Off-Campus Study in Computer Science

Background

Who studies off-campus?

CS majors do! Our course offerings are designed to ensure CS majors can study off-campus, even if they start with CSC 151 in the first semester of their second year. Double majors and concentrations can sometimes make off-campus study more challenging, but it is often still possible.

Why study off-campus?

Many students study off-campus to connect academic interests with culturally immersive experiences. Others want to enhance their language skills. Some may simply want challenges that will enrich their lives and increase their confidence. What are your reasons?

Where to go?

Many elements will factor into your decision. When selecting a program you may want to consider your academic goals, the locale’s cost of living, potential housing arrangements (e.g., living with local students, homestays, or other Americans), and perhaps the expected commute between your residence and the campus.

If you are not planning to take CS off-campus, you and your adviser may discuss the options from among the many College-approved programs. You might identify them by language, location, or other interests.

If you do wish to take CS courses while off-campus, the program listed below are approved by the College and allow you to complete some of your CS major coursework. Other additional programs certainly exist, though they would require a petition for special approval, from the College (if they are not among the approved programs), and from the department (to determine the suitability of any course to count toward the major).

How to make it work?

Talk with any CS professor about your four-year plan.

The CS major is designed so that you can start in your third semester and also take an off-campus semester in which you do not study CS. This sketch of a four-year plan addresses current second-year students:

Year Fall Spring
1 MAT 131 MAT 133 or STA 209
2 CSC 151 CSC 161
    CSC/MAT 208
3 CSC 207 Off campus:
  CSC 211 No CS
4 CSC 301 CSC 341
  CSC 324 CSC Elective

Starting your CS major earlier will give you additional flexibility.

Taking CS while off-campus also increases the flexibility of fitting together the CS major with other majors or concentrations.

How to choose?

For more information on available programs, visit http://travel.global.grinnell.edu

College faculty and staff try to identify programs where students are likely to experience successful semesters off-campus. Even then, additional dimensions may help shape how you decide which programs best suit your goals.

Curriculum
Emphasis on a particular academic field or culture
Region
Global north, south, east, west
Locale
Urban, maritime, desert, forest, rural
Language
English, prior study at Grinnell, immersion and learning abroad
Timing and duration
Fall, spring, whole year
Housing
Apartment, residence hall, homestay
Institution
Study abroad provider, university
Cost
Program and living expenses vary widely

Programs offering Computer Science

Students from the College regularly attend the programs listed below, so the department has grown familiar with their offerings. In addition to the programs listed below, students have enrolled at other institutions with computer science programs and gained approval for transferring various courses.

If you have any doubt, please consult with Computer Science faculty about whether a course may count toward the CS major, particularly when they are offered at programs other than those listed below.

Aquincum Institute of Technology (Budapest, Hungary)

On the web at https://www.ait-budapest.com

Overview

AIT-Budapest is a study-abroad program in CS and software engineering with emphases in design, creativity, and entrepreneurship.

Size
Typically 70–90 students from North American colleges and universities study at AIT each semester.
Campus
The AIT building, specifically designed for the program, sits in a suburban, college-like business park along the Danube river.
Housing
AIT students live together in apartments of varying styles across the city.
Commute
Students report 30–60 minute commute times between their apartments and campus, depending on where they live and whether they use public transport or the once-a-day shuttle bus.
Credit
Designed for North American schools, the courses are two or four credits during a fourteen week semester. The typical load is 16 credits, though some students take more.
Curriculum
AIT has a wide variety of offerings designed for CS majors; register upon arrival. Most courses are accessible if you’ve taken CSC 207 and CSC 208 or MAT 218. Grinnell students must take the four credit Hungarian Language sequence.

Transferable CS Courses

Courses may change; be sure to consult current offerings.

Computer Science Requirements
  • Algorithms and Data Structures can fulfill the CSC 301 requirement
  • Theory of Computation can fulfill the CSC 341 requirement.

Students may not transfer credit for both courses.

Computer Science Electives

The following may be credited toward the CS elective requirement:

  • All other Foundational courses; i.e.,
    • Combinatorial Optimization
    • Computer Graphics
    • Data Science
    • Graph Theory
    • Quantum Probability and Quantum Logic
    • Semantic and Declarative Technologies
  • All Advanced Applications courses; i.e.,
    • Applied Cryptography
    • Deep Learning
    • Introduction to Computational Biology
    • Mobile Software Development
    • Structure and Dynamic of Complex Networks
  • Select Creative Design and Entrepreneurship courses:
    • Scalable Systems and Development Processes
    • User Experience Design

DIS (Copenhagen, Denmark)

On the web at https://disabroad.org

Overview

DIS is a general study-abroad program offering many disciplines that attracts students from North America.

