CS 111

Programmers aren’t born.

They’re made. And at UIC, they get their start in a course called CS 111.

If you’ve decided that a major or minor in computer science or data science is for you, CS 111 will lay the groundwork for the academic experiences that lie ahead.

You can walk into CS 111 with no programming or computer science experience.

By the time it ends … 

  • You will have learned to code. 
  • You will have learned a new language called Python, spoken by computers all over the world. (You can use it to tell them exactly what you want them to do!) 
  • You will have a new power: a skill and tool that will allow you to solve a wide range of problems, from making day-to-day tasks easier to creating beautiful computer visualizations to communicate your ideas.

In short, CS 111 gives you the foundation in programming that will allow you to take higher-level courses in computer science and data science.

CS 111 and Break Through Tech

Break Through Tech Chicago sponsors a special section of CS 111 in May and June — UIC’s summer session 1 — that is open by application to women (cis and trans) and nonbinary individuals who plan to major or minor in computer science or data science. We cover the tuition cost for all participants who are accepted to this special section, providing a jump start toward the major or minor.

This is hardly the only way to enroll in CS 111, however! Each fall and spring semester, the UIC computer science department offers dozens of regular-tuition sections of CS 111. Any UIC student may register for one of these sections.

CS 111 FAQ

Thinking about taking CS 111? The sections below answer the most common questions we hear from students who are starting out in computer science and data science. If you have questions that aren’t answered here, come to our info session and ask us!

In which semesters is CS 111 offered?

The tuition-free Break Through Tech Chicago section is offered in UIC’s summer session I only. 

The UIC computer science department runs CS 111 each fall and spring semester, often with many sections to choose from. For more information, talk to your academic advisor and/or visit the registration section of the my.uic.edu portal.

What are the dates for the Break Through Tech section of CS 111?

For 2021, UIC’s summer session I runs from May 17 through June 11. Participants in the Break Through Tech Chicago section of CS 111 should expect to attend class entirely online for four consecutive weeks, five days per week.

What if I am not free on the dates the Break Through Tech Chicago section is running?

If you are not free on the dates of the Break Through Tech Chicago CS 111 section, unfortunately you cannot participate in this option.

Please reach out to us anyway, though! Email us at btt@uic.edu. We can help you look into taking CS 111 in the fall or spring.

Do I need prior experience to take CS 111?

No prior experience is required. In addition, no knowledge of computer science or programming is required!

For the Break Through Tech Chicago section of CS 111, the only expectation is that you should be serious about going on to pursue a major or minor in computer science, data science, or another tech-oriented field.

Who teaches CS 111?

The Break Through Tech Chicago section of CS 111 will be taught by Shanon Reckinger, a faculty member who is a committed advocate for women and gender diversity in computing and technology. You can learn more about her on our team page.

The regular-tuition sections of CS 111 offered in fall and spring are taught by a large roster of popular computer science professors who are dedicated to teaching students the basics of programming.

How many UIC credits do I earn for CS 111?

CS 111 is a 3-credit course. It is a required course in the computer science major, so if that is your chosen path, you will have one of your required CS courses done. It’s also one of the two prerequisites for the computer science minor (along with MATH 180).

What do students tend to take after they finish CS 111?

After you finish CS 111, you can map out your path to a major or minor with help from a Break Through Tech Chicago staff member. 

For computer science majors, CS 141 and CS 151 are the courses that traditionally come next in the sequence.

How to participate

Applications for the tuition-free Break Through Tech Chicago section of CS 111 are sent directly to groups of eligible students in late March through mid-April each year.

You may register for any fall or spring section of CS 111 via the usual UIC course registration process.

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