It's a Tough Choice
Your interest in computers can lead to a great career. Maybe you’ve always been fascinated by computer technology, or maybe you have a newfound interest in the subject. Either way, there are many ways to pursue a computing degree in the College of Computing and at Michigan Tech, all leading toward rewarding, well-paid jobs.
Today’s computing careers touch virtually all sectors of the global economy from software development and cybersecurity to information technology and robotics and mechatronics. It's a tough choice. Which one is for you?
Time to Explore
Starting out in General Computing gives you time to explore and decide which degree program sparks your curiosity. In your courses you'll explore computing-related majors as you build your confidence and knowledge. In one or two semesters, you'll be ready to make a well-informed decision about your major, then transition into the degree that's best for you -- without adding or completing unnecessary credits.
Stay on Track
You'll join a group of first-year General Computing students who'll attend the same sections of foundational first-year courses. You'll form a team with three to four other students which will become your study group, research group, and support network. Along with your professors and advisor, someone will always be there to help and keep you on track.
First-year General Computing Courses
Open the sliders below to learn about first-year Computing classes. Choose the sequence that best matches your individual interests and experience.
For students who are open to the full range of possibilities, the recommended first course is CS1090, Introduction to Computing Principles, a foundational course on the path to all the Computing degree programs. In CS 1090 you'll develop essential computational thinking skills and learn the basics of programming, algorithms, abstraction, data, global impact, and Internet technologies.
CS1090 will also introduce you to programming in Python, a powerful and widely used language that is a natural choice for beginners. CS 1090 lays the foundation in computing principles that will be leveraged throughout the computing-related degree programs.
For students who ultimately decide to pursue a non-computing major, CS 1090 can satisfy a General Education requirement.
For students with an interest in computer science, computer engineering, or software engineering, the right place to start is CS 1121, Introduction to Programming I, followed by CS 1122, Introduction to Programming II. These are the “standard” first-year classes for these three computing majors.
In CS 1121, the high-level object-oriented programming language Java is introduced as a problem-solving tool. Topics include design, coding, documentation, debugging, and testing of computer programs.
CS 1122 topics include data abstraction, class hierarchies and polymorphism, list, stack, queue, and tree data structures, complexity-based algorithm and data structure choices, and recursion.
For students interested in electrical engineering, electrical engineering technology, or mechatronics and who have more of a hardware inclination AND a little bit of computing and programming experience, the best first course is CS 1111, Introduction to Programming in C/C++. C/C++ is widely used in systems requiring hardware-software integration.
Still new to computing, but like these majors? No problem. We recommend CS 1090 first to help you “get your feet wet."
Students with an interest in the world of business who are thinking about a management information systems (MIS) major are advised to start with MIS 2100, Introduction to Business Programming.
In MIS 2100 you'll learn problem solving skills for business through the application of a high-level business programming language. Topics include the nature of the business programming environment, fundamentals of the language, structured programming concepts, desirable programming practices and design, and debugging and testing techniques.
Students who start in General Computing, and then decide that Management Information Systems is right for them, may substitute CS 1090 for MIS 2100, and vice versa for students switching from MIS to other Computing majors. Both MIS 2100 and CS 1090 are approved prerequisites for either CS 1111 or CS 1131.