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Requirements for the BS Degree in Computer Science include coursework in computer science, mathematics, natural science and the humanities and social sciences, as well as free elective coursework. The degree provides considerable freedom in the selection of specific courses to fulfill these requirements, allowing students to tailor the degree to their individual needs and interests.

Tracks reflect the fact that computer science is transforming such disciplines as medicine, the sciences, and social science. The tracks also illustrate various software and hardware themes within the field of computer science. In addition to the more general degree requirements for all Computer Science majors, majors need to complete the course requirements for one of the following tracks:

General Computing

The General Computing track provides a broad-based background drawing from the entire spectrum of computing. Depending on the courses selected, students can be exposed to the design and architecture of computers, the development of software, and the theory and techniques used in designing efficient computer programs. Students can also learn about application of computers to problems in science, in human-computer interaction, and in data management. This track prepares students for careers in many different areas of computer science.

Computational Biology

Computer Science is rapidly becoming critical to many areas of biology and medicine. This track's flexible requirements reflect the diverse fields of computer science that are applied to problems in biology or medicine, including database design and data mining, algorithms, machine learning, and numerical computation. Students graduating from this track will be ready to work in teams to develop the software and systems for a variety of biomedical applications.

Computational Science and Engineering

Problems considered by computational scientists include climate and weather prediction, spacecraft design, video game construction, and the discovery of new medicines and treatments among many others. This track emphasizes courses in numerical computation, high-performance scientific computing, and supporting areas of science and computer science. It provides exposure to leading-edge computing systems.

Human-Centered Computing

Students in this track will learn how to design, build, and evaluate socio-technical systems of the future that will tie together technology with communication, collaboration, and other social processes to address the challenges and opportunities of our world. The learning opportunities in this track draw on and integrate research in human computer interaction, design of interactive systems, computer supported cooperative work, computer supported collaborative learning, educational technology, tools that support creativity, user-developed knowledge collections, and gaming.

Networked Devices and Systems

It is the role of networked systems professionals to select, design, deploy, integrate, evaluate, and administer network and communication infrastructures. This track emphasizes courses in deployment of networks with specific design and protocol requirements, applying networking to deploy services in multimedia, information storage and distribution, security, and services on the Internet such as the World Wide Web and email, and operating systems analysis and management.

Software Engineering

Software permeates the very fabric of modern society. This track emphasizes courses in core software engineering concepts, methods, and tools, the understanding of user requirements and user interface design, the ability to design programming languages and software tools that support software development, and working in teams to achieve complex objectives. The position of software engineer was recently ranked as the "best job" in America.


Computers benefit almost every part of our lives -- from entertainment to cars to phones to medical devices. Computer systems engineers work with hardware and software to help application developers make these devices a reality. This track emphasizes courses in direct control of hardware through low-level software, the design and implementation of operating systems and programming languages, networking and performance analysis as well as embedded system design.

Department of Computer Science
College of Engineering and Applied Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
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November 3, 2011