Monday, February 28, 2011

UIS tops in state in computer science grad students

With an enrollment of just less than 5,000, the University of Illinois Springfield doesn’t come to mind when you think biggest in the state.

But the UIS Computer Science Department is big. It has more graduate students enrolled in its master’s program than any other public university in Illinois, including the U of I flagship university in Champaign-Urbana, which has more than eight times as many total students.

Ted Mims, chairman of the UIS department, says the master’s program is popular because the curriculum is flexible and offers students the opportunity to select classes that will help them achieve their career goals.

A graduate research seminar is the only required course in the curriculum, he said.

“We also offer a degree online,” Mims said. “When we moved online, it opened up more opportunities.”

According to the Illinois Board of Higher Education, UIS had 184 students seeking a computer science master’s degree in 2009, the last year for which figures were available. Northern Illinois University had the second-most with 178.

UIS, with a total of 195 students, ranked fifth among state schools in 2009 when it comes to the number of undergraduate students majoring in computer science. UIUC topped the list with 682 undergraduate majors.

When he came to UIS 18 years ago, Mims said, it had 75 undergraduate students and 45 graduate students in computer science.

Computer science was featured in a February 28, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article