For Students

Getting Started in CS

Computer Science is an exciting major, but many entering freshmen are surprised when they discover that they do not have the prerequisite to begin the first computer science course for majors. This course, CSC 130 (Introduction to Computer Science), requires successful completion of at least MAT 150 (Precalculus I) first.

We do have an optional class, CSC 100 (The Beauty and Joy of Computing) that students can take immediately, with no prerequisites. This class provides an overview of the field of computer science, and builds some important computational thinking skills that should help students succeed in CSC 130 once they meet the prerequisites for that class. If you take this option, we would encourage you to take both CSC 100 and MAT 150 so that you are ready for CSC 130 in the following semester.

For students that would like to jump right into CSC 130, it is strongly recommended that you complete as much college credit mathematics as you can while in high school. This involves taking courses such as AP Calculus. If you did not receive college credit for mathematics while in high school, you still have several options:

  1. Enroll in MAT 150. Once you successfully complete this course, you will be able to begin the computer science curriculum.
  2. Take the Mathematics Placement Test that the Department of Mathematics and Statistics offers. If you score well enough on this test to start your mathematics sequence beyond MAT 150, then you can enroll for CS 130. If you choose this option, you should take the test and register for the appropriate math class after getting the results. We will verify that you are registered in a math class beyond MAT 150, such as MAT 151, MAT 190, or MAT 191, and then you can enroll in the first computer science course that same semester. While this option does not give you any credit (it is for placement only), it does reduce the number of math courses you must take by at least one course.
  3. Take one of the appropriate College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests in mathematics. Make sure, if you choose this alternative, that you register and take the test in time for it to be credited on your transcript before you try to register for the first computer science course. Information on UNCG credit granted for CLEP tests is in the UNCG AP/CLEP credit information database (search for “CLEP” as the transfer course).