Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering
Program Coordinator: Rob Hasker
Office: 212 Ullrich
Phone: 608.342.1401
Professor: Joe Clifton, Rob Hasker, Mike Rowe, Qi Yang
Associate Professors:Lisa Landgraf
Assistant Professors:Lily Chang, Yan Shi, Scott Summers

Statement of Purpose

The purpose of the Joint International Master's in Computer Science (JIM-CS) is to provide a high-quality, advanced education in computer science in an international setting.

Program Objectives

Graduates will:

  1. demonstrate advanced knowledge and skills in computer science;
  2. apply fundamental theory and practical methods to construct software systems in an international setting;
  3. interact affectively within international and diverse teams;
  4. understand how international differences and regional influences affect work done in computer science; and
  5. engage in and recognize the importance of life-long learning.

Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates will achieve the following learning outcomes:

  1. Foundation: Graduates will have a solid foundation in computer science with advanced knowledge in one or more areas.
  2. Practice: Graduates will have demonstrated their ability to apply their knowledge to practical problems on projects involving people from difference educational and cultural backgrounds.
  3. Culture: Graduates will exhibit cross-cultural communication skills and understand how international and regional differences influence how work is done in the profession.
  4. Presentation: Graduates will be capable of effective written and oral communication particularly with respect to preparing, publishing, and presenting technical material to diverse audiences.
  5. Growth: Graduates will exhibit skills for adapting to new environments and technologies, adapting to cultural differences, and embracing life-long learning.


The Master of Science in Computer Science provides advanced study in Computer Science with an international experience. Also called the JIM (Joint International Master's) program, it is typically taken in three or four semesters: one semester at a "home" institution (the institution which admits the student), one semester at an abroad institution (one of the international partner institutions), and then a final semester at the home institution.

The strength of this program is the international component. Computing today is a global issue, driving industry to seek professionals who are experienced in internationally distributed development and operation of software systems. To gain international experience, students are required to spend at least one semester abroad at one of the partner institutions. This gives all students opportunities to converse and work with students from different cultures. In addition, it increases the variety of courses which can be offered and exposes students to very different perspectives on computer science. Thus graduates of this program achieve dual objectives: deepening their understanding of computer science and learning to communicate in a global environment.


Those seeking admission to the program must have earned a bachelor's degree in computer science or closely related field (such as software engineering or informatics) from a regionally or nationally accredited institution. In particular, all students must have had courses in introductory programming and data structures and, in addition, coursework covering at least four of the following topics:

Applicants from other fields may be required to take undergraduate courses to address deficiencies. Substantial industry experience may be accepted in lieu of coursework in the above areas on a case-by-case basis.

In addition, students must meet the other admission requirements for all master's programs at UW-Platteville. Enrollment will be limited by the number of positions available at the participating institutions.


The requirements for the curriculum fit into five categories: foundations, electives, project work, culture and language, and writing. The writing requirement consists of either a thesis or a seminar paper; this choice affects the number of credits to be taken in the other categories. The total number of required credits for both options is 30. In addition, students must satisfy requirements for coursework involving significant global content and graduate school requirements for the number of credits at the 7000 level and above.

Other than the courses covering language, all courses are taught in English. There is no requirement that students know another language to enter the program.

Foundation Courses

The foundation courses are divided into two groups with Group A including an element of theory and Group B being more applied. Students are required to take courses from both groups. In addition, certain courses are marked with an asterisk (*) indicating that these have significant global content.

The lists of foundation courses include some which are offered only at partner institutions. Course numbers indicate which are offered at UW-Platteville. The special topics course, COMPUTER 7830, can also count towards the foundations requirement (with a designation in Group A or Group B) upon approval by the department chair or program coordinator.

Group A, courses with a significant mathematical component or which cover a traditional theoretical concept:

Group B, applied courses:


The following courses are allowed as electives for students taking the seminar paper option. Courses marked with an asterisk (*) count towards the global studies requirement. Some of these courses are only available in an online format.

Project Work

All students must take two courses, one at UW-Platteville and one at a partner institution. The UW-Platteville courses that count towards this requirement are COMPUTER 7120 and COMPUTER 7220.

Culture and Language

All students must take courses relating to the culture and/or language of the abroad institution. This coursework can take many forms. GERMAN 5000 (Foreign Languages Travel Abroad Seminar) counts towards this requirement; other courses can be taken upon approval by the department chair or program coordinator. All credits in this category apply towards the significant global content requirement.


All students must take either COMPUTER 7920, Seminar Paper Research, or COMPUTER 7990, Thesis. For the thesis, each student must organize a thesis committee containing at least three qualified individuals. At least one member of the thesis committee must be a member of the department at the studentís home institution and at least one must be a member of a partner institution.

In addition to other graduate school and program requirements, the research paper or thesis must include significant global content. The seminar and thesis credits count towards the total requirement for global content.

Credit Requirements

The following table gives the requirements for each category depending on whether the student takes the thesis option or the seminar paper option.

Option Thesis Seminar Paper
Total Credits3030
Foundations15 or more credits, with at least 6 credits from Group A and 3 credits from Group B; at least 6 credits must be earned abroad15 or more credits, with at least 9 credits from Group A and 3 credits from Group B; at least 6 credits must be earned abroad
Electives0 credits0 to 3 credits
Project4 to 5 credits with at least 2 credits at UW-Platteville and 2 credits at an abroad institution Culture/Lang./Intl. Studies 2 to 4 credits, with at least 1 credit at an abroad institution
Additional Requirements6 credits of COMPUTER 7990 - Thesis Research; At least 15 credits from courses with significant global content3 credits of COMPUTER 7920 - Seminar Paper Research; At least 15 credits from courses with significant global content

Computer Science Courses