2012 Curriculum Changes FAQ

Why is the CS department changing the curriculum? Is it due to budget cuts?
Computer science has become too large to learn in four years. The faculty decided that the best response to this situation is to shrink the set of classes that students are required to take, so as to enable students to pursue their interests by choosing upper-division electives.This is also the recommendation of the ACM.  Budget cutbacks had no effect on this decision.

Under the new curriculum, which CS courses are students required to take?
Students are required to take 2 courses in each of three foundational areas of computer science:

  • Programming courses: CS 312, CS 314
  • Systems courses: CS 429, CS 439
  • Theory courses: CS 311, CS 331

Under the category of "Theory courses" in the previous answer, what are CS 311 and CS 331? I don't see them in the Course Schedule.
CS 311 is Discrete Math for Computer Science.  It was offered previously by Professor Klivans under the number CS 313K.  It will continue to have the number "CS 313K" through Summer 2013.  CS 331 is Algorithms and Complexity. This course will be similar to CS 357. Algorithms will have the number "CS 378" and it will be taught through Summer 2013.

For next year, why do CS 311 and CS 331 have temporary numbers (CS 313K and CS 378, respectively)?
Unfortunately, it's unavoidable. It takes awhile for new permanent numbers to be assigned to a course.

The new curriculum has fewer required classes (6 instead of 11). Does that mean I don't have to take as many CS classes to graduate?
No, the total number of hours of CS classes required to graduate has not changed. You have more freedom to choose your courses, but you need to complete just as many.

If I entered UT under an old catalog, do these changes affect me?
Yes, the changes apply to all current CS students.

I already completed CS 336 and CS 337. Under the changes, these courses are no longer required to graduate. Did I waste time taking these courses?
No. These courses count as upper-division CS electives and thereby help you meet your degree requirements.

I was looking forward to taking CS 337, and now it's been cancelled.
The department will continue to offer CS 337, but not as frequently as before. It will next be offered in Spring'13.

How can I tell what classes I need to take?
We recommend using the course completion checklists to better visualize the curriculum changes with the new numbers.