The Department of Computer and Information Science offers a major and a minor in computer and information science, a major in mathematics and computer science, and a minor in computer information technology.
The computer and information science major is intended for students who want to study computers and computation with strong mathematical and scientific foundations. The mathematics and computer science major emphasizes formal and abstract problem solving complemented by computational methods and computer technologies. This program, administered jointly with the Department of Mathematics, is described in the Mathematics and Computer Science section of this catalog. Both of these majors lead to the bachelor of arts (BA) or bachelor of science (BS) degrees.
Students majoring in computer and information science may choose to focus their studies in one of several areas of specialization, or tracks, which build on the standard CIS core requirements. In addition, each track specifies a set of coordinated choices for fulfilling upper-division computer science and other elective requirements. Students interested in specializing in a track should contact their advisor as early as possible. Current computer science tracks include foundations, software development, computer networks, database and informatics, computational arts: multimedia, business information systems, computational science, and security.
Preparation. High school students who plan to major in computer and information science should pursue a strong academic program, including substantial work in mathematics and the sciences. Courses in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and more advanced topics should be included. Substantial experience in expository and technical writing is highly desirable. Courses in computer programming or computer technology are useful but not required. Upon arrival at the university, freshmen should consult with a CIS advisor to find the entry-level course best suited to the student’s background.
Transfer and Second Baccalaureate Students
Transfer and second baccalaureate students should consult the online Interactive Transfer Catalog as well as a CIS advisor to determine whether computer science, mathematics, and science courses they have taken fulfill the major requirements. Completing only general-university requirements prior to transferring to the University of Oregon may not be sufficient preparation to complete a CIS degree in two years.
Students attending community college in Oregon are encouraged to obtain the Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer degree before entering the University of Oregon. While earning this degree, community college transfer students should take discrete mathematics and computer science. In addition, calculus and laboratory science are recommended.
Computer and information science majors must complete at least 60 credits of CIS courses, of which 24 must be earned in residence at the University of Oregon. In addition, majors must complete at least 28 credits in mathematics, 12 credits in the sciences, 4 credits of technical or business writing, and at least 8 additional credits (depending on the student’s chosen track). The specific requirements for the CIS major fall in six categories: core courses, track courses, electives, mathematics, writing, and science.
Computer and information science majors must take the following courses for a letter grade: Computer Science I,II,III (CIS 210, 211, 212) and Elements of Discrete Mathematics I,II (MATH 231, 232). They must be passed with a grade of mid-C or better for automatic advancement to the upper-division core courses.
Computer and information science majors must take the following courses for a letter grade: Intermediate Data Structures (CIS 313), Computer Organization (CIS 314), Intermediate Algorithms (CIS 315), C/C++ and Unix (CIS 330), Operating Systems (CIS 415), Software Methodology (CIS 422), and Principles of Programming Languages (CIS 425). They must be passed with a grade of C– or better.
Students must take 8 graded credits from among these three sequences (students taking the computational arts: multimedia track should consult the track description for the mathematics core requirement): Calculus I,II (MATH 251, 252) or Calculus with Theory I,II (MATH 261, 262) or Calculus for the Biological Sciences I,II (MATH 246, 247). Students also choose 8 credits from the following: Elements of Discrete Mathematics III (MATH 233), Calculus III (MATH 253) or Calculus with Theory III (MATH 263), Elementary Linear Algebra (MATH 341), and Statistical Methods I (MATH 425). Mathematics core courses must be passed with a grade of C– or better.
Majors must take at least 12 credits in one of the following options:
- Biology. Introduction to Chemical Principles (CH 111); The Chemistry of Sustainability (CH 113); General Chemistry (CH 221) or Honors General Chemistry (CH 224H); General Biology I (BI 211) and either General Biology II (BI 212) or General Biology III (BI 213)
- Chemistry. General Chemistry (CH 221, 222, 223) or Honors General Chemistry (CH 224H, 225H, 226H). Students are encouraged to complete the accompanying lab courses
- Geography. The Natural Environment (GEOG 141); two from Climatology (GEOG 321), Geomorphology (GEOG 322), or Biogeography (GEOG 323)
- Geological Sciences. Earth’s Interior Heat and Dynamics (GEOL 201), Earth Surface and Environmental Geology (GEOL 202), Evolution of the Earth (GEOL 203)
- Physics. General Physics (PHYS 201, 202, 203) or Foundations of Physics I (PHYS 251, 252, 253). Students are encouraged to complete the accompanying lab courses. Physics is required for networks track students
- Psychology. Mind and Brain (PSY 201); Mind and Society (PSY 202); one from Biopsychology (PSY 304), Thinking (PSY 330), or Music and the Brain (PSY 348)
To support interdisciplinary study, students on any track are encouraged to complete a minor in another field (typically 24–32 credits). Students who complete a minor (other than in CIS or mathematics) may, with advisor approval, replace the CIS lab science requirement with 12 credits of courses required for the minor.
