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CS Professionals Hatchery Curriculum (CS-HU)


CS Hatchery LogoBased on feedback from industry, the Computer Science Department has committed to offering several short courses (known as CS Hatchery Units) focusing on professional skills relevant to the industry. The skills presented in these hatchery units courses will be used in other computer science courses.

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CS-HU Curriculum Change Implications for Students
CS-HU Course Registration
Frequently Asked Questions
Knowledge, Skills, Abilities (KSA) Categories
CS-HU Catalog Descriptions
NSF Award


Five of the new hatchery unit courses will be required starting with the Fall 2018 catalog. Students following an earlier catalog will need to review their CS courses to ensure newly added Hatchery Unit course CO/PREREQs are satisfied. Upper division students that will have completed CS 321 by end of fall 2017 would have no impact on their degree plan. Some of the new hatchery unit courses may still be of interest to these upper division students.

Lower division students, particularly those in the 2016-2017 or 2017-18 catalog will benefit by switching to the 2018-2019 catalog – available now (see FAQs for instruction on how to change catalogs).

To take advantage of these new hatchery unit courses, the requirement for a second semester of science coursework (4-5 credits) has been dropped in the 2018-2019 catalog (earlier catalogs had 3 required science courses have been reduced to 2 in different fields of study beginning with the 2018-2019 catalog).  Additionally any university approved FH Literature and Humanities course may be taken as the PHIL 102 course is no longer be a requirement in the 2018-2019 catalog.

Review the 2018-2019 Degree Requirements in the 2018-2019 catalog (for Bachelors and CS Minor) as well as the 2018-2019 Finish-in-Four plan or Finish-in-Four with co/pre-req to see where the new hatchery unit courses fit into the curriculum. Please refer to the figure below to see how the required CS-HU courses align with the lower division CS courses.

Degree requirements flow chart

NOTE: Companies looking for student interns generally seek students who have completed CS 321.

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CS-HU Curriculum Change Implications for Students

This table is a summary of the curriculum changes as a result of the Hatchery Unit courses. Students should utilize this information when planning their future course work to ensure all new course co/prereqs have been satisfied.

We recommend students plan their coursework not only for the current semester, but to evaluate the co/prereqs for the following semester to ensure they complete the prereqs.

CS-HU Curriculum Change Implications for Students

CourseDescription of ChangeEffective DateStudents in Fall 2018-2019 CatalogStudents in Earlier Catalogs
CS 230 Ethical Issues in ComputingAdded CS-HU 130 prereqFall 2018Co/pre-req changeCo/pre-req change
CS 230 Ethical Issues in ComputingRemoved PHIL 102 prereqFall 2018Co/pre-req changeCo/pre-req change
CS 253 Intro to Systems ProgrammingAdded CS-HU 250 is coreq (note CS-HU 153 is prereq to CS-HU 250 plan accordingly)Fall 2018Co/pre-req changeCo/pre-req change
CS 321 Data StructuresAdded CS-HU 271 and CS-HU 310 coreqsFall 2018Co/pre-req changeCo/pre-req change
CS 471 Software EngineeringAdded CS-HU 271 as prereq. Agile Development material pulled from CS 471Fall 2019Co/pre-req changeCo/pre-req change
CS 498 SeminarNo longer required in Fall 2018-2019 CatalogFall 2018* # CS electives increases to 13 credits as CS 498 removedCS-HU 398 is an automatic substitute for CS-HU 498 for students in earlier catalogs
CS MinorFour CS-HU courses addedFall 2018CS-HU 153, 250, 271 and 310 requiredCo/pre-req changes will affect course plans for students
CS-HU 274 Software TestingNew CourseFall 2019 1st offeringCS electiveCS elective
CS-HU 375 Secure ProgrammingNew CourseFall 2019 1st offeringCS electiveCS elective
PHIL 102 Classics of Western Philosophy DLLAny university approved DLL will be accepted for degree requirementsFall 2018Any university approved DLL may be takenPHIL 102 Required
PHYS 212/212L or CHEM 112/112LNo longer a degree requirement in Fall 2018-2019 catalog. Now you need two science courses (in two fields) instead of three courses.Fall 2018Second semester science course is no longer required, can be used as a general electiveRequired
CS 354 Programming LanguagesChanged CS 321 coreq to a prereqSpring 2018Co/pre-req changeCo/pre-req change
CS 361 Intro to the Theory of ComputationChanged CS 321 coreq to a prereqSpring 2018Co/pre-req changeCo/pre-req change
CS 121 Computer Science IThe CS 121L Computer Science I lab has now been combined into CS 121 for a total of 4 creditsFall 2018From Fall 2018 onward students will only register for CS 121From Fall 2018 onward students will only register for CS 121
UF 100 Foundations of Intellectual Life
UF 200 Foundations of Ethics and Diversity
UF 100 and 200 courses have been renamedFall 2018Students are required to take UF 100 and UF 200 courses - no name change impact.Students are required to take UF 100 and UF 200 courses - no name change impact.

