Computing and Information Studies

CIS Gaming Class


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 and of contributing to the interdisciplinary uses of information technology across the Washington & Jefferson Curriculum.

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 Graphic DesignEnvironmental StudiesMind, 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. 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 for those looking for a first CIS course to take: Introductory CIS Course Recommendations.

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.



New Student Government Association Officers Ready to  Make a Difference

New Student Government Association Officers Ready to Make a Difference
August 28, 2014

The new Student Government Association (SGA) officers are in place and ready for a new school year.

CIS Professor's Photography on Display in Philadelphia Gallery

CIS Professor's Photography on Display in Philadelphia Gallery
October 8, 2013

WASHINGTON, Pa. (October 8, 2013)—Desert Textures, a collection of art by award-winning photographer Samuel Fee, associate professor of computing and information studies at Washington & Jefferson College, is on display through the month of October at the Holy Family University Art Gallery in Philadelphia.

Through imagery of landscapes from the American West, Fee’s work illuminates and records changes to the natural world through time. Desert Textures considers a specific landscape in New Mexico that exists in a state of constant visual transformation as a result of sunlight and wind.            

“My work is designed to challenge two common misperceptions: the first is that the desert is a lifeless and bleak landscape, and the second is that a landscape is still and without narrative. On the contrary, the desert is full of life, but that life takes different—and I would argue, more dazzling—forms from what many viewers might expect. And the sudden emergence of those forms provides the action in the narrative that I believe landscape photography can tell,” Fee said.

The photographs in Desert Textures draw upon Fee’s expertise in digital media.

The Holy Family University Art Gallery is located at 9801 Frankford Avenue. Admission is free, and the gallery is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. The show will run through the month of October, with an artist reception and gallery talk scheduled for this evening from 7-9 p.m.

About Washington & Jefferson College
Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work.
For more information about W&J, visit, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.


CIS Professor Exhibits Photography at Hoyt Institute

CIS Professor Exhibits Photography at Hoyt Institute
May 25, 2012

Samuel Fee, Ph.D., associate professor of computing and information studies at Washington & Jefferson College (W&J), exhibited his award-winning photography at the Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts in New Castle, Pa. 



Amanda Holland-Minkley
Amanda Holland-Minkley, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of CIS
Charlie Hannon
Charles T. Hannon, Ph.D.
Professor of CIS; Associate Dean of the Faculty

Samuel B. Fee, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair of CIS Department
Thomas Lombardi
Thomas Lombardi, D.P.S.
Assistant Professor of CIS

Course Requirements