Study in the computer science option within the Computing & Mathematical Sciences department emphasizes rigor and creativity, and is good preparation either for graduate study followed by a research career, or for a variety of professional or entrepreneurial occupations.
The option introduces students to the mathematical and engineering foundations of the discipline. It provides considerable flexibility in course selection, together with a capstone project giving an opportunity for independent work in an area of the student's choice. Individual programs will be worked out in consultation with faculty advisers.
Any student in the computer science option whose grade-point average is less than 1.9 at the end of the academic year in the subjects listed in the option requirements may be refused permission to continue work in the option.
Students interested in simultaneously pursuing a degree in a second option must fulfill all the requirements of the computer science option. Courses may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements in both options. However, it is required that students have at least 72 units of computer science courses numbered 80abc, 81abc, or 114 and above that are not simultaneously used for fulfilling a requirement of the second option, i.e., requirement 4 in computer science must be fulfilled using courses that are not simultaneously used for fulfilling a requirement of the second option. To enroll in the program, the student should meet and discuss his/her plans with the option representative. In general, approval is contingent on good academic performance by the student and demonstrated ability for handling the heavier course load.
The computer science minor is intended to supplement one of Caltech's undergraduate degrees and is designed for students who wish to broaden their knowledge beyond their normal major or who may wish to pursue a graduate program involving computer science. Students completing the computer science minor requirements will have the phrase "minor in computer science" added to their transcripts.