Faculty advising is an important part of the undergraduate experience. Advisors can help you tailor a program to meet your particular situation and needs. Take advantage of the following resources and opportunities:

  • CS Undergraduate Advising Canvas Site: Enroll in this site to access a variety of resources related to advising (sample schedules, general advice, FAQs about the curriculum, etc.) as well as the schedule of office hours held by the major advisors.
  • O-Week Academic Fair: New students can visit our table to chat with CS Major Advisors before registering for classes.
  • CS Majors Group Advising Sessions: Hosted by the CS Major Advisors in Duncan Hall each November and April, plan to attend the group advising session each semester unless your proposed schedule has already been cleared with your faculty advisor.
  • Individual meetings with your advisor: Undergraduate major advisors are automatically assigned using the first two letters of your last name; you can find your assigned major advisor in the table below. You can meet with your assigned major advisor to discuss courses, internships, careers, and other plans. Before you meet with your advisor, complete as much as you can on your degree checklist (GA ‒2023, GA 2024‒).

*Undergraduate advisors are automatically assigned using the first two letters of the student's last name.

Declaring the CS Major

At Rice, undergraduate students are not required to declare a major until their sophomore year. But if you are leaning towards CS, consider declaring your major earlier so that you can meet with a major advisor to discuss options. Remember, it is relatively easy to change majors at Rice through the sophomore year.

CS-Majors and CS-Friends mailing lists

Students who declare their CS major are added to the department's “CS-Majors” mailing list. This listserv is full of internship opportunities, tech talks, and special seminar announcements, as well as important registration and advising notifications.

Regardless of major, all interested students can request membership in the "CS-UG-Friends" mailing list. Email Beth Rivera to be added to the list. Many of the same announcements are sent to that list.

Transfer Credit

Students can request Rice credit for coursework taken at other institutions. See the Registrar's information on transfer credit and the departmental transfer credit guidelines for more information. All transfer credit must be approved in advance.

To receive transfer credit for a COMP course, contact the departmental transfer credit advisor, who will work with you to determine if the transferred course is equivalent in content, scope, and difficulty to a Rice course. Most of the core CS courses are challenging to get transfer credit for, especially those that are project-oriented. The CS elective requirements are much easier to get transfer credit for: courses with no direct equivalent in our curriculum can transfer as non-specific course numbers such as COMP 3XX, which may be applied towards the CS elective requirements.

To receive transfer credit for CS degree requirements that do not have a COMP designation (e.g. MATH, STAT), contact the transfer credit advisor for the corresponding department (e.g. MATH, STAT).

Opportunities for Independent Study

The Department offers a number of independent study or project courses. These courses all require close interaction with members of the faculty. The student must find a faculty member to supervise the project and evaluate the student's performance (e.g., provide a grade). In working out the details for one of these courses, the student and the professor must agree on the form of the project and the manner in which it will be evaluated. Consult your degree plan or your departmental advisor for information on the applicability of these courses to specific degree requirements.

  • COMP 290/390/490 exist to provide course credit for academic research. The numerical level of the course (i.e., 290 vs. 390 vs. 490) depends on the depth and originality of the work. The course allows for a variable number of credit hours. The student and the supervising professor must agree, in advance, on the level and number of credit hours, as well as the means of evaluating the work. A student may receive credit for COMP 290/390/490 multiple times, but only one instance of COMP 290/390/490 may be applied to the degree requirements.
  • COMP 491 involves making a significant contribution to the pedagogy of an undergraduate course. To qualify for COMP 491 credit, the student must perform duties beyond grading, holding office hours, and another standard "for pay" teaching assistant (TA) tasks. This additional work might include developing assignments; lecturing in a class, lab section, or tutorial; or developing other supporting materials. Credit for COMP 491 requires the approval of the chair of the undergraduate committee for both a written proposal (by the student early in the semester) and a final report (by the faculty member after the semester). A student may receive credit for COMP 491 multiple times, but it cannot be applied more than one time to satisfy the CS elective or BS Capstone requirement. Note: It is possible to be a paid TA and also earn credit for COMP 491; although is it common for students to work as TAs, the TA aspect is not required to qualify for COMP 491 credit.