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.  For the senior project, which classes/sections should I take?

There are two ways for CMPE/SE students to meet their GE areas S&V and capstone requirements:
a) "Integrated GE package": CMPE195A/B plus ENGR 195A/B meets area S&V and capstone requirements as one complete package (total of 7 units)
b) "Traditional GE package": CMPE 195E/F, for the capstone requirement, and 3 units of S course plus 3 units of V course (total of 10 units).
CMPE 195A (2 units) has to be taken concurrently with ENGR 195A (1 unit) while CMPE 195B (3 units) has to be taken concurrently with ENGR 195B (1 unit). All these courses are not currently offered during the Summer.
CMPE 195E (1 unit) and CMPE 195F (3 units) can be taken separately from an area S course (3 units) and an area V course (3 units). CMPE 195E/F might be offered during the Summer.


Q. How do I know which catalog to follow?

A. This is also called “Catalog Rights”. Check the college website for detailed information,


Q. How can I get information about older catalogs?
The university keeps older catalogs in a PDF format here,