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Computer Science – University of Colorado Partnership

Bachelor of Science from University of Colorado Boulder

In this new program, you’ll have the opportunity to earn your Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Colorado Boulder’s College of Engineering & Applied Science, the highest-ranked public school in Colorado and 16th among public engineering programs in the nation. You’ll be admitted as a Western student, and after your second year, you’ll transfer to University of Colorado Boulder to complete your degree—all while enjoying the personal attention, small class sizes, spectacular surroundings and adventurous community of Western Colorado University.

Program Overview

Earn an increasingly relevant and prestigious degree.

Computer science is concerned with how computers are constructed, how they store and process data, how they are used in problem-solving and how the quality of those solutions are assessed. It is about the science of creating software for a variety of users and understanding how that software interacts with the hardware on which it is run. Computer scientists work most often on the hardware and software aspects of system design. They develop new theories of computation and algorithms, design new hardware and sensors, develop large software systems, evaluate the utility and usability of software systems and study the impacts of computing technology on society. (Courtesy of University of Colorado Boulder)

In the program, you’ll have an unparalleled opportunity through Western’s unique partnership program. You’ll complete your initial two years as a Western student, then transfer to University of Colorado Boulder to finish the program—all while attending classes at Western’s campus in Gunnison. Through the program, you’ll benefit from the experience of renowned faculty with the latest knowledge in computing, while earning a prestigious degree from the University of Colorado Boulder. You’ll graduate with hot career prospects and be more than prepared to meet the demands of the field.

The Western-CU Partnership program in Computer Science is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). To learn more about Western’s accreditation, visit this page.

State-of-the-art facilities

The partnership program is housed in the new, state-of-the-art Paul M. Rady School of Computer Science & Engineering at the heart of Western’s campus. The new school and partnership program were created with an astounding $80 million gift from an alumnus who as CEO of Antero Resources in Denver has recognized an ever-growing demand for seriously trained, well-rounded computer science and engineering professionals.

Program Requirements

At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

The Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science obtained through the Computer Science & Engineering Partnership Program is conferred by the University of Colorado Boulder. Lower-division coursework is completed through Western Colorado University before applying for admission to the University of Colorado Boulder. The entire program is completed on the campus of Western Colorado University.

The Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science requires:

Students can learn more about the Western-CU Partnership Honors Program Certificate HERE

Program Goals

  • Analyze a complex computing problem and to apply principles of computing and other relevant disciplines to identify solutions.
  • Design, implement, and evaluate a computing-based solution to meet a given set of computing requirements in the context of the program’s discipline.
  • Communicate effectively in a variety of professional contexts.
  • Recognize professional responsibilities and make informed judgments in computing practice based on legal and ethical principles.
  • Function effectively as a member or leader of a team engaged in activities appropriate to the program’s discipline.
  • Apply computer science theory and software development fundamentals to produce computing-based solutions.

Program Requirements

The Computer Science program requires 128 cumulative credits applied to the degree, which includes courses from Western Colorado University (Western) and the University of Colorado (CU) Boulder.

This program provides a seamless transfer of coursework from the Gunnison residential campus for a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science awarded by CU Boulder.  A student must meet the admission requirements for the CU Boulder College of Engineering & Applied Science (CEAS) and may apply for admission when they have established a successful collegiate record as a Western student. This is demonstrated through academic requirements outlined at https://western.edu/program/computer-science-university-colorado-partnership/transition-to-cu-boulder/ 

Students are expected to follow the Academic Policies of the respective University/Universities in at which they are registered. 

Planned Western coursework is outlined below in red font and course numbers are all three digits, while CU Boulder coursework is outlined below in black font and course numbers are all four digits.  Students must complete 45 credits of CU Boulder coursework. 