In addition to the university’s writing requirement, CIS majors must take either Scientific and Technical Writing (WR 320) or Business Communications (WR 321).
In addition to the core CIS, mathematics, science, and writing courses, computer and information science majors must complete 20 credits of upper-division computer science and 4 credits of upper-division mathematics or theoretical computer science. Students complete at least 12 of their upper-division credits with courses from their selected track; the 8 remaining upper-division credits may be additional track courses, an honors thesis, a capstone project, or upper-division electives. The mathematics electives are selected from mathematics courses with a prerequisite of MATH 252 or higher, or from theoretical computer science courses. A list of courses is available in the computer science office or the department website.
Tracks highlight areas of specialization within the department and guide student elective choices. Each track has an approved list of CIS courses, available from the computer science office or the department website. Tracks may also include recommended science and math courses; some include a minor in another field.
The foundations track is the most general track, allowing a student to choose a set of electives tailored to his or her interests and intended choice of career.
Software Development Track
The software development track prepares students for careers in software engineering, software project management, software quality assurance, and other areas involving the creation of software. Course work focuses on solving problems related to the cost of development as well as the quality of the software delivered in complex software projects.
Computer Networks Track
The computer networks track prepares students for careers as network systems administrators, network protocol developer-programmers, or network security specialists in a wide range of environments, including educational institutions, business enterprises, and government agencies, as well as for advanced graduate studies and research in the field of computer networks. Course work encompasses most aspects of network theory and practice.
Database and Informatics Track
The database and informatics track prepares students for careers in database application programming, database design, doctoral work in business administration, and graduate work in informatics and database theory. Course work includes data structures, data architecture, and data mining.
Computational Arts: Multimedia Track
The computational arts: multimedia track, designed for computer and information science majors who plan to work in the field of multimedia arts, prepares the student for artistic and technical aspects of this area.
Business Information Systems Track
Graduates in the business information systems track are qualified to work as analysts, managers, developers, or consultants, and to enter leadership-development programs. Completion of this track, combined with professional work experience and economics courses, prepares students to enter the Lundquist College of Business MBA program at the University of Oregon, and MBA programs at other universities.
Computational Science Track
The computational science track prepares students to apply computational and mathematical techniques to the analysis and management of biological data. Course work in this track combines depth in applied and formal aspects of computer science with rigorous training in biology.
The security track provides a foundation in topics and concepts relating to the security of computer systems and networks. It prepares students to work as security analysts and provides a highly desirable skill set for all employers, ranging from software engineers to administrators, in both the private and government sectors. It also provides a foundation for further graduate study and research in security. Course work encompasses a strong understanding of computer systems and networks and their security, and can be tailored to a more theoretical or more applied focus.
Students who take Computer Science I (CIS 210) are expected to have prior programming experience from a high school course, through employment, or in a course such as Introduction to Programming and Problem Solving (CIS 122). Students who are unsure about their level of preparation should meet with a CIS advisor.
Sequence of Courses. Students with sufficient programming experience and mathematical background (exemplified by courses numbered MATH 112 or higher) should take Elements of Discrete Mathematics I,II (MATH 231, 232) and Computer Science I,II,III (CIS 210, 211, 212) in the freshman year. Otherwise, students may take Elementary Functions (MATH 112) and an introductory programming course such as Explorations in Computing (CIS 105), Introduction to Programming and Problem Solving (CIS 122), or Introduction to Web Programming (CIS 111) in the first term or year, and begin the Elements of Discrete Mathematics and Computer Science sequences in the second term or year.
Major Progress Review and Major in Good Standing
Each major must meet with his or her advisor and file the Major Progress Review form after completing Intermediate Data Structures (CIS 313) and Computer Organization (CIS 314). Mathematics and CIS core courses used to satisfy major requirements must be taken for letter grades and passed with grades of C– or better. Other courses used to satisfy the major requirements may be taken for letter grades or pass/no pass. Grades of C– or better or P must be earned in these courses. At least 12 of the upper-division credits applied to the degree must be taken in residence at the university. A student who receives two grades below C– in the upper-division core may be removed from the major.
Except as stated in the course description, prerequisites for CIS core courses must be completed with grades of C– or better. Students who can present evidence of equivalent academic experience may submit a petition to the Undergraduate Education Committee to waive a prerequisite.
