Computer Science Advising

Every declared CS major and minor is assigned a CS faculty member as an academic advisor. (Undeclared students are assigned an advisor in their indicated area of interest.) Prior to class registration each semester, students meet with their advisor to discuss which courses the student should take.

FALL 2024 CS Advising Notes

  • Small changes to the CS major will go into effect in Fall 2024. (These are small changes to the Math/Stat requirements and the Data Science requirement. Details are here, here, and here. Students who are already declared CS majors can stay on their original catalog.) Contact Prof. Sanft if you have questions.
  • CSCI 339 is replacing CSCI 412 “Computer Vision” but they are the same course. Prof. Cameron will waive the new MATH 295 prereq–just send her an email requesting the prerequisite override.
  • The new Minor in Data Science (administered through the Math and Stat department) has been approved and will appear in the UNCA catalog in the fall.
    • Current CS majors who did not take CSCI 183 may be able to substitute a higher program course for the Data Science minor. Talk to the MATH/STAT department chair for substitution approval.
  • We will continue to accept MATH 280 as a substitute for MATH 251 for the CS major (both concentrations).
  • Special Topics courses:
    • CSCI 174: DI: AI, Ethics, & Society [satisfies Diversity Intensive requirement of the LAC], Prof. Van Wart
    • CSCI 272: Object-oriented Java Programming Review [designed for students who want to review CSCI 201 and/or be better prepared for CSCI 202], Prof. Sarris
    • CSCI 372: Cybersecurity and Programming Competitions, Prof. Sarris
  • Undergraduate Research: Prof. Whitley, Rashid, and Van Wart are actively seeking students for research projects. There may be funding available for summer student researcher assistants. Contact these faculty to learn more about their projects.

General FALL CS Advising Notes

  • Planning to graduate this Fall?
    • Register early! Ensure you get in to the courses you need to graduate.
    • Verify that your plan checks all the boxes in GradPlan and verify that your plan does not contain schedule conflicts (two courses at the same time).
  • Planning to graduate next Spring?
    • Register early to ensure you get into the courses you need.
    • Remember that some required courses are only offered in the Fall–see the course description in the catalog. (CSCI 302, 333, 335, 312/412, 343)
      • Ask the department chair or your advisor about expected deviations from the catalog schedule.

General CS Advising Notes and FAQs

  • Data Structures (CSCI 202) (with a grade of C or better) is a prerequisite for most upper level (300+) CS courses. Most CS majors should prioritize completing and doing well in that course.
  • It is usually desirable to complete the MATH/STAT and PHYS (Computer Systems concentration) requirements as early as possible (to avoid conflicts with upper level CS courses that you want to take later). But it can be nice to save some LAC requirements for later semesters to avoid too many upper level CS courses
  • You should sketch out a rough schedule plan for each semester from now until graduation and discuss it with your advisor. Remember that some courses are offered only in the fall or only in the spring, so plan accordingly.
  • For financial aid purposes, you must be enrolled in at least 12 credits for full time status. Also, federal financial aid (“CPOS”) requires you to take 12 credits of required courses (courses required for your major(s) (not minors!) or toward the 120 hour graduation requirement). Therefore, students receiving federal financial aid should plan their program of study carefully to avoid losing available aid.
  • Q: How many credits should I take?
    • A: This depends on the student. Most students take at least 12 credits to maintain full-time status (which is required for things such as certain financial aid and on-campus housing agreements). Most full-time students take about 15 credits. Taking much more than 15 credits is usually not recommended, especially if your schedule includes multiple upper-level CS courses.
  • Q: Should I take CSCI 18X and CSCI 201 simultaneously?
    • A: This depends on the student. Many students take both and do well in both. However, some students struggle in both (and sometimes decide they don’t want to study CS!), which means they don’t learn the material as well, it hurts their GPA, and it can slow their progress toward graduation if they end up withdrawing from (or failing) a course. Students who are uncertain should consider taking CSCI 18X first, before enrolling in CSCI 201.