CS 111

Three Black women at the University of Illinois at Chicago listen to Professor Dale Reed in a computer science course

About 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.
15 weeks (spring), 4 weeks (summer)
Program Participants

Break Through Tech Chicago sponsors two sections of CS 111 for female and nonbinary students who plan to major or minor in computer science or data science at UIC:

  • A regular-tuition section in UIC’s spring semester
  • A tuition-free section in UIC’s summer session 1

We also help to facilitate enrollment for students who want to take CS 111 in the fall or spring as part of their regular UIC course selection.

Additional Info

CS 111 is the course that sets you on your way to a UIC major or minor in computer science. This might be your first-ever experience with a tech-oriented class, and you’ll find that almost all of your classmates are in the same situation. CS 111 includes lots of group work — because we believe that tech skills are best learned together — and will teach you new, fun ways to be creative with computers.

Programmers aren’t born. They’re made.

And at UIC, they get their start in a course called CS 111.

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

When is CS 111 offered?

The tuition-free Break Through Tech Chicago section — open to female and nonbinary UIC students — is offered in summer session I only. For 2022, summer session I runs from May 16 through June 10. Participants in the Break Through Tech Chicago section should expect to attend the class in a hybrid format for four consecutive weeks, five days per week.

The spring Break Through Tech Chicago section — also open by application to female and nonbinary students — is offered in the spring semester. The difference with this section is in the teaching format. Traditional sections of CS 111 typically meet in a lecture-style class three days each week, with a lab section of a fourth day. In our spring section, each class meeting combines some “lecture” (in which you learn a new skill) and some “lab” (in which you test it out).

Keep in mind that the UIC computer science department also runs additional sections of CS 111 each fall and spring semester. Sign up via the registration section of the my.uic.edu portal.

Is prior experience needed?

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 tuition-free Break Through Tech Chicago section of CS 111 in summer session 1 is taught by Shanon Reckinger, a faculty member who is a committed advocate for women and gender diversity in computing and technology.

The spring 2022 Break Through Tech Chicago section of CS 111 will be taught by Dale Reed, who is passionate about bringing computer science education to all people.

UIC’s other 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 credits will I earn?

CS 111 is a 3-credit course. It is a required course in the computer science major and the computer science minorso if either of those becomes your chosen path, you will have one of your required CS courses done.

What do students take after 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.

School-Specific Program Information

We'll see you in class!

Application Information

Register here

Partner Institution

UIC computer science logo
Students in a Break Through Tech program code on laptops as a mentor looks on

By the end of the semester, students will have had exposure to many examples of problem-solving and have had lots of practice applying programming tools to a variety of challenges.

David Hayes
Lecturer, UIC Computer Science