Mathematics and Computer Science
The Department of Computer and Information Science and the Department of Mathematics jointly offer an undergraduate major in mathematics and computer science, leading to a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science degree. This program is described in the Mathematics and Computer Science section of this catalog. This major prepares students for a wide range of careers in the high tech industry, for advanced graduate study, and for careers as middle school and high school teachers.
Students with a GPA of 3.50 or higher in computer and information science and a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher are encouraged to apply to the department honors program after completing CIS 313, 314, 315, and 330. The application form is available in the department office. To graduate with departmental honors, a student must write a thesis under the supervision of a faculty member.
Practical work experience in the software industry is seen as a valuable complement to academic course work. The department works with students to place them in internship positions in the summer and throughout the academic year. Students may also use the services of the UO Career Center and other agencies to identify internship opportunities. Majors may receive academic credit for internships. To earn upper-division elective credit for an internship, the work experience must be at a technical level beyond CIS 313 or 323 and be sponsored by a CIS faculty member. A contract signed by the faculty sponsor, internship supervisor, and the student must be filed with the department before the internship begins.
Faculty members in the computer and information science department receive grants from government, industry, and private sources to conduct research in their areas of expertise. Undergraduate majors are encouraged to take part in the various research groups in the department. Most students begin approaching faculty members for such opportunities while taking the 300-level courses. Research can be used to fulfill upper-division electives, as part of an honors thesis, or in some cases as a paid internship.
Awards and Honor Societies
The Erwin and Gertrude Juilfs Scholarship in Computer and Information Science, in honor of Erwin and Gertrude Juilfs, is awarded to one or more students who show exceptional promise for achievement as evidenced by grade point average, originality of research, or other creative activities.
The Geoffery Eric Wright Outstanding Junior Award, in honor of CIS student Geoffery Wright, is a scholarship for students displaying high-quality academic performance, commitment to learning, and a promise of further outstanding achievement in computer and information science and its applications.
The J. Donald Hubbard Scholarship in Computer and Information Science, in honor of J. Donald Hubbard, recognizes an undergraduate or graduate student who shows outstanding promise in the fields of computer-human interaction, computer graphics, or multimedia.
The Phillip Seeley Scholarship in Computer and Information Science has been established as a permanent endowment to provide a source of income supporting a scholarship for outstanding undergraduate CIS students. This scholarship is based on overall quality of academic work, commitment to learning, and potential for further academic achievemnt. Preference is given to resident Oregon students with financial need, as determined by the UO Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships.
Students with outstanding academic accomplishments may be invited to become members of Upsilon Pi Epsilon, the international honor society in computer science.
Computer and Information Science
The minor in computer and information science introduces the theories and techniques of computer science and develops programming skills that are applicable to the student’s major. It is a strong complement to a major in any of the sciences and in related fields such as multimedia arts. Students from all majors have found their career opportunities enhanced through the CIS minor.
Before enrolling in upper-division courses, students planning a minor in computer and information science must file an application form with the department. Each student should consult with a CIS faculty advisor to plan the minor program.
The CIS minor requires completion of 32 credits—24 in computer science and 8 in mathematics. Courses applied to the CIS minor must be completed with grades of C– or better. CIS 409 may not be used to fulfill requirements for the minor.
|Lower-Division Courses||20 credits|
|Computer Science I,II,III (CIS 210, 211, 212)||12|
|Elements of Discrete Mathematics I,II (MATH 231, 232)||8|
|Upper-Division Courses||12 credits|
|Intermediate Data Structures (CIS 313)||4|
Computer Information Technology
The minor in computer information technology (CIT) prepares students to work with evolving technologies for work environments that require development and management of web applications, databases, computer networks, open-source platforms, and cloud computing. It provides practical experience in understanding the tools and technologies of the computing field. It goes well with majors in the professional schools such as business and journalism and is an excellent match with almost any major on campus.
Before enrolling in CIT upper-division courses, students planning a minor in computer information technology must file an application form with the department. Each student should consult with an assigned CIT faculty advisor to plan the minor program. The minor requires 24 credits.
Lower-division courses must be completed with grades of B– or better. Upper-division courses must be taken in sequence and are offered only once a year. Upper-division courses must be completed with grades of C– or better.
|Lower-Division Courses||12 credits|
|Fluency with Information Technology (CIS 110)||4|
|Introduction to Web Programming (CIS 111)||4|
|Advanced Business Systems (CIT 281)||4|
|Introduction to Web Programming (CIS 111)||4|
|Multimedia Web Programming (CIS 115)||4|
|Advanced Business Systems (CIT 281)||4|
|Upper-Division Courses||12 credits|
|Database Systems (CIT 381)||4|
|Information Architectures and Intranets (CIT 382)||4|
|Enterprise Networks (CIT 383)||4|