Computer Science Major

The major in computer science consists of at least ten courses.

Required Courses
CSCI 2101Data Structures1
CSCI 2200Algorithms1
CSCI 2330Foundations of Computer Systems1
Select at least one course from each of the following areas, for a total of six computer science electives, at least three of which must be advanced-level courses numbered 3000 or higher:6
CSCI 2210
Theory of Computation
CSCI 2220
Logic in Computer Science
CSCI 3210
Computational Game Theory
CSCI 3225
GIS Algorithms and Data Structures
CSCI 3250
Computational Geometry
Artificial Intelligence
CSCI 2400
Artificial Intelligence
CSCI 3400
Cognitive Architecture
CSCI 3420
Optimization and Uncertainty
CSCI 3445
Nature-Inspired Computation
CSCI 3725
Computational Creativity
CSCI 3455 Machine Learning
CSCI 2320
Principles of Programming Languages
CSCI 2300 Computer Organization
CSCI 3300
Computer Networks
CSCI 3310
Operating Systems
CSCI 3325
Distributed Systems
Projects Courses
CSCI 3225
GIS Algorithms and Data Structures
CSCI 3325
Distributed Systems
CSCI 3445
Nature-Inspired Computation
CSCI 3455 Machine Learning
CSCI 3715
Human-Computer Interaction
CSCI 3725
Computational Creativity
CSCI 3735 Playable Media
Select one mathematics course numbered 1000 or higher.1

Computer Science Minor

The minor in computer science consists of CSCI 2101 Data Structures, plus at least three courses, numbered 2000 or higher. Independent studies in computer science cannot count toward the minor.

Interdisciplinary Major

The department participates in an interdisciplinary major program in computer science and mathematics. See the Interdisciplinary Majors.

Additional Information and Department Policies

  • Each of the courses required for the major or minor must be taken for a regular letter grade (not Credit/D/Fail) with a minimum earned grade of C-.

  • The prerequisite for 2000-level courses is a grade of C or better on the final in CSCI 1101 Introduction to Computer Science or CSCI 1103 Programming with Data. For courses at the 2000 level or above, a grade of C- or better must be earned in the course for it to serve as a prerequisite for another computer science course.

  • One independent study at the intermediate or advanced level may be applied toward the required number of computer science courses, but cannot be used to fulfill any other requirements (areas, projects, or 3000 level).

  • At most two of the nine computer science courses required for the major, or one of the four computer science courses required for the minor, can be transfer credit from other institutions.

  • Majors may double-count one course with another department or program. Minors may not double-count any courses with another department or program. 

  • Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate scores, in addition to the computer science placement test, are only used for placement.

  • Students—particularly those who intend to do graduate work in computer science—are encouraged to collaborate with faculty on research projects through independent studies, honors projects, and fellowship-funded summer research.

Introductory Courses

  • No programming background: CSCI 1055 The Digital World or CSCI 1101 Introduction to Computer Science
    • Students planning to major or minor in computer science, or those interested in taking additional computer science courses, should begin with CSCI 1101 Introduction to Computer Science (although CSCI 1055 The Digital World may also be used to subsequently bridge into CSCI 1103 Programming with Data). Students not intending to pursue further study in computer science may take either course. 
    • CSCI 1101 Introduction to Computer Science involves more programming and has a lab component, while CSCI 1055 The Digital World involves less programming and has no lab. Neither course assumes any prior exposure to computer science, and both introduce students to programming using Python.
  • Some programming background: CSCI 1103 Programming with Data
    • CSCI 1103 Programming with Data covers the same core material as CSCI 1101 Introduction to Computer Science but at an accelerated pace through basic material and with some additional topics. Students who enroll in CSCI 1103 Programming with Data are expected to have basic comfort with programming concepts; experience with Python specifically is not required or expected. Students interested in taking CSCI 1103 Programming with Data should contact the instructor directly to request a routine registration override.
    • Examples of programming background appropriate for CSCI 1103 Programming with Data include AP or IB coursework in computer science, completion of CSCI 1055 The Digital World or DCS 1100 Introduction to Digital and Computational Studies or DCS 1200 Data Driven Societies, informal programming experience, or experience from other science courses. Prior knowledge of computer science is used for course placement only and does not count as credit toward the major or minor.
  • Substantial programming background: CSCI 2101 Data Structures
    • In exceptional cases, students with a strong computer science/programming background may skip CSCI 1101 Introduction to Computer Science/CSCI 1103 Programming with Data and enroll directly in CSCI 2101 Data Structures. Students interested in this option must consult with the department. This course uses Java, but does not assume any prior Java experience (most students enter with Python experience only).

This is an excerpt from the official Bowdoin College Catalogue and Academic Handbook. View the Catalogue