Advising Resources

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Introductory Schedule

Students who have an exceptional level of preparation in computer science, especially in Python programming, should consider taking CS256 as their first computer science course. Students who are unsure about whether they are prepared for CS256 should contact the CS department faculty to discuss it.


Completing the Major

The latest a CS major may be started is in the Fall of the your sophomore year. Students who think they might be interested in CS should try to complete CS128 and CS256 in their first year if possible, as this opens up a lot of flexibility with their scheduling, but it is possible to complete the major even if you start later.

The core of the curriculum is CS128, CS256, CS310, CS320, CS380, CS388, and CS488.

  • CS128, CS256, CS388, and CS488 are offered every term.
  • CS310, CS320, and CS380 are offered every year.
  • The rest of the standard curriculum is offered every other year.
  • The three required math courses can be taken in any order, but Math Toolkit is a co-requisite for CS256, and students should try to have them all complete before they take CS310.
  • CS388 can be taken any time your junior or senior year. CS488 must be taken your senior year, after you have completed CS388. We recommend that students try to schedule these courses back-to-back, but we recognize that study abroad and athletics can make this difficult, so putting one term between them is acceptable.

Students should try to complete CS128, CS256, and CS310 as early as possible, as these are prerequisites for many other courses, some of which are required. Students should also try to complete CS320 as soon as they can, as this is a prerequisite for several upper-level courses.

We recognize that students who start the major after their first term, who are double majors, or who plan to study abroad can sometimes find it challenging to fit all of the requirements in. If this is you, please get in touch with us as soon as possible so we can help you make a plan that will allow you to finish the requirements.

Academic Requirements

These are the Earlham College General Education Requirements.

The CS Department major and minor requirements can be found here.

We will attempt to keep this up to date, and it should be up to date as of August 17 2017. If that's a while ago, check elsewhere.


Humanities 6 credits
Natural Sciences 6 credits
Social Sciences 6 credits
Visual & Performing Arts 6 credits
Writing Intensive Course within your major (for most majors)
Earlham Seminar I & II
Abstract OR Quantitive Reasoning 1 Course (3 Credits)
Domestic Diversity 1 Course (3 Credits)
International Diversity 1 Course (3 Credits)
Language 2 Courses (10 Credits)
Wellness 4 Activity Courses OR

(1 2+ Credit Analysis course AND 2 Activity Courses)

A season of a sport counts as 2 Activity Courses. (Off-seasons do not count.)

  • In the Humanities, 100-level language courses do not count toward the divisional requirement.
  • ES1 and ES2 do not count for divisional requirements.
  • ACEN math and writing prep courses do not count for divisional requirements. This includes MATH 110 and MATH 151.
  • Courses cross-listed between divisions will by default count towards the professor’s home division. Students may petition the Registrar’s Office to request that the course count towards the cross-listed division, should the need arise.
  • Any courses offered by departments or faculty with no clear divisional association will need to propose a rationale for divisional association, if one is desired. All proposals should be submitted in unit plans, with consultation with the convener of the target division.
  • If no divisional association is requested, the course will not fulfill any divisional distribution requirements.
  • Courses with unexpected or non-existent divisional associations will be clearly marked in the Curriculum Guide.