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Complex Systems Minor


Academic Minor Advising

The CSCS Director and core faculty will serve as advisors to students. The CSCS Chief Administrator and other administrative staff are initial points of contact. Students interested in scheduling a time to talk with an advisor can email


There will be no formal prerequisites but students who have not taken calculus may find some of the courses difficult. Therefore, previous experience with calculus is strongly recommended.

**You can look up the most recent details for each course in the LSA Course Guide (current students) or the LSA Course Catalog (public).**




Minimum Credits: 15

Students are required to elect 15 credits (5 courses) as outlined below.

A. Core Courses. We require students to take at least one of the following: 

  • CMPLXSYS 270: Introduction to Agent-Based Modeling
  • CMPLXSYS 391/POLSCI 391: Modeling Political Processes
  • CMPLXSYS 401: History and Philosophy of Complex Systems
  • CMPLXSYS 511: Theory of Complex Systems

B. Complex Systems Courses. Students must select at least two additional courses from the following list:

  • CMPLXSYS 100: Complexity: From Simple Rules to Complex Behavior
  • CMPLXSYS 251 /SOC 251: Computational Social Sciences
  • CMPLXSYS 260/SOC 260: Tipping Points, Bandwagons and Cascades: From Individual Behavior to Social Dynamics
  • CMPLXSYS 270: Introduction to Agent-Based Modeling
  • CMPLXSYS 325/EEB 325: Memes, Measles,  & Misinformation
  • CMPLXSYS 335: Introduction to Network Science
  • CMPLXSYS 351: MINI-COURSE Introduction to Social Science Data
  • CMPLXSYS 391/POLSCI 391: Modeling Political Processes
  • CMPLXSYS 425: Evolution in Silico
  • CMPLXSYS 430: Modeling Infectious Diseases
  • CMPLXSYS 435: Ecological Networks
  • CMPLXSYS 445/BIOPHYS 445/PHYSICS 445: Introduction to Information Theory for the Natural Sciences
  • CMPLXSYS 466/EEB 466/MATH 466: Mathematical Ecology
  • CMPLXSYS 470/PHYSICS 470: Experiments in Nonlinear Dynamics
  • CMPLXSYS 510/MATH 550: Introduction to Adaptive Systems
  • CMPLXSYS 511: Theory of Complex Systems
  • CMPLXSYS 520/PHYSICS 580/MATH 552: Empirical Analysis of Nonlinear Systems
  • CMPLXSYS 530/EPID 638: Computer Modeling of Complex Systems
  • CMPLXSYS 535/PHYSICS 508: Network Theory
  • CMPLXSYS 541/PHYSICS 413: Introduction to Nonlinear Dynamics and the Physics of Complexity
  • MO 410: Collective Intelligence

C. Elective Courses. Students may select additional courses from the following list to bring their minor credits to 15. One course not on this list may be counted with permission of the CSCS Director.

  • BIOINF 540: Mathematics of Biological Networks
  • EEB 315/ENVIRON 315: Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases
  • EEB 480: Interrogating Data with Models
  • EECS 492: Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
  • EPID 633: Introduction to mathematical modeling in epidemiology and public health
  • EPID 637: Systems modeling of behavior, social processes, and chronic disease
  • MATH 462: Mathematical Models
  • MATH 463/BIOINF 463/BIOPHYS 463: Mathematical Modeling in Biology
  • MICRBIOL 510: Mathematical Modeling for Infectious Diseases
  • NRE 550: Systems Thinking for Sustainable Development
  • PUBPOL 250/CMPLXSYS 250/ENVIRON 250: Energy and Climate Change: Technology, Markets, and Policy
  • SI 301: Social Information Processing
  • SI 608: Networks

Complex Systems Courses Meeting Distribution and General Requirements

CMPLXSYS 250 /PUBPOL 250/ENVIRON 250 Energy and Climate Change: Technology, Markets, and Policy meets the following requirements: Bachelor of Science (BS) and Quantitative Reasoning/1 (QR/1)

CMPLXSYS 251  Computational Social Sciences meets the following requirements: Social Science (SS) and QR/1

CMPLXSYS 270 Intro to Agent-Based Modeling meets the Mathematical and Symbolic Analysis (MSA) and QR/1 requirements

CMPLXSYS 325/EEB 325 - Memes, Measles and Misinformation meets the MSABS; and QR/1 requirements

CMPLXSYS 335 - Introduction to Network Science meets MSA, Interdisciplinary (ID), BS, and QR/1,

CMPLXSYS 351  MINI-COURSEIntroduction to Social Science Data meets the MSA requirement

CMPLXSYS 391/POLSCI 391 'Modeling Political Processes' meets  BS, SS, QR/1 requirements.