BA in Mathematics & Computer Science

Mathematics, statistics, and computer science are the subjects making up the “Mathematical Sciences.” The joint major in Mathematics & Computer Science allows students to explore all of these related disciplines and is appropriate for Mathematics majors with an interest in applications in computer science and Computer Science majors wishing to have more breadth in foundations and applications. Mathematics & Computer Science majors should have advisors in both the Mathematics & Statistics Department and the Computer Science Department.

Learning Outcomes

Students completing the BA in Mathematics & Computer Science will have:

  • In-depth knowledge in the mathematical foundations.
  • Programming and software engineering skills.
  • Combined theoretical and technical skills to use on real-world applications.


All BU undergraduate students, including both entering first-year and transfer students, will pursue coursework in the BU Hub, the University’s general education program that is integrated into the entire undergraduate experience. BU Hub requirements can be satisfied in a number of ways, including coursework in and beyond the major as well as through cocurricular activities. Students majoring in Mathematics & Computer Science will ordinarily, through coursework in the major, satisfy BU Hub requirements in Quantitative Reasoning and some elements of 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, cocurricular experiences.

Principal Courses

Unless otherwise noted, all required courses are 4 credit hours.

Lower Division

  • CAS CS 111 and CS 112 Introduction to Computer Science I & II, or equivalent
  • CAS CS 210 Computer Systems
  • CAS MA 123 and MA 124 Calculus I & II or one of the following:
    • CAS MA 127 Enriched Calculus, MA 129 Honors Calculus, or equivalent
  • CAS MA 225 Multivariate Calculus or MA 230 Honors-Level Vector Calculus
  • CAS MA 242 Linear Algebra or MA 442 Honors Level Linear Algebra
  • CAS MA 293 Discrete Mathematics or CAS CS 131 Combinatorial Algorithms
  • CAS MA 294 Applied Abstract Algebra
  • CAS MA 581 Probability* OR CAS CS 237 Probability in Computing

*CAS MA 581 may also count toward the Upper Division requirement of two MA courses level 200 or above

Upper Division

  • CAS CS 330 Introduction to Analysis of Algorithms
  • Two of the following:
    • CAS CS 320 Concepts of Programming Languages
    • CAS CS 332 Elements of the Theory of Computation
    • CAS CS 350 Fundamentals of Computing Systems
  • Two additional computer science courses level 400 or above
  • One two-course sequence selected from:
    • CAS MA 531–532 Mathematical Logic/Foundations of Mathematics
    • CAS MA 541–542 Modern Algebra I & II
    • CAS MA 555–556 Numerical Analysis I & II
    • CAS MA 569–570 Optimization Methods of Operations Research/Stochastic Methods of Operations Research
    • CAS MA 581, 582, 583 Probability, Mathematical Statistics, Introduction to Stochastic Processes (any two)
  • Two additional MA courses level 200 or above

Honors in the Major

Students may earn the distinction of departmental Honors in the Major by achieving a GPA of 3.3 or greater in their major courses and successfully completing a senior work-for-distinction research project under the supervision of a faculty member. This project culminates in a written thesis and oral defense before a committee of three faculty (including the project supervisor). Students may complete their thesis project as part of the CAS MA 401–402 honors thesis sequence. Qualified students interested in pursuing a work-for-distinction project should contact the director of undergraduate studies no later than the second semester of their junior year.