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Questions about becoming a computer science or informatics major:

  How do I declare a major in Computer Science or Informatics? See Karen LaMar-Clark at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. DW3300

Questions about degrees and certificate programs in computer science and informatics:

  What is Computer Science? Computer science is the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and their implementation and application in computer systems. Computer science has many sub-fields; some emphasize the computation of specific results (such as computer graphics), while others (such as computational complexity theory) relate to properties of computational problems. Still others focus on the challenges in implementing computations. For example, programming language theory studies approaches to describing computations, while computer programming applies specific programming languages to solve specific computational problems.


How do I get a B.S. in Computer Science?


How many credits do I need to receive a B.S. in Computer Science? 122 credits total, 44 credits in computer science.


How many credits do I need to receive a A.S. in Computer Science? 61 credits total, 20 credits in computer science.


How many credits do I need to receive a M.S. degree in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science? 36 credits total


What is the certificate in Computer Programming? Students who successfully complete the certificate will have full command of a modern programming language used in the information technology industry; be able to analyze computational problems and create algorithms to solve them; be able to design, write, debug, and document well modularized programs to implement these algorithms; and be able to work comfortably with the standard data structures and algorithms that are widely known and employed by programming professionals.


What is the certificate in Advanced Computer Programming? In addition to the skills described above in the Certificate in Computer Programming, students who complete this advanced certificate will receive training in computer architecture, large scale team programming, systems analysis and design and one other advanced area of computer science.


What is the certificate in Technology Administration? The goal of this certificate is to provide the necessary technical expertise to those who are already in management positions or those who are considering management positions in the future.  Candidates for this certificate program must have a bachelors degree prior to enrolling in the program.


What is the certificate in Computer Applications? This certificate consists of six courses (19 credits) and will provide the student with the knowledge and understanding of computer hardware and software components and how they operate, use of common office automation and productivity application software, introduction to operating systems, introduction to event driven programming and graphical user interfaces, introduction to web based programming, introduction to computer networks and the client/server computing model.


Can I receive a B.S. and A.S. degree in the same semester?  How about the same year? No.  No.  The College of Liberal arts and sciences has adopted a rule that prevents students from getting two degrees in the same discipline in the same year.


Can I receive two certificates at the same time? As long as one certificate is not completely included in the second (i.e. Certificate in Computer Programming and Certificate in Advance Computer Programming).


Can I receive a certificate in Computer Programming or Advanced Computer Programming during the same semester as a A.S. or B.S. in computer science or informatics? No.  The A.S. or B.S. in computer science include the requirements of these two certificates.


What is Informatics? Informatics is the understanding the impact of technology and information on people; the development of new uses for technology; and the application of information technology in the context of another field.


How do I get a B.S. in Informatics?


Questions about courses:
  How can I take an Independent Study Course in CS? The department's policy is to allow independent study classes to be offered only in those cases when a regular course in the topic is not offered.  In addition, the instructor must agree to offer such a course.


What grade do I need to get in order to have a CS course credited toward a CS major? C- or better.


Do I really need to take the prerequisites before enrolling in CS or Math courses? Yes.  Failure to do so will usually result in the CS secretary notifying you that your registration has been canceled.  In some cases, you may lose your tuition.  So please make sure that you have passed (C- or better) all the prerequisites for a course before you enroll in it.


How do I register for an Internship (Y398) in Computer Science?  First visit the Internship Home Page at and then stop in a see the internship director.


Do A### courses such as A106, A107, A150, A201, A340, A505, A510 and A515 count toward a CS degree? No.  These courses are designed for non-majors.  If you take them they will only count toward general elective credits. Also, many student take these courses to obtain their Certificate in Computer Applications


What is a test-out option and how do I test out of a class? The test out option allows you to receive credit for a course by taking a test .

What classes can I test out of? 
At this point only A106 and C101 have test-out options.

Do I get credit for the course?

Do I get a grade for the course if I pass the test?
 you will get a passing grade if you pass the test.  However, if you perform excellent in the test, you will get an "A" put on your transcript. 


Advising questions:

Why do I need a computer science or informatics advisor? Having an advisor will save you both TIME and Money.  You become aware of the new requirements, changes in the curriculum, policy changes, prerequisite changes, etc. 

