Computational Science is an interdisciplinary major combining mathematics, computer science and natural sciences to study the universe through modeling and simulation. It represents a way of doing science that is complementary to theory and experiment. Students completing this major will be highly marketable to graduate schools, industry and research laboratories.

The various disciplines represented within the Department of Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science are united by their reliance upon:

  • methods for discovering and demonstrating patterns, and for constructing structures that exhibit, unify and illuminate these patterns;
  • application of these structures to model a wide variety of phenomena in mathematics and the sciences;
  • precise language as a means to express patterns and describe structures.

Accordingly, graduates of the Math/Physics/Computer Science department will

  • demonstrate knowledge of basic content appropriate to the chosen major;
  • communicate precisely and effectively on quantitative matters;
  • perform basic modeling and interpret the results in terms of the phenomena being modeled;
  • read quantitative material, interpret correctly what has been read, and apply it correctly.


(B.S. degree) A total of fifty-five to fifty-eight hours is required. All students must take the computer science and mathematics cores, one of the science cores, and the research experience.

  • Computer Science Core: (12 hours)
    • CSC 115, 215, 304, plus one of MAT/CSC 327, CSC 337
  • Mathematics Core: (15 hours)
    • MAT 125, 225, 301, 343, plus one of MAT 310, 331
  • Science Core: (13-17 hours)
    • Choose either a biology, chemistry, or physics core.
      • Biology Core: (15 hours)
        • Students should choose one of the following groups of courses.
          • Genetics/Bioinformatics emphasis: BIO 111, 212, 335, MAT 111
          • Ecology/Environmental Science emphasis: BIO 111, 314, 330, MAT 111
          • Physiology emphasis: BIO 111, 212, 305, 305L, MAT 111
          • Other emphases may be constructed in consultation with the program coordinator.
      • Chemistry Core: (13-16 hours)
        • Students should choose one of the following groups of courses.
          • Physical Chemistry emphasis: CHE 111, 112, 113, 331, PHY 111
          • Computational Chemistry emphasis: CHE 111, 112, 113, 201, 202, 421
          • Other emphases may be constructed in consultation with the program coordinator.
  • Physics Core: (17 hours)
    • PHY 211, 212, 241, MAT 325, plus one of PHY 313 or 319
  • Electives: (12 hours)
    • Students should choose twelve hours from the following list of courses. The  elective courses recommended (even possible) will depend in large part on the student’s choice of science core, and should be made in consultation with the program coordinator. Up to six hours of special topics and/or independent study courses may be approved to serve as electives.
      • BIO 300, 306, 306L, 311, 316, 320, 335*, 337, 413
      • CHE 201*, 202*, 305, 309, 331*, 332, 333, 337, 339, 341, 421*
      • CSC 337, 405, 430, 435,
      • MAT 310*, 325, 331*, 332, 345, 431
      • PHY 313*, 319*, 401 (*if not selected as a Core course)
  • Research Experience: (3 hours)
    • CPS 450 Seminar In Computational Sciences or equivalent summer  research/intern experience (must be approved by the program coordinator).

Interdisciplinary Minor

Twenty-four semester hours required. Students must complete the Core courses, either the math or computer science emphasis, and the research experience. Students majoring in mathematics or computer science may not choose this minor.

  • Required Core Courses: (12 hours)
    • MAT 125, 343; CSC 115, 215
  • Computer Science Emphasis: (9 hours)
    • MAT 301, CSC 304, plus three hours from MAT/CSC 327, CSC 337
  • Mathematics Emphasis: (9 hours)
    • MAT 225, plus six hours from MAT 301, 310, 325, 331, 332, 345, MAT/CSC 327
  • Research Experience (3 hours)
    • CPS 450 or equivalent summer research/intern experience (must be approved by the program coordinator). The capstone experience should be related to subject matter in the student’s major; this minor will almost certainly be useful only to students whose major is in the natural or social sciences.


208. Science Careers Seminar. (2 hours) An interdisciplinary seminar in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines that will introduce students interested in scientific research to an array of professions and professionals in these fields. This introduction will emphasize comprehension and analysis of published scientific research and provide students with the opportunity to meet the science professional who produced the work. Prerequisites: One science or mathematics course for majors, sophomore or junior standing, and approval of the instructor. Fall

450. Seminar in Computational Sciences. (3 hours) The culmination of the student’s computational sciences studies. Students will complete a semester-long computational project involving the study of a question from their applied science emphasis or major. As needed