B.A. Degree Requirements

The College of Information and Computer Sciences has an interdisciplinary Bachelor's of Arts (BA) degree in Computer Science. The program began in Fall 2010.

The computer science undergraduate program provides a solid foundation in the science of computing. To receive a baccalaureate degree, the University requires that a student successfully complete a minimum of 120 credits with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (A=4.0). The Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science will graduate computing professionals who have the necessary depth of expertise in computer science to have lifelong careers in the field, and who, at the same time, have sufficient exposure to a second discipline to be able to interact with professionals in that field in a knowledgeable manner, so as to apply advanced computer science techniques to problems in that second area. This degree is particularly appropriate for students who are interested in combining Computer Science with another discipline as a double major.

Major Changes into CS are by application only.  If you are interested in joining our major, submit your application.  If you have questions after reviewing the process, please contact the appropriate list on our Contact Us With Your Questions page.

If you are already a CS Major and want to switch between BS and BA, this is easily accomplished by talking to your advisor and filling out a "major change" form with Darlene Fahey in the Main Office.

Students completing the Computer Science BA (or BS) and a Math major or minor will find some helpful advice on this page.

Students in the Computer Science B.S. no longer have foreign language course requirements (college requirement), only students in the B.A. program do.

BA requirements

The tracking forms are informal descriptions of the programs that are for guidance only, and they do not define official policy.  See Academic Requirements Report (ARR) on SPIRE.

When does a class count for the CS major?

A computer science major may not use any course taken on a pass/fail basis to fulfill the computer science core requirements (including mathematics, science, and computer science elective courses). Students must maintain an average grade of at least C (2.0) in all courses used to satisfy the departmental degree requirement.  While courses with grades of C-, D+, or D may be counted toward the degree, students should normally repeat these courses so that the new grade will replace the old in their GPA calculation (Check Academic Regulations for rules about repeating courses).  A grade below C will normally not suffice as a prerequisite for a later course. For example, enrolling in CMPSCI 187 requires a grade of "C or better" in CMPSCI 121. 

What is an approved CS elective?

Any regularly numbered COMPSCI course at the 300-level or above may be used as an elective, unless it is the writing course COMPSCI 305, or it is specifically barred as an elective in its course description.

Experimental courses (x90), seminar courses (x91) and special topics (x97) may only be used as CS electives at the 300-level (or above) if this is specifically stated in the course description.  CS Capstone courses (499T/P) may only be used with approval of the UPD.  Email upd@cs.umass.edu to petition to use any of these courses.

Independent studies (x96) at the 300-level (or above) are reviewed for elective credit via the independent study approval process.

NOTE:  Only 3 credits of either COMPSCI 499P/T or COMPSCI 396/496/596 may be used toward CS Major requirements.