Bachelor's Degree Requirements


Each Computer Science major is assigned an advisor as soon as s/he enters the program. You should check with a departmental secretary (KOM 306) if there is any confusion about who your advisor is. You normally retain the same advisor until you graduate or enter a different program. It is your responsibility to know the requirements for obtaining a degree in Computer Science. Your advisor can help you understand the requirements, choose courses, discuss careers in computing, etc. Get to know your advisor and see him/her whenever you have questions or problems.

Degree Requirements

Your Middle Tennessee State University Undergraduate Catalog is the official document describing degree requirements. Here is a summary of some of those requirements.

  1. You must successfully complete 120 semester hours of coursework. "Successfully complete" means that the grade in each computer science course must be C or higher, and the grade in each other course must be D- or higher. Your overall grade point average (GPA) must be 2.0 or higher.
  2. 42 of the 120 hours must be at the 3000 or 4000 level, and 60 hours must be at a 4-year college. This is rarely a problem for a computer science major unless you are a transfer student with many 2-year college hours.
  3. You must satisfy a set of general studies requirements.
  4. You must complete all the requirements for a computer science major. MTSU's Computer Science Department offers a Bachelor of Science degree with two options, the professional concentration program, accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET,, and the business applications concentration (not accredited). These two options include a common core set of courses and then have separate sets of additional requirements. These are described below.
  5. Your GPA in your major must be 2.0 or higher. In addition, if a course is required as a prerequisite for another course, then you must earn a grade of C (2.0) or higher in that course before you take the subsequent course.
  6. You must complete all requirements for a minor. For a Business Applications concentration, the minor must be business administration or mathematics (plus specified business courses). For the professional concentration option, no minor is specified. Many professional concentration majors choose mathematics since the major already includes many of the requirements for a mathematics minor.

Core Requirements for All Computer Science Majors

A major in Computer Science consists of 44 semester hours of computer science courses and other classes including the following:

  1. CSCI 1010, 1170, 2170, 3080, 3110, 3130, 3240, and 4700. (This is 26 hours. Additional computer science hours are required for each option.)
  2. MATH 1910, 1920 and 2050. (MATH 1910 also fulfills the General Studies Mathematics requirement.)
  3. An additional math course (at least 3 hours) that can be counted toward a math major.
  4. PHIL 3170
  5. Completion of the requirements for the professional computer science option or the business applications option (see below).

Course Restrictions

  • A maximum of 3 hours in the major may come from CSCI 3970, 4600, and 4910.
  • Credit in secondary computer languages (including CSCI 1160 and 303x) is limited to 3 hours toward the major.
  • In order to take any computer science course having a computer science prerequisite, you must have a grade of C (2.0) or better in the prerequisite.
  • The service courses listed in the catalog (CSCI 1000, CSCI 1150 and CSCI 3150) do not count toward a major.

Major in Computer Science: Professional Computer Science Concentration

In addition to the core requirements, students must complete the following courses for the Professional Computer Science Concentration accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET:

  1. CSCI 3210 and 4160.
  2. 2-3 hours in an approved high-level language. The usual choice is a 3-hour 303x course.
  3. Upper-division computer science electives (8 hours if you choose 3 hours of a high-level language and 9 hours if you choose 2 hours of a high-level language).
  4. Minor to be selected with the approval of the computer science advisor. Mathematics is the most common choice since you will already have so many of the requirements, but any minor relevant to your career choice is generally acceptable.
  5. A minimum of 15 hours of approved mathematics. This includes the 14 hours that are already in the core requirements.
  6. A two-semester sequence in a laboratory science for science majors (8 hours). See the notes on the science requirements below.
  7. Additional hours in science for science majors and/or courses with strong emphasis on quantitative methods to make a total of at least 12 hours including the 8-hour science sequence required above. See the notes on the science requirements below.
  8. A minimum total of 30 hours of approved mathematics and science. Notice that the separate mathematics and science requirements do not add up to 30 hours so that at least one additional mathematics or science course is required. If you choose a mathematics minor, you will meet this requirement.
  9. 30 semester hours of humanities, social sciences, and other disciplines (excluding science, mathematics, computer science, and physical education). MTSU general studies courses normally satisfy this requirement.

Notes on the science requirements:

  1. You will take courses from two different departments to satisfy general studies requirements. You will take a second course in one of these areas to complete a two-semester sequence. See 2 and 3 below for what science courses will count.
  2. The two-semester sequence in a laboratory science for science majors must be
    1. BIOL 1110, 1120
    2. CHEM 1010, 1020 or
    3. CHEM 1110, 1120 or
    4. PHYS 2010, 2011, 2020, 2021 or
    5. PHYS 2110, 2111, 2120, 2121
  3. The four additional hours in science for science majors and/or courses with strong emphasis on quantitative methods must be
    any of the courses (with corresponding lab) listed in 2 above or
    an upper-division biology, chemistry, or physics course for majors in the discipline or
    1. GEOG 4490 (Remote Sensing) or
    2. GEOG 4510 (Laboratory Problems in Remote Sensing) or
    3. GEOG 4520 (Image Interpretation) or
    4. GEOL 4000 (Petrology & Petrography) or
    5. GEOL 4070 (Sedimentation and Stratigraphy) or
    6. GEOL 4130 (Hydrogeology)

