1.How do I become a CIS major?
- Students can declare the major at any time at the Office of the Registrar (Room 4113N).
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
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
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
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
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
-Students who entered the college prior to September 2002 should
consult with the Mathematics & Computer Science Department before
selecting mathematics courses.