Compare Introductory Courses

There are a number of different ways to begin your study of Computing Science. Which course you choose depends on your background and interests. If you are interested in a taste of what computing is all about, but not thinking of pursuing study in an area that makes heavy use of computing, CMPUT 101 is the course for you.

If you are interested in obtaining the deeper introduction to Computing Science that is necessary for more advanced courses, there are two distinct course sequences that you can take: CMPUT 174/175 or CMPUT 274/275

  • CMPUT 174/175  is the standard introductory course sequence which provides the foundation for taking the more advanced 200-level computing courses.
  • CMPUT 274/275 is a new advanced introduction (replaces CMPUT 296/297), intended for Honors and Specialization students, which combines the material of four courses (i.e., 174, 175, 201, 204) into two in a non-traditional studio-style format.

NOTE:  (Added March 31, 2014)  If you have credit in any of CMPUT 174, 175, 201, or 204, you cannot register in CMPUT 274 or 275.  Similarly, if you have credit in CMPUT 274 or 275, you cannot register in any of CMPUT 174, 175, 201, or 204.  If you have credit in CMPUT 274, but do not intend to take CMPUT 275, you can register in CMPUT 175, 201, or 204 with special permission; contact the Computing Science Undergraduate Advisor.  Finally, you cannot register in CMPUT 275 unless you have credit in CMPUT 274.

Intro Computing Courses Comparison Table

Compare the various introductory computing courses in the table below to see which stream best suits your academic needs. More information can be found in the course calendar.



Learning Outcomes

Targeted Students

Next Courses

CMPUT 101:
Introduction to Computing
3 credits
3 hrs./week
Elementary introduction to computing science
  • Presentation of general, simpler computing concepts
  • How computing machines are constructed
  • Simple programming

More information on CMPUT 101 can be found in the course notes (PDF, 2.2mb).
  • Students in disciplines other than computing science
  • No computing background/experience is assumed
More general courses
  • CMPUT 206: Intro to Digital Image Processing
  • CMPUT 250: Computers and Games
  • CMPUT 300: Computers and Society
CMPUT 174/175:
Introduction to the Foundations of Computation I & II
3 credits each
3 hrs./week
Standard two-course introduction to computing science
  • Introduces fundamental ideas of computing
  • Develop skills to write programs to solve small computing problems
  • Moderate programming using Python programming language
  • Students majoring in computing science
  • Students only planning on taking two comp. sci. courses during their studies
  • No computing background/experience is assumed
Practical and theory courses to fulfill pre-requisites for advanced computing courses
  • CMPUT 201: Practical Programming Methodology
  • CMPUT 272: Formal Systems and Logic in Computing Science
  • CMPUT 204: Algorithms
CMPUT 274/275:
Introduction to Tangible Computing I & II
3 credits each
Studio-style, blended lecture and lab
6 hrs./week
Advanced introductory computing science courses
  • Learn key concepts of procedural programming
  • Basic algorithmic design and analysis
  • Reactive interfacing to problem solve with Arduino platform and C/C++
  • Heavy programming using Python
  • Object oriented programming
  • Development using Linux operating system with exposed compiler tool chain
  • Honors and Specialization students
  • Computing science majors with programming experience
  • Computing and programming experience is an asset
These advanced intro courses cover the course material of four courses: introductory programming, systems, algorithms, and data structures. They can be used to satisfy the pre-requisites for any courses requiring CMPUT 174, 175, 201, and 204, which means students can enroll in more advanced computing courses more quickly.