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Enhance Your Degree with a Computer Science Minor

Add Value to Your Degree With a Computer Science Minor

Adding a minor strengthens in-demand skills. It also shows that you’re well-rounded. A philosophy minor, for example, teaches precision writing and analysis that complements the programming courses in computer science.

Bioinformatics is another specialized area that combines biology and medicine with computer science. It’s designed for students interested in interdisciplinary work.

Introduction to Computer Science

Computer science is an exciting field with broad applications in a variety of areas, including data science, artificial intelligence, robotics and game programming. It is a discipline that emphasizes problem solving based on mathematical logic and the scientific method of hypothesis development and testing.

This minor is open to all students except those majoring in Computer Science or Computer Engineering. To declare the minor, a student must meet with a departmental adviser.

All courses taken for the minor must be completed with a grade of C or higher. Elective courses can be replaced by equivalent/similar graduate-level courses (per university policy) with instructor and departmental approval. No more than six upper division units may be used for the minor. Courses used for the minor cannot also be used to fulfill general education requirements or to satisfy any other major or minor. Students must have completed CMSC 131 and CMSC 247 prior to applying for this minor.

Discrete Mathematics

Discrete mathematics is the study of objects that can be separated into distinct units. Integers, real numbers, houses, automobiles and people are discrete objects. Discrete math includes topics such as combinatorics, graph theory, number theory and probability theory.

Applied to computer science, discrete mathematics enables the design and analysis of algorithms, the heart of the field. It also provides the foundation for data structures, the organization of the information stored in computer systems. And in the realm of cybersecurity, it enables cryptographic protocols to secure data and communications from unauthorized access.

Discrete mathematics teaches students how to solve problems involving sets, combinations and permutations. Its focus on discrete and countable elements helps to empower problem solvers in the real world, from logistics to data science, from computational genetics to cybersecurity. Its rigorous framework paves the way for better, more efficient algorithms and for faster computers. And its importance reaches even beyond the field of computer science, into areas as diverse as engineering and biology.

Operating Systems

The operating system is software that manages the hardware of a computer. It also provides the tools that application programs use to operate. For this reason, students need a strong grasp of the operating system, including its underlying principles and how it works.

Almost every business relies on computers, so knowing the ins and outs of their architecture is vital. This includes understanding the different types of databases, including relational and non-relational (NoSQL) ones. It also involves learning how to use SQL, which is a query language used to interact with databases.

Adding this minor will equip mathematically-minded students with a range of technology skills, including the ability to design and develop software systems. They will understand how to model and apply various computational methodologies to solve real-world problems. They will also gain a broad background in computer science, from low-level architecture and systems to middle-level infrastructure and algorithms.


A minor in computer science adds value to your degree in any field, but pairs especially well with degrees in math, the sciences and engineering. It can also enhance careers in business, music, art or any profession requiring enterprise with computer programming.

Computer scientists need to be cross-disciplinary, which is why the minor’s deep list of electives enables you to tailor it to your career goals. A minor in linguistics, for instance, will make you more valuable to employers because it strengthens your ability to create software for different languages and to translate between them.

Adding a math minor — which includes courses like calculus, algebra and differential equations — is an excellent complement to a CS major because it strengthens analytical and problem-solving skills. A business minor adds a leadership and management perspective that can help CS majors reach their career goals. A music or art minor helps CS majors express themselves creatively and cultivate valuable skills like collaboration. And a history minor strengthens research and writing abilities that can help CS majors better understand technology’s evolution and impact on society.

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