UMD Letters and Sciences instead of CS Major

Hey guys,

I have been admitted into the Letters and Sciences at UMD instead of the CS Major I wanted. I looked at all the requirements needed to get into the CS Major, and I had a few questions about them. First of all, how long does it take to complete these gateway courses to get into Computer Science? Will I have to pay more for extra semesters because I am joining CS later than those already admitted into CS? Also, are these gateway courses very difficult to pass, and is obtaining the 2.7 GPA or higher difficult as well? Lastly, can I use AP credit to get out of these gateway courses? I got a 5 on the Calculus BC exam if that helps.

Thanks for all the help!

Things are not actually as complicated as they sound.

First, a 5 on the Calc BC exam will give you credit for MATH140 and MATH141 (see the following link)

To transfer into the CS Major, you need CMSC131 or CMSC133, CMSC132, and MATH140. They call these Gateway courses but they are really just the same courses that all the CS Major students take.

This next link has a typical CS 4 year plan.

You will see that a Freshman CS major would register for CMSC131 and MATH140, in their 1st Fall Semester. That is the CMSC131 course that you would register for. MATH140 is already covered by your AP Credit

Also, per the 4 Year Plan, you would register for CMSC132 in your second Semester, just as all the direct admit CS majors do. CMSC131 is a pre-req for CMSC132, so you cannot take both in the same semester.

Then you apply for an internal transfer.

As far as the 2.7 GPA, you are taking the EXACT SAME courses that you would take, if you had been a direct admit to CS. If you cannot maintain a 2.7, you should probably be in some other major.

This last link shows ALL the courses that UMD is offering for FALL 2021. You will not find any courses that are labeled as “Gateway”

Good Luck

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The CS program at UMD is very competitive. The website is only giving you the minimum requirements just to qualify. With competitive admissions, if you expect to get a 2.7 GPA, you’ll most certainly be denied admission as an internal transfer. You’ll need a GPA closer to a 4.0, and even that’s not a guarantee. If I were you, I would think about safety schools that will give you a more reasonable chance of getting the major you want. CS is ridiculously employable no matter where you go to school.

Find out from the CS department whether meeting the 2.7 GPA requirement results in automatic admission to the major, or whether it is merely the minimum to enter a competitive admission process.

I recommend that all interested parties read the “Internal Transfer Students” section of the following link

The very first question is “Am I guaranteed admission to Computer Science if I meet the gateway requirements?”

And the answer is “Yes. All students who successfully complete the gateway requirements will be admitted to the major.”

I would also recommend going to the UMD Reddit forum and seeing what actual students say about what their experience has been applying for a CS internal transfer. I also personally know students who have done internal LEP transfers at UMD, but not for CS. It would be great if some current UMD students could add to this topic.

As a final recommendation, attend an Admitted Student Day and ask specific question about UMD CS internal transfers


My daughter was admitted to UMD letter of science in 2020 for spring 2021, and got into CS this summer. She took the freshman connection program in 2020 fall, and took regular classes in 2021 spring. She got all As expect one computer class B+, and made to the Dean’s list. Talk to counselor and get help, be careful with every step. Good luck.