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Minor in Computer Science

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The computer science minor is designed for students who want to combine the study of computing and computers with another academic discipline.

The program welcomes students not only from areas that traditionally make heavy use of computation (such as engineering, the natural sciences, and mathematics) but also from newer and emerging application areas (such as neuroscience, digital humanities, technology policy, music, visual arts, economics, linguistics, and philosophy).

Many students find this program an effective way to apply computer science to their own specialties and to understand how computation and technology are transforming our world.

Admission to the Program

This program is open to all undergraduate students in their sophomore or junior year (except those majoring in Computer Science) beginning with the Class of 2025.  Students are admitted to the program after they have declared their major and successfully completed COS 126 and either COS 217 or COS 226.  


Students are required to take a total of five computer science courses, as detailed below:

  • Core:  COS 126 (or ISC 231–234 or ECE 115) and either COS 217 or COS 226.

  • Electives:  Three additional Princeton COS courses at the 200-, 300-, or 400-level, except IW courses (COS 397, 398, 497, and 498). This includes courses cross-listed in COS, regardless of the home department. It excludes graduate courses, courses taken at other institutions, and courses outside the COS department that are not cross-listed.

  • If a student takes both COS 217 and COS 226, then one of them may count as an elective.

Placing out of COS 126: If a student places out of COS 126 (via the COS placement officer), an additional elective must be taken so that the total number of COS courses is five.

Grading: If a student receives a grade of D or F in a course, that course will not count toward satisfying the program requirements.

Pass/D/FailStudents may use at most one course taken on a Pass/D/Fail basis to satisfy the program requirements. (Courses taken in the Fall of 2020, Spring 2020, and Spring 2021 do not count toward this limit.) To use a course that is P/D/F, you must contact the Minor Program Coordinator, Laura Cerrito at minor@lists.cs.princeton.edu for approval.

Courses used to satisfy department requirements: Students may use at most two courses to simultaneously satisfy requirements for this program and their major.

Enrollment is closed and will reopen in the Spring '25. 

For questions about the program that are not answered in the COS minor FAQ, email us at minor@lists.cs.princeton.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Can I use a course in another department that is cross-listed in COS?

Answer:Yes. Any 200-, 300-, or 400-level course that is cross-listed in COS is permitted.

Can I use (or petition to use) a course in another department that is not cross-listed with COS?

Answer:No. Only 200-, 300-, and 400-level COS courses are permitted.

Can I use a 500-level COS course?

Answer:No. Only 200-, 300-, and 400-level COS courses are permitted.

Can I use a course taken at another institution, such as a pre-approved summer course or through Study Abroad?

Answer:No. Only courses taken at Princeton are permitted.

Can I use a course that is a requirement for my major?

Answer:Yes. You may "double count" up to two courses the are requirements for your major.

Can I use a course (such as COS 126) that I am using to fulfill a university / SEAS requirement?

Answer:Yes. Moreover, unless you are also using the course to satisfy a department requirement for your major, it does not contribute to the limit of two courses from your major that you are permitted to "double count."

Can I use a course that is a requirement for another minor?

Answer:Yes. This program does not impose any restrictions on "double counting" between minors.

Can I use junior independent work or a senior thesis in lieu of a course?


Is there a thesis component or independent work requirement for the minor?

Answer:No, there is no independent work or thesis requirement for the Computer Science Minor.

Can I receive both a major and a minor in Computer Science?

Answer:No. A COS major is ineligible for a COS minor.

Are there any math prerequisites?

Answer:The COS minor program has no math prerequisites. However, some COS courses (such as COS 240 and COS 324) do have math prerequisites.

I still have questions about the minor program. Who can I contact?

Answer:Email the Minor Program Director, Kevin Wayne, and the Minor Program Coordinator, Laura Cerrito, at minor@lists.cs.princeton.edu.
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