To affiliate with the Computer Science major, refer to the page: Becoming a CS Major.

Here are some comments with respect to the requirements for the CS major in the College of Arts & Sciences:

  • Double counting is not allowed between courses within the major apart from the probability requirement. For example, MATH 4710 may count as a technical elective while also fulfilling the probability requirement.
  • CS Core courses and the CS 4000+ electives and project must be taken at Cornell.
  • Courses used for the CS 4000+ electives category must be taken under the CS rubric. For example, CS 4300 is cross-listed with INFO 4300. This course must be taken as CS 4300, not as INFO 4300, to be used for the CS 4000+ electives category.
  • Crosslisted courses parented by Computer Science cannot be used for the external specialization. Check the courses page and click on a course link (not the semester link) to see the cross-listing status (the parent of the course is where the full course description is listed. For example, CS 4220 (crosslisted with MATH 4260) lists CS as the parent department (i.e. the course description is listed for the CS offering, but for the MATH offering, you are redirected to CS), so it cannot be used to satisfy the specialization requirement. In addition, LING 4474, INFO 4302, INFO 3300, INFO 4300, and INFO 5300 are not eligible for the specialization.

Note: The list below is intended for illustration purposes. Once affiliated, CS majors have online access to a personalized copy of their checklist for the CS major which is used to track progress towards their degree. You can view or download a blank copy of this checklist in PDF format at the link below.

CS Checklist - Arts & Sciences (pdf) - for students matriculated to Cornell prior to Fall 2020

CS Checklist - Arts & Science NEW (pdf) - for students matriculated to Cornell in Fall 2020 or later

College of Arts & Sciences Requirements 

  • Two First-year Writing Seminars (FWS)
  • Foreign Language requirement (native speakers of a foreign langauge may be exempted):

    Option 1: Completing an intermediate foreign language course at Cornell at the 2000-level or above.
    Option 2: Completing at least 11 credits in a single foreign language at Cornell.

Requirements for all students matriculated before Fall 2020

  • Five Arts & Sciences Liberal Studies courses:
    • Five courses (3+ credits) from 4 of the following categories:
      • (CA-AS) Cultural Analysis
      • (HA-AS) Historical Analysis
      • (KCM-AS) Knowledge, Cognition and Moral Reasoning
      • (LA-AS) Literature and the Arts
      • ​(SBA-AS) Social and Behavioral Analysis
  • Breadth requirements:
    • Geographic breadth (GB): One course that focuses on an area or a people other than those of the United States, Canada, or Europe. Courses fulfilling this requirement are marked with a GB in the Class Roster.
    • Historic breadth (HB): One course that focuses on an historic period before the 20th century. Courses fulfilling this requirement are marked with an HB in the Class Roster.
  • Two Physical and Biological Sciences (PBS) courses
  • Two Mathematics and Quantitative Reasoning (MQR) courses
    • These are generally covered by the math requirement for the CS major

(New) Requirements for all students matriculated in Fall 2020 or later

  • Distribution Requirements:
    Students must take courses that collectively satisfy ten(10) distribution requirements
    • Arts, Literature, and Culture (ALC-AS)
    • Biological Sciences (BIO-AS)
    • Ethics and the Mind (ETM-AS)
    • Global Citizenship (GLC-AS)
    • Historical Analysis (HST-AS)
    • Physical Sciences (PHS-AS)
    • Social Difference (SCD-AS)
    • Social Sciences (SSC-AS)
    • Statistics and Data Science (SDS-AS)  
    • Symbolic and Mathematical Reasoning (SMR-AS)  


  • An A&S course can simultaneously satisfy up to two distribution requirements.
  • Students can double-count distribution requirements on a maximum of two courses (i.e. taking a minimum of eight courses to meet all ten requirements).
  • To fulfill the requirements, courses must contain the suffix -AS. Courses offered outside of the college that are designated without the -AS suffix in the Class Roster will not fulfill A&S requirements.
  • Courses counting toward a major may also count to fulfill distribution requirements.
  • ​AP,IB and A-Level credits may not be used to meet distribution requirements.

CS Major Requirements

  • Three Mathematics courses:
    • MATH 1110, MATH 1120, and MATH 2210 (or MATH 1910, MATH 1920, and MATH 2940)
  • Two introductory programming courses:
    • CS 1110 or 1112
    • CS 2110/2112
      ​Note: CS/ENGRD 2112 is a 4-credit intensive (honors) alternative to CS/ENGRD 2110.
  • Five CS Core courses:
    • CS 2800 or 2802 - Discrete Structures
    • CS 3110 - Data Structures and Functional Programming
    • CS 3410 or 3420 - Digital Systems
    • CS 4410 - Operating Systems or CS 4414 - Systems Programming
    • CS 4820 - Theory of Algorithms
  • Three CS electives:
    • Three CS 4000+ courses (3+ credits each). CS 4090, CS 4998, and CS 4999 are NOT allowed.
  • One CS Practicum or Project course:
    • Accepted courses are CS practicums (CS 4xx1), or CS 3152, CS 4152, CS 4154, CS 4740, CS 4752, CS 5150, CS 5152, CS 5412, CS 5414, CS 5431, CS 5625, or CS 5643.
  • Three Technical electives:
    • Three 3000+ courses (3+ credits each) from application areas such as: CS, Bio, Math, Chem, Phys, and Engineering. Courses from other areas may be submitted for department review. Only one of ENGRD 2700 or MATH 2930 may be used in this category. Up to two CS 4999 (other research or independent studies may be submitted for department review).
  • Three External Specialization courses:
    • Three 3000+ courses (3+ credits each) from the same subject area. CS courses are not allowed. INFO 3300, INFO 4300, INFO 4302, INFO 5300, and LING 4474 are not allowed, nor do we allow research, independent study, project team or TA credits in this area.
  • Major-Approved elective(s):
    • At least 3 credits total. All academic courses are allowed, except: PE courses, courses numbered 10xx, Engineering AEW's, or ROTC courses (unless cross-listed with an academic department).
  • One CS-approved Probability course (can be used to satisfy another major requirement):
    • BTRY/STSCI 3080 or CS 4850 or ECE 3100 or ECON 3130 or ENGRD 2700 or MATH 4710