Frequently Asked Questions: Advising
In your college career you are assigned an advisor in your major department. It is in your best interest to use these individuals to answer any questions you have regarding the major, minor, general education, possible graduate school, etc. All Computer Science majors are assigned Computer Science faculty advisors.
Listed below are a few frequently asked questions related to the CS major and minor programs.
Who is my advisor?
How can I find an internship?
After completing CS 340, an internship becomes an option. Interns must have at least junior status and a 2.25 GPA. Students can earn 1-15 credits for an internship, and the internship can occur during the summer or a regular semester. An important thing to note is that the credits count towards graduation, but DO NOT count towards the requirements for a computer science major and DO NOT count towards the alternate to a minor. (The 18 credits of 300-400 level classes outside of computer science that is the alternative to a minor must be in non-computer science courses.)
Tim Tritch in Career Services handles Computer Science internships. For information, e-mail or visit the Career Services office in Suite 1140, Centennial Hall.
How can I find out about graduate school?
Students interested in the Master of Software Engineering at UW-La Crosse should contact Dr. Kasi Periyasamy or visit the MSE web page. Students interested in a Masters or PhD program at another school should contact either Dr. David Riley, or Dr. Kenny Hunt.
Do I need to take writing emphasis classes?
No. The Computer Science department has been accepted into the Writing-In-The-Major program. This means the required general education writing emphasis courses will be fulfilled during the completion of your computer science degree. You do not need to take two additional writing emphasis courses.
Which CS courses count for General Education credit?
CS 101, "Introduction to Computing", CT 100 "Introduction to Computational Thinking" and CS 120, "Software Design 1", are options in Part I.B. - Skills/Mathematical/Logical Systems and Foreign Languages: Tools for Structured Analysis and Communication. (for information about the differences between CS 101 and CS 120 see "Which course is a better choice for me?").
What's the best advice for the beginning C-S major or minor?
Start early (the first semester, if at all possible) and mingle one or two C-S classes per semester with other classes.
Is the mathematics prerequisite for C-S 120 important?
Yes. While C-S 120 is not a mathematics course, it does require the ability to reason abstractly. Previous experience has shown that students who have failed to complete the prerequisite of a fourth-year high school mathematics course (or the equivalent) have considerable difficulty in C-S 120.
When in a college career is it best to enroll in CS courses?
More than most other university subjects, it is important to enroll in CS courses early. The skills acquired in CS 101/CT 100 can prove very helpful for using the computer in your other coursework. Furthermore, for those planning to enroll in multiple computing classes, it is best to take CS 120 early due to the extensive prerequisite structure of the computer science curriculum.
What classes should I take and when?
Computer Science classes
The first few classes follow a specific sequence...C-S 120, then C-S 220, then C-S 340. C-S 270 can be taken at the same time as either C-S 220 or C-S 340. (MTH 225 is a prerequisite or corequisite to C-S 270 and MTH 225 is a prerequisite to C-S 340.) Once C-S 340 is completed, you can take a variety of required and elective classes.
- Requirements for a computer science major
- Recommended schedule for CS major enrolled in MTH 207 first semester
- Recommended schedule for CS major enrolled in MTH 151 first semester
General Education classes
The most important courses to take early in a computer science major are the beginning computer science courses and the required mathematics courses. Other General Education requirements can be sprinkled throughout your schedule. Usually, the General Education requirements should be completed by the end of the junior year.
Which course CS 101, CT 100 or CS 120 is a better choice for me?
CS 120 is the first course in a sequence of software development courses. As such, this class provides an introduction to how to create programs. (See also the CS 120 course description.) No prior experience in computing is required for this course, but it is expected that students have previously completed the equivalent of a fourth-year high school mathematics course or beyond. CS 120 would be the best choice of a CS General Education course for any student planning to major in Computer Science, Management Information Systems, or Mathematics, as well as for any student planning to minor in Computer Science, Computational Science, or Mathematics. In addition, any science major should give consideration to CS 120, since programming is becoming an important skill in many scientific professions.
CS 101, "Introduction to Computing" is a computer literacy offering. A student in this course will be introduced to how a computer works and the role that computers play in our world today. In addition the CS 101 student will be expected to gain a certain level of proficiency in word processing, spreadsheets and databases. CS 101 is a good choice for the individual who has very little, or no, experience with a computer and wishes to gain a base level of general knowledge of computing. (See also the CS 101 course description.) CS 101 has historically been the preferred General Education CS course, except for students from the College of Science and Allied Health and certain students from the College of Business Administration
How important is a minor for a CS major?
In addition to being a requirement of the College of Science and Health, a minor outside of computer science is becoming increasingly important. Our society has considerable opportunities for those who can combine computing knowledge with some other discipline.
What minor should I choose?
Computer Science majors have chosen a wide variety of minors over the years, including English and Art, but most minors have been either Mathematics or Business Administration. Links to requirements for these minors are below.
Any major at the university fulfills the requirement for a minor. (There is also an alternative to a minor...taking 18 credits of 300 or 400 level classes outside the computer science major...but very few students choose this option.)
- Mathematics minor
- Business Administration minor
Is there a best choice for a minor to combine with a C-S major?
Not really. Almost any minor works well with a C-S major. Of course, many students minor in mathematics because a substantial part of the math minor is already required in the C-S major. However, the best advice is to pick a subject area that is of interest to you.
How many C-S classes should be taken per semester?
It is best to plan on one CS class per semester the first year and two CS classes per semester thereafter. Most computer science courses involve considerable project effort, usually writing programs, and this takes time. Therefore, it is unwise to enroll in too many CS classes at once.