Degree Requirements - Courses

College Writing Requirement (total of 3 credit hours)
ENG 302Technical Writing3
Mathematics (total of 17 credits)
MATH 151Calculus I (GT-MA1)4
MATH 200Discrete Mathematics3
MATH 251Calculus II4
MATH 314Applied Probability3
CSCI 2820: Linear Algebra with CS Applications3
Computer Science (minimum 58 credit hours)
Computer Science Foundation
HWTR 100First Year Seminar (complete 1 approved section)1
CS 191Computer Science II3
CS 280Data Structures3
CS 330Operating Systems and Architecture3
CS 370Systems Programming in C3
CS 412Software Engineering3
CSCI 3155: Principles of Programming Languages4
CSCI 3104: Algorithms4
Computer Science Core
Select five CU Boulder classes from approved list
Computer Science Electives
Additional upper-division CSCI courses to bring total computer science hours to 58 or higher.
Senior Capstone
CSCI 4308: Software Engineering Project I
CSCI 4318: Software Engineering Project II
A two-semester Senior Capstone (beginning fall, ending spring) is required for 8 credit hours. This sequence must be taken contiguously and may not be taken before the senior year. Prerequisites for a senior capstone include the successful completion of the college writing requirement, as well as the Computer Science Foundation (24 credit hours) plus Computer Science Core and Elective courses to reach a minimum of 36 Computer Science credit hours.
Natural Science (total of 17 credit hours)
PHYS 200General Physics I (with laboratory) (GT-SC1)4
One additional Natural Science sequence from the following:
PHYS 201General Physics II (with laboratory) (GT-SC1) (preferred)4
BIOL 150Biological Principles (with laboratory) (GT-SC1)4
CHEM 111
CHEM 112
General Chemistry I (GT-SC2)
and General Chemistry Laboratory I (GT-SC1)
CHEM 121General Chemistry for Engineers3
Additional Natural Science hours to reach 17 total credit hours:
BIOL 130Environmental Biology (GT-SC2)3
BIOL 135Environmental Biology Laboratory (GT-SC1)1
BIOL 150Biological Principles (with laboratory) (GT-SC1)4
CHEM 111
CHEM 112
General Chemistry I (GT-SC2)
and General Chemistry Laboratory I (GT-SC1)
CHEM 113
CHEM 114
General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry Laboratory II
CHEM 121General Chemistry for Engineers3
GEOL 101Physical Geology (GT-SC2)3
GEOL 105Physical Geology Laboratory (GT-SC1)1
GEOL 201Historical Geology (with laboratory)4
PHYS 320Modern Physics3
Numerous other courses available through CU Boulder
Logic and Ethics (total of 6 credit hours)
PHIL 135Introduction to Ethics3
PHIL 100Critical Thinking3
or PHIL 200 Symbolic Logic
Humanities & Social Sciences
Complete 15 credits of approved humanities and social science coursework, 6 credits of which must be upper-division.
Free Electives
Complete enough electives to bring the total credit hours toward the degree to 128. Normally this is 12 credit hours but could vary (for example due to transfer credits). Please consult with your academic advisor or Partnership Program Director with questions.

The following plan lists all the specific course requirements for the Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science from the University of Colorado Boulder in partnership with Western Colorado University.  The order in which these courses are taken may vary with course availability.  Students are responsible for completing all course prerequisites. Please note that this is a suggested degree program; your program may vary.

Planned Western coursework is outlined below in red font and course numbers are all three digits, while CU Boulder coursework is outlined below in black font and course numbers are all four digits.  Students must complete 45 credits at CU Boulder. 

