B.A. program application

Overview

Students may pursue admission to the Computer Science major in the College of Liberal Arts after completing and enrolling in certain courses in our program. Admission to the major is competitive and is based on an unbracketed technical GPA from University of Minnesota – Twin Cities courses.

We encourage all interested students to apply to the computer science major program of their choice as soon as they have met the eligibility requirements (in other words, do not delay applying to a major).

Students should be careful to follow the steps and deadlines listed below. Eligible students need to apply online at z.umn.edu/applycsciba.

Application requirements

Students are eligible to apply once they have met the following minimum requirements for prerequisite courses and technical GPA:

Prerequisite courses

To apply for admission to the computer science major, students must have completed the following courses with a grade of C- or better (or have the courses in progress during the current application cycle):

  • MATH 1271 or 1371 (Calculus I)
  • MATH 1272 or 1372 (Calculus II)
  • CSCI 1133 or 1113 or 1103
  • CSCI 1933 (if 1133 is taken) or 1913 (if 1113 or 1103 are taken)
  • CSCI 2011 (or MATH 2283 or MATH 3283W or (MATH 3592H AND MATH 3593H) or the full UMTYMP sequence (MATH 1471-1473 and 2471-2473); see the full list of approved substitutions)

Students must have an appropriately connected CSCI I and CSCI II sequence (CSCI 1133 & 1933, CSCI 1113 & 1913, CSCI 1103 & 1913). While any of these appropriately connected sequences are acceptable, CSCI 1133 & CSCI 1933 is the recommended sequence. 

Technical GPA

Meet the technical (unbracketed) grade point average (GPA) requirement for courses taken at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities:

  • Students with a 3.2 technical GPA will have guaranteed admission to the major
  • Students below a 3.2 technical GPA, but above a 2.00 technical GPA, will be considered for admission to the major based on space available in the program

More about your technical GPA

The technical grade point average (or technical GPA) is calculated using your University of Minnesota - Twin Cities grades in specific courses. Courses taken at other institutions may fulfill degree requirements; however, they will not be included in the technical GPA calculation.

An "unbracketed" technical GPA is used as part of the criteria for admission to the major. This means that all attempts at a course (which resulted in a letter grade of A - F) or its equivalent will be used to calculate the technical GPA. Your technical GPA can be found on a "What If" APAS Report for the B.A. in Computer Science.

Please note: students are only eligible to apply to the major two times.

Dual degree vs. second major

Students who are planning to complete two different majors may have the option to complete a dual degree or a second major. A dual degree requires that all requirements from both majors and colleges are completed. For example, a student completing a dual degree with a B.S. in Math and a B.A. in Computer Science would need to complete all the requirements for both majors and also the requirements for the College of Science and Engineering and the College of Liberal Arts (such as the second language requirement in the College of Liberal Arts). If that same student decided that they wanted to do the Computer Science B.A. as a second major instead, they would need to complete all the requirements for the College of Science and Engineering and the Math B.S. as well as all the requirements for the Computer Science B.A. major. However, they would not need to complete the college-based requirements (second language, upper division electives outside of the major)..

Please note that students who are pursuing two B.A. majors will earn one degree and do not have the option to complete a dual degree. For example, a student completing the English B.A. and the Computer Science B.A. would earn a B.A. with majors in English and Computer Science.

We recognize that choosing between a dual degree and a second major can sometimes be confusing for students. We encourage you to meet with an advisor to discuss your options. If you submit your application and ask for a dual degree, but then you change your mind and want to have it set to a second major, please let us know through email.

Important dates

Applications for the computer science major are accepted during two periods each academic year:

Admission term Applications begin Application deadline Admission notification
Spring semester March 1 May 25 early January
Fall semester October 1 December 30 late May/early June


Please apply as soon as possible. Early application will allow us to better understand how the demand for the computer science major may impact the technical GPA cutoff point required for admission and to advise students accordingly.

Students who submit a B.A. application for admission have until the withdrawal deadline for regular term courses to request removal of their application from the system. Use the One Stop dates and deadlines calendar for the exact date of the withdrawal deadline for regular term courses.

Students applying in fall should expect email notifications in early January. Students applying in spring should expect email notifications in late May or early June.

Note on tuition surcharge for admitted students

The College of Science and Engineering implemented a tuition surcharge beginning Fall 2019, which will also impact CLA students pursuing the B.A. in Computer Science. Students that began their enrollment at the University of Minnesota in Fall 2019 or later (as degree-seeking students) are eligible for this surcharge. Students that are admitted to the University of Minnesota prior to Fall 2019 are not eligible. This is not determined by the semester you were admitted to the major but rather when you started at the University of Minnesota.

CLA students that are admitted to the computer science B.A. will be charged a $1,000 surcharge each semester starting the term after they are formally admitted to the major. This is the same amount that CSE students will be charged. If you submitted a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application, the University of Minnesota will consider the implication of this tuition surcharge when your financial aid package is created. If you are Pell-eligible or receiving the U Promise, the surcharge may be waived.

Any questions related to this surcharge should also be directed to cla@umn.edu.

If you have questions about the cost of attendance, planning your education finances, or financial aid, please contact the University of Minnesota’s OneStop Student Services Office.

New transfer students

New transfer students admitted to the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities will either come in as pre-majors (not yet accepted in a major program) or, if they meet all eligibility requirements, will be admitted directly to the major.

  • Students transferring to the university without having completed the five prerequisite courses (Calculus I, Calculus II, CS I, CS II, and Discrete Structures) will be admitted to CLA as a pre-computer science student. These students will need to apply to the major once they are eligible (see information above).
  • Students transferring to the university with all five prerequisite courses completed, and with a GPA in technical coursework below the cutoff the department set during the last application cycle, will be admitted to CLA as a pre-computer science student. These students will need to apply in their first semester taking technical coursework at the University of Minnesota.
  • Students transferring to the university with all five prerequisite courses completed, and with a GPA in technical coursework meeting the cutoff the department set during the last application cycle, are eligible for direct admission to the major. Students in this situation will be contacted by the department to ask if they would like to be admitted directly to the major.

Historical admission results

Admission to the major is based on the space available (teaching and classroom capacity). This is to ensure students who are admitted to the program can register for required classes as they need them and graduate in a timely manner.

Below is a table of historical admission statistics to provide a sense of how competitive admission has been in previous semesters. The statistics below only include CLA applicants. CSE applicants are competing for admission to the major in the same pool as CLA applicants.

Semester Applicants Admitted Percentage Lowest Tech
GPA admitted
Fall 2015 76 53 69.74% 2.400
Spring 2016 91 62 68.13% 2.400
Fall 2016 104 65 62.50% 2.500
Spring 2017 98 55 56.12% 2.500
Fall 2017 144 98 68.06% 2.500
Spring 2018 111 72 64.86% 2.500
Fall 2018 120 85 70.83% 2.500
Spring 2019 108 73 67.59% 2.600
Fall 2019 143 105 73.43% 2.500
Spring 2020 131 113 86.26% 2.500

 

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