Learn cutting-edge skills in web design and development, networking, security, and mobile device applications.

College of Arts & Sciences

Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Computer Science

Questions?

Undergraduate Admission

(630) 637-5800

admissions@noctrl.edu

Why pursue a computer science degree at North Central College?

The field of computer science offers students many exciting and rewarding career options. Graduates with a computer science degree from North Central College are in demand from employers familiar with the high quality of our program and our graduates. Not only are our graduates thoroughly grounded in both the theory and practice of the field, but they possess a broad set of skills that stem from a well-rounded education from North Central College.

You can also:

  • Engage in prestigious, paid internships or co-ops, working side-by-side with professionals for while you complete your degree.
  • Participate in co-curricular activities related to computing and engineering, where you can work on various projects related to area of your interest.
  • Study abroad for periods ranging from a few weeks to a year and still graduate in just four years.
  • Work with faculty members on research projects.
  • Be a part of North Central’s Summer Undergraduate Research Colloquium or Rall Symposium and present your findings at local, regional or national undergraduate research conferences.

More Department information

Computer Science, B.A.

Computer science offers a mix of theory of computation, software development, systems concepts, and computing applications. Our graduates are employed in a wide range of companies and research labs.

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Computer Science and Engineering.

Major Requirements

Core Courses

  • CSCE 160 - Introduction to Computer Programming

    CSCE 160 - Introduction to Computer Programming

    4.00 credit hours

    An introduction to computer science and programming, emphasizing the development of algorithms and problem solving skills using both procedural and object-oriented approaches. Topics include data types; I/O; arithmetic, relational and logical operators; control structures; functions; simple data structures; different computing environments such as the Linux operating system are also explored. Integrated laboratory.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • CSCE 210 - Data Structures

    CSCE 210 - Data Structures

    4.00 credit hours

    Elementary data structures and algorithms. Topics include the design, implementation, application and variations of the following: linked lists, stacks and queues, different types of trees, searching and sorting algorithms,  graphs, and introduction to analysis of algorithms. Extensive programming required. Integrated laboratory.

    Prerequisite(s)

    CSCE 160.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • CSCE 220 - Computer Organization and Design

    CSCE 220 - Computer Organization and Design

    4.00 credit hours

    Basic computer architecture including combinational circuits, instruction sets, microprogramming, assembly language, I/O (devices, busses and interrupts) and memory systems and organization. Integrated laboratory.

    Prerequisite(s)

    CSCE 160.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • CSCE 230 - Discrete Structures

    CSCE 230 - Discrete Structures

    4.00 credit hours

    Fundamental topics in mathematics and computer science including: formal logic, proof techniques, sets, relations and functions, combinatorics and counting techniques, induction and recursion, discrete probability, number theory and cryptography, graphs, Boolean algebra, finite state machines and modeling computation, program verification and algorithm analysis. Programming may be required.

    Prerequisite(s)

    CSCE 160.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • CSCE 306 - Object-Oriented Software Development

    CSCE 306 - Object-Oriented Software Development

    4.00 credit hours

    Object-oriented design and implementation of large scale software. Topics include object-oriented modeling and design, such as the use of UML and software design patterns, object-oriented language features, such as inheritance, polymorphism, encapsulation and overloading, and using existing class libraries. Extensive programming required. Integrated laboratory.

    Prerequisite(s)

    CSCE 210.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • CSCE 340 - Design and Analysis of Algorithms

    CSCE 340 - Design and Analysis of Algorithms

    4.00 credit hours

    Design and analysis of algorithms. Classification of algorithms by time and space complexity. Algorithm design techniques such as divide and conquer, the greedy method and dynamic programming. NP-complete problems and approximation algorithms. Introduction to parallel algorithms.

    Prerequisite(s)

    CSCE 210 and CSCE 230.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • CSCE 420 - Operating Systems

    CSCE 420 - Operating Systems

    4.00 credit hours

    An examination of approaches to computer system resource management. Topics include scheduling, memory management, file systems, I/O management, multiprocessing, security, protection. Research literature is used to introduce systems research topics. Extensive programming required. Integrated laboratory.

    Prerequisite(s)

    CSCE 220 and CSCE 306.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • CSCE 494 - Senior Capstone

    CSCE 494 - Senior Capstone

    4.00 credit hours

    Students apply the many skills they have acquired during their undergraduate studies by participating as a member of a team to design, develop and present a computing solution (software/hardware) to a substantive problem. Group process and leadership skills are addressed as well as ethical considerations important to computer science professionals. Formal project proposal, progress report and technical report writing are emphasized.

    Prerequisite(s)

    CSCE 420 and Senior standing.

