Applied Computing Curriculum

This page contains information on the curriculum of the Bachelor of Arts in Applied Computing.

Course descriptions

Follow the links below for descriptions of each course. Courses taught by the CSS Division include the following course prefixes:

Entry prerequisites

Visit the admissions page for information on prerequisite coursework.

Not sure about how to approach programming? Visit our Getting Started with Computer Programming page.

General education courses

All UW students must complete a common set of general education requirements. As an Applied Computing major, you will already have completed the English Composition (C), Additional Writing (W), Natural Science (NSc), and Reasoning (R) requirements by taking your prerequisite and core courses, but make sure to plan for completion of the following:

  1. Diversity (DIV) – 5 credits (almost always also fulfills A&H or SSc)
  2. Arts & Humanities (A&H) – 15 credits (cannot overlap with SSc)
  3. Social Sciences (SSc) – 15 credits (cannot overlap with A&H)

In general, these general education courses can overlap with the Second Discipline and Elective courses for your major.

Core courses

Applied Computing is a multidisciplinary major that integrates expertise in computer technology (your CSS courses) with another area of expertise called your “Second Discipline.” Together, these areas of expertise will become the focal point for your CSS 496 capstone course at the end of the program.

CSS courses

  • Statistics course
  • CSS 301: Technical Writing
  • Data Structures and Algorithms course
    • CSS 340: Applied Algorithmics; or
    • CSS 342: Advanced Data Structures, Algorithms, and Discrete Mathematics I; or
    • Both courses (one would count as a CSS Elective instead)
  • Business management course
    • CSS 350: Management for Computing Professionals; or
    • B BUS 300: Organizational Behavior, Ethics, and Inclusivity (if taking the Business Administration minor as second discipline of study)
  • CSS 360: Software Engineering
  • CSS 421: Hardware and Operating Systems
  • CSS 496: Applied Computing Capstone

Second discipline of study courses

All Applied Computing students must take a minimum of 25 credits (usually 5 courses) to complete this requirement. Credits earned beyond the minimum of 25 can count towards Upper Level General Electives (below) as long as they are 300-level or higher.

Options for your second discipline include:

  • A second undergraduate major or a minor offered by UW Bothel
  • A minor offered by a different UW campus
  • An approved custom cluster of interrelated courses in a non-computing discipline, totaling at least 25 credits
    • 15 credits at 300-level or higher
    • 10 credits at 100-level or higher

Second discipline contract

To ensure you have a well-formed plan for your major, you must declare your Second Discipline to the Applied Computing program by submitting this contract within your first year in the major:

Elective courses

When considering options for their elective and secondary discipline courses, Applied Computing students should reflect on the type of work that they are interested in pursuing after graduation.

  • CSS Electives (25 credits): Cannot overlap with other degree requirements
    • 10 credits at 400-level
    • 5 credits at 300-level or higher
    • 10 credits at 200-level or higher
    • Maximum of 15 total credits of CSS 397/495/498/499 (Variable Credit Courses)
    • Maximum of 10 total credits of CSS 290/390/490 (Special Topics Courses)
  • Upper Level General Electives (10 credits): Cannot overlap with other degree requirements
    • 10 credits at 300-level or higher in any subject area


Computing-related courses that are not listed above are considered on a case-by-case basis. If you have a syllabus, letter from the instructor, or other detailed description for the class you want to use as an elective, you can submit a petition to request for the course to count.