Second Major in Computer Science

Students in other GW schools or other departments in the School of Engineering and Applied Science who desire a second major in computer science must apply in the School of Engineering and Applied Science.  Please review the list of Frequently Asked Questions and then contact [email protected] with any further questions.

To receive a second major in computer science, students must complete the general curriculum requirements of their home school and the Department of Computer Science requirements listed below---which are based on whether their primary degree, from their home school, is a BS or a BA. Note that the university requires that at least 12 credits are exclusive to the second major.


BA Second Major Computer Science Requirements of 11 courses

Six required courses:

  • CSCI 1111 Introduction to Software Development (3)
  • CSCI 1112 Algorithms and Data Structures I (3); Prerequisites: CSCI 1111
  • CSCI 1311 Discrete Structures (3); Prerequisites: MATH 1220 or MATH 1231
  • CSCI 2113 Software Engineering (3); Prerequisites: CSCI 1112
  • CSCI 2460 Introduction to Computer Systems (3); Prerequisites: CSCI 1112
  • CSCI 2441 Database and Team Projects (3); Prerequisites: CSCI 2113

Five required additional CS courses (Pre-Fall 2022 or Post-Fall 2022)

Pre-Fall 2022 (Academic Year 2021-2022 or before): Students who begin the CS second major before Fall 2022, must complete 5 CS Elective courses along with a Significant Independent Project. The requirements are as follows:

Two CS Electives from:

  • CSCI 3212 Algorithms (4); Prerequisite: CSCI 1311, 2113
  • CSCI 3313 Foundations of Computing (4); Prerequisite: CSCI 2461, 2113
  • CSCI 3410 Systems Programming (3); Prerequisite: CSCI 2461, 2113
  • CSCI 3411 Operating Systems (4); Prerequisite: CSCI 2461, 2113
  • CSCI 4223 Principles of Programming Languages (3); Prerequisite: CSCI 1311, 2113

Three electives from a Technical Track

Additionally, Pre-Fall 2022 students must also complete a Significant Independent Project (approved by your CS faculty advisor) by doing one of the following: (1) complete a course in the second major that includes a thesis or significant project, or (2) complete both CSCI 4243 and CSCI 4244. 

CS BA 2nd majors must complete a CS BA Technical Track, CS Electives and Project Declaration form:

Post-Fall 2022: Students who begin the CS second major in Fall 2022 or later, the 5 CS course requirements are as follows:

One Required Course: CSCI 3212 Algorithms (4); Prerequisite CSCI 1311, 2113.

Four Advanced CS Electives courses (minimum 12 credit hours)

  • The Advanced CS Elective courses must be CSCI courses numbered 2400 or above.
  • Of the four courses, at least two (for a minimum of 6 credits) must be at the 4000 level or above. 
  • CSCI 4243 and CSCI 4244 may not be used toward the advanced CS elective requirement.
  • The faculty advisor’s documented approval is required before these courses may be applied toward degree completion.

Students who begin Fall 2022 or later do not need to complete the significant independent project.


Additional Requirements for all second major CS BA students

Credits in residence requirement:
At least 24 credits in computer science courses must be completed in the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Graduation GPA requirement:
To satisfactorily complete a second major, a student must have a minimum GPA of 2.2 in all the Department of Computer Science courses he or she has taken.

Admission requirement:
The admission criteria and application form for the second major can be found here.