Architecture and Hardware

CS2023: Global Undergraduate Computer Science Curricula 

Announcing the availability of the latest curricular volume for undergraduate computer science education, developed collaboratively by ACM, IEEE-CS,and AAAI.

hand pulling a book from a laptop computer screen

Since its beginning, computer science has been one of the fastest evolving areas of study, with an expanding number of sub-disciplines and adjacent computational fields like bioinformatics and digital humanities. Today, computing is increasingly central to every aspect of everyday life. It’s more important than ever that our global educational systems are resourced to teach computer science consistently and completely around the globe, helping students to develop knowledge, understanding, and hands-on skills. As computer science educators have prepared students to enter computer science as practitioners, researchers, and educators, they have consistently turned to the ACM, the world’s largest association of computing professionals, for curricular guidelines and resources.

We are delighted to announce the general availability of the latest curricular volume for undergraduate computer science education, CS2023, developed collaboratively by ACM, IEEE-CS (the IEEE Computer Society), and AAAI (the Association for the Advancement of AI). Historically, undergraduate computer science curricular guidelines have been updated every 10 years, and for many years their development has been jointly led by ACM and IEEE-CS. We were delighted to welcome AAAI to the Steering Committee for CS2023 as we continued to focus on curating content from the world’s foremost experts for the creation of curricular guidelines.

CS2023 builds upon CS2013, the 2013 computer science curricular guidelines. The past decade has brought tremendous changes to computer science and computing education generally. In 2013, as smart phones became ubiquitous and the Internet became a general tool of commerce, communication, and socializing, cybersecurity was the emerging hot topic. The field was so new that it was called “Information Assurance and Security” in the CS2013 body of knowledge! Fast-forward to today: cybersecurity is firmly established and expanding, and artificial intelligence (AI) is the frontier field, with burgeoning implications for both curricular content and teaching, learning, and assessment methodologies.

The pace of change and the impact of evolving AI technologies in computing and beyond are awesome, and challenging for even the most knowledgeable scholars and practitioners. ACM and IEEE-CS gladly welcomed the expertise of AAAI as the joint Steering Committee undertook the decadal revision of undergraduate computing curriculum guidelines. In fact, CS2023 is the culmination of more than three years of work, helmed and organized by an international Steering Committee of 17 computing professionals from academia and industry. CS2023 provides a comprehensive set of curricular practices and guidelines for computer science today, including the requisite knowledge and student competencies for attaining undergraduate degrees in computer science.

The project began in 2021 by disseminating and analyzing a purpose-built computing community survey that included 427 academic and 865 industry respondents from around the world. Each Steering Committee member then led the development of curricular guidelines for a specific knowledge area. Each knowledge area reflects a core discipline within computer science, such as foundations of programming languages, security, artificial intelligence, and society, ethics, and the profession. The final version of CS2023 incorporates several rounds of community review and feedback collected through additional surveys, various ACM Special Interest Groups and other conferences and venues, and an online portal for general comments received throughout the project. More details on the development of CS2023 were published by ACM in June 2024.

Noteworthy Updates

CS2023 contains a number of important updates and revisions to reflect the current state of the field and best practices in computing education, including:

  • Two curricular options, a knowledge model and a competency framework, to support educational approaches and requirements globally.
  • Curricular and professional practices drawn from a variety of educational institutions, including liberal arts colleges, research universities, community colleges, and technical colleges from different geographic regions around the world, including Europe, Africa, the Arab world, Australasia, China, Latin America, and North America.
  • New and evolving content about the ways AI is disrupting the teaching of computer science.
  • A knowledge area called Society, Ethics, and the Profession (SEP), which reflects the widespread impact of computing on personal and public life in the 21st century, and encourages students to consider the social, ethical, and professional aspects of their studies and careers.
  • Increased mathematical and statistical requirements to meet the disciplinary demands of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

The Future of Curricular Guidelines

When ACM began developing curricular guidelines for the community over 55 years ago, computer science was an emerging discipline; one curricular volume was sufficient to cover the entire breadth of computer science knowledge and skills required for an undergraduate degree. Over the past six decades, this has changed. Computing sub-disciplines and adjacent fields continue to expand and intertwine, and the ACM Education Board now supports, maintains, and updates 7 curricular volumes. The explosion of generative AI into the landscape in late 2023 only underscores the need for more frequent and robust curricular content updates than past practices can support, demanding an exploration of an evolutionary pathway from individual curriculum volumes toward a “Living Curriculum.”  This will be a complex challenge, and to that end, the ACM Education Board has just launched a Living Curriculum Taskforce, chaired by our esteemed colleague from New Zealand Alison Clear. If you’d like to learn more about this work, please connect with us, or with Alison, and keep an eye out for community involvement opportunities.

Please also explore and use CS2023 in your teaching and your work. We invite you to download a copy of CS2023 from the ACM Digital Library for your virtual bookshelf. We’d especially like to thank the CS2023 Steering Committee Co-Chairs Amruth Kumar (ACM) and Rajendra K. Raj (IEEE-CS), and the entire ACM/IEEE-CS/AAAI Steering Committee, for their tireless work over the past three years, and to congratulate them on a job well done.  Thank you all!

Elizabeth Hawthorne, Rider University

Elizabeth K. Hawthorne ( is Co-Chair of the ACM Education Board, and Faculty and Graduate Program Director of Cybersecurity at Rider University, Lawrenceville, NJ. She participated as an ACM representative on the joint steering committee of CS2013.

Alison Derbenwick-Miller

Alison Derbenwick Miller ( is Co-Chair of the ACM Education Board, and currently working as an independent strategy consultant and researcher after more than 30 years in the technology industry. She recently was elected as ACM Council Member-at-Large.

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