Does a Computer Science Degree Require A Lot of Math Courses?

Does a Computer Science Degree Require A Lot of Math Courses

If you have ever thought about obtaining a computer science degree in order to pursue a career in technology, an important question has probably crossed your mind: Does a computer science degree require a lot of math courses? By reviewing the information to be found below, you can obtain an answer to this question and several others that pertain to the field of computer science. 

Computer Science-The Basics

Although broadly defined, computer science is basically the practical and scientific approach to computation as well as its applications. More specifically, computer science is the study of the structure, mechanization, and expression of the processes used to store, communicate, and process information encoded within bits in computer memory. An individual who works as a computer scientist will typically specialize in both computation theory as well as computational systems design. As Dawn Rosenberg McKay points out in her important article Career Paths for Computer Science Majors, the job outlook for this sector is high.

Computer Science Degree Requirements-Math

Individuals who want to know whether obtaining a computer science degree will necessitate the completion of a lot of math courses should know that the answer is generally yes. Thus while each educational program will have its own unique requirements, students can typically expect to take a plethora of math courses throughout their undergraduate career. Some of the math courses required will typically include:

General Education Requirements (Prerequisites to Major)
Calculus With Analytic Geometry I
Calculus with Analytic Geometry II

Core Requirements
Statistical Analysis I
Elementary Probability
Elementary Probability

Additionally, students are often required to complete around 15 hours of electives. In so doing, they must select from a list of electives that will likely include math courses such as the following:

Introduction to Analysis I
Ordinary Differential Equations
Fourier Series and Partial Differential Equations
Introduction to Operations Research
Linear Algebra and Discrete Models I
Linear Algebra and Discrete Models II
Basic Abstract Algebra

Yet another reality prospective computer science students should recognize is that some of the computer science courses that they will be required to take will include mathematical components. For example, some of the required computer science courses a student might take include:

Discrete Mathematics for Computer Science
Design and Analysis of Algorithms
Formal Languages with Applications

Mastering Computer Science Math Courses

In some cases, individuals who are passionate about pursuing a career in the field of computer science may find that they are not confident in their mathematical abilities. However, this does not have to preclude them from exceling as a student and/or within their chosen vocational field. In order to ensure that one passes the math courses that are required to obtain a computer science degree, the student has several options:

1. Tutoring.

Tutoring services can generally be attained either through one’s learning institution or by conducting an internet search or using the phonebook to find a local tutor.

2. Getting Help From The Professor.

Oftentimes, professors are willing to work with students who take initiative to master difficult material by asking for assistance. Developing and maintaining a positive relationship with your professor by being respectful and showing up to all classes on time are the first steps to make this happen. Once you have established a good working relationship with your professor, you should feel comfortable approaching him or her with any questions that you have regarding material you find challenging.


If you are thinking about pursuing a career in computer science, you should know that doing so can be both personally and professionally rewarding. Now that you have obtained an answer to the important question “Does a computer science degree require a lot of math courses?,” you can prepare yourself to excel in your required math courses.

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