Incoming Students

We look forward to welcoming you to CS@Mines!



CS@Mines accepts two AP CS courses, if you score a 4 or 5 on the exam.

  • AP CS Principles provides credit for CSCI 101.
  • AP CS A (Java) provides credit for CSCI 261. Our core programming courses (CSCI 261 and CSCI 262) are in C++.
  • Students who pass the AP CS A exam with a score of 4 or 5 are invited to participate in an optional working group to learn the syntax differences between Java and C++.



CS@Mines offers two challenge exams for incoming students, for CSCI 101 and CSCI 102. Details on these two courses are below. Per the Challenge Exam site, a student who passes the challenge exam for a course “will receive a “T” grade and transfer credit as viewable on their transcript.” Note: Per Challenge Exam rules, you must be in your first two semesters at Mines (summer counts). If you are not, then see the Proficiency Exam details below.

CSCI 101 is our Introduction to Computer Science course. CSCI 101 is a 3-credit hour **breadth** CS course (NOT a programming course) that is required or optional for many majors (including CS and MechE). We cover a number of topics in this course, e.g., binary numbers, Boolean logic and gates, circuit design, data compression, machine language, computer hardware, Assembly, operating systems, networking, the Internet protocols, cybersecurity, data science, machine learning, and robotics. You need to know more than just the definition of these topics to pass the challenge exam.

  • Fall 2022: the CSCI 101 Challenge exam will be Wednesday, August 24th, at 6:30pm. Register for the exam at the link below.
    Example review questions for the exam are available here.

CSCI 102 is our Introduction to Computer Science LAB course. CSCI 102 is a 1-credit hour programming course in Python that is (1) extremely valuable for those who’ve never programmed and (2) required for some majors (e.g., MechE). While this course is not required for CS majors, it should be taken by those with little prior programming experience. This exam will be in the Python language. We encourage you to learn Python syntax if you are familiar with a different language. The CSCI 102 Challenge exam will have programming problems related to fundamental programming concepts in Python: variables, types, strings, conditionals, loops, functions, and I/O. In addition to true/false and multiple choice questions, you will need to write some code in Python.

  • Fall 2022: the CSCI 102 Challenge exam will be Wednesday, August 24th, at 8:15pm. Registrar for the exam with the same link below.
    Review questions for the 102 exam are available here.

The 102 exam will be a mixture of true/false, multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, and questions where you will be asked to write code in Python.


A student can do both the 101 and 102 exams. Register for the CSCI 101 and/or CSCI 102 challenge/proficiency exam here: CSCI 101/102 Challenge/Proficiency Exam



If student is in first two semesters (summer counts), then student is allowed to take the 101 or 102 CHALLENGE Exam. If the student passes the exam, then they get a T on their transcript.

If student is NOT in first two semesters, then student can take the 101 or 102 exam as a PROFICIENCY exam. If the student passes the exam, then student can either

1) enroll in class and get the grade earned on the proficiency exam as their final grade in the class (w/o doing any assignments, attending class, etc.)


2) substitute a 400- level CSCI elective for CSCI 101 (if student passed the 101 proficiency exam)


3) substitute CSCI 102 for a 1 credit hour free elective (if student passed the 102 proficiency exam)



CS Transfer Curriculum Flowchart