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Undergraduate Program

Things You Need to Know to Be Successful
in the Department of Computer Science

Important information from Daniel Rogness, Undergraduate Advisor



For all things Computer Science, contact Daniel Rogness, drogness1@niu.edu. To request a simple service or ask a question, e-mail Daniel or fill out a "green form" at the front window of the main office. You may also call the Department (815.753.0378) to schedule an appointment if you have many questions or more complex issues. Early in your senior year, you should schedule a graduation check with Daniel to make sure you will be satisfying all of your Computer Science graduation requirements on time.

For all other advising issues (Gen Eds, university electives, general Bachelor's Degree requirements, etc.), see the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Zulauf Hall, 815.753.0114.

Although all of your advisors will do their best to steer you toward graduation, it is still your responsibility to read and follow all requirements of your catalog — or to ask one of them if you aren't sure or don't understand. You should also periodically check your Academic Requirements Report in MyNIU.

Overview of Graduation Requirements

Note: Any requirements mentioned below are superseded by your official Undergraduate Catalog. You are responsible for reading and following all requirements of your catalog.

University Graduation Requirements
  • At least 120 credit hours in total, including Distributive Studies (Gen Eds), Computer Science major/minor requirements and any other major/minor requirements you may have.
  • 40 credit hours of upper-division (300-400 level classes).
    • The Computer Science major does include at least 40 credit hours of upper-division coursework.
  • No more than 60 hours of CSCI classes, including transfer coursework (e.g. CSCI T001, CSCI T002, etc.) and low-level, non-major/minor courses such as CSCI 205 and CSCI 210.
  • No more than 66 academic credit hours plus 4 physical education credit hours from community colleges can count toward the 120 hours needed to graduate.
  • The 30-Hour "Residency Rule": Students may not interrupt their last 30 credit hours before graduation by transferring in classes from another college unless they got prior permission from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Zulauf Hall, 815.753.0114.
Computer Science Major Requirements
  • Nine Computer Science courses, along with two or three electives, depending on emphasis.
  • MATH 206 and (MATH 211 or MATH 229 and MATH 230), depending on emphasis
  • STAT 301 or STAT 350, depending on emphasis
  • Enterprise Software: CSCI 465 and 9 hours of specific courses in the College of Business
  • Computational Software: CSCI 462 and 32-33 hours of MATH, STAT and PHYS courses.

You must also maintain a 2.000 cumulative GPA and 2.000 GPA within Computer Science classes. Falling below may put you at risk of being removed from the major or worse.

Declaring the Major and Computer Science Study Plans

Please read Declaring the Major very carefully. Students who fail to follow the procedures for declaration, registration, and change of plan risk being removed from the major.

Catalog Year

The last major computer science undergraduate catalog change was effective the 2008-2009 catalog year. Prior catalogs with different computer science requirements have since expired, so current students should all be using the same computer science requirements.

Registering for Classes

Fully Declared Majors: You should be able to register for most CSCI courses without any special permission from the department. This is made possible when students register for CSCI courses in accordance with their official course plan with the Department. You may modify your course plan by meeting with the Department's undergraduate advisor.

Pre-majors: Pre-majors/minors must ask the department for permission to register for any courses numbered 300 and above. We routinely grant permission for those courses, but we need to see current semester grades if those classes are prerequisite to the ones you intend on taking next. Enrollment into specific Computer Science electives is subject to the enrollment from fully declared majors in that same elective, as they will take priority.

Applying for Graduation

The application deadline for graduation is approximately 3-4 months prior to the month in which you intend to graduate. As of this writing, the deadlines for applying for graduation are:

  • May graduation: apply by February 1.
  • August graduation: apply by June 15. There is no August graduation ceremony, but you may be able to walk in the May graduation ceremony if you meet the May graduation application deadline.
  • December graduation: apply by September 1.

Obtain specific deadlines and apply for graduation through Registration and Records.