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Engineering  |  School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering

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Computer science degree requirements

The Computer Science program focuses on the design of computers, computational processes for problem solving, and information transfer and transformation with an emphasis in improving software and system quality, security, performance and usability. The program supports the evolution of the computing and informatics disciplines, and the integration of computer and information sciences with engineering, science and other disciplines.

Critical requirements

Arizona State University has adopted an 8 semester tracking model, which monitors completion of “critical” lower division and “necessary” upper division courses specific to each degree. This set of courses was designed to serve as predictors of academic success in the degree program. The lower division “critical” courses are shaded grey on the flowcharts and indicated on the major map. Upper division “necessary” courses are indicated with stars on the major maps. All courses listed on both the major map and the flowchart are required.

University policy allows students to retake a course one time. Students who are not successful in passing a course after a second attempt will be asked to identify a new major. CIDSE Advising will only entertain third time repeat petitions for students with extenuating circumstances. Please see your academic advisor if you have questions related to 8 semester tracking or course third time repeats.

**Students are subject to any individual course prerequisite changes despite their catalog year.

A message from Baoxin Li, program chair

Based on feedback from our alumni and industrial advisory board members as well as feedback provided by some of you either directly to the Program Chair or through end-of-semester course evaluations, we are make following changes to ensure that you have better support for junior and senior year classes. This is in line with our constant endeavor to improve your educational experience at ASU and to make sure you get the best education in our Computer Science and Computer Systems Engineering programs.

Computer science curriculum updates

  1. Fall 2016 CSE 485: Computer Science Capstone I prerequisite update: Starting fall 2016 the prerequisites for CSE 485 will list CSE 330, 340, and 355 with a C or better. Students must abide by the new prerequisites starting fall 2017.
  2. Fall 2020 CSE 466: Computer Systems Security prerequisite update: Starting fall 2020 Computer Sci BS or Computer Systems Engr BSE major; CSE 310 with C or better; CSE 365 with C or better OR Software Engr BS major; CSE 365 with C or better; SER 222 with C or better OR Computer Sci & Engr or Software Engr graduate student. Students graduating fall 2020 and spring 2021 will not be held to the new prerequisite of CSE 365 and may request an override through 
  3. Fall 2020 CSE 467: Data and Information Security prerequisite update: Starting fall 2020Computer Science BS or Computer Systems Engineering BSE major; CSE 310 with C or better; CSE 365 with C or better OR Computer Science and Engineering or Software Engineering graduate student. Students graduating fall 2020 and spring 2021 will not be held to the new prerequisite of CSE 365 and may request an override through 
  4. Fall 2020 CSE 468: Computer Network Security prerequisite update: Starting fall 2020 Computer Science BS, Computer Systems Engineering BSE, or Software Engineering BS major; CSE 365 with C or better; CSE 434 with C or better OR Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or Software Engineering graduate student. Students graduating fall 2020 and spring 2021 will not be held to the new prerequisite of CSE 365 and CSE 434 and may request an override through 

Humanities and social behavioral university general studies requirements

HU/SB Guidelines (15 semester hours or five 3-semester hour classes)

One Class Upper Division (HU or SB) – 3 semester hours ~ MUST BE TAKEN AT A 4-YEAR INSTITUTION

  • Two Classes HU (Humanities) – 6 semester hours minimum
  • Two Classes SB (Social Behavioral) – 6 semester hours minimum

Within these five classes, select courses that include three awareness areas: cultural, global, and historical. No one class contains more than two awareness areas and this requirement must be met with two classes minimum. Contact your advisor if you have questions.

Computer Science majors are required to take an additional HU/SB course as part of their degree, so they will take 18 total hours of HU/SB courses. The additional HU/SB course can be a lower division course.


