levels

The list of prerequisites or co-requisites for a CS course may contain a CS course “X” with a non-CS alternative “Y.” In such a case, course “Y” may be counted toward the major instead of course “X.”

In special cases, a student, with consent of the instructor, may petition the Undergraduate Director to count courses other than those specified above. Attention is called to the following: GRS CS courses numbered 600 and above; 500-level courses in Mathematics & Statistics (CAS MA); and Computer Engineering courses offered by the College of Engineering (ENG).

CAS CS major credit will not be given for Metropolitan College (MET) courses.

Honors in the Major

Students seeking Honors in the CS major will need to complete two semesters of research work under the supervision of a tenure-track faculty member (CAS CS 401/402), which will culminate in a written document and an oral presentation before a committee of the faculty.