If you are the type of person who would perform surgery on yourself?  Then you probably don't need an advisor!  You may need other help however!


How do I get academic advising? Contact the department secretary.  NS301-A, 574-520-5521 .


How do I change my advisor? See your current advisor or ask a CS faculty.


Questions about jobs in computer science and informatics:
How do I become a programmer? You should consider courses such as those offered in our Certificate in Computer Programming
How do I become a web developer? You should consider courses such as those offered in our Certificate in Computer Programming as well as a courses such as A340.


How do I become a web master? The term web master is loosely defined. However, one can usually acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to become a web master by doing the following: reading some books about this topic, learn some web authoring tools such as MS Front Page, learn about  programming languages such as HTML, PHP, ASP, and Java scripts, learn about visual programming languages, learn about data modeling and database systems, learn about web servers such as Apache, and print a business card that tells everyone you are web master!   Consider taking the A340 Web Programming course.


How do I become a Network Administrator? Take a networking course which covers the basic concepts of computer networks. This should give you a good idea of the hardware, software, protocols, topologies, media, and other basic information. In addition such a course usually touches on security, and privacy issues. After completing such a course, you need more specific training on a particular network environment. For example if you are thinking about NT network administration, then you need to study the specifics of NT and its networking facilities. Usually, you can find good reading material in your local bookstore. Some of you may also want to pursue more commercial certifications such as Microsoft, etc.


How do I become a System Analyst? You can learn about this after you take the Systems Analysis and Design (C308) course.  Often times, you should following this with a course in Database Systems (C442) and a course in Software Engineering (P565) 


How do I become a game designer? Start by taking the Computer Graphics (B481) course, then follow that with a course in Game Programming and Design (B583).


How do I become a Database Administrator? Often times, student start by taking a course in  Database Systems (C442), followed by some work experience as a DBA.  You can also take commercial classes that focus on an specific database package such as ORACLE, MS-SQL or MY-SQL.


How do I become a Cyber Security professional? Start by taking the C490 Introduction to Computer Security course.


Questions about graduate school:
What should I do to prepare for graduate studies in Computer Science? 1) Maintain a high GPA (3.5+)
2) Tell your CS advisor about your plans
3) Prepare to take the GRE
4) Participate in the student chapter of the ACM at IUSB.


What is the MS in Management of Information Technology? The MS-MIT degree is one of the best professional career investments for area managers. It will provide a springboard for successful management of current and future complex information technologies. This degree will significantly enhance the operations management capabilities of our graduates and their organizations.


What is the MS in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science?
This graduate degree is offered jointly by the Department of Computer and Information Sciences and the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Indiana University South Bend.  The goal of this program is to addresses the needs of people who already have work experience in technical or quantitative fields, people with undergraduate degrees in science, engineering or business, or people who simply wish to increase their level of skills and expertise in computing and applied mathematics.



Information for high school students:

As a high school student what should I do to prepare for college and pursue a CS degree? Here are some suggested courses to take:
1) English (Composition, technical writing)
2) Math (Algebra, Trig, Pre-calc and Calculus.)
3) Foreign Languages (3 Years in a given language with a C or better grade)
4) Computer classes (programming, applications, etc.)


General Questions:
What is the ACM and how do I join the IUSB Student Chapter of the ACM? See the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) web site:


What is a Computer Science Excellence Award? Every year the computer science faculty has the pleasure of selecting the excellence award winners in our program.  The criteria for selection of award winners is primarily based on academic achievement, however, it is not the only criteria.  Our award winners are typically students with junior or senior standing with excellent computer science as well as overall academic achievements.  During their studies at IUSB, much has been expected of these students, and they have been consistent in their efforts to excel.


What is an FX and do I FX a course? If you receive an "F" in a course, you may "FX" that grade if you take the course and receive a better grade.  The FX will not count in the calculation of your GPA.
In order to change your grade from F to FX you must file a Petition to Apply Indiana University FX Policy.


Does your department offer any Microsoft, CISCO, A+, etc. certifications? No.  These certifications are often offered by commercial enterprises.


Indiana University South Bend
Department of Computer and Information Sciences
1700 Mishawaka Ave. P.O. Box 7111
South Bend, IN 46634
Phone: (574) 520-5521
Fax: (574) 520-5589

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