At least one Upper Division (HU or SB) – 3 semester hours

  •  REL 321 (Religion in America) – Humanities (HU) plus cultural diversity and historical awareness
  •  Two Classes HU (Humanities) – 6 semester hours minimum
  1. CON 101 (Construction and Culture: A Built Environment) – Humanities (HU) plus global and historical
  2. PHI 101 (Introduction to Philosophy) – Humanities (HU)
  • Two Classes SB (Social Behavioral) – 6 semester hours minimum
  1. ECN 211 – Macroeconomics – Social Behavioral (SB)
  2. PSY 101 (Introduction to Psychology) – Social Behavioral (SB)

Math requirements

Computer Science (CS) is a math intensive major. It requires the following courses:

MAT 265, MAT 266, MAT 243, MAT 343, IEE 380 as well as MAT 267 OR CSE 294/259 Logic for Computer Science

CS students are recommended to take the CSE 294 or CSE 259 Logic for Computer Science course in place of MAT 267 to better assist with their upper level programming courses.

Lab science requirements

Computer Science (CS) majors have a specific set of Lab Science course requirements for degree compliance. Follow the guidelines below for your respective degree program.

12 semester hours are required for the degree. Eight (8) semester hours must be from the same subject area (or discipline). Four (4) semester hours can be from any of the remaining Lab Science Course Options.

Lab Science Sequence Courses – (8 hours)

Must take two classes from 1 subject area.

  1.     Biology (BIO181 and BIO182)
  2.     Chemistry (CHM113 or CHM114 and CHM116)
  3.     Geology (GLG101 and GLG103; GLG102 and GLG104; GLG110 and GLG 111- Please note that GLG 110 and 111 can only be used as a single lecture and lab and cannot be used as part of the GLG sequence)
  4.     Physics (PHY 121 and PHY122; PHY131 and PHY132)

Lab Science Course Option– (4 hours)

Remaining 4 hours (select one that was not part of Lab Science Sequence)

BIO 181 OR BIO 182 OR GLG 101 and GLG103 OR GLG 102 and GLG104 OR CHM 113 OR CHM 116 OR CHM 114* OR PHY 121 and PHY122

*Cannot take CHM114 if CHM113 and CHM116 are taken for sequence


Technical electives

Computer Science students are required to complete 6 hours of upper division technical electives with a grade of “C” or better. Students can choose from the list of courses below. Please note that some courses may require additional prerequisites and approvals to register. Students can contact their advisor for details on how to request overrides for non-CIDSE classes.

  • Computer Science & Engineering (CSE) – Any CSE 400 Level Courses,  CSE 320, 325, 335, 365 (Fall 2017 and earlier students ONLY)
  • Computer Information Systems (CIS) – 415
  • Computing & Informatics (CPI) – 311, 350, 360, 411, 460, 462
  • Arts, Media, and Engineering (AME) – 430, 435
  • Biochemistry (BCH) – 361, 461, 462
  • Biomedical Engineering (BME) – 350, 413, 416, 494
  • Biology (BIO) – 340, 343, 345
  • Chemical Engineering (CHE) – 342, 432, 442, 461, 462, 469, 475
  • Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE) – 412, 432, 440, 441, 452, 462, 466, 467, 474, 475, 481, 483, 486
  • Data Science (DAT) – 300, 301, 401, 402 (Either DAT 402 or CSE 475 can count towards major requirements but not both}
  • Electrical Engineering (EEE) – 302, 304, 333, 335, 350, 360, 404, 405, 407, 425, 433, 434, 435, 436, 437, 439, 443, 445, 448, 455, 459, 460, 463, 470, 471, 473, 480, 481
  • Fulton School of Engineering (FSE) – 301, 404 (Limit of three hours for FSE 301 or CSE 484 Internship-Students cannot double count both courses for their degree)
  • Industrial Engineering (IEE) – 376, 381, 385, 412, 426, 431, 456, 458, 461, 470, 474, 475
  • Materials Science & Engineering (MSE) – 335, 415
  • Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering (MAE) – 341, 351, 404, 417, 436, 447, 455
  • Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering (MEE) – 434, 446
  • Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering (AEE) -415, 426, 462, 463, 465, 468, 471
  • Mathematics (MAT) – All Math 300 and 400 level classes except for MAT 300, 340, 342, 343, 485
  • Physics (PHY) – 302, 361, 462, 494: Computational Methods in Physics
  • Software Engineering (SER) – 421, 422, 423
  • Statistics & Probability (STP) – 421, 425, 427, 429
  • Other majors Honors thesis considered on a case by case basis- see advisor for details