Computer Science

Information technology and computation has had a profound impact on many aspects of society, health care, and the scientific disciplines. As such, a foundation of formal training in computer science can benefit undergraduate concentrators in many fields of the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. To provide this training, a secondary field in Computer Science requires that students with primary interests in other fields take four courses in computer science. 

REQUIREMENTS: 4 courses (16 credits) 

Any four computer science courses satisfying: 

  • At most two courses from the set CS 20, CS 50, CS 51, and CS 61. 
  • All other courses must be numbered CS 100 or higher. 

Computer science 50 will count for secondary credit if it is taken for a grade of SAT, but all other courses must be taken for a letter grade, and the student must achieve a grade of C- or better in each of these courses.  

Only courses with a Harvard Computer Science course number may be counted for secondary field credit. In particular no courses from other Harvard programs/departments, no MIT courses, no study abroad courses and no Freshman Seminars may be counted toward secondary requirements. Computer Science courses offered by the Harvard Summer School may be used for a Secondary Field in Computer Science only if they would count for concentration in Computer Science. A course from another Harvard program/department counts only if it also has an appropriate Harvard Computer Science course number (e.g., a Statistics course that also has a Computer Science course number 100 or greater). Only one course may double count for a secondary field and concentration. 


Questions concerning this secondary field should be addressed to the Directors of Undergraduate Studies in Computer Science ( The Directors of Undergraduate Studies are available to help students choose computer science courses that best meet their interests and objectives. Transfer students who wish to use some of their coursework in their prior institution towards secondary credit should contact the computer science Directors of Undergraduate Studies.