Jul 13, 2024  
2024-2025 Catalog 
2024-2025 Catalog

Computer Science Minor

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Program of Study

Computer Science is basically the study of problem-solving on computers. We utilize the power of computers in the problem-solving process while dealing with the constraints of computers. We offer to the undergraduate and graduate student a rich mix of modern computer science courses. Common to these offerings are the power, beauty, and utility of computational thought.

Applications of Computer Science knowledge include almost every field from business to education, from humanities to social sciences, or from natural sciences to engineering. Therefore, the study of Computer Science contains many fields such as computer architecture, programming languages, computer networking, database systems, information management, artificial intelligence and numerical analysis.

The California State University San Marcos undergraduate study in Computer Science emphasizes both theoretical foundations and practical applications. Students will learn algorithms, data structures, software design, the concepts of programming languages, computer organization, and computer architecture. The program stresses analysis and design experiences with substantial laboratory work, including software development. The Computer Science major prepares students for careers in applications programming, systems analysis, and software engineering, as well as for entrance into graduate and professional schools.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Students completing the Computer Science Option will be able to:

  1. Analyze the effects of different choices of algorithms and data structures.
  2. Choose the right programming language and/or hardware system for the task at hand.
  3. Design, implement and test systems to meet the requirements specified by the requester.
  4. Design, implement and document software in a way that facilitates software maintenance activities.
  5. Independently acquire new computer-related skills based on previous knowledge.

Students completing the Computer Information Systems Option will be able to:

  1. Identify, integrate, apply knowledge to design and build a system of reasonable complexity that solves a loosely specified business problem.
  2. Demonstrate effective oral and written communications in business.
  3. Write technical documents such as specifications, design and user-manuals in appropriate formats.
  4. Apply necessary principles and practices of business to complete projects and perform services to meet business objectives.
  5. Demonstrate project management skills in group settings.

Career Opportunities

Hundreds of job advertisements looking for Computer Science professionals appear in newspapers, professional magazines and newsletters. Due to the enormous demand, degree holders in Computer Science have multiple paths to reach their career goals. They can easily find jobs with excellent pay in many businesses and industries in positions such as: programmers, system analyst/engineer/managers, software analyst/engineer/managers, database managers, network/telecommunications administrators, customer service representative/managers, computer instructors, technical trainers, technical support, management information system managers, and sales representatives.


High school students are encouraged to take four years of English, four years of mathematics including trigonometry, one year of biological science, and one year of physical science. Courses in calculus, physics, and computer programming are recommended. Experience in clear, concise, and careful writing is valuable for success in all courses.

Transfer Credits

A maximum of thirty-two (32) lower-division units including courses in Computer Science, mathematics, and physics may be applied toward the preparation for the major requirements. Of the thirty-two (32) units, twelve (12) units must appropriately match the description for CS 111 , CS 211 , and CS 231 ; twelve (12) units must appropriately match the description for MATH 160 *, MATH 162 , and MATH 264 ; and eight (8) units must be biology, chemistry, or physics courses that are counted toward a science major and at least one must also fulfill a lower-division Area B requirement other than B4*

*Three (3) units of the above-transferred courses will count toward the lower-division General Education requirements in Area B4. If suitably chosen, three (3) additional units will count in either area B1 or B2. Students are encouraged to consult their faculty advisor to learn about courses that fulfill the General Education requirements.

Special Conditions for the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

All courses counted toward the major, including Preparation for the Major courses, must be completed with a grade of C (2.0) or better. No more than a total of three (3) units of either CS 498 or CS 499 may be applied to the major. A minimum of fifteen (15) upper-division units counted toward the major must be completed at Cal State San Marcos.

Minor in Computer Science

The Minor in Computer Science consists of at least twenty-six (26) units of study in Computer Science. Each course submitted toward the Computer Science Minor must be completed with a grade of C (2.0) or better.

Additional Requirements (12 Units)

At least twelve (12) units from any CS courses numbered 200 or higher; at least nine (9) units must be numbered 300 or higher. MATH 464  and MATH 480  may be applied toward this requirement.

Total (26 Units)

*Six (6) units of lower-division General Education  units in Area B (Math and Science) are automatically satisfied by courses taken in Preparation for the Major.

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