CS Minor

The CS minor is a good and easy way for you to get a solid background in computer science, no matter what your major is. Given the importance of computer literacy in almost all other disciplines and professions, the CS minor may just be what makes your resume stand out from all the others.


Students intending to minor in Computer Science must complete the CS Minor Intent and submit this form to askCSminor@cs.umass.edu.**

Many of our courses are only open to CS majors, so being added to the CS Minors List will allow the best service to our minors through the override registration process. Submission of the form does not guarantee course enrollment, so students pursuing the minor must be flexible when planning schedules over several semesters in order to complete the minor requirements before graduation. CS Minor Intent forms are reviewed two times a year with deadlines preceding Spring and Fall registration periods.

CS Minor Intent Deadline** Registration Period Intent Form Available Added to CS Minor List
October 1 for Spring 2018 (November) ~Sept 19-October 1 October
(or December if pending predictor grades)
March 1 for Fall 2018 (April) ~Feb 6-March 1 March
(or May if pending predictor grades)

IMPORTANT: CS Minor Intent forms are only accepted after Add/Drop ends through the stated deadline. Specific dates may vary depending on the semester.

  ** Intent forms accepted via email until 11:59 PM to askCSminor@cs.umass.edu.  Hard copy forms only accepted Mon-Fri 8:30-5:00 PM, CS Main Office (100 CS Building), prior to deadline.


  1. Overall GPA of at least 3.00 required.
  2. Must be enrolled in at least COMPSCI 187 and preferably MATH 131 (or MATH 132) to submit CS Minor Intent form.
  3. Successful completion of the CS Predictor Courses (COMPSCI 121, COMPSCI 187) is required to be added to the CS Minors List.  Minimum grades in CS predictor courses must meet current standard (B+ or better).
  4. MATH 131 and MATH 132 are highly recommended since they are required prerequisites for half the CS core (240, 250) and subsequent upper level CS Electives (e.g., 311, 348, 370, 373, 383, 446, 513, 585, 590GM)
  5. Expectation that students reserve 5 semesters to complete the CS Minor, if starting with 121 @UMass Amherst.  SPIRE EGD may impact eligibility.
  6. No course for the minor may be taken on a Pass/Fail basis.
  7. At least 2.00 overall Minor GPA required for courses used for minor requirements with no more than one of  these having a grade of less than a C (see below for CS minor requirements).
  8. The minor must be completed within the 10 semesters allowed for the completion of all graduation requirements, including the major.
  9. Poor performance in CS courses impacts override eligibility for subsequent CS courses.

CS Minor Intent  No longer accepting CS Minor Intent forms.  


The minor requires five computer science courses:

  • COMPSCI 121 Introduction to Problem Solving Using the Computer (or equivalent)
  • COMPSCI 187 Programming with Data Structures (or equivalent*)
  • Three computer science majors courses (200-level or higher, not including COMPSCI 305) offered by the College of Information and Computer Sciences at UMass-Amherst

Of the five courses, students must take at least two computer science "core" courses from the following list:

  • COMPSCI 220 Programming Methodology
  • COMPSCI 230 Computer Systems Principles**
  • COMPSCI 240 Reasoning Under Uncertainty
  • COMPSCI 250 Introduction to Computation

A student may meet one or both of the above 200-level "core" requirements by taking equivalent courses outside the department. For example, MATH 455 is often an acceptable replacement for CMPSCI 250. However, students must have three electives taken within the College of Information and Computer Sciences. In other words, among all courses counted toward the minor, at least three must be CS courses for majors at 200-level or higher taken here at UMass Amherst.

There is no specific mathematics requirement for the computer science minor, but all the above courses require R1 proficiency (such as MATH 104) and COMPSCI 240 and 250 require MATH 132 as a prerequisite.

A cumulative quality point average of at least 2.00 is required for all UMass Amherst courses used to satisfy the requirements for the CS minor. No courses used to satisfy the minor can be taken on a pass/fail basis.

**CSENG Majors - Special Variance for 230.

These three courses have similar intentions but differ in detail. MATH 300 is an introduction to the mathematical method, logically correct proofs, and certain fundamental definitions -- it is a pre-requisite for several advanced courses in the mathematics major. COMPSCI 250 is an introduction to the mathematical method in the context of the discrete mathematics required for the study of the theory of computation. It may be substituted for MATH 300 but not vice versa -- thus most Computer Science majors or minors will take COMPSCI 250 instead of MATH 300. MATH 455 is a more advanced course in discrete mathematics applicable to Computer Science and Engineering, however, this course satisfies the IE Requirement for Math majors and availability for non-Math majors may be limited. MATH 455 may be substituted for COMPSCI 250 as far as the Computer Science requirements are concerned -- Math minors or majors should consult the Mathematics department.


If you would like to talk with someone about the CS Minor after reading the details about the requirements, please visit the CS Advising Center (ACE) during scheduled hours.

ACE Advising Center Hours

If you have questions about the CS Minor, please send an email to askcsminor@cs.umass.edu.


Overrides are usually needed to enroll in most CS courses that are restricted to majors, so if you meet prerequisites, make sure that you request overrides via the on-line form for the upcoming semester (when link is available).

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Students approved for the CS Minors List get some priority for seats in CS courses, but students not on the CS Minors List may still be able to finish the minor if they are able to enroll in CS minor required courses via the override process.  Such students have a lower priority for seats.


Academic minors are declared with the Registrar's Office when the course work for the minor is completed by a student (or, in the semester prior to the student's graduation, if course work related to the minor is being completed in his/her final semester).  Undergraduate Program Staff will prepare the Declaration of An Academic Minor form for students on the CS Minors List finishing their minor requirements during that term.  The Undergraduate Program Staff clears students at the end of the term and the minor (MN-CS) is posted on SPIRE (see Student Services Center or transcript).