Second Major in Computer Science

Students in other GW schools or other departments in the School of Engineering and Applied Science who desire a second major in computer science must apply in the School of Engineering and Applied Science.  Please review the list of Frequently Asked Questions and then contact [email protected] with any further questions.

To receive a second major in computer science, students must complete the general curriculum requirements of their home school and the Department of Computer Science requirements listed below---which are based on whether their primary degree, from their home school, is a BS or a BA. Note that the university requires that at least 12 credits are exclusive to the second major.


BA Second Major Computer Science Requirements of 11 courses

Six required courses:

  • CSCI 1111 Introduction to Software Development (3)
  • CSCI 1112 Algorithms and Data Structures I (3); Prerequisites: CSCI 1111
  • CSCI 1311 Discrete Structures (3); Prerequisites: MATH 1220 or MATH 1231
  • CSCI 2113 Software Engineering (3); Prerequisites: CSCI 1112
  • CSCI 2460 Introduction to Computer Systems (3); Prerequisites: CSCI 1112
  • CSCI 2441 Database and Team Projects (3); Prerequisites: CSCI 2113

For students who began the second major before Fall 2022, the following are the requirements for five additional courses:  

Two electives from:

  • CSCI 3212 Algorithms (4); Prerequisite: CSCI 1311, 2113
  • CSCI 3313 Foundations of Computing (4); Prerequisite: CSCI 2461, 2113
  • CSCI 3410 Systems Programming (3); Prerequisite: CSCI 2461, 2113
  • CSCI 3411 Operating Systems (4); Prerequisite: CSCI 2461, 2113
  • CSCI 4223 Principles of Programming Languages (3); Prerequisite: CSCI 1311, 2113

Three electives from a Technical Track


For students who begin the second major in Fall 2022 or later, the following are the requirements for the five additional courses:

Required Course: CSCI 3212 Algorithms (4); Prerequisite CSCI 1311, 2113.

Four Advanced CS Electives: Students are required to take four computer science courses (for a minimum of 12 credits) numbered 2400 and above. Of these courses, at least two (for a minimum of 6 credits) must be at the 4000 level or above. CSCI 4243, CSCI 4243W, CSCI 4244 may not be used toward the advanced CS elective requirement. The faculty advisor’s documented approval is required before these courses may be applied toward degree completion.

Significant Independent Project:

Students pursuing a second major beginning in Academic Year 2021-2022 or earlier must complete a significant independent project. Thus, you must either:

  • complete a course in the second major that includes a thesis or significant project, or
  • complete CSci 4243 and CSci 4244

In both cases, you need the approval of your CS advisor.

Students who begin Fall 2022 or later do not need to complete the significant independent project. 

Credits in residence requirement:
At least 24 credits in computer science courses must be completed in the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Graduation GPA requirement:
To satisfactorily complete a second major, a student must have a minimum GPA of 2.2 in all the Department of Computer Science courses he or she has taken.

Admission requirement:
The admission criteria and application form for the second major can be found here.