Second Bachelor's Degree Program

Students who have already obtained a bachelor's degree either from the University of Massachusetts or from another school in any field can choose to pursue a second bachelor's degree in computer science. This is a great choice if you are not trained to enter the graduate program in CS but would still like a degree in CS.  The application is made directly through University Admissions.

Please contact the Admissions Department at UMass for an application at 413-545-0222. Applications are not available through the College of Information and Computer Sciences. There are strict cut-off dates for acceptance each semester as established by Admissions.


To obtain BS in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts, the student must fulfill all of the requirements necessary for that degree.  This includes all of the general education and credit requirements set forth by the university as well as the specific requirements for the chosen degree in Computer Science.  However, work completed at UMass or other schools is evaluated prior to admission and an individualized contract is drawn up.  The contract shows all of the courses necessary for the student to receive the chosen degree.  The student must accept the terms of the contract in order to be admitted into the program.

It is typical that incoming students have already completed the equivalent of UMass General Education (GenEd) requirements for their first bachelors degree. Students who have science and math bachelors also often have completed many of the science and math requirements of the CS degree. Hence, typically what remains are upper-level electives.

According to Academic Regulations, p. 34 (2017-18):

The department, in conjunction with the undergraduate dean, will establish a semester by semester Plan of Study including minimally acceptable grades and any additional school or college requirements. Students who fail to meet the exact terms of this contract will be subject to Administrative Withdrawal. Changes to the original Plan of Study for the admitted Program may be made only with the approval of the students' undergraduate dean. Students who wish to change their major must reapply for the new major through the Admissions Office and withdraw from the current admitted program.

For example, students may not take courses outside of the Plan of Study, i.e., for minors, double majors, or of general interest.


In some cases the individual who chooses to pursue a second bachelors degree in Computer Science has work experience in the field.  The College has a commitment to comprehensive training over the breadth of subjects comprising Computer Science, so students should expect to document transfer coursework from previous transcripts or to successfully complete the required classes to complete the degree at UMass.

Residency Requirements

The University requires that second bachelors degree students complete a minimum of 45 credits at UMass Amherst, regardless of background and experience. Furthermore, a minimum of 30 credits of the 45 must be completed as an admitted student in the program. In short, there is a limit of 15 credits that can be taken as a non-matriculated student at UMass before entering the program. (Courses taken at other campuses in the UMass system do not count towards the 45 or 30.)

How to register for courses

Course registration at the university is done through SPIRE.  SPIRE automatically accesses student records to ensure that the student has the prerequisites necessary before allowing the student to enroll in a course.  This presents a problem for most Second Bachelor's Degree students since the student may have a large amount of transfer credit which is not recorded on the university transcript.  Post graduate students are instructed on how best to enroll in courses once admitted to the program.