College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Computer Science & Software Engineering

Software Engineering

Four-Year Plan

Here is a suggested plan to complete the software engineering major in four years. With some work, the major can be fit into 3 years if you are declaring your major late.


Fall Semester

MA & CS courses
  • CS 151 - Foundations of Computer Science

    Introduction to mathematical problem solving, with emphasis on techniques for designing computer-based solutions. Concepts include problem-solving principles, logic, proof techniques, sets, sequences, functions, relations, and inductive and recursive thinking. Prerequisites: MA 101 or 102 or equivalent, with a declared major or minor in CS/SE. (U)(3)

  • MA 106 - Calculus & Analytic Geometry 1

    The beginning calculus course for properly prepared students. Topics include differentiation, integration, elementary differential equations, and exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions. Applications are emphasized. The Analytic Reasoning core course is waived for students who successfully complete this course. Prerequisite: Placement, or C- in MA 102. (U)(5)

Optional Course (If needed)
  • CS 142 - Introduction to Computer Science and Programming

    An introduction to programming in a high-level language (assignment, data types, expressions, selection, loops, functions, arrays) including parallel programming for supercomputers. Topics such as AI, software engineering, and databases, are also discussed. Prerequisite: MA101, or equivalent. (U)(3)

Spring Semester

MA & CS courses
  • CS 248 - Object-Oriented Programming and Data Structures

    This course is an introduction to object-oriented programming using Java. Topics include algorithm analysis, recursion, the stack, queue, tree, and heap data structures, sorting algorithms, and GUI programming. A brief survey of computer science is also included: history, software engineering, computer organization, operating systems, networks, programming languages, databases, artificial intelligence, and theory. Prerequisites: CS 142 or equivalent and CS 151. (U)(5)

  • MA 107 - Calculus & Analytic Geometry 2

    Continuation of MA 106. Topics include methods of integration, improper integrals, infinite series, conic sections and polar coordinates. Prerequisite: MA 106. (U)(4)


Fall Semester

MA & CS courses
  • CS 321 - Computer Organization

    Principles of computer architecture are introduced from a layered point of view, beginning at the level of gates and digital logic, and progressing through micro-programming, the machine language execution cycle, addressing modes, symbolic assembly language, and the fundamentals of operating systems. Advanced topics including pipelined and parallel architectures are also covered. Corequisite: CS 248. (U) (3)

  • CS 351 - Algorithms

    A systematic study of data structures and algorithms with an introduction to theoretical computer science. Topics include lists, stacks, queues, trees, and graph structure, searching and sorting algorithms, mathematical algorithms, time and space complexity, an introduction to the theory of NP-completeness, and an introduction to computability theory. Prerequisite: 248. (U)(3)

Spring Semester

MA & CS courses
  • CS 252 - Foundations of Computing 2

    As a continuation of CS151, concepts include mathematical logic, formal grammars, algebraic structures, finite state machines and automata, graph theory, and combinatorics. Prerequisite: CS151 (U) (3)

  • SE 361 - Object-Oriented Design

    This course uses the Unified Modeling Language (UML) as a vehicle to introduce the basic principles of object-oriented methodology and design, covering classes, objects, data abstraction, polymorphism, information hiding and relationships among classes such as inheritance, association, aggregation and composition. Specific design techniques are covered for object-oriented programming languages such as Java and C++. The course also provides a first exposure to the software development lifecycle of object-oriented software applications. A small team design project is required. Prerequisite: CS 248. (U)(3)


Fall Semester

MA & CS courses
  • SE 461 - Managing Software Development

    Techniques, principles, and processes for developing large, complex software systems: Systems analysis and specification, modeling, design patterns, implementation, validation and verification, quality assurance and project management. A team-based software project is required. Prerequisite: SE361. (U-G)(3)

  • CS 485 - Computer Ethics

    Ethical and social issues in computing with emphasis on professional responsibilities, risks and liabilities, and intellectual property. Prerequisite: CS 142 and sophomore standing. (U-G)(1)