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
CS 190 Computer Science I 3
ENG 102 Academic Writing (GT-CO1) 3
H&SS lower-division 3
HWTR 100 First Year Seminar 1
MATH 151 Calculus I (GT-MA1) 4
PHYS 200 General Physics I (with laboratory) (GT-SC1) 4
CS 191 Computer Science II 3
MATH 251 Calculus II 4
Natural Science Sequence (PHYS 201 preferred) 4
PHIL 100
or PHIL 200
Critical Thinking
or Symbolic Logic
H&SS lower-division 3
Year Two
CS 280 Data Structures 3
CS 330 Operating Systems and Architecture 3
MATH 314 Applied Probability 3
Natural Science 3
H&SS lower-division 3
CS 370 Systems Programming in C 3
CS 412 Software Engineering 3
MATH 200 Discrete Mathematics 3
PHIL 135 Introduction to Ethics 3
Free Elective 3
Year Three
CSCI 2820 Linear Algebra with CS Applications 3
CSCI 3155 Principles of Programming Languages 4
CSCI Core/Elective 3
CSCI Core/Elective 3
Natural Science 3
CSCI 3104 Algorithms 4
CSCI Core/Elective 4
CSCI Core/Elective 3
ENG 302 Technical Writing 3
Year Four
CSCI 4308 Software Engineering Project I 4
CSCI Core/Elective 4
CSCI Core/Elective 3
Natural Science 3
H&SS upper-division 3
CSCI Core/Elective 3
CSCI 4318 Software Engineering Project II 4
CSCI Core/Elective 3
H&SS upper-division 3
Free Elective 3
 Total Credits128


Take the first steps toward your dream career.

Career preparation is the primary focus of every academic program at Western. Our professors and Office of Career Services will help you identify your strengths, hone your skills, define your goals, and prepare for a fulfilling role in hundreds of professional fields after graduation.

Ready to apply or learn more about Western today?

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GPA Award amount per year (In-State) Award amount per year (Out-of-State)
3.50-3.749 $3,500 $9,000
3.75-3.999 $5,000 $10,500
4.0 $6,500 $12,000
  • Accepted to Western by January 31, 2023
  • Declared major in the Computer Science or Mechanical Engineering partnership programs by March 31, 2023
  • Eligible for MATH 151-Calculus 1 (via ACT math score of 27 or above, SAT math score of 630 or above, ALEKS test score of 76 or above, or applicable AP/IB/Concurrent Enrollment credit) by July 1, 2023

Renewal Criteria

  • Remain in the partnership program
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better
  • Earn grades of “B-” or higher in a two-course, college-level sequence in calculus (MATH 151, MATH 251, MATH 252)
  • Earn grades of “B-” or higher in one college-level physical science course (PHYS 200, PHYS 201, CHEM 111+112, CHEM 121)


The Rady Merit Scholarship can be awarded for a maximum of 6 semesters, while the student is considered a full-time Western student (enrolled in 12 credits or more) and Western is processing the student’s financial aid. The number of scholarships awarded is based on fund availability.

Alumni Association Future Alumni Scholarship

The Alumni Association Scholarship is a one-time scholarship of $1,000 and is applicable for the student’s junior or senior year at Western.

Any child or grandchild of an alumni is eligible to receive the Future Alumni Scholarship.

  • This is a one-time non-renewable scholarship of $1,000.
  • Only one Future Alumni Scholarship will be awarded per academic year.
  • GPA must be 3.2 or above (college).

Due date has been extended to April 1 for 2022. An Alumni selection committee, appointed by the Alumni Advisory Council, will review applicants and select awardee by June 1.


Alumni Legacy Scholarship

The Alumni Legacy Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western (incoming freshman or new transfer students are eligible).

Do you have a son or daughter looking at college? Have they considered attending Western? As an alumni, your son, daughter and/or grandchildren are eligible for certain benefits distributed through this scholarship, as follows:

  • This is a one-time scholarship of $1,000.
  • Nominee must be an incoming first-year student or new transfer.
  • The cost of orientation is reduced by half (a $45 value).
  • The admission application fee is waived (a $30 value).
  • GPA must be 2.5 or above (high school or college of transfer).

The applicant must fill out the application form found below. Application forms are accepted year-round. If the applicant meets the GPA guidelines, the scholarship will be awarded.


Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

The Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western. This scholarship is not available to midyear transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.

Are you an alumni or employee of Western and know a prospective (or incoming) student who would be a great fit at Western? A recommendation from alumni and employees can support any new student and provide them a $500 scholarship their first year. (Western employees may not recommend a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits).