    Schedule Of Classes

Electives
  • One four credit hour CSCE or INFS elective at the 200-level or above
  • One four credit hour CSCE elective at the 300-level or above *
  • One four credit hour CSCE elective at the 400-level *
Note:

*Internships may not be used to fulfill requirement.

Support Courses

Ethics

One of the following:

  • PHIL 110 - Ethics

    PHIL 110 - Ethics

    4.00 credit hours

    An examination of alternative bases for morality and the arguments by which moral claims are justified.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Humanities, Ethical Dimensions, Community Engaged Learning.
    iCon(s)
    Being Human, Engaging Civic Life.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PHIL 210 - Professional Ethics

    PHIL 210 - Professional Ethics

    4.00 credit hours

    Professional ethics in selected career fields including law, business and biomedicine. Students may apply basic concepts to the career of their choice, relate their personal ethics to professional ethics and become better informed consumers of professional services. This course begins with an examination of the alternative bases for making moral judgments.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Humanities, Ethical Dimensions.
    iCon(s)
    Innovating World.

    Schedule Of Classes

Communications

One of the following:

  • COMM 200 - Interpersonal Communication

    COMM 200 - Interpersonal Communication

    4.00 credit hours

    An introductory study of the theory and practice of human communication within diverse relationships and contexts. The emphasis will be on dyadic (one-on-one) communication and the basic verbal and nonverbal strategies affecting perception and comprehension within the communication process. Key subtopics will include nonverbal communication, verbal styles, relationship development and conflict management. Requires participation in written and oral activities designed to develop and improve interpersonal skills.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science.
    iCon(s)
    Being Human.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • COMM 214 - Group Interaction

    COMM 214 - Group Interaction

    4.00 credit hours

    Students are introduced to the theory and practice of small group communication and decision-making. The course features an extensive group project, where students develop their abilities to participate, observe, analyze, evaluate and intervene in small group communication.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science, Community Engaged Learning.
    iCon(s)
    Being Human.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • COMM 280 - Business and Professional Communication

    COMM 280 - Business and Professional Communication

    4.00 credit hours

    An intermediate course in which students develop the skills and strategies for use in written, face-to-face and electronic communication in professional settings. Students learn fundamentals of writing and presenting in professional contexts and may investigate organizational communication practices such as interviewing, performance feedback, training and meeting management.

    Prerequisite(s)

    CARD 102 or COMM 100; COMM 200 or COMM 214; Junior standing.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • COMM 285 - Argumentation and Debate

    COMM 285 - Argumentation and Debate

    4.00 credit hours

    An intermediate course that addresses both theory and practice in argumentation. Through preparation and participation in debates, students learn the basic principles of debate, emphasizing the development of research, critical thinking and oral presentation skills.

    Prerequisite(s)

    CARD 102 or COMM 100.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Humanities, Ethical Dimensions.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • COMM 287 - Advanced Public Speaking

    COMM 287 - Advanced Public Speaking

    4.00 credit hours

    Building upon the fundamentals learned in COMM 100, students refine their skills in impromptu, manuscript and extemporaneous speaking in applied settings. The class includes communication theory as well as speech preparation and delivery techniques for speeches that include variations of informative, persuasive and special occasion speeches, as well as emphasis on oral interpretation of texts. This advanced skills course serves Communication majors as well as other students who are seeking to improve their presentation skills.

    Prerequisite(s)

    CARD 102 or COMM 100.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Arts.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • LEAD 230 - Conflict Resolution

    LEAD 230 - Conflict Resolution

    4.00 credit hours

    An inquiry into the theories and skills relating to the resolution of conflict in the community and the workplace. A variety of approaches will be used to understand and analyze issues and develop skills including lecture/discussion, negotiation exercises and simulated mediations. The course will focus on developing the ability to practice as a mediator.

    Prerequisite(s)

    Sophomore standing.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • MEDI 200 - Digital Media Writing

    MEDI 200 - Digital Media Writing

    4.00 credit hours

    Digital media writing introduces students to writing on different types of platforms including the web, applications and social media. Students learn to write in a variety of different genres including blog writing, online news and public relations. The course also hones writing and research skills for digital writing.

    Prerequisite(s)

    CARD 102 or COMM 100.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Humanities, U.S. Power Structures.
    iCon(s)
    Innovating the World.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • MEDI 255 - Social Media

    MEDI 255 - Social Media

    4.00 credit hours

    Examines social media as an evolving, complex system of channels used to communicate, exchange messages and persuade. This class focuses on the crafting of messages for distinct social media channels and audiences. Among the things that we will consider are the uses of social media in advertising, social movements, and political campaigns.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science.

