Change to CS Intro Sequence: CSE 003, 004, and 007

Prior to Fall 2020, students needed to take CSE 2 in order to qualify for entry into CSE 17. In addition, they needed to complete one of: CSE 001, CSE 012 or ENGR 10. Going forward, these prerequisites are being replaced by a choice of two alternatives: either take CSE 003 followed by CSE 004 (referred to as CSE 003+CSE 004), or take CSE 007. Both alternatives total to four credits and will cover the same material. The difference is in the pace of the courses.

CSE 003 + CSE 004 is intended for students who are new to computing. Each course is two credits and consists of two hours of lecture and one hour of lab each week. Because the track is spaced over two semesters, it will allow the student to have twice as much hands on time as they would with CSE 007. Additionally, students will get 33% more lecture hours on the topics than CSE 007, allowing things to proceed at a slightly slower pace. If a student is interested in majoring in Computer Science, and they feel that CSE 003 + CSE 004 is the right track for them, then they should take these courses in the first year; waiting to take them in sophomore year will prevent completion of a four-year degree unless the student takes summer courses. CSE 003 is also appropriate for students who want to “dip their toes” in computer science. CSE 003 will cover the basics of imperative programming using Java. This includes variables, assignment statement, if statements, loops and arrays. CSE 004 will continue to build on the Java skills developed in CSE 003, and teach students about how to write larger programs using useful abstractions such as methods and objects.

CSE 007 is intended for students that have strong math/engineering backgrounds and/or some prior programing experience. Perhaps these students have learned a language other than Java, or did not receive credit/placement for a Java course they took elsewhere. The course is four credits, consisting of three hours of lecture and one hour of lab each week. All of the topics of CSE 003 + CSE 004 will be covered, but at a faster pace to complete it in one semester. Students who intend to major in Computer Science (and who chose not to take CSE 003+CSE 004 in their first year) should take this course no later than first semester, sophomore year.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1) I’ve taken CSE 002, but not CSE 001/CSE 012/ENGR 010. Do I need to take CSE 003, CSE 004, or CSE 007 before I can take CSE 017?

No, if you’ve taken CSE 002 you should absolutely not take CSE 003, CSE 004 or CSE 007. Assuming you are not an engineer, you will need to take CSE 012. If you have room in your schedule, this can be taken concurrently with CSE 017. It is highly recommended that you take CSE 017 at your earliest opportunity. In future years, this class will begin to assume that students have seen the extra material in CSE 003+CSE 004/CSE 007 that was not presented in CSE 002.

2) I’ve taken CSE 001/CSE 012/ENGR 010, but not CSE 002. Do I need to take CSE 003, CSE 004, or CSE 007 before I can take CSE 017?

Yes. CSE 001/CSE 012/ENGR 010 are not substitutes for CSE 002. However, since you’ve had some computing experience from these courses, it is recommended that you will be able to manage the pace of CSE 007. This course will be more work than CSE 002 would have been, but you will earn twice the credits for it.

3) My degree audit says that I need to take CSE 001 and/or CSE 002. What do I do?

Those courses will not be offered in the future. For all CS degrees, CSE 003+CSE 004 or CSE 007 will substitute for these courses. If you are pursuing a degree from another department that had required CSE 002, you will need to ask them about what substitution is sufficient for CSE 002. In some cases, a department will accept CSE 003 or CSE 007, in others the department might require CSE 003+CSE 004 or CSE 007.