How do I sign up for the ACBSS minor?Students raised a hand to ask a question

To sign up for the minor, you will need to fill out the following two forms:

1. ACBSS minor form

2. University's change of major/minor form (note that the form also requires several supporting documents)

You will need to fill out both of these forms and email them to Dr. Farshid Marbouti (farshid.marbouti@sjsu.edu), the advisor for the minor. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact him. 

How many courses are in the ACBSS minor, and what order should I take them in?

There are four courses in the minor: ENGR 120, 121, 122, and 195E. See the Students page for more details on each.

We strongly recommend that you take only one ACBSS course each semester (in the order listed above), meaning that the minor will take two years to complete. The reasoning is as follows. First, the courses build on each others -- for example, you need to take intro Python (ENGR 120) before you can take more advanced Python (ENGR 121). Second, given that each class involves a substantial amount of homework, it can be very overwhelming to manage two ACBSS courses at once.

Do I need programming experience to sign up for the ACBSS minor?

No experience required! Students enrolling in the first course in the series (ENGR 120) are assumed to have little to no experience in computer programming. 

Are there any prerequisites for the first course in the series (ENGR 120)? 

Yes, the prerequisite of ENGR120 is one of the following courses: 

  • STAT 095
  • MATH 30
  • MATH 71

Do courses in the ACBSS minor count towards my major?

It really depends on your department! We suggest speaking with an advisor from your department -- it's possible that you may be able to use one or more of these courses as an elective.

Do I have to minor in ACBSS in order to take any of these courses?

No, all social science students are welcome to take ACBSS courses so long as prerequisites are met.

Can Master's students take ACBSS courses?

Yes, Master's students are welcome!

 Who teaches ACBSS courses: professors in engineering or professors from my department?

ACBSS courses are currently taught by faculty from both engineering and the social sciences. The first course, ENGR 120, is taught by Dr. Valerie Carr (Psychology) or Dr. Rui Liu (Economics). Subsequent courses in the minor (ENGR 121, 122, and 195E) are taught by faculty in General Engineering. Importantly, social science professors have been involved in designing each of the courses to ensure that they are relevant to students from disciplines such as psychology, economics, sociology, and beyond. 

Do I need to bring a laptop to ACBSS courses?

Just like any language, learning a new programming language requires regular practice, including in-class exercises. As such, students in ACBSS courses will use laptops during each class session. For students who do not personally own a laptop, there are several options available. First, students may borrow laptops at no charge from the SJSU library. Second, you may partner with a student in the class who does have a laptop, and take turns being the "driver" during in-class activities. Finally, for completing homework assignments, the computer lab in Engineering 390 is equipped with the software necessary to complete assignments in ACBSS courses. 

What will a typical class session be like?

Courses will be offered in a hybrid fashion, such that each class session involves a combination of lecture and in-class programming activities. Activities, homework, and projects are drawn from the field of social and behavioral sciences.

What language(s) will we learn?

In ENGR 120 and 121 you will learn Python, and ENGR 122 you will learn R. The final course in the series, ENGR 195E, is a project course during which you will apply knowledge gained in the first few courses to a project of your choosing. 

How will we be graded in the class? 

Grades will be based on homework, quizzes/midterms/exams, and projects. Homework will consist of programming exercises designed to be relevant to social science topics. Quizzes, midterms, and/or exams may be pencil and paper based, or may involve programming on a computer. Students will be asked to answer conceptual or theory questions, as well as to write fragments of Python code.

How do I apply for graduation for the ACBSS minor? 

If you have already signed up for the minor, you DO NOT need to do any additional paperwork. If you have not yet signed up for the minor, you need to sign up BEFORE applying for graduation.

Other questions?

For other questions concerning ACBSS minor, please email Dr. Belle Wei: belle.wei@sjsu.edu