FAQs

Undergraduate Frequently Asked Questions

What about computing facilities?

Computing Facilities

Computer science majors use the Computer Science Educational Lab for most of their computing work. The lab contains state-of-the-art workstations and can be accessed remotely.

Should I buy my own computer and what should I purchase?

Buying Your Own Computer

Owning a personal computer, while not absolutely necessary, can be quite convenient, making it possible, for example, to use the Department's computing lab from your dorm room or from any place with an Internet connection. Another potential convenience is that you may be able to do much of your programming work on your own computer, avoiding the occasional rush on the lab machines.

But even if you bought the latest and fastest (and most expensive) machine you should not expect to be independent of the department's lab. Programs often need to be submitted electronically, or you may need to collaborate with other students who are using the department's computers, or you may need to use specific hardware and software available in the lab.

On the whole, you are likely to find having your own computer convenient if it is Internet-capable and has a C++ compiler and a reasonable amount of main memory and disk space. In addition, a word processor can be an advantage in all classes. Beyond that, having the latest and fastest (and most expensive) machine is not likely to make a substantial difference as far as your Computer Science studies go.

If you are unsure about what to get or whether to get a computer at all, you probably want to put off buying one until you have worked in our labs for a while and have experienced the environment first-hand. Also, you might want to check out CU-Boulder Computer Recommendations for more general information on buying a computer for use at CU-Boulder.

What are the procedures and policies regarding my transfer credits?

My Transfer Credit

For information about your transfer credit see the Transfer Credit Policy and Guidelines. Note especially that while the Office of Admissions performs an initial evaluation of transfer credit, it is the subsequent evaluation of transfer credit by the department that determines if and how such credit counts towards degree requirements.  Some transfer courses from Colorado Universities as well as out of state Universities have already been evaluated.  To see these courses, refer to transfer.org.

Transferring to CU Boulder made easy

To make your transfer as smooth as possible, CU-Boulder has partnered with u.select, a college planning and transfer credit resource. Create your u.select account today to see what courses will transfer to CU-Boulder.

Once you have been admitted to CU Boulder and have an username and identikey, you can log-in to the student portal and see your evaluated transfer credit equivalents.

If I leave the program and return, what graduation requirements do I follow?

Graduation requirements do change, but you are entitled to graduate under the rules that were in place when you entered the program. You may later choose to switch to a more recent set of rules, but you may not mix two sets. See BS Degree Requirements for more detail.

If you leave the program and re-enter it later, the rules in effect at the time you re-enter the program are the ones that apply. An exception can be made if the leave is approved beforehand by petitioning the department and the Dean's office.

How many credits more would it take to earn a double major or to earn the MS degree?

A double degree requires at least 30 hours beyond the requirements of a single degree. You may find it more attractive to plan on a Master's degree instead. You may also consider the Concurrent BS/MS Degree.

What are the foreign language requirements for the BS?

Three years of a foreign language in high school are part of the college's "Minimum Academic Preparation Standards" (MAPS). These standards are part of the graduation requirements for the BS degree in Computer Science.  You must have three years of one language, or two years of one language and two years of another language to complete this requirement.

What are the grade requirements?

Students need to have the following grade point averages:

  • A cumulative GPA of 2.25 (C) or better in all CSCI courses taken at CU.
  • A cumulative GPA of 2.25 (C) or better in all courses attempted at CU.
  • A cumulative GPA of 2.25 (C) or better in all CU courses used to satisfy graduation requirements.

Students need to have the following grades in individual courses:

  • A grade of C- or better is required in each Computer Science Foundation course, as well as in each course used to satisfy the Track Foundation and Track Core.

  • A grade of C- or better is needed in all prerequisite courses to take a subsequent course.

  • The minimum passing grade for a course that is considered a prerequisite for another required course is C-. If a grade of D+ or lower is received in a course which is prerequisite to another, the student is required to repeat the course until the minimum acceptable course grade has been earned. If a student takes the advanced course, it does not remove the obligation to repeat the prerequisite course, even if the grade earned in the advanced course is a C- or above.

  • In general, aside from the above restrictions, any passing grade, i.e., a D- or better, is good enough to fulfill a degree requirement.

  • A student is not permitted to enroll in a course offered by the College when that course has not been successfully completed in three prior attempts.

  • The Department allows courses counting as free electives to be taken Pass/Fail. Students must petition the Department to take a course Pass/Fail. The College of Engineering and Applied Science has further restrictions on taking a course Pass/Fail. These restrictions are outlined in the College's Grading Policies.

Can I take a course Pass/Fail?

The Department allows courses counting as free electives to be taken Pass/Fail. Students must petition the Department to take a course Pass/Fail. Note that the College of Engineering and Applied Science has further restrictions on taking a course Pass/Fail. These restrictions are outlined in the College's Grading Policies.