    Schedule Of Classes

Additional Requirements for the B.A. Degree

Foreign Language

Students must demonstrate elementary competence in a foreign language. For more information, see the B.A. Degree Requirements within the Academic Regulations section of this catalog.

Communication Courses

  • Two additional four credit hour courses from the Communications list above, not already taken for the major.

Computer Science, B.S.

Computer science offers a mix of theory of computation, software development, systems concepts and computing applications. Our graduates are employed in a wide range of companies and research labs.

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Computer Science and Engineering.

Major Requirements

Core Courses

  • CSCE 160 - Introduction to Computer Programming

    CSCE 160 - Introduction to Computer Programming

    4.00 credit hours

    An introduction to computer science and programming, emphasizing the development of algorithms and problem solving skills using both procedural and object-oriented approaches. Topics include data types; I/O; arithmetic, relational and logical operators; control structures; functions; simple data structures; different computing environments such as the Linux operating system are also explored. Integrated laboratory.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • CSCE 210 - Data Structures

    CSCE 210 - Data Structures

    4.00 credit hours

    Elementary data structures and algorithms. Topics include the design, implementation, application and variations of the following: linked lists, stacks and queues, different types of trees, searching and sorting algorithms,  graphs, and introduction to analysis of algorithms. Extensive programming required. Integrated laboratory.

    Prerequisite(s)

    CSCE 160.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • CSCE 220 - Computer Organization and Design

    CSCE 220 - Computer Organization and Design

    4.00 credit hours

    Basic computer architecture including combinational circuits, instruction sets, microprogramming, assembly language, I/O (devices, busses and interrupts) and memory systems and organization. Integrated laboratory.

    Prerequisite(s)

    CSCE 160.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • CSCE 230 - Discrete Structures

    CSCE 230 - Discrete Structures

    4.00 credit hours

    Fundamental topics in mathematics and computer science including: formal logic, proof techniques, sets, relations and functions, combinatorics and counting techniques, induction and recursion, discrete probability, number theory and cryptography, graphs, Boolean algebra, finite state machines and modeling computation, program verification and algorithm analysis. Programming may be required.

    Prerequisite(s)

    CSCE 160.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • CSCE 306 - Object-Oriented Software Development

    CSCE 306 - Object-Oriented Software Development

    4.00 credit hours

    Object-oriented design and implementation of large scale software. Topics include object-oriented modeling and design, such as the use of UML and software design patterns, object-oriented language features, such as inheritance, polymorphism, encapsulation and overloading, and using existing class libraries. Extensive programming required. Integrated laboratory.

    Prerequisite(s)

    CSCE 210.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • CSCE 340 - Design and Analysis of Algorithms

    CSCE 340 - Design and Analysis of Algorithms

    4.00 credit hours

    Design and analysis of algorithms. Classification of algorithms by time and space complexity. Algorithm design techniques such as divide and conquer, the greedy method and dynamic programming. NP-complete problems and approximation algorithms. Introduction to parallel algorithms.

    Prerequisite(s)

    CSCE 210 and CSCE 230.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • CSCE 420 - Operating Systems

    CSCE 420 - Operating Systems

    4.00 credit hours

    An examination of approaches to computer system resource management. Topics include scheduling, memory management, file systems, I/O management, multiprocessing, security, protection. Research literature is used to introduce systems research topics. Extensive programming required. Integrated laboratory.

    Prerequisite(s)

    CSCE 220 and CSCE 306.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • CSCE 494 - Senior Capstone

    CSCE 494 - Senior Capstone

    4.00 credit hours

    Students apply the many skills they have acquired during their undergraduate studies by participating as a member of a team to design, develop and present a computing solution (software/hardware) to a substantive problem. Group process and leadership skills are addressed as well as ethical considerations important to computer science professionals. Formal project proposal, progress report and technical report writing are emphasized.

    Prerequisite(s)

    CSCE 420 and Senior standing.

    Schedule Of Classes

Electives
  • One four credit hour CSCE or INFS elective at the 200-level or above

  • One four credit hour CSCE elective at the 300-level or above *

  • One four credit hour CSCE elective at the 400-level *

Note:

*Internships may not be used to fulfill requirement.

Support Courses

Ethics

One of the following:

  • PHIL 110 - Ethics

    PHIL 110 - Ethics

    4.00 credit hours

    An examination of alternative bases for morality and the arguments by which moral claims are justified.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Humanities, Ethical Dimensions, Community Engaged Learning.
    iCon(s)
    Being Human, Engaging Civic Life.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PHIL 210 - Professional Ethics

    PHIL 210 - Professional Ethics

    4.00 credit hours

    Professional ethics in selected career fields including law, business and biomedicine. Students may apply basic concepts to the career of their choice, relate their personal ethics to professional ethics and become better informed consumers of professional services. This course begins with an examination of the alternative bases for making moral judgments.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Humanities, Ethical Dimensions.
    iCon(s)
    Innovating World.

