Computer Science, BS

Contact Info

Department of Computer Science
George Mason University
4300 Nguyen Engineering Building, MS 485
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030

Phone: (703) 993-1530


Fewer than 50 years ago, an entire room of computer equipment was required to accomplish the basic functions of today's smartwatch. The advances in hardware could not have been possible without tandem advancements in the methods and theories applied to analyzing, organizing, and capitalizing on information. From app development to advanced theoretical mathematics, computer scientists influence the future course of the global river of data.

The computer science department offers a BS in Computer Science and a BS in Applied Computer Science, with concentrations in bioinformatics, geography, computer game design, and software engineering. Students interested in pursuing either of these degrees should come prepared, with a solid foundation in mathematics and a willingness to be challenged intellectually. Find out which is right for you by checking the sample schedules under Related Links.

Find degree requirements in the university catalog.

Program Requirements

Computer Science, BS

Please see the University Catalog for complete program requirements and policies, and discuss all program plans with an academic advisor.  Certain courses may fulfill multiple requirements across the Mason Core general education program, the college or school, and/or the specific program.

The objectives of the BS in Computer Science Program relate to the abilities of the graduates several years after graduation.  The objectives include:

  • Foundation for successful careers in industry: Graduates of the program will have a broad understanding of the fundamental concepts, methodologies, tools, and applications of computer science. They will have the educational foundation that leads to successful careers in the computing industry.
  • Foundation for graduate study: Graduates of the program will have the academic preparation for successful completion of rigorous graduate programs.
  • Professional preparation: Graduates will have effective written and oral communication skills, and be able to work collaboratively in a professional and ethical manner.

In addition to the program described below, the Department of Computer Science offers a Computer Science Honors Program for students with strong computational foundations and the drive to delve deeper into computing.  The program is based on the bachelor of science in computer science and applied computer science curriculum and is distinct from the University Honors College curriculum.

Degree Requirements (120 credits total)

Mason Core General education program required for all undergraduate students.

College Requirement(s) n/a

Major Requirements (92 credits)

Computer Science Core (36 credits)


Students must take CS 101 within their first year at the university. Students should take CS 105 during their second semester. A grade of C or better must be earned in CS 306 for this course to satisfy the Mason Core synthesis requirement.

Senior Computer Science (15 credits)

One of the following:

And four additional courses chosen from:


Only three credits of CS 499 can be used toward the senior computer science requirement.

Mathematics (17 credits)


MATH 104, MATH 105 and MATH 108 cannot be counted toward this degree.

Statistics (3 credits)

Computer Science-Related Courses (6 credits)

Two courses chosen from:


Students may need to choose electives to satisfy prerequisites for these courses. Those planning to take MATH 352 may replace STAT 344 with MATH 351.

Natural Science (12 credits)

The BS in Computer Science requires 12 credits of natural science. The courses should be intended for science and engineering students and must include a two course sequence with laboratories. Some approved combinations have a total of more than 12 hours. Approved two course sequences with laboratories are:




Environmental Science:



Communication (3 credits)

Computer Science students must make a technical presentation. This course fulfills the Mason Core requirement in oral communication.

Additional Humanities (3 credits)

Students must complete three additional credits of Humanities courses. This can be fulfilled by any Mason Core course except those listed under Information Technology, Synthesis, Quantitative Reasoning, or Natural Science. Students wishing to substitute alternate courses for this requirement must obtain departmental approval.

Additional Mason Core (21 credits)

Students must complete all Mason Core requirements not fulfilled by major requirements.

  • Written Communication (6 credits)
  • Literature (3 credits)
  • Arts (3 credits)
  • Western Civilization/World History (3 credits)
  • Social and Behavioral Science (3 credits)
  • Global Understanding (3 credits)

Note: CS majors must take the Natural Sciences section of ENGH 302.

Electives (4 credits)

Students must complete 4 elective credits.

Total: 120 credits


Students who major in Computer Science can expect to launch successful careers in industry, government, financial services, game design, in higher education, or as entrepreneurs. Many current students work part-time for government contracting companies, small businesses. They also collaborate with faculty on research projects and take advantage of the opportunity to have their scholarly work published before graduation.

Known for teaching excellence, the Computer Science Department faculty have won University-wide awards for course planning and preparation; curriculum development; and innovative teaching, advising, and undergraduate and graduate mentoring. In 2015 tech giant Google awarded a three-year, $900K grant to the department for its Self-Paced Learning Increases Retention and Capacity (SPARC) project. Students in introductory Computer Science classes benefit from active-learning strategies, and flipped classrooms as they work at their own pace in teams with faculty facilitators.

Extra curricular opportunities abound for computer science students as they may participate in robotics programming for competition (RoboPatriots), the Student Run Computing and Technology (SRCT- pronounced circuit), Patriot Hackers, Game Analysis and Design Interest Group (GADIG), and more.

Computer Science is one of the most popular majors for undergraduates at George Mason University.

This information is being provided here for your planning purposes only. For official catalog information, please refer instead to the official George Mason University Catalog Website at