The CS Major and Minor

The Major

  • CS 111, CS 230, CS 231, CS 235, CS 240, CS 251, two 300 level CS courses, and at least one additional computer science course at the 200 or 300 level.
  • 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.
  • Students who do not take CS 111 must replace this requirement with an additional one-unit CS course at the 200 or 300 level.
  • Computer Science courses at other institutions used to meet the nine-course requirement must be approved in advance by the department chair on an individual basis.
  • All majors in Computer Science are expected to complete MATH 225 and at least one additional course in mathematics or statistics at the 200 or 300 level. The MATH and STAT courses are considered prerequisites for the CS degree and could be counted toward another major.
  • All computer science majors are required to participate in The Computer Science Senior Poster Fair held in the spring. Students present posters on a topic of interest related to computer science. See the earlier link for details of the requirements.

The previous list is not intended to supercede the authoritative description in the Wellesley College Bulletin

Students who plan to pursue graduate work in computer science are strongly encouraged to develop their background in mathematics, particularly in the areas of linear algebra, probability and statistics, and graph theory. Such students should elect one or both of CS 310 or MATH 305.
In addition, students who are planning either graduate work or technical research work are encouraged to obtain research experience through CS 350 or CS 370), or further study through appropriate courses at MIT.

Majors who are interested in writing a senior honors thesis are urged to read the section on Honors Projects and discuss their plans with either their advisor or the Department Chair as early as possible in their junior year.

The department, along with the Studio Art and other departments, also supports a Media Arts and Sciences 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 following courses: CS 235, CS 231, CS 240, or CS 251.

Year 3: The remaining 200 level required courses from the four listed above and at least one additional 200 level or 300 level course.

Year 4: Additional courses to complete the major.

The 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.

Students who do not take CS 111 must replace this requirement with one additional computer science course at the 200 or 300 level.

Consult the Wellesley College Course Catalog for more details. If you have any questions, please contact any member of the Computer Science Faculty or the Department Chair.

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: