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

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Computer systems engineering degree requirements

The computer systems engineering program focuses on the analysis, design, testing, integration and evaluation of hardware and software systems. The curriculum is grounded in an array of engineering disciplines, including the applications of science and technology to the design of digital circuits, computer architecture, operating systems, networking, computer security, and distributed systems.

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, our 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. CSE 430: Operating Systems has been changed to CSE 330. Since this is now listed as a junior level course, you should plan to take it in your junior year.  It will be required to complete it in your junior year starting in the fall of 2017.

2. CSE 423: Computer Systems Engineering Capstone I prerequisite update: Starting fall 2016 the prerequisites for CSE 423 will list CSE 320, 325, 330, and 360 with a C or better. Students must abide by the new prerequisites starting fall 2017.

3. Fall 2018- CSE 465 is now listed as CSE 365. The prerequisites to CSE 365 are CSE 220 or CSE 240 (or CIS 235 for non-computer science/computer systems engineering majors) with a “C” grade or higher.

CURRENT students in the cybersecurity concentration in computer science or computer systems engineering will need to take CSE 365 if they have not already completed CSE 465. This course will replace CSE 465 for your major. If you have already completed CSE 465, do not take CSE 365. You will not be able to earn credit for both CSE 465 and CSE 365 as they are the same course.

Attention ALL NON-cybersecurity concentration students in computer science or computer systems engineering:

You can use CSE 365-Information Assurance as a TECHNICAL ELECTIVE (TE), but this course will not count toward your specific CSE 400-level elective requirements.

*****See CIDSE Advising for any questions or concerns*****

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.


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 systems engineering (CSE) is a math intensive major. It requires the following courses:

MAT 265, MAT 266, MAT267, MAT 243, MAT 275,  MAT 343, and IEE 380

Lab science requirements

Computer systems engineering (CSE) 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 this degree

Physics Sequence (Required) – (8 hours)

PHY 121 (lecture/recitation) and PHY122 (lab)

PHY 131 (lecture/recitation) and PHY132 (lab)

Lab Science Options (for remaining 4 hours):

BIO 181 or BIO 182 or CHM 113 or CHM 116 or CHM 114

Students can review the Lab Science Requirements for the list of approved lab sciences.

Technical electives

Technical Electives for computer systems engineering students are listed below. Please note that some TE options may require additional prerequisites. Students can contact their advisor for details on how to request overrides for non-CIDSE classes.

  • Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) – Any CSE 400 Level Courses and/or 340, 355, 365 Or CSE 394 Principles of Mobile Application OR CSE 335 Principles of Mobile Application
  • Computing and Informatics (CPI) – 350, 411
  • Electrical Engineering (EEE)* – 304, 350, 404, 407, 425, 455, 480, 481
  • Fulton Schools of Engineering (FSE) – 301 (Limit of three hours for FSE 301 or CSE 484 Internship-Students cannot double count both courses for their degree)
  • Math (MAT) – 416, 421, 447, 448
  • Industrial Engineering (IEE) – 385
  • Physics (PHY) – 302, 313, 333, 441
  • Other majors Honors thesis considered on a case by case basis- see advisor for details

*The EEE elective courses have a prerequisite of EEE 203 Signals and Systems I

**Students considering a Computer Science Master’s should plan to take CSE 340 and/or 355 as their technical electives.