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George Mason University
2002-03 University Catalog

Computer Science

Computer Science, B.S.

George Mason's computer science program is accredited by the Computer Science Accreditation Board.

For the B.S. degree, students must complete 120 credits, including the general education requirements and all of the following:

1. Computer science core: CS 105, 112, 211, 265, 310, 330, 365, 421, and 483. Total credits: 26. Students should take CS 105 during their second semester.

2. Senior computer science: Any four of the following: CS 440, 450, 451, 455, 471, 475, 480, 482, 490, and 491. Total credits: 12.

3. Mathematics: MATH 113, 114, 125, 203, 213; OR 481; STAT 344; and ECE 301. Total credits: 26. (Students will not receive any credit for MATH 105 or MATH 108.)

4. Computer science-related courses: 6 credits chosen from STAT 354; OR 335, 441, 442; ECE 280, 431, 442, 447, 450, 511; SWE 432; SYST 371, 470; PHIL 371, 376; and any MATH or CS course numbered above 300 (except MATH 351). Students may need to choose electives to satisfy the prerequisites of these courses. In particular, those planning to take MATH 352 may replace STAT 344 with MATH 351.

5. Natural sciences: 12 credits in natural science courses intended for scientists and engineers. Two of the courses for this requirement must have laboratory components and must constitute a sequence. A list of relevant courses can be obtained from the department office.

6. COMM 100 or 104: Computer science students in either course must make a technical presentation. The course fulfills the general education requirement in oral communication for IT&E students.

Students should consult the sample schedule below and ensure that course prerequisites are satisfied. Students should obtain computer-generated audits periodically to ensure that degree requirements are met.

Sample Schedule

The following table presents a sample schedule that an undergraduate computer science major would follow to obtain a bachelor's degree.

First Semester  
MATH 113 Analytic Geometry and Calculus I 4
CS 112 Computer Science I 4
ENGL 101 Composition 3
HIST 100 History of Western Civilization* 3

Second Semester  
CS 211 Computer Science II 3
MATH 114 Analytic Geometry and Calculus II 4
General education course* 3
Literature general education course 3

Third Semester  
CS 265 Assembly Language Programming 3
MATH 213 Analytic Geometry and Calculus III 3
HIST 120 U.S. History general education* 3
Social and behavioral science general education* 3
Elective 3
CS 105 Computer Ethics and Society 1

Fourth Semester  
CS 310 Computer Science III 3
MATH 125 Discrete Mathematics I 3
ENGL 302 Advanced Composition 3
Natural science course 4
COMM 100 Oral Communication or 104 Presenting with Technology 3

Fifth Semester  
CS 330 Formal Methods and Models 3
CS 421 Introduction to Software Engineering 3
ECE 301 Digital Electronics 3
MATH 203 Matrix Algebra 3
Elective 3

Sixth Semester  
CS 365 Computer Systems Architecture 3
Senior computer science course 3
STAT 344 Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists I 3
Computer science-related elective 3
Elective 3


Seventh Semester  
Senior computer science course 3
CS 483 Data Structures and Analysis of Algorithms 3
OR 481 Numerical Methods in Engineering 3
Computer science-related elective 3
Natural science with lab 4

Eighth Semester  
Senior computer science courses (2) 6
Natural science with lab 4
Global understanding general education 3
Synthesis general education 3

* These 12 credits must satisfy the general education component of the IT&E degree requirements. See the third item in the list of bachelor of science degree requirements at the front of this chapter.

Change of Major

Students requesting a change of major to computer science must have a GPA of at least 2.750 and have successfully completed two of these courses: CS 112, 211; MATH 113, 114, or 125.

Advanced Placement and Credit by Examination

Some students may receive credit for IT 103, CS 112, CS 211, or CS 265 by passing departmentally administered examinations. In addition, a score of 3 on the Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science examination qualifies the student for credit in CS 112. An AP score of 4, together with demonstrated competence in the programming language used in CS 211, qualifies the student for credit in CS 211. A score of 4 on the International Baccalaureate (IB) program computer science examination qualifies the student for credit in CS 112, and a score of 5 or more qualifies the student for credit in CS 211.

Writing-Intensive Requirement

Computer science majors complete the writing-intensive requirement through a planned sequence of projects and reports integral to the following computer science courses: CS 105, 211, 332, 421, 471, 480, and 490. In all these courses, faculty members provide feedback on students' expository writing.


A student must earn a C or better in any course intended to satisfy a prerequisite for a computer science course. Computer science majors may not use more than one course with a grade of D toward the departmental requirements.

Cooperative Education

A computer science major may participate in the George Mason cooperative education program or in a work-study program in the Washington, D.C.-Northern Virginia area.