BSCS science requirements


The requirements described below are those that went into effective for Fall 2014.  Students who have continuous enrollment from before that date might want to consider using earlier requirements.

The science requirements beginning Fall 2014 are for 14 units of science courses, including

  • 9 units of GE course work, covering Areas B1, B2, B3, and R.
  • 5 units of course work in science that counts toward a science degree in the offering department, or is designed for engineering majors

It is possible for courses to count toward both the 5-unit requirement and the 9-unit GE requirement as long as the double-counted units are made up as described below, to reach a total of 14 units.

SJSU courses that count toward the 5 units include BIOL 1A, BIOL 30, BIOL 31, CHEM 1A, GEOL 1, GEOL 4L, GEOL 7, METR 10, PHYS 50, and PHYS 51. The special course BIOL 23 will also count. Courses taken elsewhere that are equivalent to these courses will count, including courses in a sequence that's articulated with CHEM 1A and 1B. Other courses are unlikely to count, but you may check with the undergraduate CS coordinator.  In particular, PHYS 2A, PHYS 2B, and CHEM 30A will not count unless they were approved before Fall 2015.

 

Typical scenarios

These scenarios are based on courses from the list above, that a student might have taken or be planning to take:

 
  1. PHYS 50 and 51 (8 units)
    • These two courses together satisfy all of the 5-unit requirement, as well as GE Areas B1 and B3
    • 6 units of GE science remain (Areas B2 and R)
    • the new science requirement will be satisfied upon completion of these 6 units (just like before Fall 2014)
  2. BIOL 30 and 31 (8 units)
    • These two courses together satisfy all of the 5-unit requirement, as well as GE Areas B2 and B3
    • 6 units of GE science remain (Areas B1 and R)
    • the new science requirement will be satisfied upon completion of these 6 units
  3. CHEM 1A, BIOL 1A, 5-unit PHYS 50 equivalent, or a 5-unit BIOL 30 equivalent (5 units)
  4. GEOL 1, GEOL 7, PHYS 50 without PHYS 51, or BIOL 30 without BIOL 31 (4 units)
    note that you may use PHYS 51, BIOL 31, any course from Scenario 3 that you haven't taken, or any course from Scenario 2 to satisfy both the 1-unit and the 3-unit deficit
  5. METR 10 (3 units)
    note that you may use any course from Scenario 2 to satisfy both the 2-unit and the 3-unit deficit
  6. none

 

Making up units double counted as GE

Approved courses for making up units include any of the following, as long as they do not substantially duplicate courses that you are already counting (e.g., PHYS 2A and PHYS 50).

  • any course from GE Areas B1, B2, B3, or R not already counted toward the 14-unit requirement.
  • any course with a MATH prefix that counts as a BSCS elective and is not being used as a BSCS requirement or elective (e.g., MATH 171, MATH/CS 143M)
  • GEOL 3 and GEOL 108
  • BIOL 65, BIOL 66, PHYS 2A, and PHYS 2B
  • science courses that count toward a BS in the offering department (e.g., PHYS 52, courses listed above that count toward the 5-unit requirement, the second course in a sequence that's articulated with CHEM 1A and 1B)
  • AP Exams in science that are accepted for university credit that are not being used to satisfy another BSCS requirement. Check the catalog for courses and exam scores that qualify for university credit (from http://info.sjsu.edu/static/catalog/policies.html, follow the Test Requirements, Credit By Examination, and College Board links). For the BSCS the number of units of credit will be the smaller of the number of units in the Units column and the number of units for the course(s) in the "Course" column.
  • and perhaps others.

No workshop courses (courses whose course number has a W suffix) may count. SCI 2 will not count.

Excess units from courses used to satisfy the 5-unit requirement may count.

Expect these make-up courses to be included in the Science Electives section of your major form, even if they are mathematics courses.

Which requirements should I use?

If you have already taken PHYS 50 and 51, and either CS 49C or 49J, you should use the requirements in effect for 2013-14 if you are eligible to use them.  This is because there is less elective CS course work in these requirements than in later requirements.  PHYS 50 and 51, together with your Area B2 and R courses, will satisfy all of the science portion of those requirements.

For the same reason, you might consider using those requirements if you are eligible, and if you're comfortable taking PHYS 50 and 51 (which are the introductory courses for Physics majors).

If you want or have to use requirements in effect since Fall 2014, the 2014-15 requirements are slightly more liberal than the requirements that went into effect Fall 2015, since 16 elective units are required rather than 17.  This difference is unlikely to be important in practice, and in any case to use the 2014-15 requirements you would need to be eligible to use them.