For most CS students, studying abroad for a single semester is very achievable. Which semester is best will depend on what courses you still have remaining to take after your sophomore year, and you should plan out how study abroad will affect your other semesters with your CS advisor as a sophomore.
Courses to Take
Typically, a junior CS major has completed five of the 13 CS courses required for the B.S., and most of the math courses. In junior year, the typical major takes:
- CS466 Operating Systems (fall)
- CS451 Programming Languages (spring)
- CS462: Algorithm Analysis (spring)
- and 2 CS electives (either semester)
To make your senior year as smooth as possible, you should try to take as many of these courses in your junior as possible, some of which you'd take abroad. None of these courses are a prerequisite for other required courses in the major, however, so depending on the courses you have completed you may be able to go abroad without taking any CS courses that semester and still graduate on time without summer classes. However, students should check the expected electives to be offered after they return from abroad on the Electives page, to ensure they have any math prerequisites by the start of their senior year.
Students who started CS151 in the spring of the freshman year will probably need CS312 in the fall of their junior year. Those students should ensure they either go abroad where they can take a CS312 equivalent during the fall semester, go abroad in the spring after taking CS312, or take CS312 in the summer before junior year elsewhere and transfer it back to Loyola. Your CS advisor can help you plan out your courses to ensure you can both study abroad and graduate on time, based on course prerequisites and which semester various courses are offered at Loyola.
If you are away the entire year, you also should take multiple CS courses to avoid needing to take 2 years worth of CS courses in your senior year (generally this would mean 4-5 CS/math/science courses each semester, which is a very heavy load). If Operating Systems and Programming Languages are not available, you should take upper-division CS courses as electives, which you must have approved by the department chair.
Study Abroad Programs with CS Options
The good news is that there are now five Loyola programs at institutions that have strong CS Departments with many course offerings. They are:
Australia: Monash University, Melbourne (fall or spring). See www.monash.edu.au and do a search on "computer science."
Great Britain: Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne (fall or full year). The British system uses "modules where 1 module = 1/12 of a year = 2.5 Loyola credits. An upper-division CS module will be counted as a Loyola CS course (3 credits). See www.ncl.ac.uk and follow links to Computing Science for course descriptions.
New Zealand: University of Auckland, Auckland (spring). See www.cs.auckland.ac.nz.
Ireland: University College, Cork (fall, spring, or full year). See
Singapore: Nanyang Technological University (fall or spring). See www.ntu.edu.sg/
Study abroad at other institutions is possible, but may mean that you will not be taking CS while abroad. If that is the case, you will probably only be able to study abroad for a single semester.
To determine what courses may be offered in CS/math/science where you want to study abroad, go to the Study Abroad Programs Page and click on your program of interest. On that page, there should be a link to course equivalencies.
Remember that to qualify for study abroad, you must have a GPA of at least 2.5 (3.0 for some programs, like Monash) and no disciplinary infractions.