The policies listed below apply to all academic settings within the department of Computer Science. The policies follow the guidelines set forth by the University and CAS.

Course Prerequisites:

  • Prerequisites are in place to ensure that students are successful in their courses. Instructors base their material on the assumption that students have completed their prerequisites. For this reason, prerequisites will be strictly enforced.
    • Any student not meeting a prerequisite will be dropped from the course.

Retaking a Course:

  • Courses can by default only be repeated once.
    • On rare exceptions a single course in group A, B or C may be repeated a second time. Granting this exception is up to the discretion of the Department and is not a default.
    • The retake policy applies to equivalent courses taken at another department or institution too. That is, if a student has exhausted their repeat options for a course they cannot fulfill the requirement by taking an equivalent course elsewhere.
    • Taking a course after dropping with ‘W’ is not considered a repeat attempt, but students with multiple withdrawals are encouraged to talk to their advisors.

Substituting Courses:

  • Students should contact their advisor or to count courses other than those listed in the Courses section for major requirements.
  • Attention is called to the following: CS courses number 600 and above; 500-level courses in Mathematics & Statistics; and Computer Engineering courses offered by the College of Engineering. Make sure to confirm a potential course substitution with Professor Erdos before taking the course.

Incomplete Grades:

  • Incomplete grades may be granted only in cases of dire illness or circumstances that arise shortly before the end of the semester. The CS department guidelines follow and complement the University Policy.
    • Incompletes will only be granted if a student has completed at least 70% of the assignments and has taken (at least one of) the midterm(s).
    • Incompletes will not be granted before the course withdrawal deadline, a.k.a. drop with ‘W’ date.
    • Incompletes will not be granted on the basis of avoiding a poor grade.
    • Incompletes will not be granted once the final grades for the course have been released.

Course Transfers:

Whenever possible, seek approval before you do any work or pay for the course.

  • Course transfer requests for current BU students are decided on a case-by-case basis and at the discretion of the Department. The evaluation is based on content as well as the individual circumstances of the student.
  • Transfer courses will not be accepted towards group C. Courses with related content may be considered towards the electives on a case-by-case basis.
  • University course transfer procedures are described in the Undergraduate Bulletin and vary depending on whether you are a new transfer or freshman student at BU and are seeking credit for courses taken before you enrolled at BU, or are a current BU student seeking credit for a summer course taken elsewhere during your BU studies. See the CAS Advising Center for forms and procedures.
  • If you are a CAS student who wants an outside course counted toward divisional studies or the CS major, you will need to submit a Transfer Course Equivalency Form available in the CS department main office at CDS (665 Commonwealth Ave, 6th Floor) or at the CAS Advising (100 Bay State Rd, Rm 401). If you are a non-CAS student, similar forms are available through your school or college.
  • The form must be accompanied by documentation of the course contents. Often courses at other institutions, even if they have similar titles and course descriptions to BU CS courses, cover considerably less material. Therefore, a title and a course description are not sufficient documentation. You will need to:
    • Evaluate whether the course you are planning to take is similar to a BU CS course by looking at our course descriptions and homepages. Be sure to look at weekly lists of lectures and topics covered and compare them to the topics covered in the course you are seeking to transfer to BU. Do not submit a petition until you have done such an evaluation yourself.
    • Provide a weekly lecture schedule, a list of textbook chapters covered, or sample homework assignments to demonstrate what the outside course covers. This information can be in electronic format, sent by email to Dora Erdos, Director of Undergraduate Studies, at at the same time as the paper form is submitted. If you submit this information on paper, be sure to include your email address so you can be contacted in case any further information is needed.
  • If you have considerable prior CS coursework and are interested in majoring in Computer Science, contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies for proper placement into BU CS courses.