2017-2018 Undergraduate Course Catalog 
    Sep 26, 2020  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Computer Science, BS

Program Director

Susan Older


Howard A. Blair, Tomislav Bujanovic, Ilyas Cicekli, Nihan Cicekli, Stephen J. Chapin, Biao Chen, C.Y. Roger Chen, Shiu-Kai Chin, Jun Hwan (Brandon) Choi, Wenliang (Kevin) Du, Sara Eftekharnejad, Ehat Ercanli, Makan Fardad, James W. Fawcett, Prasanta Ghosh,  Jennifer Graham, Mustafa Cenk Gursoy, Can Isik, Mina Jung, Mehmet Kaya, Andrew Chung-Yeung Lee, Jay Kyoon Lee, Duane L. Marcy, Patrick McSweeney, Won Kyung Park McSweeney, Chilukuri K. Mohan, Jae C. Oh, Susan Older, Vir Phoha, Qinru Qiu,  James S. Royer, Tapan K. Sarkar, Q. Wang Song, Sucheta Soundarajan, Jian Tang, Yuzhe (Richard) Tang, William C. Tetley, Pramod K. Varshney, Senem Velipasalar, Li Wang,Yanzhi Wang, Edmund Yu, Reza Zafarani

The mission of the computer and information science programs is to assist students to be ready for work and ready for change. This means preparing students to make professional contributions to computer and information science immediately upon graduation and throughout their professional careers, and to adapt to technological and societal changes.

This program is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.

The programs in computer science prepare professionals who will adapt to constant changes in technology and who will be leaders in developing the new technologies of the Information Age. The multidisciplinary nature of the curricula offers students a high degree of flexibility to design a program of study tailored to their interests and professional aspirations.

Computer science focuses on programming, algorithms, large-scale software development, and the principles of computing that underlie these areas. Syracuse’s program weaves together an emphasis on fundamental principles with new developments in computing, producing graduates prepared either to begin careers or to pursue advanced studies in the field.

With this program you will have opportunities to learn about:

  • Computer and internet security
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning to develop machines that can work among humans.
  • Operating system design to develop the next innovation to change Windows, Mac OS X and Unix or to invent a completely new operating system.
  • Innovative thinking so you can design programs that control rockets, future search engines, and cars that drive themselves.
  • Mathematics to reveal the limits of today’s computers and explore the possibility of a new kind of computer that has yet to be imagined.
  • Problem solving, independent thinking and team collaboration in developing a large-scale software systems with other computer scientists and software engineers.

Graduates of the Syracuse University bachelor of science in computer science program achieve the following student outcomes:

  • Ability to apply knowledge of computing and mathematics appropriate to the program’s student outcomes and to the discipline. In particular, students should be able to apply this knowledge in a way that demonstrates comprehension of the tradeoffs involved in modeling, design and development of software systems of various scales and complexity.
  • Ability to analyze a problem, and identify and define computing requirements appropriate to its solution.
  • Ability to design, implement, and evaluate a computer-based system, process, component, or program to meet desired needs.
  • Ability to function effectively on teams to accomplish common goals
  • Understanding of professional, ethical, legal, security, and social issues and responsibilities.
  • Ability to communicate effectively.
  • Ability to analyze the local and global impact to computing on individuals, organizations, and society.
  • Recognition of the need for lifelong learning and an ability to engage in the same.
  • Ability to use current techniques, skills, and tools necessary for computing practice.
  • Ability to apply mathematical foundations, algorithmic principles, and computer science theory in the modeling and design of computer-based systems in a way that demonstrates comprehension of the tradeoffs involved in design choices.
  • Ability to apply design and development principles in the construction of software systems of varying complexity

Distribution and Core Requirements

The BS degree in Computer Science requires a minimum of 123 credits. The requirements are divided into a general education section, a mathematics section, and a major section.

General Education Section

Completion of the general education section requires at least 51 credits of coursework, as follows. Each student is required to complete 6 credits of writing (WRT 105 , WRT 205 ) and 3 credits in presentational skills by taking at least one course out of the following:

Natural Sciences

The student is further required to complete 12 credits of natural sciences,  including the following.  These 12 credits must include a two-semester sequence in a laboraroty science intended for science majors. (See exclusions in the Undergraduate Student Handbook).

Social Science and Humanities

The student is required to complete 21 credits in social science and humanities (A/SS/H), including the following two courses:

Free Electives

Finally, each student has 9 credits of free electives. This requirement can be satisfied by any courses except for CPS courses and certain remedial courses. A list of such courses can be obtained from the CIS program office.

Mathematics Section

The mathematics section requires at least 15 credits of math. The student must complete the following courses:

Major Section

The major section consists of ECS 101 - Introduction to Engineering and Computer Science , ECS 102 - Introduction to Computing , the 33-credit computer science core (listed below), and 18-credits of upper-division technical electives.

Academic Standards

Students are required to meet academic standards as follows: no grade below C- will satisfy the requirements for the 6 credits of writing, for the mathematics section, for the computer science core, and the 18 credits of upper-division technical electives. The computer science core must be completed with a B- (2.667) average.

Upper Division Technical Electives

Students must complete 18 credits of upper division electives chosen from the following listing. At least 9 credits of the upper division technical electives must be in computer science or computer engineering.

Arts and Sciences

Students may also choose any mathematics courses numbered about 400, unless specifically excluded (i.e., MAT 521 and MAT 485).

Computer and Information Science

Students may select any CIS or CSE courses numbered above 300, unless specifically excluded.

Representative Program of Study

Third Year, Spring Semester (16)

Fourth Year, Fall Semester (15)

Fourth Year, Spring Semester (15)

  • Upper-division elective (3)
  • Upper-division elective (3)
  • Free elective (3)
  • Free elective (3)
  • A/SS/H elective (3)


*Students wishing to preserve the option of transferring to an engineering major at the end of the first semester should take CHE 106 /CHE 107  in place of an A/SS/H elective.

Intra-University Transfer

Students who wish to transfer into any program within the College of Engineering and Computer Science from another school or college within the University should have a strong record of achievement and demonstrated success in key technical courses. Specifically, it is critical for the applicant to have proven their ability to excel in college-level calculus (by completing at least one of MAT 295 , MAT 296 , or MAT 397  with a grade of B- or better) and science (by completing at least one set of PHY 211 /PHY 221  or CHE 106 /CHE 107  with a grade of B- or better). Students who wish to major in computer science must also complete CIS 252  with a grade of at least a B.