Major in Computer Science: Business Applications Concentration

In addition to the core requirements, students must complete the following courses for the Business Applications concentration:

  1. CSCI 4410, Web Technologies
  2. CSCI 4560, Database Management Systems
  3. 9 hours of computer science electives, at least 6 of which are upper division
  4. A minor is required in either business administration or mathematics. If a minor in mathematics is chosen, the following additional business requirements must be taken:
    1. ACTG 2110, Principles of Accounting I (3 hours)
    2. ECON 2420, Principles of Economics, Microeconomics (3 hours)
    3. FIN 3000, Principles of Financial Management (3 hours)
    4. MGMT 3610, Principles of Management and Organizational Behavior (3 hours)
    5. one of ACTG 2120, BLAW 3400, MKT 3820, ACSI 4230 or MGMT 3620

Suggested Programs of Study

There are many possible correct ways to sequence the courses you take to complete the various requirements for graduation. The most important consideration is to be sure that you have the prerequisite(s) for any course that you take -- always check the catalog to be sure. Prerequisites for computer science courses are shown graphically on the prerequisite map.

Here is one way to arrange courses in the first two years of a computer science major. It is appropriate for either a professional concentration major or for a business applications major. (However, a professional concentration major should see the above notes on the science requirement before choosing classes.)

Freshman Sophomore
CSCI 1170, 2170 8 CSCI 3080, 3110, 3130, 3160 13
MATH 1910, 1920 8 Science 8
English 1010, 1020 6 MATH 2050 3
COMM 2200 3 Literature 3
History 6 Social/Behavioral Science 3
  31   30


Special Courses

Computer Science Internship (CSCI 4910)

The internship program in Computer Science is designed to provide work experience while the student is still in school, to coordinate job experience with academic training, and to help the student make the transition from the classroom to the job. Students receive pay from their employers during the internship as well as academic credit. Up to six credits may be earned, with up to three counted toward major requirements. Interested students should consult the university catalog for further details or see Dr. Chrisila Pettey, KOM 306.

Cooperative Education 

Cooperative education in Computer Science is part of the MTSU Cooperative Education Program. Students alternate periods of work with periods of study in a computer science field. Students receive academic credit for their work periods and are paid for cooperative work by their employers. Cooperative education permits employers to evaluate potential employees under actual working conditions prior to permanent employment. Three credits can be given for each of four Cooperative Education experiences. Only CSCI 3970 (Cooperative Education III) can be counted toward a major in computer science. Interested students should consult Dr. Richard Detmer, KOM 306, for additional details.

Independent Study (CSCI 4600)

An independent study course (CSCI 4600) in Computer Science is arranged between the student and a Computer Science faculty member. The student pursues a study (with relatively little supervision) and develops a project which usually culminates in a paper. The topic is then presented to the Computer Science faculty. One to six hours credit can be earned, with up to three hours counted toward a major in computer science. Interested students should consult Dr. Chrisila Pettey, KOM 306, and the university catalog for further details.

Note: A maximum of three hours in a computer science major may come from CSCI 3970, 4600, and 4910.

Selected Topics in Computer Science

CSCI 4900 is offered periodically. A professor selects an advanced topic in computer science. The topic and course prerequisites are announced when the class is scheduled. Each offering is a three credit course which may be repeated for up to six credits total. With your advisor's approval, up to six hours can count as electives in a computer science major.


Upper Division Form

Upper-Division Forms should be filed during the second semester of the sophomore year. This form may be obtained in the Computer Science office, KOM 306 or on-line. It requires signatures from the major and minor advisors and the Dean of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences. The completed form is filed at the Records Office inStudent Services & Admissions Center, Room 150. Failure to complete this form can result in delayed graduation.

Intent to Graduate Form

A student who is planning to graduate must complete a Notice of Intent to Graduate form more than a semester before graduation; see the Dates & Deadlines page for the exact date. This form is available in the Records Office, Student Services & Admissions Center, Room 150 or online.

Exit Interview

Each senior in the Computer Science Department during the semester of his/her graduation is asked to have an interview with the department chairperson. This gives the department valuable feedback about how the department can be improved and strengthened.

Major Field and Academic Profile Examinations

Each senior in the Computer Science Department during the semester of his/her graduation is required to take one or two examinations. The major field examination measures your knowledge of computer science areas. Since it is a national exam designed for many types of computer science programs you will not know all the answers, but you should be able to do well on the exam. You may also be selected to take a General Education exam. You are encouraged to do your best on these examinations, so that both you and your department look good!

Placement Office

Seniors should register with the MTSU Career and Employment Center early in the senior year. Each year campus interviews are held by employers in all aspects of Computer Science. This office provides assistance in securing career positions. Assistance is also provided in preparing resumes and in learning successful interviewing techniques.