College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Advising - Zulauf Hall 201 - 815-753-0114

 2 + 2 Plan Leading to a Bachelor of Science Degree
in Computer Science


All degree requirements are subject to the provisions and notices in the Undergraduate Catalog. Information is valid through August 2015.


B.S. Degree in Computer Science

Emphases within the Department

  • Emphasis 1: Software Development
  • Emphasis 2: Enterprise Software
  • Emphasis 3: Computational Software
  • Minor in Computer Science

Outstanding Features and Strengths of the Department

NIU’s Department of Computer Science has provided students access to the breadth and depth of computer science for over 30 years. For students interested in business careers, our programs keep pace with an ever-changing industry. For students interested in careers in high-tech industries or research, we provide introductory and advanced courses in a variety of core and specialty areas. We also provide exciting courses for non-majors desiring a basic introduction to computing and students interested in interdisciplinary careers.

Our students learn the latest in software design, including analysis and design methodologies and databases. They receive an excellent technical preparation, including the opportunity to learn the latest in programming languages (including C++, C#,Java, Assembler, JavaScript, Perl, and PHP), environments (such as .NET), and operating systems (including UNIX, Windows, mobile devices, and the IBM mainframe).

The department offers three emphases--software development, enterprise software, and computational software --to provide for a variety of career paths.  Each emphasis requires course work in writing and in mathematics and requires at least three years of high school mathematics.  All three emphases require the same eleven computer courses plus one additional course specific to the emphasis.  Additionally, the enterprise emhasis calls for completion of course work in three of the following areas: accountancy, finance, management, marketing and entrepreneurship.  The computational emphasis includes a set of courses in applied mathematics and statistics.

 Students who choose an emphasis by the end of their freshman year can generally complete the program in four years without difficulty. Students who wish to choose a computer science major later than that are encouraged to consult the undergraduate advisor to plan a personalized program. Students interested in a research career or graduate education are also encouraged to consult professors in their area of interest.

Information about Limited Admission

A student admitted to NIU intending to major in computer science is not automatically admitted to the major. Admission is granted to students who, by completing the required beginning mathematics courses and at least one required computer science course at NIU, give evidence that they can successfully complete the intended program. For freshmen coming to NIU without deficiencies in mathematics, full admission usually occurs during the second semester of the sophomore year and requires two years of study after admission is gained. Transfer students with at least two years of college level study can expect to be granted full admission at the end of the first semester of the junior year and, depending on their emphasis and preparation, are usually able to complete the program in two years, including summers. Students with deficiencies in mathematics skills or transfer students with deficiencies in computer science courses should expect to gain full admission at points later than those indicated above. Once admitted to the major, students must maintain at least a 2.00 (“C”) grade point average in computer science courses.

Computing Facilities

Student computing laboratories are conveniently located and are open seven days per week. Students have access to the computing facilities in the department’s student computing laboratories. In addition, all students are provided with e-mail accounts and have home page posting privileges.

Career Opportunities/Patterns for Graduates

Graduates find employment in business, in high-tech industries across the United States, and in research careers. Numerous companies recruit Northern Illinois University computer science graduates and list on-going internship positions for NIU’s computer science majors. The Career Services office on campus helps students in their employment searches by holding Internship Fairs and Job Fairs, as well as by hosting Victor eRecruiting, a website with job postings. Students interested in graduate education and research careers are encouraged to consult professors in their area of interest.

What Classes Should I Take at My Community College?

As you earn your associate's degree or work toward completion of the IAI General Education Core Curriculum, you should try to take classes that will satisfy requirements for your degree at NIU.   A B.S. at NIU requires you to take a combination of math and science courses. Check NIU’s Articulation Tables to see which classes will transfer to NIU from your community college.  For more details about these and other NIU requirements, consult the Undergraduate Catalog.

Software Development or Enterprise Software Emphases

Suggested Freshman/Sophomore Plan

Semester I     Semester II  
ENGL 103 3   ENGL 104 3
MATH 110 3   MATH 155 (if choosing the full Calculus route) or MATH 211 (if choosing the Business Calculus route) 3-4
Gen Eds1 9-10   CSCI 240 4
  Gen Eds1 6
 TOTAL 15-16     16-17
Semester III     Semester IV  
CSCI 241 4   MATH 230 (if full Calculus chosen) 4
CSCI 330 (if available at the community college) 4   MATH 206 (if already completed Calc l and ll and MATH 206 is offered at the community college) 3
MATH 229 (if full Calculus route is chosen) or MATH 206 (if Business Calculus is chosen, and if MATH 206 is available at the community college) 3-4   Gen Eds1 9-12
Gen Eds1 6  
 TOTAL 17-18     16-17

1 Students interested in the enterprise computer science emphasis should try to include PSYC 102 and either ACCY 228, or ACCY 206 plus ACCY 207, in their general education selections. These courses are prerequisities for some required upper-level business courses, i.e., MGMT 333, MKTG 310 and FINA 320.


Computational Software Emphasis

Suggested Freshman/Sophomore Plan

Semester I     Semester II  
ENGL 103 3   ENGL 104 3
MATH 110 3   MATH 155 3
Gen Eds 9-10   CSCI 240 4
  Gen Eds 6
 Total 15-16     15
Semester III     Semester IV  
CSCI 241 4   MATH 230 4
CSCI 330 (if available at the community college) 4   PHYS 253 4
MATH 229 4   Gen Eds 9
Gen Eds 6-9    
 TOTAL 17-18     17


All Computer Science Majors:

Junior/Senior Plans

Students in all emphases generally take two computer science courses per term during their last four semesters of study. Students will also take either STAT 301 or STAT 350 at this time and finish up any Math requirements not satisfied at their community college.

Minor in Computer Science

The minor in computer science requires the courses in the list below. Students can complete the minor by taking only one course per semester. The following sequence is suggested:

  1. Completion of or placement through MATH 110 (the prerequisite for all CSCI classes)
  2. CSCI 240
  3. CSCI 241
  4. Choice of CSCI 330 or CSCI 360
  5. CSCI 290 or above elective (generally CSCI 340, since it's the prerequisite for most 300-400 level CSCI electives). 
  6. CSCI 400 or above elective

CSCI 240 is the only firm prerequisite for CSCI 241, CSCI 330, and CSCI 360, so these three classes can be taken in a different order if necessary, or two courses could be taken in the same semester. The computer science advisor will help each student plan the best program for his or her individual circumstances.


For More Information

For more information regarding computer science at NIU, please contact:

Department of Computer Science
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115-2828
(815) 753­-0378
FAX: (815) 753-­0342

Additional information about the department and university can be found at:


For a current NIU Undergraduate Catalog and application materials, contact:

Office of Admissions
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, Illinois 60115-­2857
(800) 892­-3050 (toll-free in Illinois)
or (815) 753-­0446


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