  • Any Western alumni/employee may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship (distributed $250 per semester).
  • The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
  • The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student, attending Western for the first time.

The applicant must fill out the application form found here. The nominating alumni/employee must fill out the application form and submit the required documents by June 1. The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.


The Western Presidential Honors Scholarships, established by the Jack and Marilyn MacAllister Foundation shall be an elite class of scholarships awarded to Western’s highest achieving and most deserving students, celebrating the ideals of academic excellence and service to the campus and community. Recipients of the Scholarships will be members of the Western Colorado University Honors Program.

There are eight Presidential Honors Scholarships of $2500 each. Each year two new Presidential Honors Scholarships will be awarded to two incoming first-year students.

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student’s GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at western.edu/cost to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.

Get Involved

Where collaboration meets education.

A college education is so much more than just taking classes. Expand your community and network, while gaining hands-on experience in your field.

  • Professional Societies and Student Clubs: Students are encouraged to participate in professional societies and student clubs related to engineering and computer science. Currently, Western offers the following opportunities for students to get involved: ASME, SWE, SAE, ACM, WACM, Engineers Without Borders, Maker’s Society, and Need for Speed Club.
  • Seminar Series: Each semester, faculty at the Rady School invite industry leaders to discuss their experiences with students. Previous speakers include the Senior Project Manager of Blade Design at Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, designers of the largest wind turbine blades in the world; the owner and CEO of Red Canary, a cybersecurity company with multiple Fortune 500 clients; and the co-founder of PACT Outdoors, an outdoor industry manufacturer located in the Gunnison Valley.
  • Lambda Learning Center (LLC): The LLC exists to provide academic support for math, computer science, and engineering, as well as to facilitate student learning beyond the classroom. Students, tutors, and professors get together and create a culture centered not only around understanding and mastering STEM-related coursework, but also exploring new ideas in STEM and building community.
  • Residence Hall Community Building: Rady School students can elect to live in a Partnership Program Community during their first year at Western, allowing them to strengthen bonds with fellow students outside of class. The residence halls provide designated study spaces and a computer lab for students.
  • Experiential Education Initiatives: The program curriculum is enhanced by numerous project-based, industry-focused experiential education initiatives that set it apart from other programs in the state. Students engage with the local community through project partnerships with the Adaptive Sports Center, and with the greater engineering community through the SAE Mini Baja competition.
  • Social Media: Follow @RadySchoolatWestern on Instagram and TikTok to stay up-to-date with the engineering and computer science community at Western.


The need for Computer Scientists is staggering. Last year, there were 10 times more computing jobs than graduates in the field—some 540,000 open computing jobs.

Additional Resources

Admissions Process

There are two ways to apply to the Western-University of Colorado Boulder Partnership Program, click below to learn more about your options.

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Transition to CU Boulder

In the Western-CU Boulder partnership program, students complete their first two years as Western Colorado University students and then spend the balance of their education as University of Colorado …

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Scholarships and Discounts

There are a number of scholarships and discounts that apply to the Western-CU partnership program, depending on year of study. Scroll down for more information about the various opportunities and how …

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Cost of Attendance

The Cost of Attendance Projection for the Western-CU Boulder Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering Partnership Programs is based on Western and CU Boulder 2022-23 rates.

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Mechanical Engineering Accreditation Information

Overview Our mission is to produce creative and technically strong engineers who explore innovative solutions to complex global challenges. We do this with a commitment to our community by integrating …

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Graduation Requirements

Find the resources you need to successfully manage your degree in the Western-CU Boulder Computer Science partnership program.

Graduation Requirements

Program Director

Jenifer Blacklock, Ph.D.

Director of the Western-CU Boulder Partnership Program

Department Chair

Jeremy Muskat, Ph.D.

Chair of the Department of Mathematics & Computer Science

Contact Information



Campus Location

1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231

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