Size
1,200 students from North American schools study at DIS Copenhagen each semester.
Campus
Academic and administrative buildings are closely gathered in urban, central Copenhagen.
Housing
Options include homestay with local families, DIS residential communities, learning communities (similar to Grinnell’s project houses), and kollegiums (shared with local Danish students).
Commute
Students report 10–60 minute commute times between their apartments and campus, depending on where they live. Biking is common, even encouraged.
Credit
Designed for North American schools, most courses are three credits during a fourteen week semester. The typical load is 15 credits.
Curriculum
DIS students must take one Core course (often from their major), which features a week-long study tour. Grinnell students must take the three credit Danish Language and Culture: Level I

Transferable CS Courses

Courses may change; be sure to consult current offerings.

Computer Science Electives

The following may be credited toward the CS elective requirement:

  • Core Courses
    • Artificial Neural Networks and Deep Learning (requiring MAT 215, probability, and Python skills)
    • Game Development: Programming and Practice and Game Development Lab (requiring MAT 131; MAT 215 preferred)
  • Elective Courses
    • Artificial Intelligence
    • Computational Analysis of Big Data
    • Computer Graphics: Programming 3D Applications (MAT 215 recommended)

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (Netherlands)

The program at Vrije Uuniversiteit (VU) Amsterdam is hosted through IES Abroad.

On the web at

Overview

Students can take a suite of courses (including CS) alongside local students of VU Amsterdam and other students in the Semester in Amsterdam visit program.

Size
VU has 25,000 students; its Semester in Amsterdam program attracts 100–160 students. Of the 60 IES students, about 25 attend VU.
Campus
Corporate highrises surround the self-contained campus along a busy avenue.
Housing
Students live in a VU residential apartment hall right next to campus or more diverse and upscale apartment complexes downtown.
Commute
Transit between VU and IES campuses takes 15 minutes by either train or bike. Apartments are generally 20-25 minutes to either campus.
Credit
Students take two, 3 credit VU courses in each of two 8 week periods. Honors seminars offer smaller, more intimate classes; application required.
Curriculum
VU students take courses from one discipline over three years. While you may select courses in any discipline, timetable conflicts may require backup choices. Grinnell students must take Dutch Language and Culture over the semester.

Transferable CS Courses

Courses may change; be sure to consult current offerings.

Computer Science Requirements
  • Operating Systems can partially fulfill the systems requirement as a CSC 213 equivalent; as a 3CR course, to complete the systems requirement CSC 214, CSC 216, or another systems course must be taken. VU’s Computer Organization, Concurrency & Multithreading, Physical Computing, or Secure Programming may also be used to complete the systems requirement
  • Computer Organization can partially fulfill the systems requirement as a CSC 211 equivalent; as a 3CR course, to complete the requirement CSC 214, CSC 216, or another systems course must be taken. VU’s Operating Systems, Physical Computing, or Secure Programming may also be used to complete the systems requirement
  • Automata and Complexity is approved on a probationary basis to fulfill the CSC 341 requirement; at present, a student who elects to take this course must retain all course material for review by CS faculty.

Students may not transfer credit for more than 4CR of required courses. Note that if a student took Operating Systems or Computer Organization with another qualifying systems course at VU, the systems requirement would be completed (four credits) with an additional two credits counting toward the CS elective requirement.

Computer Science Electives

The following may be credited toward the CS elective requirement:

  • AI in Health
  • Compiler Construction
  • Computational Intelligence
  • Computer Networks
  • Concurrency & Multithreading (not eligible for credit with CSC 213 at Grinnell)
  • Databases
  • Equational Programming
  • Human-Computer *Interaction
  • Information Retrieval
  • Intelligent Systems
  • Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
  • Machine Learning
  • Multi-Agent Systems
  • Pervasive Computing
  • Secure Programming
  • Software Design (distinct from CSC 324; recommend CSC 324 first)
Prohibited Courses

Students should make sure not to take:

  • Data Structures and Algorithms and Data Structures and Algorithms for AI (cannot receive credit with CSC 301; does not replace CSC 301)
  • Software Project Management (cannot receive credit with CSC 324; does not replace CSC 324)

Goldsmiths University London (United Kingdom)

The program at Goldsmiths University London is hosted through Arcadia.

