Satisfying degree requirements

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Please read this article fully! If your answer isn’t covered here, ask your undergraduate coordinator (Desirae, Laura or Amy). You can find their contact info at the CIS Advising homepage. Your faculty advisor is typically not a good resource for these kinds of regulatory questions; they are the right target for questions about career planning and research opportunities.

Major/Minor Requirements

The official major and minor requirements are documented elsewhere, to avoid redundancy and confusion we won’t reproduce those here.

General Requirements

The SEAS Undergraduate Handbook maintains the definitive rules for what counts as a Math, Natural Science, Engineering, Social Science & Humanities, Writing Seminar, Technology in Business & Society or Free Elective course.

Do all courses from the Mathematics department count as a Math course for your degree? Nope! Can any course count as a Free Elective? No again! Don’t make assumptions, check the SEAS Undergraduate Handbook in advance when you’re planning your courses.

Uncommon Circumstances

In some cases, a course can count towards a requirement even if the rules say that it should not. We discuss a few examples below. If your case isn’t discussed here, come talk with the CIS Advising staff and we can help you figure out the right strategy (which form to use, what can be replaced by what, etc.).

Skipping an intro course. Perhaps you are a CSCI major and you skipped CIS 1100formerly CIS 110 to take CIS 1200formerly CIS 120 instead. You can submit a Core Requirement Substitution Form to take a more advanced CIS course in place of CIS 1100formerly CIS 110. Or, if you have transferred to NETS from ESE, you may have already taken ESE 1110formerly ESE 111, and you can typically use ESE 1110formerly ESE 111 to replace the NETS 1120formerly NETS 112 requirement by filling in a Core Requirement Substitution Form.

Taking a more advanced course. For instance, say you want to take graduate algorithms CIS 5020formerly CIS 502 instead of undergraduate algorithms CIS 3200formerly CIS 320. You can submit a Core Requirement Substitution Form to this effect. Approval is not guaranteed, so make sure you do this before you take the course, and have a backup plan in case your substitution request is denied.

Taking another department’s Senior Design course. If you have a Senior Design group with, say, EE majors and CIS majors, some group members will have to take another department’s Senior Design class so that your group can be in the same class together. This is called Interdepartmental Senior Design, and is quite welcome! Just fill out the Core Requirement Substitution Form.

Taking Senior Design as an ASCS student. If you are an ASCS student you can take the 2-semester Senior Design. CIS 4010 will fulfill your CIS 4980 requirement, and CIS 4000 can count as a CIS Elective (but not a Project Elective). If you end up doing Interdepartmental Senior Design (see above) that’s also fine: the first semester of Senior Design will count as a CIS Elective, and the second semester as CIS 4980.

Other cases. If you are taking a course that is very unusual or very new, it is possible that the course does not technically satisfy a degree requirement, even though it seems that it really ought to, e.g., because the course is highly relevant to your major, or because similar courses already count. In this situation, please talk with the CIS Advising staff. It is quite possible that the rules will be updated, or that you can make the course count by filing a petition. However, it is important that you ask before taking the course and not after the fact! Success is not guaranteed, and your graduation can be delayed if your plans do not pan out.