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Double Major in Mathematics and Computer Science

Students interested in this double major should talk directly with Ms. Theresa Ashley in Flinn Hall 110, when getting advised in the Math department.

Students who wish to obtain a bachelor's degree with a double major in Mathematics from the College of Arts and Sciences and in Computer Science from the College of Engineering and Computing must satisfy the requirements for both degree programs. The guidelines for the mathematics degree can be found linked off the Department of Mathematics home page in their Undergraduate Program section.

A summary of how to satisfy both sets of requirements appears here. This is believed to be accurate for the Fall 2009 academic year, but students must read both sets of requirements carefully to ensure that they can obtain the degree with a double major. This is written from the point of view of a student pursuing a major in Computer Science who also wants to satisfy the requirements for a major in Mathematics.

General Education and Distribution Requirements

  • The language requirement for Mathematics is stronger than that for Computer Science.
  • The laboratory science requirement for Computer Science is stronger than that for Mathematics (two semesters of physics or chemistry plus one semester of another science versus two semesters of science).
  • The requirements in liberal arts, humanities, fine arts, and social science for both degree programs are both 18 credit hours. The requirements for the Mathematics degree are more specific, however. Computer Science requires three credit hours each in fine arts, history, and social science, plus nine further credit hours, whereas Mathematics requires six credit hours in each of history, social science, and humanities, with a further restriction on the history courses. Coursework to satisfy this requirement must be chosen more carefully so as to satisfy the more specific requirements of the Mathematics degree.
  • The statistics or computer science requirement for Mathematics is satisfied by the Computer Science major because the CS major requires CSCE 146 and STAT 509.

Major, Cognate, and Application Area Requirements

Again, we emphasize that this is written from the point of view of a Computer Science major who wishes to satisfy the additional requirements of a major in Mathematics.

  • The major in Mathematics normally requires that a student complete coursework for a cognate. This requirement is waived in the case of a double major in Computer Science.
  • The Computer Science major requires that a student complete coursework in an application area totaling nine credit hours at the upper level. In the case of a double major in Mathematics, the application area will naturally be fulfilled by the mathematics courses for the Mathematics major.
  • Both the General Mathematics major and the Applied Mathematics major require the pre-major courses of MATH 141, 142, and 241. These are required of Computer Science majors, so this requirement is automatically satisfied by students pursuing a Computer Science major.
  • 2014 and before: Both the General Mathematics major and the Applied Mathematics major require eight upper level courses in Mathematics beyond the pre-major courses. Both these Mathematics majors require MATH 574 and one of the linear algebra courses MATH 526 or 544 (and credit cannot be earned for both). Since Computer Science majors are required to take MATH 526, this part of the Mathematics requirement is naturally satisfied.
  • 2015 and after: The Math major requires MATH 544. Computer Science majors can take MATH 544 and MATH 544L in lieu of the required MATH 344, 344L. During these transition years students can also take MATH 526 (4 credits), or MATH 544 (3 credits) and MATH 344L (1 credit).
  • Computer Science majors are required to take MATH 374 (discrete structures), and it is possible to earn credit for both MATH 374 and MATH 574. However, well-prepared students wishing to earn a double major are encouraged to take MATH 574, which will be counted in lieu of MATH 374 for the Computer Science degree.
  • Of the eight upper level courses in Mathematics required for the major, then, two (526 and 574) can be used to satisfy requirements already present in the Computer Science curriculum, and three would normally be used as the Application Area. The additional coursework required for the Mathematics major is thus the remaining three upper level Mathematics courses, which must be taken in addition to the required courses for the Computer Science major.

Note

  • Computer Science requires three upper level courses in Computer Science. Mathematics requires upper level Mathematics elective courses. Some courses are cross-listed in both departments. A course that is cross-listed can be used to satisfy either the upper-level elective requirement in Computer Science or the upper-level elective requirement in Mathematics, but not both, and students are required to choose which requirement is being satisfied with a given course. It is not required, but it is strongly preferred, that students schedule the course as a Mathematics course if it is to be used as an upper level Mathematics elective choice, and a Computer Science course if it is to be used as an upper level Computer Science elective choice.