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CS+ Major

CS+ Major

Computer Science Major: The CS+ Program

Baruch College offers a BS in Computer Science, based in Baruch’s mathematics department, and in collaboration with the Paul H. Chook Department of Information Systems and Statistics (ISS).

Getting into the CS major. To officially be a CS major, a student first needs to satisfy several prerequisites:

  • Calculus I and II with a combined grade of at least 3.5 (see below for more details).
  • A grade of at least B in MTH3300 or CIS2300 (introduction to programming).
  • A grade of at least B in MTH3150 (Discrete Math: An Invitation to Computer Science).

If you take the above courses but do not get the required grades, you can use these courses to get a CS minor. This minor consists of the above courses, together with one additional CS capstone course.

There are four ways to complete the above calculus prerequisites. These calculus courses could be taken as part of the pathways requirement.

Option 1:

MTH 2610 Calculus I or Calculus AP Exam (AB) with a score of 4 or 5 (transfers to Baruch as MTH 2610) 4 credits
MTH 3010 Calculus II 4 credits

Option 2:

MTH 2205 Precalculus and Elements of Calculus 1BorMTH 2206 Applied Calculus orMTH 2207 Elements of Calculus I and Matrix Algebra 4 credits
MTH 3006 Elements of Calculus II 4 credits

Option 3:

Calculus AP Exam (BC) with a score of 4 or 5 (transfers to Baruch as MTH 3010) 8 credits

Option 4:

MTH 2630 Analytic Geometry and Calculus I 5 credits

In Options 1,2, and 4, the combined calculus GPA must be at least 3.5 out of 4.0. In option 3, a student who did not get a good sub-score for calc AB will only receive 4 credits.

Core CS courses. A CS major must complete the following core courses:

MTH 3150 Discrete Math: An Invitation to Computer Science 4 credits
MTH 3300 or CIS 2300 An Introduction to Programming 3 credits
MTH 4300 Algorithms, Computers and Programming II 3 credits
MTH 4320 Data Structures and Algorithms 4 credits
MTH 4350 Computer Architecture 4 credits
MTH 4355 Operating Systems 4 credits
MTH 4360 Complexity and Computational Models 4 credits

The following diagram illustrates the prerequisite dependencies among the core courses.

Diagram

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Elective CS courses. The CS major also consists of elective courses. A CS major with no concentration should complete four electives of their choice (for an explanation about concentrations, see below). The following list of elective courses is only an initial one. We expect this list to be regularly updated.

MTH 4330 Introduction to Machine Learning 4 credits
MTH 4335 Natural Language Processing 4 credits
CIS 3500 Computer Networking 3 credits
CIS 3400 Database management systems 3 credits
CIS 3630 Principles of Web Design 3 credits
MTH 4140 Graph theory 4 credits
CIS 4560 Ethical hacking 3 credits
MTH 4325 Programming Languages 4 credits
MTH 4150 Combinatorics 4 credits
MTH 4250 Cryptography 4 credits
MTH 4135 Computational Methods in Probability (Monte Carlo methods) 3 credits

Concentrations. The CS major will offer a variety of concentrations in other disciplines, which is why the program is called CS+. You could be a CS major with a concentration in bioinformatics, computational linguistics, computational psychology, and more. You could also be a CS major with no concentration.

When pursuing a concentration, the number of CS electives that you need to take drops to 1 or 2, depending on the concentration. Instead, you take other courses that the concentration consists of. For example, a concentration in bioinformatics consists of two CS electives, BIO 2100 (Biostatistics) and a new bioinformatics course. Many professors around Baruch state that CS majors with a concentration in their disciplines could be helpful in their research work. Thus, we encourage students with a concentration to also pursue research projects in their field.

We will gradually add information about the different concentrations, as those are created. We first wish to make sure that the heart of the CS major exists and works well. If there is a lot of demand for a particular concentration, we will try to prioritize that concentration.

Answers to frequently asked questions.

Question 1. Can I pursue a Zicklin major together with CS major?

Answer. While the Zicklin School of Business does not allow double majors, there is a solution that is just as good. Baruch College offers a Weissman Concentration for BBA majors. This is similar to a double major.

To declare a Weissman Concentration in CS, contact Evan Fink at evan.fink@baruch.cuny.edu. Before you can do that, you first need to complete the CS major prerequisites (calculus, discrete math, basic programming).

Question 2. How do I declare a CS major?

Answer. There are two different meanings to declaring a major at Baruch:

  • When you first join Baruch, you declare which major you intend to pursue. At that point you are not yet officially in the major.
  • Once you fulfill all major prerequisites, you can officially declare the major.

If, when joining Baruch you declared that you intend to pursue a different major and you now wish to change to CS:

If you fulfilled the prerequisites of the CS major and wish to officially join the major, contact Evan Fink at evan.fink@baruch.cuny.edu.

Question 3. How do I know which of the calculus courses fits me?

Answer. Check your math placement. If you were placed in MTH2003, then you take MTH2003, followed by MTH2205, and finally MTH3006. If you did well on MTH2003 and already comfortable with trigonometry, you can instead take MTH2610 after MTH2003. MTH 2630 is not a real course, but rather credit given in some unusual transfer cases.

Question 4. What non-CS and non-math courses should I take for the CS major?

Answer. The CS major is based at the Baruch Weissman School of Arts and Sciences. All Weissman students are required to take COM 1010 and two language courses. In addition, all CUNY students are required to satisfy the CUNY pathways requirement.

A degree consists of 120 credits. At least 90 of those should be credits from liberal arts courses. If you finished all the CS, Weissman, and pathway requirements with a smaller number of credits, then you reach 120 by taking additional free electives. This may significantly differ between students and it is recommended to discuss your specific situation with an advisor.

Question 5. Why does the major have prerequisites?

Answer. We aim for a relatively small number of computer science majors. We want to make sure that this major is at a high technical level, to ensure that our majors are well-equipped for the job market and graduate school. Unfortunately, that forces us to require several math prerequisites for this major. We wish that we could have made the major more popular by requiring less, but we recognize that the field requires a strong technical base.

We also believe that a small program at a high technical level would help establish the reputation of the program. This is similar to Baruch’s well-known financial math program. A small program also means that the majors will get more personal attention from the program’s director and instructors.

Question 6. Can I do a double major in CS and math?

Answer. This is likely to require taking more than 120 credits, which may cause issues with financial aid. It is recommended to first check your financial aid restrictions.

The CS major is a BS and the math major is a BA. There are regulations that forbid getting two different types of degrees from Baruch. So you cannot officially have this double major. There is a different mechanism that allows you to do this: “Weissman Concentration.” You can have your major be one of the two and your Weissman concentration be the other. This is the same as a double major.

Question 7. Can I take the CS concentration in Psychology while also pursuing a Psychology minor?

Answer. That is allowed. Since it is very similar to a double major in CS and Psychology, you might prefer to consider that option. (See Question 6 for more information about Weissman Concentrations and taking more than 120 credits.)

For questions about the CS minor, see this webpage.

For any other comments, questions, or requests, you are welcome to contact Professor Adam Sheffer at Adam.Sheffer@baruch.cuny.edu. Professor Sheffer is the director of the CS program, and all CS majors are encouraged to chat with him.