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Undergraduate Program

Declaring the Undergraduate Major

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A newly admitted student to the university with the intention of majoring in Computer Science begins as a "Pre-Computer Science" major. A formal application for admission into either the major or the minor is considered only after a student is enrolled in appropriate courses at NIU. However, we will give permission for PCS majors to take appropriate Computer Science courses (including upper-level courses intended only for majors) as they work toward full declaration, assuming that prerequisite courses have been successfully completed.

Please read on to get more information about the declaration process.

The Mandatory Pre-Major/Pre-Minor Meeting

Full admission into the Computer Science major begins with attending a single Pre-Computer Science Major/Minor Meeting. There are typically four of these meetings (which last approximately one hour) a semester and you must register for one of them in advance at the main Computer Science office, Psychology-Computer Science Building Room 460, preferrably during the second week of your first semester taking Computer Science classes.

During this informational meeting, the Undergraduate Advisor will explain departmental procedures and you will have the opportunity to ask questions about major and minor graduation requirements. As a result of the meeting, the Undergraduate Advisor will create a course plan for you that will later be e-mailed. The meeting itself does not constitute your formal declaration into the major or minor; however, the e-mail you receive following the meeting will indicate when you should submit the official declaration application.

Declaration Requirements for the Major & Minor

  • Must have attended the Pre-Major/Pre-Minor Meeting detailed above.
  • Must have completed 30 semester hours of coursework.
  • Must have attained a minimum 2.500 cumulative GPA.
  • Must have attained a minimum C-grade average in CSCI coursework from NIU.
  • Must have completed (or will complete in the current semester) the following coursework:
    • (MINOR ONLY) MATH 110: College Algebra OR a higher level Math class.
    • (MAJOR ONLY) MATH 206, MATH 211, MATH 229, and/or STAT 301.

Course Plans & Registration for Declared Majors & Minors

To maintain its limited enrollment status, the Department of Computer Science keeps a careful record of approved course plans for each major or minor's schedule of study, from official declaration until a student's graduation from NIU. This ensures that students continue to make efficient registration choices towards gruadation as they progress through their studies, as well as allowing the Department to predict future enrollment that helps ensure students have a seat in their next classes. Students may elect to make modifications to this plan by submitting a Request for Action ("green form"), including the addition or removal of elective courses.

Retention Criteria

Once admitted to the major, students eligible to continue at Northern must maintain a 2.0 NIU gradepoint average in Computer Science courses. Students gaining admission must successfully complete all remaining requirements for their particular emphasis as listed in the Undergraduate Catalog that they have elected and for which they are eligible. A student's official catalog year is listed on the Degree Progress Report on MyNIU, a paragraph or two after the section that begins showing the requirements for your declared major.