Computer Science

Transfer Students

What courses will transfer to Tennessee Tech?

Generally, a student coming out of high school can gain advanced placement credit for English or math courses. If you have advanced placement credit, then you should take the next English or math course after the one(s) for which advanced placement credit is given. Don’t skip ahead unless you feel comfortable; it is best to be on solid footing every step of the way through the curriculum.

General Education Courses

If you have attended a two-year community college (or other college), you can generally transfer credits from that school which will count toward meeting degree requirements at Tennessee Tech. Usually, the following “general education” subject areas will transfer with no trouble: English composition; literature; foreign language; speech; American history; all or part of a natural science sequence (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or Geology) including the labs; social sciences such as economics, political science, psychology, sociology, history (other than American history which is specifically required for a degree), or anthropology; or humanities courses such as art or music appreciation, philosophy, or theatre.

Mathematics Courses

It is good to take all or part of the calculus sequence while attending a two-year community college. If you are not able take calculus, then take trigonometry and other “pre-calculus” courses that get you ready to take calculus. When you transfer to Tennessee Tech, you will gain credit for the math courses you have completed, and you will enroll in the appropriate math course for you to continue to complete the mathematics requirement in our major. You should always be on solid footing in mathematics since math is a long-term sequence of courses which depend upon each other. If you are weak or deficient in any area of mathematics coming out of high school, you should definitely take the corresponding math courses wherever you are attending college (two-year or other). There is one area of mathematics, called “discrete mathematics” or “discrete structures,” that you can transfer to Tennessee Tech, if your two-year school offers the course; this area of mathematics is distinct from calculus and involves abstract mathematical structures that are essential for the study of computer science.

Computer Science Courses

If you wish to major in computer science, you are probably most interested in taking computer science courses when you enter any college. It is good to take such courses, but be aware that some computer courses will not count toward a computer science major at Tennessee Tech because they are not part of the degree requirements. As an example, a course in word processing or spreadsheets is a good course to have, but it is not part of our degree requirement, so such a course will transfer only as “general elective” credit. 

The first two computer science programming courses are generally entitled “Introduction to Computer Science” and “Data Structures;” these two courses constitute a serious introduction to programming and program design. Usually, these courses use either C++ or Java as programming language. Regardless of which language is used, the basic principles of structured program design and use of data structures (linked lists, queues, trees, etc.) are covered. (There is also a course in the first semester generally entitled “Principles of Computing”, which covers the basic concepts of computer science, which is usually not required for transfer students AS LONG AS they have already taken a programming course.)

At Tennessee Tech, C++ is used as the language in the first two programming courses (and Java is required later). Thus, the question arises: “What happens if I take the first two courses using Java and want to transfer to Tennessee Tech?” In the first place, the courses will transfer as CSC 1300 and CSC 1310 (the first two computer science courses at Tennessee Tech) without any problem. A student who transfers to Tennessee Tech in this situation generally either picks up the C++ language on his own or elects to take CSC 1300 in order to learn C++ and feel comfortable in subsequent courses, even though taking CSC 1300 is not strictly required. Generally, you should take the time, if necessary, to remain on solid footing at all times while progressing through the computer science courses (just like in math).


Some courses that you take at another college count as “general elective” credit at Tennessee Tech, but do not fulfill any specific degree requirement. You must fulfill all degree requirements using courses you take at Tennessee Tech, courses that transfer from another college, or advanced placement credit from high school. Tennessee Tech will evaluate your transcript from another college and decide what credits will transfer for specific courses in your degree program at Tennessee Tech.

As a general recommendation, if you are attending a two-year college, you should take general education courses and mathematics courses needed to fulfill requirements at Tennessee Tech. You should take computer courses also, but remember that not all of them will transfer as courses required within the computer science major at Tennessee Tech. For the two-year community colleges in Tennessee, there are Transfer Equivalency Tables listing corresponding courses for which transfer credit is automatically given. In all cases, a student at Tennessee Tech will have an advisor to answer all questions about a student’s transfer of credit and all other aspects of that student’s academic program of study.

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