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Proposed changes to Bachelor of Science, Computer Science Degree Program in the College of Natural Sciences Chapter in the Undergraduate Catalog, 2012-2014

Dean Mary Ann Rankin of the College of Natural Sciences has filed with the secretary of the Faculty Council the following changes to the College of Natural Sciences Chapter in the Undergraduate Catalog, 2012-2014. The faculty of the college and the dean approved the changes on May 12 and September 26, 2011, respectively. The secretary has classified this proposal as legislation of general interest to more than one college or school.

The Committee on Undergraduate Degree Program Review recommended approval of the change on December 14, 2011, and forwarded the proposed changes to the Office of the General Faculty. The Faculty Council has the authority to approve this legislation on behalf of the General Faculty. The authority to grant final approval on this legislation resides with UT System.

If no objection is filed with the Office of the General Faculty by the date specified below, the legislation will be held to have been approved by the Faculty Council. If an objection is filed within the prescribed period, the legislation will be presented to the Faculty Council at its next meeting. The objection, with reasons, must be signed by a member of the Faculty Council.

To be counted, a protest must be received in the Office of the General Faculty by January 30, 2012.

Greninger Signature

Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
General Faculty and Faculty Council

Posted on the Faculty Council website on January 19, 2012.

Proposed changes to Bachelor of Science, Computer Science Degree Program in the College of Natural Sciences Chapter in the Undergraduate Catalog, 2012-2014

  B.S. Computer Science

• Is this a new degree program? No
• Does the program offer courses that will be taught off campus? No
• Will courses in this program be delivered electronically? No

  1. Increase required number of upper-division hours in residence from 18 to 21.
  2. Options I, II, and IV: SSC 329C, Practical Linear Algebra I, is added as an alternative to M 340L or 341.
  3. Options I, II, and IV: SSC 321 replaces one course chosen from an approved list of upper-division mathematics courses.
  4. Options I, II, and IV: remove BIO 205L.
  5. Options I, II, and IV: change organic sequences to approved upper-division course numbers.
  6. Option I: change requirement from 8 to 7 in 7e.
  7. Options I, II, and IV: remove EE 316.
  8. Options I, II, and IV: remove total number of hours required from the department; the total is the sum of the required courses.
  9. Options I and IV: a two-semester sequence, CS 312 (or 312H) and CS 314 (or 314H), will replace the previous three-semester course sequence of CS305J (alternative prerequisite for 307), CS307, and CS315 (or 315H). 
  10. Options I-IV: a two-semester sequence, CS 429 (or 429H) and 439 (or 439H), will replace the previous three-course sequence of CS 310 (or 310H), CS 352 (or 352H), and CS 372 (or 372H).
  11. Options I, II: CS 357 or 357H are added as an alternative to CS 341 or 341H; Option IV: CS 357H is added as an alternative to C S 357.
  12. Options II and III: CS 314 (or 314H) will replace CS 315 (or 315H).
  13. Option III: remove NSC 301C and replace with UGS 302 or 303
  14. Option IV: CS 357 or 357H are added as an alternative to CS 353.
  15. Option V: option added in teaching (senior grades).
  16. Reduce amount of additional hours approved by departmental honors adviser.

Indicate pages in the Undergraduate Catalog where changes will be made.


Pages 542-545


  1. The change is intended to strengthen the overall degree.
  2. Change is in line with Bachelor of Arts degree.SSC 329C emphasizes topics in linear algebra that are useful to computer scientists.
  3. The mathematics background required for the practice of computer science has been expanding in the direction of probability and statistics. Our experience is that past undergraduates had poor guidance in selecting mathematics electives and frequently selected courses that were poor matches for the mathematical skills required in computer science. Replacing an elective math class with the required class SSC 321 will enhance students’ mathematical skills in areas of critical importance for the degree program. Students are still free to take upper-division math courses using their elective hours.
  4. The School of Biological Sciences is dropping BIO 205L from the course inventory.
  5. Changing of organic sequences to upper-division. Majority of the students enrolled each semester are upper classmen.
  6. In previous catalog, requirements shifted, but requirement number in #7e was not updated.
  7. EE 316 was required when it was a prerequisite to CS 352 and 352H. These courses are being removed from the degree requirements. Therefore, EE 316 is no longer necessary.
  8. Some degree requirements are worded to require a minimum number of hours that consists of the total sum of the required courses. If a student selects a course when given a choice that results in the required courses being fulfilled, but brings the student up short of the total number of hours, the department files a petition to reduce the minimum hour requirement accordingly.
  9. We propose to adjust the first two courses we offer in computer science in the area of computer programming. The reason for this change is that most students entering the University lack experience with computer programming. The proposed two-course sequence will assume the students have no programming experience, and the courses will give them proficiency in modern programming languages and techniques. Moreover, the proposed courses will eliminate some redundancy across our previous two courses, CS305J and CS307.
  10. Reducing the number of globally required courses in systems will allow students to focus on taking electives in one or more chosen areas, while still covering the necessary material.
  11. CS 357 and 357H added as alternatives to CS 341.
  12. Admission to options II and III require previous background in computer science analogous to CS 312 or 312H.
  13. NSC 301C is no longer offered as the Dean’s Scholars seminar course. The Dean’s Scholars seminar course is now being replaced by a section of UGS 303 approved by the departmental honors adviser.
  14. CS 357 and 357H added as alternatives to CS 353.
  15. The introduction of Option V: Teaching (senior grades) aligns the computer science degree plans with other UTeach certification areas as outlined in the UTeach Elements of Success. Previously, computer science certification was obtainable only through the undersubscribed Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies (Option II: Mathematics and Computer Science Certification). We propose to replace this plan with the BSCS Option V, allowing students to pursue either computer science certification or both mathematics and computer science certifications while earning a BSCS.
  16. The number of additional hours approved by departmental honors adviser is changed to more accurately reflect the number of hours in needed to achieve 120 total (in addition to the specific requirements).

Does this proposal impact other colleges/schools? If yes, then how?


If yes, impacted schools must be contacted and their response(s) included:

6. The elimination of EE 316 from the curriculum will minimally affect the College of Engineering as this course is already well-subscribed through the more substantial enrollment of engineering majors.

Person communicated with: Anthony Ambler
Date of communication: January 18, 2010
Response: Approved

Person communicated with: Larry Abraham
Date of communication: May 31, 2011
Response: Approved

Does this proposal involve changes to the core curriculum or other basic education requirements (42-hour core, signature courses, flags)?


If yes, explain:



Will this proposal change the number of required hours for degree completion? If yes, please explain.

If yes, explain:


Date: December 2, 2009
May 9, 2011
Date: May 12, 2011
Date: September 26, 2011

To view the edited version of the catalog changes click the PDF link at the beginning of this document.