Computer science minor

Overview

The computer science minor is a great option for students who want to include a basic core of computer science coursework to enhance or supplement their major program. Knowledge of computing is very useful for students majoring in engineering, any of the sciences, business, design and visual arts, and really any other major. The minor increases job opportunities and provides a strong knowledge base for more advanced studies and independent learning. Computer Engineering and Data Science majors are not able to minor in Computer Science. 

The minor teaches students analytical problem-solving and computational thinking skills, as well as fundamental programming concepts, practical knowledge of computer programming languages, data structures, and algorithm development techniques that are essential to modern computing. Students have flexibility in choosing courses in order to meet the minor requirements. 

Students in the minor need to have solid analytical and abstraction skills. Students who are not planning on taking calculus should take at least a math class, such as college algebra and probability or a pre-calculus course before starting the minor.

Requirements

A computer science minor consists of five 3- or 4-credit approved computer science courses within the following two parameters:

  1. A sequence of two introductory computer science courses
    • CSCI 1133 and CSCI 1933 is the recommended path.
    • CSCI 1103 and CSCI 1913 OR CSCI 1113 and CSCI 1913 is also allowed.
    • The discontinued courses CSCI 1901 and 1902 are also allowed.
    • We allow EE 1301 and CSCI 1913 as well, but this is not a recommended path for most students (except electrical engineering students)
  2. Three additional computer science courses
    • Two of which can be CSCI 2xxx, 4xxx, and 5xxx
    • One must be CSCI 4xxx or higher

    All CSCI courses can be used for the computer science minor except CSCI 2980, 3003, 3113Q, 3921W, 3970, 3980, 4921, 5465, 5996, and 5997. 49xx (including CSCI 4950, 4970W, and 4994H) and 59xx courses (including CSCI 5980, CSCI 5991, CSCI 5994) can be accepted only with prior advisor approval. Students interested in taking CSCI 4061 will need to request a permission number the week before courses start.

    All courses used for the minor must be taken A-F, with only courses earning a grade of C- or better counting towards the minor. At least 3 upper-division credits must be taken at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Students may earn no more than one undergraduate degree in computer science: a B.A., or a B.S., or a minor. Other coursework can only be accepted with advisor approval.

    Declaring the minor

    The minor can be declared at any point (from enrollment in your first computer science course through completion of all requirements). Students must have declared their major in order to add the minor. Students can declare the minor by emailing csciug@umn.edu with their name, student id number, and a few sentences regarding their request and where they are at in terms of completing the minor.

    Course sequences

    Here are some examples of course sequences for the computer science minor according to common areas of study within computer science (note: these are suggestions intended to provide guidance and not requirements):

    • Bioinformatics: CSCI 1133, CSCI 1933, CSCI 2011, CSCI 4041, CSCI 5461
    • Computational science: CSCI 1113, CSCI 1913, CSCI 2033, CSCI 5302, CSCI 5521
    • Cryptography: CSCI 1133 and CSCI 1933 or CSCI 1113 and CSCI, CSCI 1913, CSCI 2011, CSCI 4041, CSCI 5471
    • Data management: CSCI 1133, CSCI 1933, CSCI 2011, CSCI 4041, CSCI 4707
    • Game design (artificial intelligence): CSCI 1133, CSCI 1933, CSCI 2011, CSCI 4511W, CSCI 5512
    • Game design (graphics): CSCI 1113, CSCI 1913, CSCI 2011, CSCI 2021, CSCI 4611
    • Geographical information systems: CSCI 1133, CSCI 1933, CSCI 2011, CSCI 4041, CSCI 5715
    • Human computer interaction: CSCI 1133, CSCI 1933, CSCI 2011, CSCI 4041, CSCI 5115
    • Networks: CSCI 1133 and CSCI 1933 or CSCI 1113 and CSCI 1913, CSCI 2021, CSCI 4061, CSCI 4211
    • Robotics: CSCI 1133 and 1933 or CSCI 1113 and CSCI 1913, CSCI 2033, CSCI 5302, CSCI 5551
    • Theoretical foundations: CSCI 1133, CSCI 1933, CSCI 2011, CSCI 4011, CSCI 4041
    • Visualization: CSCI 1113, CSCI 1913, CSCI 2011, CSCI 4041, CSCI 5609
    • Web Programming: 1133, 1933, 2021, 4061, 4131

    All courses for the minor must be from the CSCI department or EE cross-listed courses (EE 4363 and EE 5364). INET courses (including INET 4001, INET 4002, and INET 4707) can not be applied to this minor. Students who have completed MATH 2373, MATH 2243, MATH 2574H (Linear Algebra & Differential Equations) or MATH 2142 (Linear Algebra) cannot use these courses as a substitution for CSCI 2033 in the minor. Students can use these courses to meet prerequisites for advanced courses requiring CSCI 2033.

    The following courses have the potential to be considered for the CS minor with prior advisor approval:

    • CSCI 2081: could be used in place of CSCI 1933. This course is not appropriate as a lower division elective. 
    • CSCI 3041: could be considered as a lower division elective. Students may not use both 3041 and 2011 and/or 4041.
    • CSCI 3061: could be considered as a lower division elective. Students may not not use both 3061 and 2021 and/or 4061. 

    If a student would like to include any of the three courses above, be advised that these courses will need prior advisor approval. Work directly with your CSCI advisor if you would like CSCI 2081, CSCI 3041, or CSCI 3061 to count toward your CSCI minor.