Elements of Computing

Regardless of their field of study, college students live in the digital information age. The Elements of Computing Program offers a set of courses intended to help students understand the sophisticated technologies they use everyday as well as gain the computer skills that employers value. The goals of the program are to:

  • Provide students with knowledge of computer science that employers find valuable.
  • Support study in other disciplines requiring computational proficiency.

Elements courses are intellectually stimulating and personally rewarding, and they can supplement any undergraduate program. Click here to see the classes that we are offering each semester. CS 302 and the ones that end in E are Elements classes.

Click here to view the benefits of earning the Elements Certificate and to read comments from students who have earned the certificate.

While students are welcome to take just one or two Elements courses, some students choose to pursue a coherent set of courses that lead to receipt of an Elements of Computing certificate. The Certificate may be used as part of a resume or as proof of computational knowledge. The Certificate will be accompanied by a letter that explains the program. Students do not need to apply to take the courses as they are open to all students meeting the prerequisites.

How to earn the certificate (2 options):

  • Students who complete an approved sequence of 12 semester hours of Elements courses will earn a certificate from the Department of Computer Sciences.
  • Students who complete an approved sequence of 18 semester hours of Elements course will earn a certificate from The University of Texas and have it recognized on their official transcripts.

Required Coursework (must be taken for a letter grade with a grade of C- or better):

  • 1 Core Course
    • CS 303E Elements of Computers and Programming
  • 3-5 Elective Courses, 2 of which must be upper-division (4 must be upper-division for the 18 hour certificate): 
    • CS 301K Foundations of Logical Thought
    • CS 302 Computer Fluency
    • CS 313E Elements of Software Design
    • CS 320N Topics in Computer Science
    • CS 324E Elements of Graphics and Digital Media
    • CS 326E Elements of Networking
    • CS 327E Elements of Databases or equivalent
    • CS 329E Topics in Elements of Computing

Previously approved Elements course substitutions:

  • CS 303E substitutions: CS 305J, CS 312, EE 312
  • CS 313E substitutions: CS 307, CS 314, EE 422C
  • CS 320N substitutions: EE 316
  • CS 327E substitutions: MIS 325
  • CS Upper Division Electives substitutions: M 348, PHY 329, SSC 335, CH 368

Once you have completed the Certificate requirements, you should submit the Application for Certification form and submit it to the Undergraduate Advising Center. You will be awarded the Certificate once the form has been approved.

If you have additional questions about the program or coursework that you hope to apply to the certificate, we encourage you to email the Elements of Computing faculty advisors. You must include your EID in all communication, by phone, voicemail, or email, for our office to assist you.