Major and Minor

CS Major and Minor

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This page is an informal and unofficial summary of the CS Major and CS Minor and their advising requirements. Authoritative descriptions are of the CS Major and CS Minor are given by the Wellesley College Catalog. If you have any questions, please contact any member of the Computer Science Faculty or the Department Chair.

CS Major

Requirements for the CS Major:

  • Introductory Sequence: CS 111 and CS 230
    • Students who place out of CS 111 must replace this requirement with an additional one-unit CS course at the 200 or 300 level.
  • Mathematical Foundations: MATH 225. In addition, students are strongly encouraged to take at least one course in mathematics (MATH) or statistics (STAT) at the 200 or 300 level. Students interested in applying to graduate school should consult their faculty advisor for specific MATH and CS courses that would enhance their preparation.
    • MATH225 is considered a prerequisite for the CS degree and could be counted toward another major. Note that pre-requisites of MATH225 is: "MATH 116, MATH 120, or the equivalent; or CS 230 together with permission of the instructor."
  • Core Courses: CS 231, CS 235, and CS 240
  • Electives: two 300 level CS courses, and at least two additional computer science course at the 200 or 300 level. NOTE: For students graduating in 2021 or in earlier years, one of the 200-level courses must be CS251, since CS251 is considered a core course through the end of Spring 2021. Starting in Fall 2021, CS251 is no longer considered a core course in order to make the CS major requirements more flexible..
  • Senior Poster: CS majors are required to present a poster at the annual CS Senior Summit in the spring semester of their senior year (or a fall alternative for those graduating in fall).


  • Independent study courses (CS 250, CS 250H, CS 350, CS 350H) and honors courses (CS 360 and CS 370) do not count toward the required courses for the major.
  • Computer Science courses at other institutions must be approved in advance by the department chair on an individual basis in order to be used to meet the course requirements for the major.

Suggested schedule for the major

Students are encouraged to complete the 200 level CS and mathematics requirements as early in the major as possible. Students considering a junior year abroad should consult a faculty member in the department as soon as possible in their sophomore year to plan a schedule of courses to complete the major.

  • Year 1: CS 111, CS 230.
  • Year 2: MATH 225 and at least two of the core courses.
  • Year 3: The remaining core courses and at least one additional 200 level or 300 level elective course.
  • Year 4: Additional courses to complete the major.

Sometimes CS111 is full and students have to wait a semester (or two) to start the major. Waiting to start the major is fine. Students can successfully complete the CS major without starting in their first semester.

Independent Research, Honors Theses, and Graduate Study

Students who are planning either graduate work or technical research work should consult with faculty advisors about extending their coursework in CS and obtaining research experience through independent research or honors thesis work. Majors who are interested in a senior honors thesis are urged to read the honors theses requirements and timelines and discuss plans with either their advisor or the Department Chair as early as possible in their junior year.

CS Minor

The computer science minor is recommended for students whose primary interests lie elsewhere, but who wish to obtain a fundamental understanding of computer science.

  • CS 111 and CS230
    • Students who place out of CS 111 must replace this requirement with an additional one-unit CS course at the 200 or 300 level.
  • Either CS231 or CS235, or CS240
  • At least one computer science course above the 100 level
  • At least one 300 level course other than CS 350.

Academic Advising

The goal of academic advising is to help you:

  • clarify your values and goals for your education
  • provide you with information about options, requirements, policies and procedures
  • plan a program that is consistent with your abilities and interests
  • connect your particular educational needs and aspirations with resources available at Wellesley

With these goals in mind, the CS department seeks to match CS majors and minors with faculty advisors. To ensure quality advising for each student, faculty members have caps to ensure they do not advise too many students at one time. The department assigns faculty advisors in a manner that distributes the advising load evenly. We encourage our students to remain open to CS faculty that you may not (yet) know well but who are well-equipped to advise you.

You must submit this academic advising form at least 2 weeks before the College's deadline for major declarations. The College's Major Declaration deadlines are typically December 1 for sophomores planning on studying abroad, and March 1 for sophomores not going abroad. (See College info about Major declaration/confirmation and deadlines here: