A famous computer scientist once alluded to the idea that “Computer Science has as much to do with Computers as Astronomy has to do with Telescopes.” Computers are merely the tools used by trained problem solvers. Computer Science is not just about learning a programming language, it is about examining and solving problems.

First Semester Planning

We recommend that students register for approximately 15 credits each semester and no more than 16 credits in their first semester. Your schedule should be well-balanced and include coursework from a variety of subjects. A diverse schedule will help you begin your studies in potential majors and minors; explore a breadth of new knowledge across departments at Rutgers to meet SAS Core Curriculum learning goals; and survey broader academic interests through elective courses as you work to attain the required 120 degree credits for graduation.

Your schedule will look something like this: 

College Writing or English course per placement results (3 credits)

Major Exploration course (3-4 credits)

Major or Minor Exploration course (3-4 credits)

Course beyond main academic interest, such as SAS Core or elective course (3 credits)

 Byrne or First-Year Interest Group Seminar (FIGS) (1 credit) 

 Total Credits: 15-16


Introductory courses recommended by faculty. Include these in your schedule:

Students with a Calculus placement

Course Title

Course Number


Subject on University Schedule of Classes

Introduction to Computer Science



Computer Science (198)
Calculus I for Math and Physical Sciences*  01:640:151 4 Mathematics (640)

*Students with MA:640:CLS placement must take Math 151. Students with MA:640:CLG placement can take 01:640:135.

Students with math placement at or below Precalculus (MA:640:CMA, MA:640:CMP, MA:640:EAL, MA:640:IMA, MA:640:PCA) must take the math into which they placed. We also recommend Principles of Computer Science (01:198:110).

Course Title

Course Number


Subject on University Schedule of Classes

Principles of Computer Science



Computer Science (198)
Calculus/Algebra-Based Math   3-4.5 Mathematics (640)


Your first year of college is an opportunity for you to explore fields of interest to enhance your understanding of yourself, the world around you, and your main academic and career goals. Think of your schedule as including courses you must take (English, courses to explore potential majors, etc.) and courses you can take (everything else!) All courses are part of your degree - if necessary, review the components of the SAS degree on this page.

Through these degree components, you will curate your own unique educational experience - but we understand that this level of flexibility and freedom can feel overwhelming for new students. Like a recommendation based on a book or TV show you enjoyed, the information below can help you identify related courses to consider in your first semester.

Course Title

Course Number


Subject on University Schedule of Classes

Information Technology & Informatics 04:189:103 3 Communication & Media Studies (189)
Cognitive Science: A Multidisciplinary Introduction 01:185:201 4 Cognitive Science (185)
Introduction to Logic 01:730:201 3 Philosophy (730)

The Schedule of Classes provides information about the courses being offered in a particular semester. There are literally thousands of courses offered each semester at Rutgers, and you may find it helpful to narrow down your options by looking for courses in subjects related to your potential major or minor. Use the recommendations below to find possible introductory courses in other subjects. 

To find potential courses in other subjects related to this one:

1. On the Schedule of Classes, select the current term, location "New Brunswick" and level "undergraduate". Click continue.

2. In the Search By box, click the "search multple subjects" link. Select the following departments:

Mathematics (640)

Statistics (960) - also includes Biostatistics

3. In Section Status, deselect Closed

4. In Level of Study, deselect 300 and 400. In general, 100 and 200 are appropriate for first-year students, 300 and 400 are often more appropriate for students with more familiarity with the subject. If you are interested in registering for a 300 or 400 level course, consult with an advisor before registering. 

Review these courses for possible inclusion in your first-semester schedule, or to consider for future semesters.


Additional information Beyond the Classroom

For your first semester, we want you to focus on selecting appropriate courses, begin to understand the expectations and rigor of college, and identify resources to help you succeed at Rutgers. But, we also know that it is important to provide information for future planning.

In addition to the information below, students interested in exploring possible career options may find this resource from the Office of Career Exploration and Success helpful - you'll find that a degree in this subject prepares you for a wide variety of career options!

The computer science department offers a special honors track to qualified students. Submit your application to indicate that you are interested in graduating with departmental honors( see below). Students should normally apply not later than by the end of the first semester of their junior year. Students in the honors track will have their progress reviewed by the honors committee, and are expected to earn B's or better in their advanced CS courses (300 level and above). Students who successfully complete the honors track with a GPA in their CS courses of at least 3.6 will qualify for graduation with honors in computer science. The student should inform the honors-chair of a proposed course plan to meet honors graduation requirements, subject to the approval of the CS honors committee.