Our Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science from the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) is intended for students who are interested in computer science, but who don’t identify as engineers.

Our BA students may see themselves as scientists, wanting to learn computer science to aid in the process of scientific discovery. They may have an interest in math and view computer science as a means to explore the boundaries of computation. They may have an interest in the humanities and bringing information retrieval and natural language processing techniques to bear on ancient manuscripts or the political writings of non-western societies. They might be interested in the web, either as a designer, organizer or writer.

The demand for graduates with computer science skills is so high that employers are not making a distinction between computer science BA and BS degrees. Indeed, U.S. universities are currently producing only 61% of the graduates needed to fill technology jobs in the U.S. and this is projected to be true well into the 2020s.

The BA and BS are similar in that they both offer the same computer science courses taught by the same instructors all from the Department of Computer Science. However, you will take fewer CS courses, get a stronger liberal arts education via the A&S Core, and have more free electives to enable double majors, minors and/or certificate programs in other A&S disciplines. You will also have the option to participate in optional Computer Science Senior Capstone courses if you meet certain academic conditions.

As a BA student, you will take:
  • 42 hours of computer science classes (12 foundation, 12-15 core and 12-15 upper division CS electives)
  • 13-16 credit hours of classes in mathematics (8-10 of calculus, 3 discrete math, plus 3-4 in either linear algebra or probability/statistics)
  • Approximately 43 hours of A&S Core (13 natural science, about 30 quantitative reasoning/humanities/social science/writing/foreign language)
  • Approximately 22 hours of free electives

Please see the Degree Requirements for a more detailed breakdown and overlap with A&S Core.