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How to Guide to a Double Major in Math and CS

Here's the research into pursuing a double major in Mathematics. This is different from a double degree. A double degree requires that a student complete the extra requirements that the College of Arts and Sciences requires for graduation which are more significant and strict than the College of IS&T. This includes about a class more in Humanities, Natural Sciences, Social Services and History as well as stipulations on what can count for what requirement. A student may want to pursue, say, a double degree such as a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science.

However, it is very easy to just pursue a double major. In this case, a student will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Mathematics from the College of IS&T.

For a major in mathematics, one must have 47 hours of mathematics and computer science courses as well as 18 hours of an area of concentration (which can be computer science) for a total of 65 hours.

A student pursuing a computer science major is already required to take 22 hours of math and computer science that applies toward a mathematics major. The area of concentration a mathematics major must take can easily be computer science with courses the student is required to take anyway for that major. Finally, a student can take 15 hours of mathematics courses that apply toward both majors. This leaves the student with only 10 hours that he or she must fill with additional math courses.

Here is how it breaks down:
As a Computer Science major, one is required to take the following courses

  • MATH 1950 Calculus I
  • MATH 1960 Calculus II
  • MATH 2030 Discrete Structures (or MATH 2230 Intro. to Abstract Mathematics)
  • MATH 2050 Applied Linear Algebra
  • CIST 1400 Intro. to Computer Programming
  • CSCI 1620 Intro. to Computer Programming II

One will also be already taking 18 hours of other Computer Science courses that can be used for the Mathematics outside area of concentration. Thus, beyond what a Computer Science major will already be taking, a student pursuing a double major must only complete 8 more mathematics courses. Four of these will not count toward a computer science major. They are:

  • MATH 1970 Calculus III
  • MATH 3230 Intro. to Analysis
  • MATH 3350 Differential Equations
  • MATH 4740 Intro. to Probability and Stats I

However, one of them (such as MATH 1970) can count toward fulfilling a Natural and Physical Science requirement if there is the space available. Also, within a Computer Science major there is the Core Extension; in this there are 12 hours set aside for upper level classes in an Area of Emphasis that can be a cognate field (like mathematics). You can use MATH 3320, MATH 3350, and MATH 4740 for this purpose. (You can alternatively fill it with more theory related Mathematics classes).

Of the remaining four mathematics classes that a double-major must take, a great many of them are cross-listed. That is, they satisfy the core Mathematics requirements as well as the Computer Science core extension. Such classes are:

  • MATH 3100 Applied Combinatorics (required)
  • MATH 3300 Numerical Methods
  • MATH 4150 Graph Theory
  • MATH 4300 Operations Research I
  • MATH 4310 Operations Research II
  • MATH 4560 Number Theory and Cryptology
  • MATH 4660 Automata, Computability and Formal Languages
  • MATH 4760 Topics in Modeling

If done as above, a double major student may not need to take any additional mathematics courses that will not count toward a computer science major. Of course, there will always be plenty of room to tack on a fun course or two along the way if one should so choose.