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Department of Computer Science

Tips for Success in our Program

Here are some suggestions from the department faculty that can help you achieve greater success and enjoyment in the program.
  1. Keep in touch with your advisor. Each semester, carefully review your progress and plans in the program with your faculty advisor. Make sure that you and your advisor discuss your program so that you take courses in the appropriate order, meet the required prerequisites for all courses, and complete the program without surprises or unnecessary delays. Check frequently your Degree Audit reporting System (DARS) reports.


  2. Keep and read the information available from these pages. The same information can be obtained from the Computer Science Handbook. Make sure you're familiar with all the program rules that apply to you. There are occasional program changes from year to year, e.g.: new courses, discontinuation of courses, changes in prerequisites, and changes in program requirements.


  3. The program requirements that apply to you are the ones in effect for the semester that you matriculated (became enrolled in a degree program) at Brockport (not necessarily the first semester you were a computer science or information systems major or took courses). Keep a copy of the Computer Science Handbook for that first-matriculated semester for reference as you progress through the program.


  4. Take more than required courses. The listed program requirements specify only the minimum you need for the degree. Many students take more than these. This suggestion is both for the sake of your success in the job market, and also to add flexibility to your knowledge in the discipline, and to help you be adaptable in this rapidly changing field.


  5. Pace yourself. The faculty advises against taking more than two courses in a given semester that are marked "Extensive Programming." Success in such courses requires a heavy time commitment, much like a laboratory course in the natural sciences. Furthermore, if you have a job or family responsibilities, you are strongly advised to limit yourself to one "Extensive Programming" course. If you ever do become overwhelmed by course work, don't hesitate to drop a course. As in any serious endeavor, in the long run the quality of your work is much more important than your speed through it. If you need to drop a course, be sure you do so before the drop deadline.


  6. Make and follow a plan. Choose your elective courses to fit a coherent career plan. Your advisor will help you do this. It's fine to take a course or two just to find out what a subject is like. But by the time you finish your degree, you should have accumulated a set of elective courses that provide a background in depth in some particular area of the field.


  7. Get involved! Participate in the life of the department. For example, join the student clubs. They organize meetings and other activities, providing you with the opportunity to meet your fellow students outside the classroom. Likewise, attend the lectures and social functions that are organized from time to time by the department. At these events you can meet faculty members and students whom you might otherwise not encounter through class attendance.
The department faculty members wish you every success in your academic life, and always stand ready to help you progress through the program.