Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What are the differences between the BS in Computer Science, BS in Computer Engineering, and BS in Software Engineering programs?
A. Conventionally, Computer Engineering focuses on the combination of hardware and systems software (embedded systems, mobile devices), Computer Science focuses on programming and theory (formal languages, programming paradigms, etc.), and Software Engineering focuses on programming and methodology (analysis, design, testing, maintenance, cost estimation, project management, etc.).
All three programs overlap. For example, all three programs cover programming, methodology, hardware, and systems software, but in different amounts.
Readers can get a quick overview of the three programs at SJSU from the following links:

For the Masters programs, please see MS SEMS CMPEMS CS

Q. I have taken CHEM 1A (or equivalent) and passed it, do I need to take BIOL 10?
A. No. CHEM 1A along with PHYS 50 and PHYS 51 will satisfy GE Area B2. All should be C or better.

Q. I have taken a biology class but it is not articulated to BIOL 10, do I need to take BIOL 10?
A. No if the course that you have taken is a science course and satisfies GE Area B2 (or the online progress report shows that all GE Areas B1, B2 and B3 are covered).

Q. I have taken MATH 129A and MATH 133A, do I need to take MATH 123?
A. No but the two courses will count for 3 units only toward the degree if you are following the Fall 2015 catalog or later.

Q. How can I satisfy GE Area S and V?
A. If you are following the Fall 2014 catalog or later, you are allowed to do one of the following to satisfy GE Areas S and V requirements: ENGR 195A/B (2 units total) or two courses covering areas S and V. But you cannot mix and match; i.e., (ENGR 195A + area V) or (area S + ENGR 195B). If you are following catalogs earlier than Fall 2014, you need to take standalone area S and V courses.

Q. How do I know which catalog to follow?
A. This is also called “Catalog Rights”. Check the college website for detailed information,

Q. Do I need to take EE 101?
A. EE 101 is no longer required for all students who are following the Fall 2016 catalog or later or the students who want to switch to the new catalog. Also, it is not a required prerequisite to any of our courses. For the students who are following earlier catalogs and took the exam/class in the past with the credit shown in their transcripts, they do not need to worry about the change.
For the students who are following earlier catalogs and took the exam and passed it in May 2016 (at the end of EE 98) or plan to take the exam in August 2016, EE plans to offer the EE 101 exam and the course just like before one last time in Fall 2016. This means that our students have one last chance to take the exam in August 2016 and if they pass it, they would register in EE 101 and get the credit. That applies to the students who passed the exam in May 2016 by registering in the class. The exam will not be offered by EE at the end of EE 98 in Fall 2016.
For all others (who are not ready to take the EE 101 exam), they may be able to take the EE 101 class in Spring 2017 without the exam to get the credit or the exam might be offered by the Testing Office (with an additional fee) but there is no guarantee that the class or the test will be offered then. Another option would be that students substitute the 1-unit EE 101 with something else (such as ENGR 060SL or ENGR 160SL).
Q. Can I take ENGR 060SL and ENGR 160SL as technical electives (TE)?
A. ENGR 060SL or ENGR 160SL can be taken to satisfy a 1-unit TE requirement as part of the 7-unit TE starting Fall 2016. However, they cannot be used in combination as a 3-unit TE for earlier catalogs.
Q. How can I get information about older catalogs?
The university keeps older catalogs in a PDF format here,