Prerequisite and Grade Policies

The Computer Science Department hopes all students are able to succeed in their computer science courses. The Department also wants to ensure that its graduates are capable of meeting any challenges that come their way.

The Faculty of the Computer Science Department meet frequently to discuss the relationships among curriculum topics, and the mastery of subject matter. Collectively, the Computer Science Faculty have developed the following policies and procedures to ensure an optimal education for each of the Department's students.

Grade Policy

Computer Science majors (and minors) must pass certain important courses with a C or better (2.0 GPA), or be required to retake the course. Adequate performance in these courses is essential to success as a computer scientist. The following courses must be passed with a C or better (note that C- grades do not meet this criteria):

Receiving any grade less than a C in any of these courses means a student must repeat the course. For the purposes of using a course as a prerequisite, obtaining less than a C in one of these courses is the same as not having taken it at all.

Department Prerequisite Policy

It is the policy of the Computer Science Department to adhere strictly to the prerequisite structure established by the Faculty. Students must possess the background necessary to succeed in subsequent CS courses. Students will therefore be required to follow the prerequisites approved and published by the University.


Students may request a prerequisite waiver only under specific conditions. All students requesting a prerequisite waiver must:

Obtain the explicit permission of the instructor of the course for which they lack the prerequisite.

AND, have one of the following:

A 4 year Bachelors Degree from an accredited College or University


A 3.2 GPA or better in all required computer science courses taken.

Once a waiver is approved, the student must sign a prerequisite waiver form with the Key Advisor before the prerequisite override may be granted.


Students believing they should be granted a prerequisite waiver even though they do not meet the conditions set out above can appeal by petitioning the CS Department Chair, in writing, giving the reason why their request should be granted. Exceptions will be made only in very rare cases.

Note: The Key Advisor has only limited discretion and is not empowered to grant exceptions to rules set out by collective faculty action.