Bachelor of Arts Electives

The Bulletin carries the definitive requirements for all students, and is updated to reflect and archive the requirements for each entering class. This page helps to explain the classes of electives you must take; these explanations below may or may not exactly apply to your Bulletin year. You must choose courses in consultation with your advisors and ensure that they meet the requirements for your Bulletin year.

The B.A. curriculum includes a number of required courses, but also a number of categories of electives:

The semester-by-semester curriculum suggests certain electives in certain semesters. While the Computer Science electives are intended for juniors and seniors, the other electives may be moved around in your program, but you must end up with the right number of courses in each category.

Social/Behavioral Science Electives (2 social/behavioral science courses)
In this category you choose two from the Social/Behavioral list at HSSB List. You may also choose courses in business, but not those excluded below.

Natural Science Electives (3 courses)
In this category you choose 3 lab science courses from the list at Science List.

Statistics Elective (1 course)
In this category you choose one course from: CSCI 4341, CSCI 3362 / 6362, APSC 3115, STAT 1051, STAT 1053, or STAT 1091.

Humanities Electives (4 courses)
In this category you choose a total of four courses from the Humanities list or Literature List.

Language and Cultural Electives (2 courses)
In this category you choose from the list at Culture List.

Creative Arts Elective (1 course)
In this category you choose from the list at Art List.

Computer Science Electives (5 courses)
In this category you choose 5 Computer Science courses, from the following categories:

  • two courses from CSCI 3410, CSCI 3212, CSCI 3313, CSCI 3411
  • three courses that form a technical track

You may choose graduate-level courses with your advisor's approval. Needless to say, you must meet the prerequisites for any course you choose. Note that you may use up to two additional computer science courses as selected electives.

2nd Major/ Selected Electives (11 courses)
These courses are intended to fulfill 2nd Major or Secondary Fields (minors) requirements and are slightly restricted. In this category, you may choose from a wide range of academic courses; however, not all courses are allowed, even if they are required for your minor. In particular, courses that have weaker technical content than required for the major will not be allowed.

As a guideline, we will approve courses from the HSS lists, and from those courses explicitly listed in non-technical track lists on the department website. You should not assume that any other non-CS courses will be approved without explicit documented approval from your adviser, even when such courses are required for the minor or second major or have transferred through AP credit. 

In particular, note that a computer science course taught by another department will generally not count. Further, we will not allow courses that significantly overlap with---or are not as advanced as---the required content for the CS degree program. For example, we will not allow courses such as (but not limited to) the following: EMSE 4197; ISTM 3119, 4120, 4121, 4123; BADM 2301; STAT 1051, 1053, 1091, 1129. Finally, some courses may be approved for one student and not for another, based on other courses the student has taken. For example, if a student is using PHYS 1021 towards the science, math/science, or selected elective requirement, PHYS 1011 is not permitted, but it would be permitted for students who have not taken PHYS 1021. Finally, no courses, independent of which department they are from, will be allowed if they overlap significantly with any other course(s) used towards the computer science program. 

Finally, a student may use no more than two Computer Science courses at the level 3000 and higher towards selected electives.