[ skip to content ]

More Information about this image

blue digital binary data on computer screen. Close-up shallow DOF

Department of Computer ScienceFrequently Asked Questions

About Computer Science

What does your program have to offer that is different from other colleges?

Our program not only teaches students to understand the concept of computer science but also equips them with the necessary skills need to survive in the workforce as well.

What can I do with a degree in Computer Science?

At ODU, our goal is to prepare you for a future in the professional workforce, entrepreneurship, and research. We use a strong foundation of mathematics, science, logic, programming skills, and theory to solve society's problems with computer-based software. You'll work on projects that investigate real world problem solving. Students thrive in a strong conceptual and practical curriculum with hands-on laboratory experiences.

What careers do most of your students go into after graduating?

When you graduate, you'll be ready to enter the world of professional software development and other in-demand computer science jobs, including network and database administration and information security analysis.

Our graduates with a bachelor's degree in computer science also frequently go on to graduate study or certification in computer science or related fields.

Course Planning

How many classes will I have to take?

You will have to complete a total of 120 credits in order to be eligible to receive a Computer Science degree. You will have to take your required general education courses and then all the major courses required to earn your Computer Science degree.

What classes should I take?

Make an appointment with your academic advisor to discuss your best plan for timely graduation

The CS course I need is full, what should I do?

The preferred option is that you wait until the Add/Drop deadline for seats to open up before deciding to contact the professor to get into the course.

Does the Computer Science Department offer a Minor?

Yes! Anyone can Minor in Computer Science at ODU. We also offer a Minor in Web Programming.

Popular Minors

These minors are the most popular among students completing their Undergraduate program in Computer Science. In order to declare your minor, please see the advisor in the department you are interested in:

Can I take courses online or in the evenings?

You can take courses online and in the evenings at ODU. Our schedules are flexible and made in a way that suits the lifestyle of most of our students.

Which courses can satisfy the technical electives?

Technical electives are the third and fourth science requirements. The courses must list mathematics course(s) as a prerequisite. The courses do not need to be sequential, nor from the same science discipline. Nature of Science courses must be sequential, and must be selected from a pre-approved course list.

What are the prerequisites for [This Course]?

Computer Science Prerequisite Structure

Where do I start in programming?

Refer to the Bachelor of Computer Science Four Year Plan.

Where do I start in mathematics?

To learn more about math placement for incoming students, click here.

To learn more about ALEKS-PPL, a computer-adaptive assessment system that helps determine the best level of math coursework for each student, click here.

Questions regarding your math placement should be directed to your academic advisor. Questions regarding test registration can be directed to universitytesting@odu.edu.

What If I already know what courses I need to take and I have a hold that needs to be removed?

You can use our Online Advising tool. This is for Computer Science majors only. We ask for Name, Student Email, UIN, and desired/recommended courses.

Do I have to take a writing intensive course?

All students at Old Dominion University are required to take writing intensive courses regardless of major. CS students are required to take 6 credits of English Composition and 3 credits of a writing intensive upper-level computer science course. Review your Degree Works or speak with your advisor for more details.

As a computer science major, do I need to take the Math Placement Test (ALEKS)?

Taking the Math Placement Test is not required but a student should not 'settle' for their current placement. Calculus 1 (Math 211) and Calculus 2 (Math 212) are pre-requisites for Computer Science major course work. It is beneficial to assess what math knowledge you may still possess. In addition, placing in a higher math can save time, money, and allow for a quicker route to graduation.


How do I register for courses?

Log into myODU Portal > LeoOnline > Admissions, Registration, Student Records, Graduation Information > Registration > Banner XE Registration > Register for Classes.

Watch the Banner XE Registration video for more instructions.

I wish to register for an online course. Which CRN should I choose?

If your campus is:

Correct ONLINE sections for your campus assignment:

Norfolk Main Campus Student
Hampton Roads HEC Student

WEB2, WC2, IND2 (if these sections are full, add yourself to the waitlist if available; if no waitlist exists, email the instructor for an overload)

You may also register for main campus and higher education center (Peninsula, Tri-Cities, Virginia Beach) classes.

Online Campus Student in VA

WEB5, WC5, IND5 (if these sections are full, add yourself to the waitlist if available; if no waitlist exists, email the instructor for an overload)

You may also register for main campus and higher education center (Peninsula, Tri-Cities, Virginia Beach) classes.

Online Campus Student Outside VA


Online Campus Student Outside US


What is the difference between WEB2, WEB5, WEB7, and WEB8?

Web 2 = Address is inside Hampton Roads

Web 5 = Address is outside Hampton Roads but in Virginia

Web 7 = Address is outside Virginia

Web 8 = Address is outside USA

I am receiving a prerequisite error. What should I do?

See the CS Prerequisite Structure to make sure you have passed the prerequisite course. Please speak with an advisor for help at csadvising@cs.odu.edu.

What does "Test Score Error" mean?

You will most likely see this error registering for a Math or English course. This means that your SAT/ACT/WSPT score is not high enough for the course for which you are trying to register. Please see what course you should register for below:

What does "Linked Course Error" mean?

A linked course means that the course you are attempting to register for has more than one section. For example, CS 150 has a lecture, lab, and recitation while Math 103M has a lecture and a recitation.

TIP: Before clicking submit, make sure all sections are in your summary.


My CS courses did not transfer as equivalent to those at ODU. Why not?

