Advising Information for Freshmen and CPSC Majors

CPSC Advising Information

Where to start?

All of the introductory computer science courses at UMW are currently taught using the Python programming language. Students who have little or no prior programming experience should select CPSC 110 as their first CPSC course. Students with considerable programming experience should select CPSC 220 as their first CPSC course. Students who have completed an AP course in computer science and earned a 4 or better on the AB exam can be given credit for CPSC 220 and enroll in CPSC 240 and CPSC 125A. These students are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with the Java programming language before beginning CPSC 240.

Scheduling Advice

Students should study the catalog carefully and note the prerequisites for CPSC courses. The major is very linear and demands that courses be taken in a particular sequence. In addition, staffing limitations dictate that not all courses required for the major can be offered every semester. For example, at the present time CPSC 405 is only offered during Fall semesters, while CPSC 401 is offered only during Spring semesters. These factors make it very important that students stay “on track”. Because of the high work load they entail, students are strongly advised not to take more than two CPSC courses during any one semester. Some students find it difficult to take two 300 level or two 400 level courses at the same time, particularly if those courses are using different programming languages.

Summer Offerings

The CPSC department usually offers one upper level elective course during the summer session.

Evening Offerings

While the CPSC department does offer some evening courses every semester, BLS students should not expect to complete the major by taking only evening courses.

Advice for First Year Students

Professor Initiated Drop

    If you miss two class meetings during the first week of classes the professor has the right to drop you from his enrollment. You are especially vulnerable in classes where the demand for seats is very high. If you decide to drop a class, be sure to complete the drop process yourself anyway because otherwise you may end up with an unexpected F in the course!

Class Add/Drop

    If you are considering adding a class, I would encourage you to attend the first meeting and look at the syllabus before you make your final decision. Lots of students do this. The last day to add a class is generally the last day of the first week of classes.  Professors may also permit students to FORCE ADD closed classes but do not count on this.

Adding a Class

    Any open class may be added to your schedule (up to 18 credits) during the add/drop period. Students may be successful at obtaining permission to FORCE ADD already closed classes. If a class is closed and you know a student who is dropping that class then stand in the drop/add line together and request to add the class as soon as the other student completes his drop. Class Withdrawal: You may drop a class without penalty during the initial announced drop period. Courses dropped before that will not appear on your transcript. After that you may still withdraw from a course, but any course you drop will appear on your transcript. Your gpa will not be affected, so this is a better idea than continuing with a course where you are assured of a D or F grade. There is a final deadline for dropping courses without receiving an automatic F. Make sure you know what that deadline is each semester.

Staying on Campus

    You must carry at least 12 credits to retain the right to live on campus. Exemptions may be granted. Playing NCAA Athletics: You must carry at least 12 credits to retain the right to participate. No exemptions! Foreign Language Placement: Foreign Language courses may be added/dropped during the first THREE (3) weeks. This is to help you select the most appropriate level. Speak with your instructor to get more guidance.

Attending Class

    DO NOT SKIP CLASSES UNLESS YOU ARE TOO SICK TO ATTEND. TAKE COPIOUS NOTES IN EACH OF YOUR CLASSES. LOOK OVER YOUR NOTES AND FILL IN GAPS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. COMPARE YOUR NOTES TO THOSE OF YOUR CLASSMATES. IF YOU TAKE INADEQUATE NOTES THEN YOU WILL BE SHORT-CHANGING YOURSELF BY NOT HAVING ALL THE MATERIALS THAT YOU NEED TO STUDY.

Test Preparation

    Treat each test as though it were a high school final exam. It is better to be over-prepared. College courses have very few opportunities to influence your grade.

Teacher Certification

    Contact the Education Department (Trinkle third floor Ext. 1034); for the dates of the informational meetings. You need to attend one of these meetings before scheduling an individual advising session with a representative from the Education Department.

Pre-Med, Vet, Dental, Physical Therapy, etc.

    Schedule an appointment with Dr. Steve Gallik in the Biology Department.

Getting Help

    Feel free to contact your advisor with any problems that may arise. If he/she do not know the answer, he/she will try to find someone who does.