    Schedule Of Classes

Communications

One of the following:

  • COMM 200 - Interpersonal Communication

    COMM 200 - Interpersonal Communication

    4.00 credit hours

    An introductory study of the theory and practice of human communication within diverse relationships and contexts. The emphasis will be on dyadic (one-on-one) communication and the basic verbal and nonverbal strategies affecting perception and comprehension within the communication process. Key subtopics will include nonverbal communication, verbal styles, relationship development and conflict management. Requires participation in written and oral activities designed to develop and improve interpersonal skills.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science.
    iCon(s)
    Being Human.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • COMM 214 - Group Interaction

    COMM 214 - Group Interaction

    4.00 credit hours

    Students are introduced to the theory and practice of small group communication and decision-making. The course features an extensive group project, where students develop their abilities to participate, observe, analyze, evaluate and intervene in small group communication.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science, Community Engaged Learning.
    iCon(s)
    Being Human.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • COMM 280 - Business and Professional Communication

    COMM 280 - Business and Professional Communication

    4.00 credit hours

    An intermediate course in which students develop the skills and strategies for use in written, face-to-face and electronic communication in professional settings. Students learn fundamentals of writing and presenting in professional contexts and may investigate organizational communication practices such as interviewing, performance feedback, training and meeting management.

    Prerequisite(s)

    CARD 102 or COMM 100; COMM 200 or COMM 214; Junior standing.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • COMM 285 - Argumentation and Debate

    COMM 285 - Argumentation and Debate

    4.00 credit hours

    An intermediate course that addresses both theory and practice in argumentation. Through preparation and participation in debates, students learn the basic principles of debate, emphasizing the development of research, critical thinking and oral presentation skills.

    Prerequisite(s)

    CARD 102 or COMM 100.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Humanities, Ethical Dimensions.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • COMM 287 - Advanced Public Speaking

    COMM 287 - Advanced Public Speaking

    4.00 credit hours

    Building upon the fundamentals learned in COMM 100, students refine their skills in impromptu, manuscript and extemporaneous speaking in applied settings. The class includes communication theory as well as speech preparation and delivery techniques for speeches that include variations of informative, persuasive and special occasion speeches, as well as emphasis on oral interpretation of texts. This advanced skills course serves Communication majors as well as other students who are seeking to improve their presentation skills.

    Prerequisite(s)

    CARD 102 or COMM 100.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Arts.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • LEAD 230 - Conflict Resolution

    LEAD 230 - Conflict Resolution

    4.00 credit hours

    An inquiry into the theories and skills relating to the resolution of conflict in the community and the workplace. A variety of approaches will be used to understand and analyze issues and develop skills including lecture/discussion, negotiation exercises and simulated mediations. The course will focus on developing the ability to practice as a mediator.

    Prerequisite(s)

    Sophomore standing.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • MEDI 200 - Digital Media Writing

    MEDI 200 - Digital Media Writing

    4.00 credit hours

    Digital media writing introduces students to writing on different types of platforms including the web, applications and social media. Students learn to write in a variety of different genres including blog writing, online news and public relations. The course also hones writing and research skills for digital writing.

    Prerequisite(s)

    CARD 102 or COMM 100.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Humanities, U.S. Power Structures.
    iCon(s)
    Innovating the World.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • MEDI 255 - Social Media

    MEDI 255 - Social Media

    4.00 credit hours

    Examines social media as an evolving, complex system of channels used to communicate, exchange messages and persuade. This class focuses on the crafting of messages for distinct social media channels and audiences. Among the things that we will consider are the uses of social media in advertising, social movements, and political campaigns.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science.

    Schedule Of Classes

Additional Requirements for the B.S. Degree

  • MATH 151 - Calculus I

    MATH 151 - Calculus I

    4.00 credit hours

    An exploration of the fundamental concepts of single-variable calculus including limits, continuity, differentiation and integration with applications.

    Prerequisite(s)

    MATH 140 or placement; Four years of math including algebra, geometry and trigonometry recommended.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Quantitative Analysis.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • MATH 152 - Calculus II

    MATH 152 - Calculus II

    4.00 credit hours

    A continuation of single-variable calculus with emphasis on advanced integration techniques and applications, parametric equations, polar coordinates, and infinite series.

    Prerequisite(s)

    MATH 151.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Quantitative Analysis.

