Associated Faculty Burks Oakley II, Ray Schroeder
Online Coordinator Barbara Selvaggio
The bachelor of science degree is designed to provide students with a strong foundation in computer science and related disciplines. The degree provides students with experience in mastering problem-solving skills relevant to business, scientific, and public issues.
Graduates of the B.S. program have been successful in earning advanced degrees and in pursuing careers in research and application-oriented positions in business, industry, government, and education. The diversity of course offerings and rigorous degree requirements ensure that B.S. graduates acquire the knowledge necessary to support their career goals.
The bachelor of science degree offers students an opportunity to emphasize their degree path in the area of software engineering or systems security and information assurance. The master's degree in computer science is oriented toward software and is most appropriate for candidates interested in the design, analysis, and implementation of software programs.
Students have access to an outstanding variety of computing systems including a Sun fileserver, additional UNIX-based computers, a parallel processing cluster, microcomputers, and a hands-on network configuration laboratory. We have expanded the curriculum and offer courses in the areas of secure systems and information assurance. UIS has received national recognition as a partner in the NSF Center for Systems Security and Information Assurance (CSSIA) www.cssia.org. Computer laboratories are open evenings and weekends; some systems are available 24 hours a day. On-campus students have high-speed, wired and wireless access.
The online Computer Science Program, which has the same degree requirements as the on-campus program, allows students to actively participate in dynamic, diverse, and interactive online learning communities and to complete their degrees on their own time via the Internet. The online format enables them to complete coursework using the latest networked information technologies for increased interaction with educational resources, advisers, and materials. Applicants to the online bachelor of science program are accepted each spring and fall; applicants to the online master of science program are accepted each fall.
Before registering for the first time, the student should discuss an appropriate course of study with a member of the faculty.
The Computer Science Program assesses all students for communication skills and for knowledge of computer science. Assessment is intended to help students in their academic planning and their development as computer scientists. Assessment begins when students enter UIS and continues throughout their course of study. It includes an entrance exam, a portfolio (including computer programs, reports, and other assignments), and an exit exam.
The process begins in CSC 305 Entrance Assessment, which must be taken the first semester of enrollment as a computer science major. The entrance assessment is an examination of the core areas of computer science. During this course, students begin a portfolio to which selected assignments will be added from each of the core computer science courses. The process concludes with CSC 405 Exit Assessment, which must be taken the final semester before graduation. The exit assessment helps students assess their progress and helps the faculty revise the curriculum.
The Computer Science Program's applied study term is an excellent opportunity for students to gain practical in-the-field or on-the-job experience. Placements have included state agencies, insurance companies, the SIU School of Medicine, computer companies, and other businesses throughout central Illinois.
Formal application to the program is required for admission. Enrollment in CSC 305 Entrance Assessment is required during the first semester. Program entrance requirements include the equivalent of two semesters of Java programming. CSC 325 and CSC 375 may be taken on campus at UIS to satisfy this requirement. Entrance requirements also include one semester of calculus as well as discrete math and statistics. MAT 115, MAT 121, and MAT 302 may be taken on campus at UIS to satisfy these requirements; 12 of these hours may be counted toward the degree as general electives. Students considering an advanced degree or a career in a scientific field are strongly encouraged to take a second semester of calculus.
Students choosing to emphasize systems security and information assurance: Entrance requirements are the same as those listed above, and also include one semester of introductory computer networking. CSC 421 may be taken at UIS to satisfy this requirement.
The core curriculum provides a strong foundation in computer science. CSC electives are chosen in consultation with the student's adviser, based on the student's choice for programming languages and capstone courses, to ensure depth of knowledge in topics of particular interest to the student. There are no restrictions on general electives. CSC courses must be taken for a letter grade.
CSC 305 Entrance Assessment 0 Hrs.
CSC 405 Exit Assessment 0 Hrs.
CSC 376 Computer Organization 4 Hrs.
CSC 385 Data Structures and Algorithms 4 Hrs.
CSC 387 Foundations of Computer Science 4 Hrs.
CSC 389 Introduction to Operating Systems 4 Hrs.
CSC 368 Systems Programming Languages 4 Hrs.
CSC 438 Systems Security and Information Assurance Capstone 4 Hrs.
CSC 388 Programming Languages 4 Hrs.
CSC 478 Software Engineering Capstone 4 Hrs.
Total core 24 Hrs.
CSC Electives 12 Hrs.
This degree plan allows students to place an emphasis on software engineering or systems security and information assurance by taking the appropriate combination of programming languages, capstone, and 12 hours of CSC elective courses. Students must choose to take both CSC 368 Systems Programming Languages and CSC 438 Systems Security and Information Assurance Capstone or CSC 388 Programming Languages and CSC 478 Software Engineering Capstone.
