There are a number of  accredited computer science degree programs in Illinois. Choosing which is the best fit among them can be a daunting task. The information provided below seeks to help ease that decision, so that students can enroll in the programs best suited for them and their future success. To see more accredited computer science degrees in Illinois, visit Computer Science Degrees in Illinois (T-Z).

Illinois Institute of Technology

College of Science

The College of Science at the Illinois Institute of Technology prides itself on offering rigorous curricula in the physical and natural sciences that offer students multiple avenues to academic and professional success. Its five departments (Applied Mathematics, Biological and Chemical Sciences, Computer Science, Mathematics and Science Education and Physics) offer degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels, as well as co-terminal and professional degrees. Some 450 undergraduates and 900 graduate students are taught by 65 tenure-line and 25 teaching faculty, making the College of Science the second-largest academic unit at the university.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

The College of Science at the Illinois Institute of Technology offers a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree that equips students to work with advanced hardware and software systems. Four specializations are available within the degree: Data Science, Distributed and Cloud Computing, Information Security and Information and Knowledge Management Systems. The degree requires 127 hours of coursework, including general education requirements and at least 60 hours at the upper-division level. Core courses in the degree include Introduction to Professions, either Object-Oriented Programming I and II or Accelerated Introduction to Computer Science, Discrete Structures, Data Structures and Algorithms, Computer Organization and Assembly Language Programming and systems Programming. Required advanced courses in the degree include Introduction to Algorithms, Database Organization, Introduction to Operating Systems, Introduction to Wireless Networks and Performance, Programming Languages and Translators, Computers and Society and Software Engineering. Other courses are available; other requirements will vary by specialization.

Master of Computer Science

The College of Science at the Illinois Institute of Technology offers a Master of Computer Science degree meant to enhance students’ professional knowledge so that they can be more successful members of the computing workforce. It requires 30 hours of coursework, of which much is elective so that students can customize their knowledge and skills. Eleven optional specializations are available: Computational Intelligence, Cyber-Physical Systems, Data Analytics, Database Systems, Distributed and Cloud Computing, Information Security and Assurance, Networking and Communications, Software Engineering, Business, Education and Finance. (The last three require 33 hours of coursework in total.) Students must maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 to remain in the program, and their curricula must be approved before they have completed nine hours of graduate study. Courses must cover three core areas (Systems, Theory and Programming), with at least 20 in Computer Science or Computer Science Professional courses at the 500-level or above.

Master of Science in Computer Science

The College of Science at the Illinois Institute of Technology offers a Master of Science in Computer Science degree meant to prepare students for further research, either in a doctoral program or in industry. Three options are available for completion: Thesis, Project or coursework only. The degree requires 32 hours of coursework, which must cover each of the three core areas: Systems, Theory and Programming. Systems courses include Computer Networks I and II, Wireless Networking, Advanced Operating Systems, Analytic Models of Simulation of Computer Systems, Advanced computer Architecture and Software Systems Architectures. Theory courses include Theory of Computation, Computational Geometry, Design and Analysis of Algorithms, Science of Programming, Combinatorial Optimization and Game Theory: Algorithms and Applications. Programming courses include Topics in Computer Graphics, Computer Vision, Advanced Database Organization, Syntactic Analysis of Programming Languages, Topics in Compiler Construction, Parallel and Distributed Processing, Operating System Design and Implementation and Cloud Computing.

Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science

The College of Science at the Illinois Institute of Technology offers a Ph.D. in Computer Science degree meant to equip students for academic and research careers. Students will be expected to demonstrate mastery of several sub-fields of computer science and make an original contribution to scholarship in the form of a doctoral thesis. Two admission options are available: Direct, which brings in students immediately after they complete the baccalaureate, and Post-Master’s, which accepts those who have completed a graduate curriculum. Coursework requirements vary based on admission, but all doctoral students must complete courses corresponding to seven areas: Theory of Computation, Systems, Programming Languages, Networks, Databases, Software Engineering and Computational Intelligence. In addition, to earn admission to candidacy for the degree, students must complete qualifying exams in three core areas: Systems, Theory and Languages. They must also complete an oral exam and a comprehensive exam in addition to the doctoral thesis and defense of the same.

Accreditations

  • Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET.

