Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What kind of computer is recommended for incoming freshmen?
    Any type of mobile PC would be the best so students can take their device to class (or anywhere else they want to take it). A PC is suggested because most of the computers in the department are PCs and students can get MS software for free through MSDNAA.
    More detailed notes:
    • If the student will carry the laptop around all the time, then we recommend something smaller and lighter.
    • If the student will mainly keep it in the room and watch movies on it, then we recommend something with a larger screen.
    • If the student is interested in computer gaming, then we recommend a more powerful "desktop replacement" gaming laptop (Alienware), which will be more costly.
    • We recommend Dell computers. The brand is quite reliable and Bradley University has a relationship with Dell.
    • An Intel CPU is recommended. Intel i3 or greater.
    • 4GB or more of RAM
    • 320GB or more HDD space
    • Screen size depends on what the student will do with the laptop, and on the budget. A 15” or 17” screen should be fine.
    • Standard configuration has a 6-cell battery. If you customize it, Dell offers a 9-cell battery. This will increase battery life, but it weighs and costs more.
    • Most MS programming development environments and software tools are available through MSDNAA, however MS Office is not available. Students can get OpenOffice or purchase MS Office.
  2. What is the difference between the CS and the CIS major?
    Computer Science (CS) and Computer Information Systems (CIS) degrees are both offered within the Department. A CS degree delves more into theory and integrates more programming courses throughout the curriculum. A CIS degree focuses on applications and information technology infrastructure. CS and CIS course requirements do overlap, however, and several courses are required for both. 
  3. Are classes taught in a traditional classroom or within a lab?
    Location of classes are based on the material being taught. With our new labs, many of the programming courses are taught within the labs, or split between a lab and a classroom. Courses that cover more theory are taught primarily in traditional classrooms. 
  4. What resources are available to international students?
    International students are welcome to apply for the graduate or undergraduate program. The Department has had great success in educating many international students. Bradley University also supports international students through the Multicultural Center. The Center plans several activities throughout the year, including an international Food Festival where groups of international students prepare their traditional dishes for other students. 
  5. Under the current curriculum, is it possible for students to have time to pursue a minor in another area?
    Since computer science is now integrated into every other discipline at some level, minors are strongly encouraged. A minor, for example, in biology would give a student more leverage in seeking employment as a computer scientist in research labs and related medical positions. A minor in music or multimedia would give a student more leverage in seeking employment in a music related field or in integrating multimedia into computer science projects. 
  6. How has your curriculum been developed?
    CS&IS curriculum follows the joint curriculum guidelines of two major professional associations in computing – ACM and IEEE. CS&IS curriculum was significantly updated in May 2012. The next update of CS&IS curriculum is expected in 2014 in order to synchronize it with the 2013 Joint ACM/IEEE Computing Curriculum (CC-2013).
  7. Do full-time or part-time faculty teach the classes?
    The majority of courses, particularly CS courses, are taught by full-time faculty who hold weekly office hours. Part-time instructors are typically specialists in their fields as well, and include a corporate attorney teaching Computer Law, a IT manager teaching Computing Management, and several others. 
  8. What are your placement rates? (How many students receive employment offers upon graduation?)
    The Department works with the Smith Career Center in providing support for interviews and resume development. The placement rate for CS graduates is very high, given the current need for computer scientists in the labor market. Contact the Smith Career Center for actual figures and average salary offers of recent graduates.
  9. What course(s) should a non-major take who wants to learn about computing?
    Students intending to take only one course in the department should enroll in CS 100, CS 101 or CIS 102 if they desire a detailed treatment of a programming language, or CIS 300 if they desire a general discussion of computers and their impact on society.