The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Thematic Elective

Course Summary


Thematic Elective


3, 4


[see SPIRE]


[see SPIRE]

Other restrictions

[see SPIRE]



Term(s) offered

Fall, Spring

Minimum grade needed to graduate


Course(s) that use this one as a prerequisite

[see SPIRE]

Honors version/section



  • All BS-EE and BS-CSE majors who entered the College of Engineering before August 2015 are required to take one Thematic elective.

  • The Thematic elective is intended to allow depth of study in a field of the sciences, mathematics or engineering management that is relevant to your educational objectives and interests. Your Thematic elective may be used toward a minor in another major.

  • There are four approved Thematic elective subject areas:

    1. Biology and Chemistry
    2. Physics and Astronomy
    3. Mathematics
    4. Engineering Management

    Note: Courses in the last category are only for students who intend to complete the Engineering Management minor.

  • AP credit cannot generally be applied toward the Thematic Elective requirement. The only exception is Chemistry. If you earn UMass credit for CHEM 111 through AP Chemistry, this will fulfill the Thematic elective degree requirement for CSE and EE.

  • If you earn a C or better in ENGIN 112 after earning a C or better in ENGIN 110, 111 or 113, you will be allowed to count ENGIN 110, 111 or 113 as a Thematic elective.

  • For a complete list of all approved Thematic electives, download Thematic Electives Document (2013).

  • BS-EE majors may use CMPSCI 250 (Introduction to Computation) as their Thematic elective. This is the only situation for which a CMPSCI course may be used as a Thematic elective.

  • To propose a different Thematic elective, fill out the Alternative Elective Request Form and submit it to the Undergraduate Programs Office. (The form can be downloaded here. The location of the Undergraduate Programs Office can be found under Advising Resources.)

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