Mailing Address
Department of Computer Science
Stuart Building
10 West 31st Street, Room 235
Chicago, IL 60616
Phone: 312-567-5150
Email: csl@iit.edu
http://science.iit.edu/computer-science

Illinois State University

College of Applied Science and Technology

The College of Applied Science and Technology at Illinois State University hosts 27 major fields of study and a number of minors in its Departments of Agriculture, Criminal Justice Science, Family & Consumer Sciences, Health Sciences, Military Science and Technology and its Schools of Information Technology and Kinesiology & Recreation. The School of Information Technology offers three of the majors (Computer Science, Information Systems and Network & Telecommunications Management) in addition to two minors (Computer Science and Information Systems), a master’s degree (Information Systems) and five graduate-level certifications. Several advisory boards help keep the School abreast of current professional trends and needs.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

The School of Information Technology at Illinois State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree meant to equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in computing work in industry and to continue to graduate studies. Two sequences are available: General Computer Science and Enterprise Computing Engineering. Both sequences must complete University core requirements and 19 hours of Information Technology departmental requirements; that core includes theoretical and professional practical courses. Each also requires 21 hours of classes selected from sequence core and structured electives. The General Computer Science core includes Concepts of Programming Languages, Introduction to the Theory of Computation and Principles of Operating Systems; structured electives occupy another 12 hours of coursework. The Enterprise Computing Engineering Core includes Introduction to Enterprise Computing Systems, Data Communication in Enterprise Computing Systems, Advanced Enterprise Computing Systems and Architecture/Performance Analysis in Enterprise Computing Systems; structured electives occupy another nine hours of coursework.

Minor in Computer Science

The School of Information Technology at Illinois State University also offers a minor in Computer Science meant to equip students to use computers extensively in their work and to be able to provide limited technical support for others. The minor will supplement other endeavors, but it will not equip students to be computing specialists. The minor requires 22 hours of coursework: Structured Problem Solving Using the Computer, Introduction to Data Structure, Computer Organization, Advanced Practical Application Development, Systems Development I, Algorithms and Data Structures and one structured elective selected from Principles of Software Engineering, Concepts of Programming Languages, Introduction to the Theory of Computation, Introduction to Artificial Intelligence, Introduction to Computer Graphics, Computer Architecture and Introduction to Parallel Processing. This allows for some customization of student curricula, fitting the minor more neatly to the student major fields of study.

Accreditations

  • Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET.

Mailing Address
School of Information Technology
Campus Box 5150
Normal, IL 61790-5150
Phone: 309-438-8338
Email: SchoolofIT@IllinoisState.edu
http://it.illinoisstate.edu/

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

College of Science

The College of Science at Southern Illinois University Carbondale hosts eight departments: Chemistry, Computer Science, Geology, Mathematics, Microbiology, Physics, Plant Biology and Zoology. It also participates in a number of interdisciplinary programs in recognition of the interconnectedness of knowledge. The Department of Computer Science offers many programs to help students gain the knowledge and skills necessary to negotiate the increasingly computerized work environment effectively and to expand human knowledge and understanding of computing.

Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science

The College of Science at Southern Illinois University Carbondale offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Computer Science meant to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively conduct computer operations in the business world; it is specifically designed to articulate with a fifth-year MBA program. Five optional concentrations are available, each requiring three hours of 400-level electives to attain: computer graphics and game development, computer networks and security, database and systems, software engineering and application development, and artificial intelligence and robotics. The degree requires a minimum of 120 hours of coursework, including University core curriculum requirements (41 hours), College academic requirements (12 hours), electives (two hours) and 65 hours of major requirements. Those consist of 28 hours of computer science core classes (which must all be passed with a C to continue in the program), 18 of 300- and 400-level computer science electives, a supplemental mathematics class and 18 hours of a secondary concentration.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

The College of Science at Southern Illinois University Carbondale also offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science meant to prepare students for more traditional computer science careers as well as for graduate studies. Five optional concentrations are available, each requiring three hours of 400-level electives to attain: computer graphics and game development, computer networks and security, database and systems, software engineering and application development, and artificial intelligence and robotics. The degree requires a minimum of 120 hours of coursework, including University core curriculum requirements (41 hours), College academic requirements (10 hours) and 69 hours of major requirements. Those consist of 31 hours of computer science core classes (which must all be passed with a C to continue in the program), 21 of 400-level computer science electives, supplemental mathematics classes, laboratory science classes (either physics or chemistry) and a four-hour senior project.

Master of Science in Computer Science

Southern Illinois University also offers a Master of Science degree in Computer Science meant to provide students with the knowledge and skills that permit them to pursue career opportunities in advanced computer sciences or to pursue doctoral studies. All graduate teaching is carried out by full-time faculty. Thesis and non-thesis options are available. Both require 30 hours of coursework, of which no more than six may be from 400- or 500-level offerings of other academic units in the University. They must include Computer Architecture, Distributed Systems, Advanced Algorithm Design and Analysis and 12 hours of 500-level lecture courses. The thesis option then requires three hours of 400- or 500-level lecture courses and either six hours of thesis research or three hours of thesis research and three hours of a graduate project in industry. The non-thesis option requires instead six hours of 400- or 500-level lecture courses and three hours of a graduate project.

Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science

Southern Illinois University Carbondale additionally offers a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Computer Science meant to prepare students to conduct research in computer science, wither in an academic or non-academic setting. Focus is on completion of the doctoral thesis, which must be publishable in a major journal in the field. Required are 24 hours of 400- or 500-level classes and 24 hours of dissertation research. Of the courses, two must be one-hour seminars, six hours must be from prescribed electives, and six more from 500-level computer science electives. Six others must some from 400- or 500-level classes outside of computer science. Students must pass a qualifying exam within three years of beginning the doctoral program; they must then pass a preliminary exam before beginning dissertation coursework. The dissertation must be published or accepted for publication as at least two articles in peer-reviewed journals; the student must appear as the primary author of at least one.

Minor in Computer Science

The College of Science at Southern Illinois University Carbondale also offers a minor in Computer Science, both on-site and online, that consists of foundational computer science classes (Introduction to Computer Science, Discrete Mathematics and Programming with Data Structures) and nine hours of 300-level electives. Nine of the hours must be taken at Southern Illinois University Carbondale for the minor to be awarded. Available 300-level classes include Introduction to Linux; Introduction to Visual Basic, Advanced Object-Oriented Programming, Software Development Practices, Linux/UNIX Programming, Theory and Implementation of Programming Languages, Computer Logic and Digital Design, Computer Organization and Architecture, Introduction to the Design and Analysis of Algorithms, Operating Systems, Web Application Development and Current Topics in Computer Science; others are restricted to computer science majors. The minor equips students to work with computers in their chosen fields and perhaps to carry out basic computer service functions, but not to serve as computer science professionals.

Accreditations

  • Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET.

Mailing Address
Faner 2125
Mail Code 4511
1000 Faner Drive
Carbondale IL 62901
Phone: 618-536-2327
Email: csinfo@cs.siu.edu
http://cs.siu.edu

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

School of Engineering

Southern Illinois University boasts that its School of Engineering is one of the most comprehensive in the region and that its graduates have a nearly 100 percent job placement rate. It offers programs in Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Construction Management, Electrical Engineering, Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science. The Department of Computer Science offers undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as an undergraduate minor (requiring 22 semester credit hours of coursework, 16 required and 6 in prescribed electives permitting curricular customization). 2013 figures report that 258 undergraduates were enrolled in computer science programs, with 26 degrees awarded.

Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science

The School of Engineering at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Computer Science that seeks to provide students with a solid foundation of knowledge and skills that they can apply to changing computing demands. The degree requires students to complete University general education requirements (32 hours), additional mathematics requirements (11), a minor chosen by the student (18) and major requirements. Major requirements include a computer science core (Concepts of Computer Science, Introduction to Computing I-III, Interaction Programming, Introduction to Organization & Architecture, Operating Systems, Human-Computer Interaction Design, Software Engineering, Programming Languages, Algorithms & Data Structures and a senior project) and three computer science electives. Notable are the eight-hour foreign language requirement and the emphasis on broad-based instruction; the degree retains much of the liberal arts tradition appropriate to the designation Bachelor of Arts despite the technical nature of the major.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

The School of Engineering at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville also offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science that seeks to provide students with a solid foundation of knowledge and skills that they can apply to changing computing demands. The degree requires students to complete University general education requirements (36 hours), additional mathematics and laboratory science requirements (16; emphasis is on chemistry and physics) and major requirements. Major requirements include a computer science core (Concepts of Computer Science, Introduction to Computing I-III, Interaction Programming, Introduction to Organization & Architecture, Operating Systems, Human-Computer Interaction Design, Software Engineering, Programming Languages, Algorithms & Data Structures, Digital Systems Design and a senior project) and five computer science electives. Notable is the emphasis in general education requirements on critical thinking skills and problem solving, which seems to offer students in the Bachelor of Science program a more focused curriculum than their Bachelor of Arts counterparts.

Master of Science in Computer Science

The School of Engineering at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville offers a Master of Science degree in Computer Science that seeks to provide students with applied and theoretical knowledge they can use to enhance their careers or to transition into more advanced graduate study. Thesis and non-thesis options are available; the latter must either pass a non-credit final exam or carry out a summative project. An option is also available to pursue a five-year combined BS-MS. Most courses in the program are offered in the evening. Thirty-four semester hours are required for the degree. Ten are in a computer science core: Algorithms and Complexity, Graduate Seminar in Computer Science, Operating Systems and Computer Architecture. The remaining 24 are electives taken from a number of 400- and 500-level courses and include thesis hours for thesis-option students and project hours for non-thesis option students. Both theses and non-thesis projects must be defended as part of their completion.

Accreditations

  • Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET.

Mailing Address
SIUE
Computer Science, Box 1656
State Route 157
Edwardsville, IL 62026
Phone: 618-650-2369
Email: dbouvie@siue.edu
http://www.cs.siue.edu/

Each of the listed programs has its merits. The choice among them is a matter of personal preference and individual fit. Hopefully, the above information about accredited computer science degree programs in Illinois will make it easier to find where that preference and that fit lie.

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