The Department of Mathematicas and Computer Science


1.How do I become a CIS major?

- Students can declare the major at any time at the Office of the Registrar.

The first course required in the CIS program is Introduction to Computing and Programming (MAT 271). MAT 271 requires students to write computer programs in C++. This course will give you a good idea if the CIS major is for you. However, before you can take MAT 271 or any MAT 200 level computer courses, you must complete a mathematics requirement. The mathematics requirement for MAT 271 is MAT 105 or the equivalent. In other words, you can take MAT 271 if you have had any one of the following courses: MAT 104, MAT 105, MAT 141 or MAT 241. In general, if you have a strong high school mathematics background and have had courses beyond algebra in high school, for example, trigonometry, pre-calculus or calculus, you can register for MAT 271 without taking a mathematics course at John Jay. Also, if you have satisfied the prerequisite at another College, you can register for MAT 271. The Department can provide additional information.

Please note that ENG 101 is a prerequisite for all 200-level courses at the College.

2. Whom should I see for advisement about this major?

- Look at the Academics section of this website, which will give you the faculty advisors for this major as well as those for other academic programs offered by the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. The Academics section will also link you to the list of required courses for this major. If you don't find an answer on this website, contact the Department secretary to make an appointment with an advisor. In addition, instructors in your CIS courses often are able to answer questions about the CIS program. Many of the questions students ask are answered in this FAQs section. Please note that the responses assume that you are a CIS major and do not apply to the general student population. If you have any additional questions, please consult with a Mathematics Department CIS advisor.

3. Can I use MAT 260 as an elective?

- No, MAT 260 cannot be used as a Part III elective in the CIS major. If you take this course, you will still have to choose two elective courses from Part III.

4. In what order do I take the CIS core courses in Part I?

- This chart shows two possible appropriate sequences. Semester I is the semester that you begin the CIS program.

Semester I: MAT 271

Semester II: MAT 272

Semester III: MAT 373 and MAT 375 or MAT 374 and MAT 377

Semester IV: MAT 374 and MAT 377 or MAT 373 and MAT 375

You must take MAT 271 first and then take MAT 272. You cannot take these courses concurrently. After you have completed MAT 271 and MAT 272, you can take the 300-level CIS core courses (MAT 373, 374, 375, 377) in any order. Most students take MAT 373 and MAT 375 in one semester, and then take MAT 374 and MAT 377 the next semester. Please do not try to take more than two 300-level CIS core courses in a single semester.

5. I had computer courses in another college. Can I skip MAT 271?

- If you had a programming course in C or C++ and you have received transfer credit for MAT 271, you should be prepared for MAT 272. However, if your previous programming course used a language other then C or C++, you should take MAT 271.

6. What mathematics courses should I take to satisfy the college-wide Skills Requirement?

- The CIS Mathematics Requirements satisfy the College-wide skills requirements in Mathematics. There is no need to take MAT 103, 104, or 105 unless CUNY COMPASS assessment exam results indicate these are necessary. CIS students should not take MAT 108. Typically CIS students take Precalculus (MAT 141) followed by a one year calculus sequence (MAT 241 and MAT 242). Students with strong high school mathematics backgrounds may be able to skip MAT 141 and place directly in to MAT 241.

7. Which mathematics courses are important for CIS majors?

- Students bound for graduate studies should complete the entire calculus sequence: MAT 241, 242 and 243. The list of requirements can be accessed through the Academics section of this website.

8. Can I take more than two courses from the electives section Part III?

- Yes, although the major only requires two electives from Part III, most CIS students take additional electives to prepare for specific graduate programs or career opportunities. In addition to two electives in the CIS major, there are at least seven college-wide electives. Most students use their college-wide electives to take courses in their major area of study.

9. How can I satisfy the internship requirement (Criminal Justice Specialization)?

- You can register for MAT 404 when you have the necessary prerequisites and simply attend the course. If you want an internship off-campus, go to the Office of Cooperative Education (Room 3235N) and select a location. The office has a list of organizations that participate in the College's Internship Program. If you select an off-campus site, you still must register for MAT 404. Also, you must get the permission of the instructor of MAT 404. The internship is usually taken in the senior year.

10. Which operations research sequence should I take?

- All CIS students take MAT 323 and 324.

11. What are the Applied Specializations?

- The major has Applied Specializations in Criminal Justice and Public Administration. The Mathematics Department offers courses in the Criminal Justice Specialization. The Department of Public Management offers courses in the Public Administration Specialization. For information on the Public Administration Specialization, please call the Department of Public Management (212.237.8070). Courses in the Criminal Justice specialization examine computing and mathematical methodologies that are having a significant impact on the practice of criminal justice. Currently these include computer security, database systems, computer networks, operations research and distributed information systems.

12. When do I choose a specialization?

- You can choose a specialization when you declare a major. You can change your specialization at any time. However, you should select one by your junior year since most courses in a specialization are taken in the junior and senior years.

13. How many courses are in the specializations?

- Each specialization requires four courses.

14. What is the prerequisite for MAT 271?

- Students can take MAT 271 if they have successfully completed MAT 104 or MAT 105, or a higher-level math course. Consult with the Mathematics Dept. if you have difficulty registering for MAT 271.

15. What mathematics courses should a CIS major take?

- For students who entered the college after September 2002, the mathematics requirements for the CIS degree are the following:

MAT 141 (if necessary), MAT 204 and MAT 241-242.

CIS majors should take the CUNY COMPASS assessment test. Test results will determine if students can place directly into MAT 141 or 241. For example, students who have not had trigonometry in high school algebra usually take MAT 141 as their first mathematics course. Students who have had trigonometry in high school normally take MAT 241 as their first mathematics course. Please note that CIS majors should not take MAT 108. In addition, CIS students should only take MAT 103, 104, or 105 if the assessment test results indicate these courses are necessary.

-Students who entered the college prior to September 2002 should consult with the Mathematics & Computer Science Department before selecting mathematics courses.


Douglas Salane, Chairperson
524 West 59th Street, Room 06.63.06NB, New York, NY 10019
Phone: 212.237.8836, Email: