Mar 22, 2023  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Computer Science Minor

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Dr. Sharon J. Simmons, Department Head
(540) 568-3335                  
Location: ISAT/CS Building, Room 222

D. Bernstein, C. Fox, S. Frysinger, M. Heydari, R. Mata-Toledo, D. McGraw, S. Simmons, B. Tjaden, S. Wang

Associate Professors
M. Aboutabl, F. Buchholz, M. Kirkpatrick, C. Mayfield, M. Norton, N. Sprague, D. Weikle

Assistant Professors
J. Bowers, M. Lam, M. Stewart


The computer science department strives to be an intellectual community that continually explores the broad field of computing, applies this knowledge to solve problems in a variety of domains and engages with the profession and society at large. Undergraduates join this community when they become majors, participating with faculty and other students in exploring computing through classes, projects, clubs and internships.


The goals of the computer science department are to:

  • Offer small classes that provide opportunities for personal interaction with students.
  • Provide a broad, inclusive and up-to-date computing curriculum.
  • Provide students opportunities for professional and community engagement and real word experiences.
  • Help students to become computing problem solvers and good communicators.
  • Produce graduates who will succeed in the computing profession.

Career Opportunities and Marketable Skills

Computing technology pervades modern society and demand for computing professionals is strong and projected to remain strong for the foreseeable future. Careers in computing range from technical positions specifying, designing, building and maintaining networks and systems of all kinds, through project leadership and technical management. The computer science major prepares students for entry-level technical positions as programmers, software developers, requirements analysts, software designers, testers, software quality assurance professionals, system architects, network engineers, information security specialists and computing consultants.

Co-curricular Activities and Organizations

The James Madison University Student Chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery is the local student chapter of the national association for computing professionals.

The JMU chapter of Upsilon Pi Epsilon, the international honor society in computer science, recognizes outstanding academic achievement by students and outstanding contributions to education by faculty. The department also sponsors the Cyber Defense, Digital Forensics and Women in Technology clubs.

Students are encouraged to intern in a business or government organization during the summer. Students may receive elective credit toward their major requirements for internship experiences.

Admission Requirements

Any student may declare a CS major or minor, but students may enroll in CS courses beyond CS 139 /CS 149 , CS 159  and CS 227 /MATH 227  only if they are fully admitted to the CS major or minor. Full admission to the major or minor is granted as described below.

Students who have attempted CS 139 /CS 149 , CS 159  or CS 227 /MATH 227  at JMU may not attempt them elsewhere (that is, they must make any second attempts at JMU).

Students must submit an application for full admission to the CS major or minor no earlier than the semester in which they complete CS 159 .

Students with a GPA of 3.0 or better in CS 139 /CS 149  and CS 159  who have attempted these classes only once are guaranteed full admission to the major or minor. Others will be granted full admission to the CS major or minor as space permits based on their GPA in CS 139 /CS 149  and CS 159  and faculty evaluation of their potential to succeed in the CS major or minor.

  • Students who have completed the CS minor may apply for full admission to the CS major no earlier than the semester in which they complete the last course in the CS minor.
  • CS minors with a GPA of 3.0 or higher in the CS minor will be fully admitted to the CS major; others will be admitted as space permits based on their minor GPA.
  • Students will be notified of their CS major or minor admission status by January 1st for admission in the spring semester (following application the previous fall semester), and by May 15th for admission in the fall semester (following application the previous spring semester).
  • Students who are not granted full admission to the CS major or minor may file one additional application in the next regular semester after they are denied admission.

Transfer students who have completed the equivalent of CS 159  (or for whom this class is waived) are granted full admission to the CS major or minor. Other transfer students are subject to same process as non-transfer students.

Computer Science Minor

Minor Adviser: Dr. Michael Kirkpatrick

Minor Requirements

Choose twelve credits from the following courses:

Must include at least one of CS 240 , CS 261  or CS 345 

Total: 18-19 Credit Hours

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