  • MA 162 - Elementary Statistics

    An introduction to inferential statistics with applications in the natural, social, and managerial sciences. This course is especially designed to meet the needs of students who will later pursue postgraduate studies in social and natural sciences or professional programs in medicine. The course introduces elementary probability and uses it to develop a sound understanding of confidence intervals and hypothesis testing. Topics include data analysis, descriptive statistics, linear regression, chi-square tests, analysis of variance, and tests and confidence intervals for means and proportions. The Analytic Reasoning core requirement is waived for students who successfully complete MA 162. Credit will not be awarded for both AR 210-MA and MA162. Prerequisite: MA101 or equivalent. (U)(3)

  • CS 433 - Database Systems

Honors Only
  • CS 490

    An introduction to research methodology in computer science, including an overview of computer science literature and techniques for presenting and evaluating research results. Prerequisites: CS321, CS351, and SE361, or junior standing and permission of the department. (U)(2)

Spring Semester

MA & CS courses
  • SE 462 - Modernizing Legacy Software

    Fundamental concepts, principles, techniques and tools for the maintenance and evolution of legacy software systems. Software maintenance and evolution process models, reengineering, reverse engineering, and program comprehension tools. A modernization project is required. Prerequisite: SE361. (U-G)(3)

  • CS 452 - Parallel Algorithm Design & Programming

    A study of theoretical and practical paradigms of parallel algorithm design. Topics include model costs, lower bounds, architecture and topology, data-parallelism, synchronization, transactional memory, message passing, and parallel design for sorting, graphs, string processing, and dynamic programming. (U)(3)



Fall Semester

MA & CS courses
  • SE 463 - Testing & Quality Assurance

    Basic concepts, systematic techniques and tools involved in testing and QA of software systems. Some topics to be covered include black and white box testing techniques, object-oriented testing, regression testing, system integration testing, planning and reporting of testing activities. Prereq: SE361 (U)(3)

  • CS 441

    Emphasizes the principles and programming paradigms that govern the design and implementation of contemporary programming languages. Includes the study of language syntax, processors, representations, and paradigms. Prerequisites: CS 252, CS 321, and SE 361. (U-G) (3)


  • CS 435 - Computer Networks

    An introduction to computer networks from a layered point of view beginning with the physical and data link layers, and progressing through the medium access layer, the network layer, the transport layer, and the applications layer. Specific content includes Ethernet, TCP/IP, and the Web. Students will write client/server programs that communicate across a network. Prerequisite: CS 321. (U-G) (3)

Spring Semester

MA & CS courses


- CS142 is designed for students who cannot program yet. If you have had C++, Java, or Visual Basic up through if statements, loops, arrays, and functions, you do not need CS142, although you can take it for review if you wish.

- We strongly recommend taking foreign language (FL101,102,203,204) to satisfy the LAS language requirement as soon as possible to avoid losing any vocabulary you may remember from high school.

- If you took the placement test in a foreign language, you may only need 3, or even 2 semesters of foreign language.

- Some courses could be taken earlier or later than specified (For example, CS252 could be taken as early as the spring, Freshman year).

- If you need to take MA102 before CS151 and MA106, many courses would be pushed back a semester or year. Compensate by taking more core courses in your first semester (say, social science or science core). Note that CS142 requires MA101, but not MA102, so you may be able to take CS142, if you need it, during your first semester.

As you can see, there is plenty of room to pick up a second major or minor in another department. Some popular choices include a math major or minor, or a minor in the College of Business Administration. A double major with a foreign language is also easy to fit in.

If you plan for it, you can also fit in a semester of study abroad. It may be difficult to take CS courses at other institutions and have them count effectively in our program, so plan to take primarily electives and core courses.

If you have been invited, you can also do the honor's program with the CS major. For details, see the Honor's Program Web Page. CS490 is the departmental honors course.