Students should consult with advisers in the major for specific guidance regarding completion of general education requirements.
A minor in computer science is designed for students who wish to develop a working knowledge of the computer that will allow them to apply effective computer techniques and computational problem-solving skills in a variety of contexts. It is useful for students with virtually any academic major, including accountancy, business administration, clinical laboratory science, economics, health care, management, and others. A working knowledge of computers allows people to apply computer techniques in their careers and to introduce effective, computer-based methods.
The minor provides a foundation in computer science for non-majors. Appropriate CSC electives are chosen in consultation with a CSC adviser. CSC courses must be taken for a letter grade.
MAT 302 Discrete Mathematics 4 Hrs.
CSC 325 Computer Science I 4 Hrs.
CSC 375 Computer Science II 4 Hrs.
CSC Electives 12 Hrs.
Total 24 Hrs.
The master of science degree in Computer Science is offered in an on-campus and online format. The major difference is that there is no conditional admission to the online degree program.
Applicants must submit a Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score and a complete set of official, undergraduate transcripts signifying graduation from an accredited university. For full admission, a minimum undergraduate grade-point average of 2.70 on a 4.00 scale is required. Students who take the TOEFL exam must achieve a score of 550 or higher (paper based) or 213 (computer based) to fulfill the English proficiency requirement for admission to master's-level study at UIS. Online applicants must fulfill all entrance requirements prior to admission. On-campus applicants who do not meet all entrance requirements may be granted conditional admission. This allows a student to complete 12 hours toward the degree. Grades of B- or better must be earned in all courses taken while on conditional admission. Full admission is required before the student can continue beyond 12 hours in the CSC curriculum. Some entrance requirements may be waived for students who can provide evidence of advanced career experience.
Applicants are expected to have completed a program of study similar to that required for a bachelor's degree in computer science. Candidates for the on-campus degree who lack proper undergraduate background must demonstrate competency by obtaining a minimum grade-point average of 2.70 in specified prerequisite courses. Prerequisite courses may be taken at UIS or equivalent courses may be taken elsewhere. These courses will not count toward the graduate degree and must be completed before full admission is granted.
(for students without a computer science degree)
MAT 302 Discrete Mathematics
MAT 113 Business Calculus or
MAT 115 Calculus I
MAT 121 Applied Statistics
CSC 325 Computer Science I
CSC 375 Computer Science II
CSC 376 Computer Organization
CSC 385 Data Structures and Algorithms
CSC 388 Programming Languages
CSC 389 Introduction to Operating Systems
Students must complete 32 hours of approved courses. No more than 12 hours may be taken before a student is fully admitted to the program. Course work must include: 1) 12 hours of CSC electives at the 500-level; 2) 12 hours of CSC electives at the 400- or 500-level; 3) 4 hours of CSC 540 Graduate Research Seminar; 4) 4 hours of CSC 550 Master's Project/Thesis for a total of 32 hours.
Computer science graduate students must complete a comprehensive closure exercise to demonstrate an ability to formulate, investigate, analyze, and report results on a problem in writing and orally. The exercise is classified as either a graduate project or a master's thesis. Both options require significant work. A thesis is an extensive research essay on an approved computer science topic, original in either its content or mode of integration. A project is an applied study that combines an approved computer science topic with actual problems or issues in a professional setting. Completing the closure exercise demonstrates a student's competencies as a computer professional. Online students should plan to visit the UIS campus to defend their closure exercise. Under exceptional circumstances, students may petition for alternative arrangements. Guidelines for completing the requirement are available at csc.uis.edu/ and should be consulted before any work on the closure exercise is begun.
Students must enroll in four hours of the master's project/thesis course (CSC 550) for credit. If the work is not completed during the initial four hours, campus policy requires that students register for zero credit hours (one billable hour) of CSC 551 during each fall and spring semester the work remains incomplete. Failure to maintain continuous enrollment will require retroactive registration for CSC 551 (one billable hour per semester). If a formal leave of absence is approved by the program, continuous registration is not required.
Students must earn a grade of B- or better in all courses that apply toward the degree. In addition, students who do not maintain a 3.00 grade-point average will be placed on academic probation according to campus policy. Graduate students enrolled in 400-level courses should expect more stringent grading standards and/or additional assignments. Courses taken on a credit/no credit basis will not count toward the degree.
The Computer Science Program offers a Graduate Certificate in Systems Security and a Graduate Certificate in Information Assurance. Please see the section on "Graduate Certificates" in this Guide for additional information.