Department ofComputer Science

Program Distribution Requirements for the Computer Science Major

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The normal period of residency at WPI is 16 terms. In addition to the WPI requirements applicable to all students, mathematics, basic science, and related fields as follows:

1. Computer Science (including the MQP) (Notes 1,2). 6
2. Mathematics (Notes 2, 3, 5). 7/3
3. Basic Science and/or Engineering Science (Notes 2, 4). 5/3


    1. Only CS 1101, CS 1102 and computer science courses at the 2000-level or higher will count towards the computer science requirement. CS 2118 will not count towards the computer science requirement.
    2. Must include at least 1/3 unit from each of the following areas: Systems (CS 3013, CS 4513, CS 4515, CS 4516), Theory and Languages (CS 3133, CS 4120, CS 4123, CS 4533, CS 4536), Design (CS 3041, CS 3431, CS 3733, CS 4233), and Social Implications of Computing (CS 3043, STS 2208, GOV/ID 2314). (If STS 2208 or GOV/ID 2314 is used to satisfy this requirement, it does not count as part of the 6 units of CS.)
    3. At least 5/3 units of the Computer Science requirement must consist of 4000-level courses. These units can also be met by WPI graduate CS courses.
    4. Only one of CS 1101 and CS 1102 may count towards the Computer Science requirement. Only one of CS 2301 and CS 2303 may count towards the Computer Science requirement.
  1. A cross-listed course may be counted toward only one of areas 1, 2, 3, above.
  2. Must include at least 1/3 unit from each of the following areas: Probability (MA 2621, MA 2631) and Statistics (MA 2611, MA 2612).
  3. Courses satisfying the science requirement must come from the BB, BME, CE, CH, CHE, ECE, ES, GE, ME, PH, RBE disciplines. At least three courses must come from BB, CH, GE, PH, where at least two courses are from one of these disciplines.
  4. At most four 1000-level Mathematics courses may be counted towards this requirement.

The Computer Science Department no longer offers the non-accredited Computers With Applications program.


For additional advice about course selections, students should consult with their academic advisor or the Computer Science Department Web site (


Independent study and project work provide the opportunity for students, working under the direction of faculty members, to study or conduct research in an area not covered in courses, or in which the students require a greater depth of knowledge. The background required of a student for independent study work depends on the particular area of study or research.


Off-campus major qualifying projects are available at the Budapest Project Center, the Lincoln Laboratory Project Center, the Silicon Valley Project Center, and the Wall Street Project Center.

Projects are also available on campus, both to support the ongoing research activities of the faculty, and to expand and improve the applications of computers for service, education, and administration.

Additionally, the department supports IQPs in a number of areas.

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