This or That: Computer Science vs. Computer Science

Phoebe Kingsak

Alright, you’ve narrowed down your college applications to a select few. NYU may be one of the finalists, hooray! You’re considering a major in computer science at all these institutions, since it’s, you know, the way of the future and all. But when you’re selecting the Computer Science major on NYU’s Common Application…. YIKES! There are two options: the one in the College of Arts and Science, or the one at the Tandon School of Engineering.

Which is the right one for me? Let’s discuss that conundrum here and now.

First, check out this handy table from Tandon offering a literal side-by-side look between the two computer science majors. You’ll be able to see the required courses, electives, outside major and minor possibilities, and opportunities to study abroad. But hey, I know you’re looking to this post for the answers, so let’s dive in.

Computer Science in CAS

The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Computer Science (CS) at the College of Arts and Science (CAS) (yes, we love acronyms!) is really for the student who wants the best of both worlds. They want to delve into the liberal arts as much as they want to code and program. This student wants to learn more of the social science behind computers.

The CAS CS student will spend most of their four years on the Washington Square campus in Manhattan, though will have opportunity to take cross-school courses at Tandon in downtown Brooklyn.

Students can also complete one of three joint majors within CAS:

  • Computer and data science
  • Computer science and mathematics
  • Economics and computer science

Computer Science in Tandon

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) program has more of an engineering slant to the curriculum. In this ABET-accredited major, you will work with both hardware and software as you learn about programming and the impact of electronics on everyday life. Students who are talented in math and science will thrive in this major. Group projects are also essential to this program, as it allows for personal and professional practice with future peers in the field.

This student will spend the majority of their undergraduate experience at the downtown Brooklyn campus at MetroTech. The major also culminates in a senior design project and senior thesis.

But why choose one when you can do both?

For the true science geeks out there, one can complete a dual degree and earn two bachelor’s from both CAS and Tandon! Students will start in the College of Arts and Science completing their Core Curriculum while also beginning their science degree. They will then finish their undergraduate career with a second bachelor’s at Tandon.

Glad we’ve established the connections and differences between the two majors? Does it finally click? Have we broken it down to a simple science? How many more CS puns can I use?

Good luck with your applications, future programmers and analysts of the future! We need more computer scientists to connect and shape the world of tomorrow. If you have more questions about the majors, don’t hesitate to reach out to our office!

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Computer Science vs Computer Science

Compare NYU's two Computer Science programs using this curriculum breakdown courtesy of the Tandon School of Engineering.

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