Computer Science Teaching Pathway for All STEM Majors - University of Houston
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Computer Science Teaching Pathway for All STEM Majors

This Computer Science Pathway is for current and prospective teachHOUSTON students interested in teaching computer science.

Computer Science Teaching Pathway Components

Current CS Majors and Minors

If you are currently a Computer Science student (i.e., major or minor), then components B and C apply to you.

Non-CS Major or Minors

If you are not a CS major or minor, but are interested in teaching computer science, then components A and B are applicable in best preparing you for a CS teaching certificate.

Our frequently asked questions section also provides helpful information.

A. Computer Science Fundamentals

The following courses will develop a background in mathematical fundamentals of computing (logic, set theory, combinatorics, graph theory) and provide training in problem solving with computer programming, including designing, writing, and debugging programs. The coursework spans introduction to programming with Python and object-oriented programming with Java or C++.

  • COSC 1336 (formerly COSC 1306): Introduction to Computer Science and Programming
  • COSC 1437 (formerly COSC 1430): Introduction to Programming
  • MATH 3336: Discrete Mathematics OR MATH 3325 – Transition to Advanced Mathematics

B. Teaching Computer Science

Preparation to teach 8-12 secondary computer science courses or integrate computer science content into math or science classes.

  • COSC 4397: CS Education for Secondary STEM Teachers

C. Preparing for Texas Computer Science 8-12 Certification

The courses listed above provide a strong foundation in computing and cover a substantial portion of the Computer Science Grades 8-12 Test content. While these courses do not cover all test topics, students completing these courses are well positioned to learn other content relevant to CS certification with modest effort.

Suggested resources are a certification preparation course from WeTeach CS and self-study preparation material from the Texas Educator Certification program.

How Does this Impact My Credit Hours?

With proper planning, following this pathway should have a small-to-no impact on the total number of credit hours for a UH STEM degree program. COSC 1336 can be used to meet the UH Math/Reasoning requirement, and COSC 4397 is a component of teachHOUSTON coursework. Other courses may serve as electives in a variety of degree programs. Interested students should consult their academic advisor early for the best options.

For questions and additional information, please contact Dr. Leah McAlister-Shields at

Frequently Asked Questions

What about Computer Science Majors and Minors?

The CS Major and Minor curriculum already includes all topics related to computer science fundamentals (Part A). So, CS majors and minors only need to focus on teaching computer science (Part B) and preparation for CS certification (Part C).

Why should I take all these courses if the certification prep course includes all aspects of CS certification?

The coursework in this pathway is the best way to thoroughly learn CS fundamentals and skills that are essential to teaching computer science. These cannot be easily mastered in an accelerated training course. A certification prep course is best suited to fill gaps in the knowledge to successfully complete the CS certification exams.

I have taken other UH coursework that encompasses programming or other aspects of the CS learning list. Am I required to take these courses also?

You are not required to take these courses. The teachHOUSTON team can help you identify a subset of these courses, or alternate courses, which may be the best fit for you by analyzing the content of the CS-oriented coursework that you have already completed.