    Schedule Of Classes

Statistics

One of the following:

  • BUSN 265 - Business and Economics Statistics

    BUSN 265 - Business and Economics Statistics

    4.00 credit hours

    Provides an overview of basic statistics as it applies to business. The focus is on learning statistical concepts by applying analytical reasoning to business applications. Examples illustrating the relevance of statistics to broad areas of business are used. The course requires students to use spreadsheet programs, statistical programs, the Internet and other computer tools in analyzing statistics. The focus is on application of the material and on solving problems. Only one of BUSN 265 and PSYC 250 may be taken for credit.

    Prerequisite(s)

    MATH 130 or higher.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Quantitative Analysis.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PSYC 250 - Statistics

    PSYC 250 - Statistics

    4.00 credit hours

    The methods, concepts and logic underlying the statistical evaluation of research data with an emphasis on "why" as well as "when" to use various statistical methods. Content includes descriptive and inferential statistics, estimation and hypothesis testing. Analyses include z and t tests, one-way and factorial ANOVA, correlation, regression and Chi square. Assignments focus on problem solving, technical writing and use of computer statistical packages (SPSS). Only one of BUSN 265 or PSYC 250 may be taken for credit.

    Prerequisite(s)

    MATH 130 or higher.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Quantitative Analysis.

    Schedule Of Classes

Computer Science Minor

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Computer Science and Engineering.

Minor Requirements

A minimum 20 credit hours in Computer Science, including:

  • CSCE 160 - Introduction to Computer Programming

    CSCE 160 - Introduction to Computer Programming

    4.00 credit hours

    An introduction to computer science and programming, emphasizing the development of algorithms and problem solving skills using both procedural and object-oriented approaches. Topics include data types; I/O; arithmetic, relational and logical operators; control structures; functions; simple data structures; different computing environments such as the Linux operating system are also explored. Integrated laboratory.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • CSCE 210 - Data Structures

    CSCE 210 - Data Structures

    4.00 credit hours

    Elementary data structures and algorithms. Topics include the design, implementation, application and variations of the following: linked lists, stacks and queues, different types of trees, searching and sorting algorithms,  graphs, and introduction to analysis of algorithms. Extensive programming required. Integrated laboratory.

    Prerequisite(s)

    CSCE 160.

    Schedule Of Classes

    • Two four credit hour CSCE or IFS* electives at the 200-level or above.
    • One four credit hour CSCE elective at the 300-level or above.

Note:

*Only one IFS course may be used to satisfy minor requirements. An internship cannot be used to meet minor requirements.

Computer Science Internships and Jobs

A North Central education integrates career preparation with rich academic study. Our faculty encourages you to refine and apply your knowledge in an interconnected world. Here you'll learn to think independently and work globally to solve problems and lead.

Internships

  • Co-op Software Engineer, Argonne National Laboratory, near Lemont, IL
  • Intern, Ecolab, Naperville, IL
  • Intern, Google, Kirkland, WA
  • Web designer, Websolutions, Inc., Aurora, IL
  • Security intern, Navistar, Warrenville, IL
  • Engineering and software QA, Informatica, Warrenville, IL

Careers

Recent graduates in computer science include:

  • Applications Engineer, Emerson Electric Co., Rosemont, IL
  • Network Engineer, Arris International, Lisle, IL
  • Software Engineer, Open Data Group, Chicago, IL
  • Software Engineer, Job Cost, Inc., Naperville
  • Associate Consultant at SWC Technology Partners, Oak Brook, IL
  • Software Developer at NextCapital, Chicago, IL
  • Consultant at West Monroe Partners, Chicago, IL
  • Software engineer, Google, New York, NY
  • Software engineer, Google, Mountain View, CA
  • Software engineer specialist, Argonne National Laboratory, near Lemont, IL
  • Software development manager, VisTracks, Lisle, IL
  • Senior product manager, Informatica, Warrenville, IL
  • Software automation tester, Interactive Intelligence Inc., Indianapolis, IN
  • Web developer, Seattle Sutton, Ottawa, IL

Invest in Your Future

Choosing the right college is a big decision. Don’t make it alone. North Central’s admission and financial aid team is here to help you design a financial aid solution that works best for you and your family.

Merit scholarships, grants, loans, campus employment - these are just some of the resources available to you. Over 95 percent of students and 100 percent of all eligible students receive aid. Let our team partner with you in finding the best value for your education.

Learn more about financial aid and costs for North Central College

Apply to North Central College

The first step to becoming a North Central student is reading the application instructions specific to you. Find out everything you need to know about applying by selecting the group you belong to below.


Related Programs

Explore Similar Programs