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B.S. Computer Science

Computer science is the systematic study of computing and algorithmic processes that describe and transform information: their theory, analysis, design, efficiency, implementation and application. It is a broad discipline with an ever-growing array of opportunities. Graduates in this field can find employment in a wide spectrum of public and private enterprises.

The field of computer science encompasses many areas of specialization. One may find a personal niche in software development, systems development and hardware selection, studies of compatibility between hardware and software, language development and modification, or perhaps a combination of these and any number of other diverse computer-oriented applications and concepts. Because of this diversity in potential application areas, the computer scientist must be familiar with the language of the physical sciences, mathematics and English. If the computer is to extend its role as a benefit to mankind, the computer scientist must be broadly educated and conversant with the many implications of the powerful tool that he or she is controlling and developing.

Students in computer science have the unique opportunity to draw from the expertise of an outstanding faculty with extensive experience in industry, teaching and research. Computers currently available to students include an extensive department network of UNIX, Linux and Microsoft workstations and several campus personal computer laboratories.

Faculty members in the department have established the Center for Secure and Dependable Systems (CSDS) with a focus on advancing information assurance technology. Our faculty were also instrumental in the establishment of a University-wide interdisciplinary effort, the Initiative for Bioinformatics and Evolutionary Studies (IBEST), whose mission is to investigate evolutionary phenomena and the bioinformatics tools to explain them. The importance of these labs can be seen from the range of private and government funding which supports the department's research in software engineering, computer reliability, computer security, bioinformatics, evolutionary computation and high performance computing.

While we have been very careful to provide correct information on this site, the official degree requirements are maintained by the University of Idaho Registrar. If there is any discrepancy between our site and the information available from the Registrar's Office, the Registrar's information takes precedence.

The degree requirements provided here are for convenience only and they anticipate approval of a change that is currently being reviewed by the University Curriculum Committee. The official statement of BSCS degree requirements will be published in the University of Idaho Catalog.

Degree Requirements

Total Credit Requirements: The minimum number of credits for the degree is 128, not counting ENGL 101, MATH 143 and other courses that might be required to remove basic deficiencies in college preparation.

Required course work includes the university requirements for a comprehensive general education (see regulation J-3) and degree specific requirements as follows:

General Education and Broadening (26 credits):

  • ENGL 102 College Writing and Rhetoric (3 credits)
  • COMM 101 Fundamentals of Public Speaking (2 credits)
  • ENGL 317 Technical Writing (3 credits)
  • U of I General Core Studies (18 credits)

Computer Science (55 credits)

  • CS 120 Computer Science I (4 credits)
  • CS 121 Computer Science II (3 credits)
  • CS 150 Computer Organization and Architecture (3 credits)
  • CS 210 Computing Languages (3 credits)
  • CS 240 Computer Operating Systems (3 credits)
  • CS 270 System Software (3 credits)
  • CS 383 Software Engineering I (3 credits)
  • CS 385 Theory of Computation (3 credits)
  • CS 395 Analysis of Algorithms (3 credits)
  • CS 401 Contemporary Issues in Computer Science (1 credits)
  • CS 445 Compiler and Translator Design (4 credits)
  • CS 480 Senior Capstone Design I (3 credits)
  • CS 481 Senior Capstone Design (4 credits)
  • Computer Science Electives (12 credits): Any upper-division CS course except 499 and those specifically required for the degree.

Math and Statistics (20 credits)

  • MATH 170 Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (4 credits)
  • MATH 175 Analytic Geometry and Calculus II (4 credits)
  • MATH 176 Discrete Mathematics (3 credits)
  • MATH 330 Linear Algebra (3 credits)
  • STAT 301 Probability and Statistics (3 credits)
  • Mathematics Elective (3 credits): MATH 275 or any upper-division MATH or STAT course except STAR 301, MATH 330, 400, 404, 499 and 513-519.

Science (12 credits)
One of the following laboratory science sequences (8-9 credits):

  • BIOL 115 Cells and the Evolution of Life and BIOL 116 Organisms and Environments (8 credits)
  • CHEM 111 Principles of Chemistry I and CHEM 112 Principles of Chemistry II (9 credits)
  • PHYS 211 Engineering Physics I and PHYS 212 Engineering Physics II (8 credits)
  • PHYS 211 Engineering Physics I and PHYS 213 Engineering Physics III (8 credits)
  • Science electives (3 - 4 credits): Science courses selected from the list below.

Free Electives (11 credits)
Any course offered for credit by the University except those precluded from being used towards a degree by the University or the College of Engineering regulations.

General Core Studies

The General Cores Studies (GCS) area has multiple requirements. Individual courses taken in the GCS area can be used to satisfy more than one GCS area. In summary the GCS area requires a total of at least 18 credits distributed as follows:

Humanities (6 - 7 credits) and Social Sciences (6 - 7 credits) — 14 credits

Core Discovery Courses (2 courses) — 7 credits

International Course — 3 credits

See the Core Curriculum section of the Registrar's web site for details.

Science Electives

The program requires completion of 4 credits of science electives. Science electives must be taken in recognized scientific disciplines and must be courses that enhance the student's ability to apply the scientific method. Disciplines and specific courses listed below may be used to satisfy this requirement:

  • Biology — all courses except 102
  • Chemistry — all courses except 100 and 101
  • Entomology — only 211
  • Environmental Science — only 101 and 102
  • Geography — only 100, 301 or 401
  • Geology — all courses
  • Microbiology, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry — all courses
  • Physics — all courses except 110, 200, 400 and 403

Eligibility for 200-level Courses

Students majoring in computer science must earn a grade of C or better, with a 2.50 GPA or higher, in CS 120, 121 and 150 and a C or better in Math 176 before registration is permitted in 200-level CS courses.

Eligibility for Upper Division Courses

Students majoring in computer science must earn a grade of C or better in CS 210, 240, 270 and Math 170 and 175 before registration is permitted in upper-division CS courses.

Academic Advising

Students must consult with their adviser each semester prior to registration. This helps ensure that degree requirements and career objectives are met. A list of students and their academic adviser is posted outside the CS Department's Main Office, JEB 236. You can also determine who is your academic adviser by logging in to your VandalWeb account.

Students majoring in other subjects may elect to complement their major with a minor in Computer Science. This could be particularly attractive to students majoring in Computer Engineering, Mathematics, Virtual Technology & Design, or Information Technology. The minor requires a total of 20 credits in specific Math and Computer Science courses. Students seeking the Computer Science minor must meet all course prerequisites.

A minor in Computer Science requires completion of the following required and elective courses:

  • CS 120 Computer Science I (4 credits)
  • CS 121 Computer Science II (3 credits)
  • CS 150 Computer Organization and Architecture (3 credits)
  • Math 176 Discrete Mathematics (3 credits)
  • Elective courses selected from the following (6 credits):
    • CS 210 Computing Languages (3 credits)
    • CS 240 Computer Operating Systems (3 credits)
    • CS 270 System Software (3 credits)

Contact Us

Computer Science

Physical Address:
Janssen Engineering Building 236

Mailing Address:

Computer Science
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 1010
Moscow, ID 83844-1010

Phone: 208-885-6592

Fax: 208-885-9052

Email: csinfo@uidaho.edu

Web: Computer Science