On the web at

Overview

Size
Goldsmiths has nearly 10,000 students, roughly 10% of which are in computing.
Campus
Nestled in the artsy New Cross neighborhood, the traditional quad and academic buildings coexist with repurposed shopfronts.
Housing
Students live in a Goldsmiths residence hall on campus or Arcadia-owned housing.
Commute
Transit by overground rail from Arcadia housing is 60 minutes to Goldsmiths and 30 minutes to the Arcadia center.
Curriculum
UK students take courses (which they call modules) from one discipline (which they call courses) over three years. While Grinnell students may select courses (“modules”) in any discipline (“course”), timetable conflicts may require backup choices.
Credit
Students take four, four credit Goldsmiths and/or Arcadia courses over the semester. The UK semester is longer; students will leave early in the fall, but must remain for the exam period in the spring

Transferable CS Courses

Courses may change; be sure to consult current offerings.

Computer Science Electives

The following may be credited toward the CS elective requirement:

  • Year 2 Modules
    • Dynamic Web Applications (Autumn)
    • Interaction Design (Autumn)
  • Year 3 Modules
    • Artificial Intelligence (Autumn)
    • Data Mining (Spring)
    • Interaction Design (Spring)
    • Machine Learning (Spring)
    • Neural Networks (Autumn)
    • Physical Computing (N/A)
    • Security and Encryption (Autumn)

The following courses may NOT be credited toward the CS elective requirement:

  • 3D Virtual Environments and Animation
  • Advanced Audio-Visual Processing
  • Data and Machine Learning for Creative Practice
  • Data Journalism and Visualization
  • Data Visualization
  • Digital Performance
  • Digital Venture Creation
  • Ethical Computing for the Social Economy
  • Expressive Game Design
  • Games AI Programming
  • Introduction for Modeling and Animation
  • Innovation Case Studies
  • Multispecies: Computing and Digital Bioart
  • Pervasive Gaming and Immersive Theater
  • Social Media, Crowdsourcing, and Citizen Sensing

Students are advised to consult with the Registrar’s Office about whether any of these courses will transfer for general Grinnell credit.

Prohibited Courses

Students should make sure not to take:

  • Year 1 modules (none in Computing are appropriate for Grinnell CS students)
  • Year 2 modules not listed above
  • Advanced Algorithms (cannot receive credit with CSC 301; does not replace CSC 301)

University of Otago (Dunedin, New Zealand)

The program at University of Otago is hosted through Arcadia.

On the web at

Overview

Size
Otago has roughly 21,000 student (15,000 undergraduate); 700+ come from the U.S. and 30–40 from with Arcadia
Timing
Semesters fall on a Southern hemisphere schedule:
  • late February through late June (“fall”)
  • early July through early November (“spring”) Semesters have thirteen weeks of classes followed by a month-long exam period
Campus
The beautiful, traditional campus is nestled near the hillside within walking distance to the waterfront and downtown Dunedin.
Housing
Five study abroad students live with one New Zealand student in a University flat near campus. Students can occupy their housing early in January (for “fall”) or late in December (for “spring”), providing an opportunity for exploration
Credit
Students take 4.5 credit courses over the semester.

Transferable CS Courses

Courses may change; be sure to consult current offerings.

Computer Science Requirements
  • Computer Systems (COSC204) tentative can fulfill the systems requirement; cannot be taken with either CSC 211 or CSC 213
  • Theory of Computing (COSC341) can fullfill the CSC 341 requirement
  • Software Engineering (COSC345) can fulfill the CSC 324 requirement

Students may not transfer credit for more than 4CR of required courses. Whereas each course is 4.5CR, the extra half credit will not prevent transfer or meeting the requirement, but it may not be applied toward the CS elective requirement.

Computer Science Electives

The following may be credited toward the CS elective requirement:

  • Web, Databases, and Networks (COSC203)
  • Visual Computing: Graphics & Vision (COSC342)
  • Artificial Intelligence (COSC343)
  • Database Theory and Applications (COSC344)
  • Advanced Computer Networks (COSC402)
  • Logic for Artificial Intelligence (COSC410)
  • Cryptography and Security (COSC411)
  • Neural Networks (COSC420)
  • Advanced Database Topics (COSC430)
  • Information Retrieval (COSC431)
  • Advanced Operating Systems (COSC440)
  • Concurrent Programming (COSC441); not eligible for credit with CSC 213 at Grinnell
  • Computer Vision and Graphics (COSC450)

The following courses may NOT be credited toward the CS elective requirement:

  • Network Management and Security (COSC301)
  • Cloud Computing Architecture (COSC349)
  • Neural Models of Language (COSC421)
  • Computational Neuroscience (COSC422)

Students are advised to consult with the Registrar’s Office about whether any of these courses will transfer for general Grinnell credit.

