CS+X the joint-major program that will enable students to study English and computer science, or music and computer science. CS+X, as the joint major program is called, said it will likely attract humanists who want a competitive edge on the job market; computer science-minded students who want to be engaged in the humanities; and third group of students: digital natives for whom computer science and the humanities don’t seem “at opposite ends of the spectrum at all, but continuous.”
And because technology firms often say they prefer candidates with grounding in the humanities, the joint majors may benefit even the most computer science-minded graduates on the job market.
The programs will be rigorous. Jennifer Widom, chair of Stanford’s computer science department said – ” it’s not “half of a [computer science] major and half of an English major.” It’s more like “90 percent of one and 90 percent of the other,” she said. Students majoring in the new joint programs will have to take two fewer courses in computer science than straight computer science majors, and about the same in English or music.
Music and computer science already have some cross-listed courses. English and computer science have none, but that could change over time, Jenkins said. In their senior year, joint majors in both programs will complete a capstone project integrating their two disciplines.
CS+X initially was developed by the computer science department. But last month, the Faculty Senate approved a six-year, joint-program initiative that allows for joint majors even in programs other than computer science. That initiative is inspired in part by the 2012 Study of Undergraduate Education at Stanford, which emphasized the university’s “determination to breach the silos of students’ lives.”
That means other hybrid programs could be developed going forward. English and computer science and music and computer science were the first to ask the Senate for approval.