You may request that your transferred credits be evaluated for ODU equivalency if you feel that credits should have been applied to degree requirements. For CS courses, the point of contact is the Chief Departmental Advisor, Janet Brunelle.

Make sure to prepare the following information:

  • Transfer institution name
  • Course name and number
  • Course description
  • Course Syllabus
  • Desired course equivalency: course name and number

My AP credits are not showing in my transcript, yet were accepted by my other school. How do I fix this?

If you do not earn an AS degree from VCCS, you will need to have all AP scores sent to ODU by College Board. If you received AP credit for English composition, you will also need to have the scores sent to ODU.

My programming I and/or II courses were not taught using C++. Do I need to take these courses at ODU?

The 300 and 400 level CS courses require that students are proficient in C++. Courses that were not taught using C++ are not equivalent to CS 150 and CS 250 at ODU. We provide a CS 250 pretest that will allow proficient programmers the ability to demonstrate 100 level mastery of C++ skills. Passing this test will waive CS 150, and allow registration in CS 250 and CS 252.

Is it best to earn an AS in CS degree before beginning my degree at ODU?

Upon acceptance, students earning an AS in CS degree at VCCS will have completed all lower division general education requirements and the 100 and 200 level mathematics, statistics, and computer science requirements (excluding CS 252). The AS degree will waive any additional lower division general educations that do not directly transfer to ODU. This includes foreign language. For this reason, earning the AS in CS may save time and tuition.

Degree Works states that I still need lower division general education requirements, yet I earned an AS degree. What is wrong?

If you earned your AS degree after you applied for admission to ODU, you will need to send your updated official transcript showing that your AS degree has been awarded in order for the lower division general education requirements to be waived.

As a CS transfer student, do I need to take the Math Placement Test (ALEKS)?

For students that have transferable credit for Calculus 1 (Math 211), then no math placement test (ALEKS) is necessary.

For students that have transferable credit for a lower-level math (college algebra, pre-calculus, etc.), they are eligible to enroll in the next sequencing math course. No math placement test (ALEKS) is required, but ALEKS is available if a student would like to place into a higher level math course.

For students who do not have transferrable credit for any math course, then taking the math placement test (ALEKS) is highly recommended, but not required. Calculus 1 (Math 211) and Calculus 2 (Math 212) is a pre-requisite for Computer Science major course work. It is beneficial to assess what math knowledge you may still possess. In addition, placing in a higher math can save time, money, and allow for a quicker route to graduation.


What software tools are needed as a BSCS major?

Software / Hardware

Where to Get it


Java (Latest) Browser Plugin


Apple Users must run Java software updates manually

Adobe Flash (Latest) Browser Plugin


Linux Users are limited to Flash Player 11.2. Some websites may not work properly.

Adobe Reader or other PDF Software

http://get.adobe.com/reader (Adobe Reader)
https://www.foxitsoftware.com/products/pdf-reader/ (Foxit Reader)

Linux Users will need to use Foxit Reader, or another PDF Suite.

VLC Media Player


Used to view almost any type of Video Media Format. Cross Platform (Windows, OS X, Linux)

Microsoft Office 2016 or Office 365

As a student at ODU, you can download and use the latest version of Microsoft Office for free. Go to odu.edu/office365 for more information.

Linux Users may use an alternative Productivity Suite. (OpenOffice, LibreOffice, etc).

Web Cam (with microphone)

Retail stores, or online locations such as amazon.com or newegg.com

Only necessary if the laptop does not have a built in Web Cam (with microphone).

Do I need to purchase a particular kind of laptop/desktop?

Minimum Specs (Typical CS User)

Recommended Specs (Power User)

Operating System

Windows 10 or OS X 10.11+ or Ubuntu 16.04 (or any LTS)*

Windows 10 or OS X 10.11+ or Ubuntu 14.04 (or any LTS)*


7th,8th, or higher Generation Intel Core i5

7th, 8th or higher Generation Intel Core i7

RAM ("Memory")



Hard Drive

128GB Solid-State Drive (SSD) + (optional) External HDD for Backups/Additional Storage

256GB Solid-State Drive (SSD) + (optional) External HDD for Backups/Additional Storage

Wireless Internet

Any WiFi Card capable of 802.11ac

Any WiFi Card capable of 802.11ac

Wired Internet

Any Ethernet card capable of 10/100/1000 Mbps (or a USB Dongle)

Any Ethernet card capable of 10/100/1000 Mbps (or a USB Dongle)


How do I schedule an advising appointment?

We primarily recommend that you email csadvising@cs.odu.edu with your availability compared to our office hours. For example, you are able to only on Thursdays at noon, look for an advisor who is also available.

Office hours are listed here: odu.edu/compsci/advising

Will coming to walk-in office hours count as an appointment and remove my hold?

Yes. The topic of discussion in your appointment must be about the approaching semester.


What happens if I decide to switch majors?

If you decide to switch majors, you would have to meet with an advisor to discuss your decision, so that you can transition into the right major you decide to pursue.

Site Navigation

Presidential Inauguration

ODU commemorated the inauguration of President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D., during Homecoming Weekend 2022. Relive the historic weekend.

Fall Open House

It's time to fall in love with ODU! Join us for our last Open House event of the semester on Saturday, November 19.

Commencement 2022

Visit the Commencement Office for information on event times, caps & gowns, tickets and more!