Frequently Asked Questions
Course Selection, Placement and Credit
Most student should take CSCI1101 in the fall semester, followed by CSCI1102 in the Spring.
BA students should take MATH1100 and MATH1101. BS students should take MATH1102 and MATH1103. If you are unsure whether to choose the BA or BS, take the BS Math sequence, MATH1102 and MATH1103. BS students should consider starting on the science component of the degree by taking a two-semester science sequence with a lab.
The Mathematics Department has an excellent Calculus Placement website. It shows how to find the correct calculus course using your AP scores and high school classes. That will show you which course to choose!
Check the BC academic policies before taking an external course (i.e. a summer course at another school). If the course is to fulfill a core, major or minor requirements, get prior approval from the corresponding department at Boston College. For example, mathematics courses are approved Mathematics Department. Computer Science courses are approved by the Undergraduate Program Director. Before registering for an external course, send the syllabus and course description to the Undergraduate Program Director of the appropriate department to determine if the course is equivalent to the course at BC. Please be clear about the requirement or BC course you propose the external course should satisfy. Complete a Course Approval Form and obtain department and dean's approval before registering for the external course. You are responsible for all paperwork, and for filing forms at Student Services.
Students who score a five on the Computer Science A exam, or a four or five on the Computer Science AB exam, or who have significant programming experience should consult with the Department Chair or Undergraduate Program Director about starting the Computer Science course sequence with CSCI1102.
You can use Advanced Placement Units to fulfill the additional science elective requirement for the BS provided the AP credit is not overlapping. For example, if you take the physics two-semester lab sequence, you can use Biology Advance Placement Units, but you cannot use Physics Advanced Placement Units. Science AP credit cannot be used for the two-semester lab science requirement.
They sure do! If you choose to study abroad, plan your schedule carefully, especially if you would like to spend your entire junior year abroad. The Office of International Programs has information and advising services available to students interested in studying abroad including scheduling and deadlines. They also have lists of courses previously taken and approved.
If you plan to take Computer Science courses abroad, verify that they will count for credit before your semester abroad. Make a list of several alternative courses, as often students find courses are cancelled or closed. Your list should have the course, a syllabus, and sufficient information for us to make a judgement about the course level. Don't just email the university or a department URL, or list of a slew of courses. We can evaluate a reasonable number (say 5), but not the entire course catalog for your study abroad institution.
CSCI 2243 Logic and Computation and CSCI 2244 Randomness and Computation are required for the BA and the BS. These courses cover mathematical topics that are necessary for the study of Computer Science. Generally, students should take the sequence CSCI 2243 and CSCI 2244 during their Sophomore year.
Under rare circumstances, we accept the substitutions below. These substitutions are provided for students switching from the Mathematics major to the Computer Science Major, or adding Computer Science to a Mathematics major. We would expect those students to have taken substantially more mathematics than Computer Science students. Substitutions are not allowed to facilitate a CS student obtaining a Mathematics Minor.
For CSCI 2243, Logic and Computation:
- MATH 2216 Introduction to Abstract Mathematics
- and one of :
- MATH 4430 Introduction to Number Theory
- MATH 3310 Introduction to Abstract Algebra
For CSCI 2244, Randomness and Computation, both :
- MATH 2210 Linear Algebra
- MATH 4426 Probability
Majors, Minors, and Concentrations
The short answer is the BS requires Computer Architecture, a CS ethics course, a Science component and three additional math courses.
The BA program in Computer Science provides a solid foundation in the fundamentals of computer science and practical, hands-on experience with computing systems. The BS program in Computer Science provides a more extensive background in computer science and is well-suited if you are considering grad school or a more technical career.
Sure! Computer Science majors have a diverse collection of double majors and minors.
Not that much. The A&S minor requires one more CS class than the CSOM CS concentration, and they are administered by different schools.
No. The Concentration in Information Systems is offered to Carroll School of Management students only. You can do the A&S minor instead.
Maybe, but CS is not a two-year major. If you have taken through Calculus II, and have completed CSCI1101, you can complete the BA, but it will be challenging. If you haven't taken CSCI1101 before the first semester of your Junior year, you can't complete the courses before you graduate. Advanced CS classes have pre-reqs that you simply can't complete in two years.
If you find yourself at the end of your Sophomore year thinking CS might be interesting, then take the equivalent of CSCI1101 over the summer and see what how it goes. If you have only taken CSCI1101, then take the equivalent of CSCI1102 over the summer between Junior and Senior year. We strongly recommend that you run a simulated degree audit to see if the courses fit. Be careful as most CS courses are not offered every semester! Some courses are only offered fall or spring, and some on alternate yeares.
The Boston College Career Center has a wealth of information about graduate programs, internships, and jobs. The Computer Science department posts information about jobs and internships on CSInsider. We get lots of requests from employers, startups, grad schools, and events. If it looks fishy, we don't post, but we don't do extensive vetting. Buyer beware.
The Computer Science Society is the student chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery and is very active. ACM is the professional organization for Computer and Information Scientists. There are many benefits of student membership. ACM sponsors educational evening seminars, and the Spring department barbeque.
WICS is our Women in Computer Science Chapter. WICS organizes service and social events for all Computer Science students, and encourages a sense of community within the department. Specifically, WICS has organized a career night, pool night, and two highly successful Christmas Yankee Swaps. All students, particularly women, are encouraged to join WICS.
We don't require or recommend a specific laptop computer. Students and faculty use both PCs and Macs. We recommend you choose based on your personal preference. View information about purchasing laptop options at BC.