Explore your interests in computer science at Lawrence.

Academic advising at Lawrence seeks to empower each student to craft and pursue a transformative liberal arts experience that prepares them for impactful and personally fulfilling lives. Faculty advisors support students in planning and achieving their educational goals, facilitate connections to campus resources and communities, and guide students to make informed decisions as they pursue their academic interests and aspirations. 

Course Planning for New and Exploring Students

Computer science-interested students should begin taking the calculus sequence in their first year. The ALEKS Placement Assessment will help determine where to start in the sequence for calculus. Students will often start with MATH 140: Calculus or MATH 155: Multivariable Calculus. If a student does not immediately place into MATH 140 or MATH 155, MATH 102: Foundations in Math and/or MATH 103: Preparation for Calculus will be recommended.

Additionally, students should try to register for CMSC 150: Introduction to Computer Science in the first year. First-year students not obtaining a seat in CMSC 150 will have another chance in fall of their second year – before CMSC 250: Intermediate Programming Concepts. Note: Students interested in the computer science major should NOT take CMSC 140: Introduction to Programming with Python, as this course is designed for non-majors.

AP Credit and Advanced Placement

Students scoring a 4 or 5 on the AP Computer Science A exam may skip CMSC 150 and take CMSC 250. Students with a 4 or 5 on the AP Computer Science Principles exam will earn 6 units of CMSC elective credit, but they must still start with CMSC 150. 

Students scoring a 4 or 5 on the AP Calculus AB or AP Calculus BC exams will earn credit for MATH 140 and may take the ALEKS Placement Assessment to start with MATH 155. If student elects to take MATH 140, no additional AP credit will be awarded.

Declare a Major/Minor

All students are expected to declare a major before the end of sophomore year. Ideally, sophomore students will declare a major (and switch to an advisor in the major) before advance registration advising begins in spring term.

Major Advising

All students will transition to a major advisor upon declaration. The major advisor will help students plan their coursework to satisfy requirements for the major, select courses in other areas to complement the major or satisfy personal interests, and prepare for their Senior Experience. Prospective computer science majors can consult with any of the following computer science faculty about serving as a major advisor:


Add a Major Advisor

Need help identifying an advisor in the major? Students can contact advising@lawrence.edu for assistance with advisor matching.

Minor Advising

Students do not need an official advisor for the computer science minor. Instead, computer science minors are encouraged to consult with the department chair or other computer science faculty for advice on course selection and satisfying minor requirements.

Additional Student Resources

If you still have questions about advising support related to the computer science program, we invite you to contact the department chair.