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CICS Introductory Course Revision


In the 2021-2022 academic year, the College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) conducted a study of possible revisions to the introductory course sequences used in the Computer Science and Informatics majors. The recommendation that resulted from this study was that the College adopt a new unified introductory sequence for both majors comprising three courses:

  • CICS 110: Foundations of Programming
  • CICS 160: Object Oriented Programming
  • CICS 210: Data Structures

These three new courses will replace the courses COMPSCI 121: Introduction to Problem Solving with Computers, COMPSCI 186: Using Data Structures, and COMPSCI 187: Programming with Data Structures. CICS 110 derives from and will replace an experimental course first offered in Fall 2021, INFO 190S: Introduction to Programming for Information Science. CICS 160 derives from and will replace an experimental course first offered in Spring 2022, INFO 190T: Introduction to Data Structures in Python.

In the summer of 2022, CICS started the process of implementing these revisions. The proposals to create CICS 210 and to convert INFO 190S to CICS 110 and INFO 190T to CICS 160 were submitted to the UMass Faculty Senate for approval at the end of Summer 2022. In Fall 2022, new incoming CICS students and students from several other majors were able to enroll in INFO 190S and INFO 190T as preliminary offerings of the courses that will become CICS 110 and CICS 160. In Spring 2023, all of CICS 110, 160 and 210 were offered. Starting in Fall 2023, none of the previous introductory courses including COMPSCI 121, 186 and 187 are being offered.

More information about the new introductory courses and the transition from the old to new course sequences can be found in the sections below. For questions about these changes, please contact intro-revision@cs.umass.edu. More information will be added to this page as the transition processes progresses.

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Content of New Introductory Courses

This section gives an overview of the content of each of the three new introductory courses.

Revised Prerequisite Structures

Revised tracking forms for the CS BS and CS BA degrees are provided below. In particular, COMPSCI 240 and 250 have a prerequisite change from COMPSCI 187 to CICS 160, while COMPSCI 220 and 230 have a prerequisite change from COMPSCI 187 to CICS 210. Further, the previous restriction that students not take COMPSCI 220 and 230 or COMPSCI 240 and 250 in the same semester is removed. Students may now take up to any three of COMPSCI 220, 230, 240, and 250 for which they meet prerequisites in the same semester; however, it is recommended that students take at most two of these courses in the same semester.

Revised Computer Science BS Requirements Tracking Form Revised Computer Science BA Requirements Tracking Form



Course Offering Transition Plan

The figure below shows the planned transition from the set of course offerings in Fall 2022 to the set of course offerings in Fall 2023. As of December 8, 2022, CICS 110 and 160 are now available for registration on Spire. These courses were previously listed under the experimental course numbers INFO 190S and INFO 190T. CICS 210 will be offered in Spring 2023, but eligible students will need to wait for the course proposal to be approved to register. Students eligible to register for COMPSCI 187 in Spring 2023 will register as usual.

Course offering transition plan


Frequently Asked Questions for Students