Carnegie Mellon University

Double-Counting Suggestions for Additional Majors in SCS

As stated on the information page for the additional major in computational biology, students completing the additional major should take at least seven courses that count toward this major and toward the requirements of no other major.  These courses can be counted in the “free electives” category of another major.

For students completing a primary major other than computational biology in the School of Computer Science (SCS) at Carnegie Mellon University, we encourage students to consider double counting the courses listed below to maximize double counting and complete an additional major in computational biology major.

Students are free to choose their own path toward the degree, but we provide a suggested action on double counting below for SCS students whose primary major is other than computational biology.  Similarly, students are encouraged to consult the sample course sequence for computational biology primary majors, but this timeline may vary on an individual basis.


  • Students should consider taking 36-218 (Probability Theory for Computer Scientists), as it counts for both the probability requirement and computational biology’s statistics requirement.  If students take a different probability course, such as 15-259 (Probability and Computing), they will need to complete an additional statistics course such as 15-260 (Statistics and Computing) or 36-226 (Introduction to Statistical Inference) instead.
  • All other mathematics and statistics requirements should be satisfied by School of Computer Science requirements.

Science and Engineering Requirements

  • The computational biology major asks that students take specific courses in biology, chemistry, and physics that will satisfy the four courses counting toward science and engineering requirements.
  • Students should consider taking 03-121 (Modern Biology), either 09-105 or 09-107 (Introduction to Chemistry), and either 33-121 or 33-141 (Physics I) to satisfy three of their science requirements.
  • Students should consider taking 02-261 (Quantitative Cell and Molecular Biology Laboratory) to satisfy their laboratory requirement, which is a required core computational biology course for the additional major.

Constrained Electives

  • CS majors should consider counting 02-251 (Great Ideas in Computational Biology) toward the “Domains” constrained elective category. This course is intended for first-year students but can be taken by students later in their studies. AI and HCI majors should take this course as well, but it will not count in this category because AI and HCI have their own introductory courses.
  • CS and HCI majors should consider counting 10-315 (Introduction to Machine Learning) toward the “Artificial Intelligence” constrained elective category.  (This course is a requirement for the artificial intelligence major.)

SCS Electives

  • AI majors should count two computational biology elective courses (of at least 9 units each) above the 300 level toward the “free CS elective” category as general SCS electives.
  • CS majors should count one computational biology elective courses (of at least 9 units) above the 300 level toward the “free CS elective” category as general SCS electives.


The following six courses will not satisfy any requirement in the CS or AI major and be unique to the additional major in computational biology.

  • 03-220 or 03-221: Genetics
  • 03-231 or 03-232: Biochemistry
  • 03-320: Cell Biology
  • 03-3XX: Biology elective
  • 02-510: Computational Genomics
  • 02-512: Computational Methods for Biological Modeling and Simulation

The seventh course unique to the computational biology major will be as follows:

  • AI/HCI: 02-251 (Great Ideas in Computational Biology)
  • CS: an additional free computational biology elective course of at least 9 units above the 300 level