University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Course Summary


Intro. to Problem Solving with Computers, using Java







Other restrictions

Open to undergraduate students



Term(s) offered

Fall, Spring, Summer

Minimum grade needed to graduate


Course(s) that use this one as a prerequisite

COMPSCI 187  Programming, with Data Structures (B or better)

Honors version / section



  • Transfer students might have credit for ECE 122 (Intro. to ECE II), which fulfills the same graduation requirement as COMPSCI 121. Credit for ECE 122 also fulfills the prerequisite for ECE 242 (Data Structures & Algorithms).

  • Transfer credit for ECE 122 (Intro. to ECE II) does not fulfill the prerequisite for COMPSCI 187 (Programming, with Data Structures). Students with credit for ECE 122 will need to have the course evaluated by the Computer Science department in order to take CMPSCI 187. For more information, go to, or contact the Computer Science department.

  • Courses offered during the summer are administered by CPE (Continuing and Professional Education), which means there is a fee to enroll. For more information, go to the CPE website. An override form is NOT needed to enroll in the summer version of COMPSCI 187. That is, BS-CSE and BS-EE majors should be able to enroll. However, the course does fill up, so register as early as possible.

  • Starting with students entering UMass Amherst in Fall 2016, COMPSCI 121 is no longer accepted as fulfilling any graduation requirements or prerequisites for BS-CSE or BS-EE majors. Instead, students are required to take ECE 122 instead.

  • As of November 2016, ECE 122 might fulfill the prerequisite for COMPSCI 187.

  • Students who earn below B in COMPSCI 121 may take COMPSCI 190D to fulfill the prerequisite for COMPSCI 187. BS-CSE and BS-EE majors will need to fill out an override form to enroll in COMPSCI 190D. The link is on this page: Each semester the page changes; it usually becomes available about the time when students can start enrolling in classes.

[To see the full list of courses and categories, go to Course Summaries & Notes.]