Prohibited Courses

Students should make sure not to take:

  • Algorithms and Data Structures (cannot receive credit with CSC 301; does not replace CSC 301)
  • Computational Problem Solving

University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia)

The program at University of New South Wales (UNSW) is hosted through Arcadia.

On the web at

Overview

Size
UNSW has roughly 50,000 students; it hosts 700-1200 study abroad students annually, with over 30 coming through Arcadia each semester
Campus
The main academic campus is in the Kensington area of Sydney, with easy transport to central downtown, waterfront areas, and beaches
Housing
Students live in a shared apartments in campus residence halls
Credit
Students begin with an intensive 4-week course and then take three 10-week courses, all usually four credits

Transferable CS Courses

Courses may change; be sure to consult current offerings.

Computer Science Requirements
  • Computer Architecture (COMP3211) can fulfill the systems requirement; note equivalent of Digital Circuits and Systems (COMP3222) required as prerequisite knowledge
  • Operating Systems (COMP3231) can fulfill the systems requirement; note understanding of assembly required as prerequisite (or CSC 211)
  • Theory of Computation (COMP4141) is currently approved on a probationary basis to fulfill the CSC 341 requirement; at present, a student who elects to take this course must retain all course material for review by CS faculty.
Computer Science Electives

The following may be credited toward the CS elective requirement:

  • Microprocessors and Interfacing (COMP2121); may not be taken with CSC 211
  • Programming Languages and Compilers (COMP3131); may not be taken with CSC 312
  • Software System Design and Implementation (COMP3141)
  • Foundations of Concurrency (COMP3151); may not be taken with CSC 213
  • Algorithmic Verification (COMP3153)
  • Concepts of Programming Languages (COMP3161)
  • Database Systems (COMP3311)
  • Computer Networks and Applications (COMP3331); may not be taken with CSC 214
  • Artificial Intelligence (COMP3411); may not be taken with CSC 261
  • Computer Graphics (COMP3421)
  • Robotic Software Architecture (COMP3431)
  • Human Computer Interaction (COMP3511)
  • Advanced Topics in Software Verification (COMP4161) requires 32CR of CSC
  • Mobile Data Networking (COMP4336) requires CSC 214 or equivalent
  • Securing Fixed and Wireless Networks (COMP4337) requires CSC 214 or equivalent
  • Knowledge Representation and Reasoning (COMP4418)
  • User Interface Design and Construction (COMP4511) requires CSC 232 or equivalent
  • Security Engineering and Cyber Security (COMP6441) may require 32CR of CSC
  • Cryptocurrency and Distributed Ledger Technologies (COMP6451)
  • Software Architecture for Blockchain Applications (COMP6452)
  • Information Retrieval and Web Search (COMP6714)
  • Algorithms for Intractable Problems (COMP6741)
  • Modelling Concurrent Systems (COMP6752)
  • Advanced Operating Systems (COMP9242) requires CSC 213
  • Distributed Systems (COMP9243) requires CSC 213 and CSC 214
  • Data Analytics for Graphs (COMP9312)
  • Web Data Compression and Search (COMP9319)
  • Network Routing and Switching (COMP9332) requires CSC 214
  • Capacity Planning of Computer Systems and Networks (COMP9334)
  • Machine Learning and Data Mining (COMP9417)
  • Neural Networks and Deep Learning (COMP9444)
  • Computer Vision (COMP9517) may not be taken with CSC 262
  • Recommender Systems (COMP9727)

The following courses may NOT be credited toward the CS elective requirement:

  • Software Construction: Techniques and Tools (COMP2041); may not be taken with CSC 282)
  • Digital Circuits and Systems (COMP3222); may not be taken with CSC 211
  • Web Front-End Programming (COMP6080)
  • Professional Issues and Ethics in Information Technology (COMP4920)
  • (In-)Formal Methods: The Lost Art (COMP6721)
  • Advanced C++ Programming (COMP6771)
  • Solving Modern Programming Problems with Rust (COMP6991)
Prohibited Courses

Students should make sure not to take:

  • Any 1000-level COMP course
  • System Modelling and Design (COMP2111)
  • Object-Oriented Design & Programming (COMP2511)
  • Data Structures and Algorithms (COMP2521)
  • Algorithms and Programming Techniques (COMP3121)
  • Extended Algorithms and Programming Techniques (COMP3821)
  • Design and Analysis of Algorithms (COMP9101)
  • Extended Design & Analysis of Algorithms (COMP9801)
  • Design Project A (COMP3601)
  • Computer Science Project (COMP3900)
  • Advanced Algorithms (COMP4121)
  • Programming Challenges (COMP4128)