Computing and Information Studies


The Department of Computing and Information Studies has the dual mission of preparing students to take a leadership role in information technology, independent of the career or graduate education paths they pursue.

CIS is an interdisciplinary program combining aspects of history, sociology, psychology, communication, art, design, science, and mathematics. The program stresses problem solving and effective communication skills while addressing issues in computational thinking, visual culture, interaction design, information management and analysis, systems development, and security. Courses provide a solid background in effective coding and production, user-focused design and interaction, and formal modeling and analysis.

The CIS Department offers a major and a minor, each designed to give students a strong background in a breadth of approaches to computing. The CIS major requires 11 courses and a minor requires six. Students with an interest in a particular subfield within computing are encouraged to consider other programs or concentrations associated with the program as well, including Environmental Studies; Film and Video Studies; Mind, Brain & Behavior; or Professional Writing.

Additional course information is available in the W&J College Catalog.

Advice on Choosing CIS Courses

In Computing and Information Studies there are many possible starting courses - it is more important that students start with a course they are interested in than look at the course number. Starting with CIS 100 (IT & Society) is not necessary, nor is starting with CIS 112 (Database Concepts) or CIS 220 (Intro. to Programming). Courses like Data Mining (CIS 241), Networking (CIS 207), and Web Design and Development (CIS 275) can also be great starting points and are very useful courses for minors and non-majors as well. Students should read the course descriptions and email us if they have any questions about the courses.

For students interested in majoring or minoring in CIS, the following guides to the requirements may be helpful in planning. There are many paths through the major so we also strongly advise that students talk to an advisor in CIS about their educational and career plans to select the best set of courses for them.

CIS also has a number of offerings that are excellent complements to the other majors on campus. We hope all students will think about how learning about computing could help them academically and professionally and consider taking a course during their four years at the college. The following guide gives a summary of all of our introductory courses along with recommended courses organized by major: CIS Course Recommendations for Non-Majors.



Amanda Holland-Minkley, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Chair of CIS

Charles T. Hannon, Ph.D.
Professor of CIS; Associate Dean of the Faculty

Samuel B. Fee, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of CIS

Thomas Lombardi, D.P.S.
Assistant Professor of CIS

Course Requirements