Technical Electives

This article outlines the underlying motivation and rules for the Technical Electives section of the 37CU CSCI degree requirements.

The term technical elective is unfortunately overloaded and used in several of our degrees:

  • the ASCS (BAS) degree’s Technical Electives are more flexible, though everything approved on the list below does count for ASCS as well
  • the NETS Technical Electives have different rules, not discussed here
  • the 40CU CSCI Technical Electives have yet different rules again, though everything approved on the list below does count as a 40CU Technical Elective as well

With these provisos out of the way, the rest of this article focuses solely on the 37CU CSCI Technical Electives.

The purpose of Technical Electives

Technical Electives give you technical depth; they are also an opportunity to specialize and to develop your own profile that goes beyond the required courses which everyone takes. Because of this, not all courses are suitable as Technical Electives. The expectation is that the courses will be 1) rigorous or quantitative, and 2) have at least one nontrivial prerequisite. Thus, a course that is mostly based on discussions or case studies will generally not work in this category. Such courses can still be wonderful, and you should certainly take them if you are interested! They would just have to go elsewhere on your CPG.

For some areas of specialization, it is necessary to take an introductory (1000-level) course first, e.g., because the other courses you want to take have it as a prerequisite. In this case, it is okay to count the 1000-level course as a Technical Elective, even if it does not meet the criteria above. However, you can have no more than one 1000-level course among your Technical Electives. Other 1000-level courses must go elsewhere on your CPG.

An excellent way to choose four of the technical electives is to declare a concentration. Courses from a declared concentration will automatically count as Technical Electives. However, please keep in mind that concentrations are optional for CSCI, and that there are many possible areas of specialization for which the department does not (yet?) offer a concentration. If you do not want to pursue a concentration, you can pick your own courses, subject to the constraints outlined in this article.

Will my course count?

To avoid surprises at graduation time, it is important to make sure that a course counts as a Technical Elective before you take it. The easiest way to do that is to check the list below.

My course is not on the list

If the course you are interested in is not yet listed, that does not necessarily mean that it does not count; it may simply mean that we have not made a decision yet. There are lots of courses that could be suitable, so we cannot maintain a definitive list! If your course is not yet listed, please fill in this form, and attach a recent syllabus. The department will make a decision and then add it to the list below.

Classifying courses isn’t trivial, so please do this only for courses you actually want to take!

List of courses

Below is the list of all classes whose eligibility as a Technical Elective has been determined thus far. If a course is listed as “ASK” (yellow), its classification depends on the circumstances; in this case, you should always ask by emailing the CIS Undergraduate Chair and attaching any relevant documentation. For instance, if you are asking about CIS 0099formerly CIS 099, please attach a copy of your project proposal.

For the curious, this list is also available in JSON format.


Revision history

  • September 2022: added approval for PHIL 4720

  • June 2022: added approvals for PHYS 1230, PHYS 2280, ESE 4070, CIS 5510; rejections for ECON 0110, BEPP 2330; and VIPR 399 on a case-by-case basis.

  • March 2022: removed retired courses: ESE 302, LING 406, LING 545, LING 546, LING 549, MGMT 100, OIDD 316, OIDD 352, PHIL 073

  • January 2022: added OIDD 6130formerly OIDD 613, MKTG 2370formerly MKTG 237, MATH 3410formerly MATH 341, ENGR 4500formerly ENGR 450, CIS 7980formerly CIS 798, CIS 2330formerly CIS 233, CIS 3410formerly CIS 341, DSGN 1020formerly DSGN 234, PSYC 2400formerly PSYC 266.

  • December 2021: added DSGN 2570formerly DSGN 240 (Yes)

  • November 2021: added ESE 5140formerly ESE 514, MATH 5460formerly MATH 546, PHIL 4722formerly PHIL 413, STAT 4810formerly STAT 481 (all Yes). Added CIS 4230formerly CIS 423, PSCI 1800formerly PSCI 107, LING 0700formerly LING 172 (all No).

  • October 2021: added ASTR 1250formerly ASTR 250, CIS 1890formerly CIS 189, CIS 1900formerly CIS 190, IPD 5110formerly IPD 511, MATH 3140formerly MATH 314, MATH 4250formerly MATH 425 (all Yes)

  • September 2021: added BEPP 2500formerly BEPP 250, EAS 3010formerly EAS 301, LAW 5770formerly LAW 577, PHYS 1250formerly PHYS 250, PHYS 4411formerly PHYS 411 (all Yes)

  • August 2021: added PHYS 3351formerly PHYS 351, PHYS 3361formerly PHYS 361, PHYS 3362formerly PHYS 362, PHYS 4401formerly PHYS 401 (all Yes)

  • June 2021: Changed STAT 4700formerly STAT 470 from No to Yes; added STAT 4050formerly STAT 405, STAT 4770formerly STAT 477, ACCT 1010formerly ACCT 101, BEPP 2840formerly BEPP 284, MKTG 2390formerly MKTG 239, OIDD 2550formerly OIDD 255 (No), ASTR 1211formerly ASTR 211, FNCE 2370formerly FNCE 237, PHIL 4770formerly PHIL 414 (Yes)