Degrees Offered

Degrees Offered

The department offers two undergraduate degrees: the Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) in Computer Science. The BA is designed to allow students more flexibility in exploring academic experiences outside of computer science, while the BS is designed for students who are interested in a more in-depth study of computer science. 

Both BA and BS students receive similar offers from recruiters for internships and entry level positions. For example, among employers who have hired multiple Rice CS alumni, both BA and BS students are recruited as software engineers. This includes our alumni working as software engineers at companies like Google, Microsoft, Meta, Amazon, Apple, Oracle, IBM, Accenture, Credera, TwoSigma, Square, Databricks, ThirdAI, J.P. Morgan Chase, Capital One, Goldman Sachs, and Bloomberg, among others. Between Fall 2020-Spring 2023, approximately 60% of Rice CS graduates completed the BA degree, while approximately 40% completed the BS degree.

In addition, students have the opportunity to participate in a Fifth-Year Masters program.

Plan Ahead

The Computer Science department is excited to announce that the major requirements are changing! The new curriculum offers students greater flexibility and reflects the department's increased commitment to teaching ethics and design skills.

Although the new requirements will not appear in the GA until Fall 2024, students who matriculate in Fall 2023 and beyond are strongly encouraged to plan according to the new requirements. In particular, students should be aware that some courses required by the old curriculum may not continue to be offered, and/or may have their prerequisites updated to align with the new curriculum.

Students who matriculated prior to Fall 2023 but will be graduating in Fall 2024 and beyond may also choose to switch to the new requirements. Please contact your assigned major advisor if you have questions about which set of degree requirements is the best fit for you.

Students who will be graduating prior to Fall 2024 must follow the old curriculum.

Old Curriculum (GA ‒2023)

The following documents and pages will help you to plan according to the old curriculum:

Students pursuing a BS under the old curriculum must submit a justification of their chosen BS capstone to their assigned major advisor for approval by the end of their junior year. This justification includes a description of the chosen area of focused study, the skills and knowledge needed for that area and how the chosen set of capstone courses will address those necessary skills and knowledge. For detailed suggestions on how to write an effective BS CAP justification, see this document:

New Curriculum (GA 2024‒)

The following documents and pages will help you to plan according to the new curriculum:

Starting the Major as a Sophomore

At Rice, undergraduate students are not required to declare a major until their sophomore year, and students often change their major after their freshman year. If you’re interested in starting the CS major in your sophomore year, please see the following documents:

Not Sure Which Degree to Pursue?

Contact your assigned major advisor for advice on which degree is the best fit for you!