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Photo: Joy Lee

Registration for classes re-opened on Nov. 29, prompting thousands of students to log onto Penn InTouch and Penn Course Review with the goal of perfecting their schedules for spring 2018. If trends from previous years are any indication, many will work to get into a Computer Science course of some kind. 

In the last 10 years, the number of CIS majors at Penn has increased threefold. It's clear that CIS is growing increasingly popular on campus, but before you jump on the bandwagon, here is an essential list of stories you should read about the department. 


Interest in CIS has been rising across the country, including at Penn, where students of all backgrounds have shown interest in developing a basic literacy in code. Here is an overview of the growing popularity of CIS at Penn and how the department is working to manage it. 

One of the department's central goals is to make sure that CIS becomes more accessible to more people. For those interested in receiving computer science qualifications but are unable to pursue a major or minor in the subject, the Undergraduate Assembly is working to create a new computer science certificate that can legitimize their skills.

Enrollment in CIS courses is already on the rise, but some believe that more needs to be done to cement its place at Penn. Opinion writer Jacquelyn Sussman suggests that CIS should be made into a core section of the College of Arts and Sciences' curriculum.  

A series of complaints about diversity at high-profile tech companies this year prompted a nationwide discussion on the composition of tech-related spaces. Like many other schools, Penn's CIS department has struggled with including underrepresented minorities. Learn more about the department's current diversity statistics and what is being done to improve them. 

Diversity isn't the department's only problem. Demand for CIS classes have become so popular that the department has been struggling to accommodate the growing number of students. Teaching assistants say Penn isn't providing enough infrastructural support for growing class sizes. 

The CIS department also has the most cases of academic dishonesty — but not likely for the reason that you might think. Learn more about the lengths that the CIS department goes to to address plagiarism and cheating among its students. 

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