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CS-HU Course Registration

Refer to Peoplesoft for details of CS-HU course offerings next semester.

Search for CS-Hatchery Unit (instead of CS Computer Science) in BroncoWeb to find the list of Hatchery Unit courses offered.Bronco Web Search Screen shot

Please contact your CS advisor or the Computer Science department at with followup questions.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the CS department offering these new 1-credit Hatchery Unit courses?

Based on feedback from valued industry partners, the CS department will be offering and requiring several new short (1-credit) courses called “Hatchery Units,” which are focused on important professional skills relevant to industry.

These new courses along with future course modifications are designed to cover and highlight specific skills identified by a group of 17 industry partners. In some cases, the skills have been pulled out of existing CS courses to highlight their importance and the content enhanced in the HU, and these skills threaded into subsequent CS course enhancements.

Here is how a graduating senior summarized the Hatchery Unit courses:

“I think this is awesome! I’ve talked to several students that think one of the missing classes is the program was basic system access and file control (a pre-253 class). I think that CS-HU 153 and 250 will cover it. Students eventually learn these skills (some better than others) out of necessity. I think making sure that everyone gets exposure to these topics early on will help future students a lot.”

If I have completed CS 230, CS 253 and CS 321 before Fall 2018, do I need to take the Hatchery Unit Courses?

The short answer is no. However, the new CS-HU courses teach useful professional skills that you may find valuable, and these courses can be used to satisfy your additional CS course requirements, including the Cybersecurity emphasis.

The chair will allow you to substitute any three 1-credit CS-HU courses for a single 3-credit CS additional course. This only applies to students on catalogs earlier than 2018-2019.

Why switch to the 2018-19 catalog?

The 2018-2019 catalog drops the requirement for the second semester science coursework (4-5 credits) to accommodate the new Hatchery unit courses.

  • This implies you won’t need PHYS 212/212L or CHEM 112/112L.
  • You need two overall science courses in two different fields.
  • So, if you have taken PHYS 211 and 212 (or CHEM 111 and 112), you will need another science course in a different field.


  • Switching to the 2018-2019 degree plan requires that you take 5 required hatchery units courses.
  • If you switch catalogs and have already taken the second semester science course, these credits can be applied to your general elective requirements.
  • Once you have reviewed the 2018-2019 catalog, meet with your advisor to confirm this is a good option for you.
  • Once reviewed with your advisor, change your catalog by submitting the Catalog Year Update Form to the Registrar’s Office.
  • In order to switch to 2018-2019 catalog, you must be graduating Fall 2018 or later.

Will changes to course co/prereqs affect me even if I don’t switch to the new 2018-2019 catalog?

Yes, co/prereq changes are effective no matter the catalog the student is using!

Refer to the course descriptions for the co/prereqs for any course you plan to register.

Beginning Fall 2018: CS 230, CS 253, and CS 321 have additional co/prereqs:

  • CS 230 — new prereq CS-HU 130, PHIL 102 prereq is being dropped. Other prereqs for CS 230 stay the same.
  • CS 253 — new coreq CS-HU 250; however, CS-HU 250 has CS-HU 153 as a prereq. Other prereqs for 253 stay the same.
  • CS 321 — new coreqs are CS-HU 271 and CS-HU 310. Other prereqs for CS 321 stay the same.

What is a co-req? According to the catalog, a co-req is a condition that must be met either in the same semester or in an earlier semester.

How do I sign up for the CS-HU courses?

Search for CS-Hatchery Unit (instead of CS Computer Science) in BroncoWeb to find the list of Hatchery Unit courses offered.BroncoWeb search screen shot

Can I utilize hatchery unit courses to satisfy my CS additional course requirements

To encourage students to take these CS-HU courses, the chair will allow you to substitute any three 1-credit CS-HU courses for a single 3-credit CS additional course. So you can take three CS-HU courses, such as CS-HU 130, 271, and 390 (a total of 3 credit hours) and substitute these for one of your CS additional courses. This only applies to students on catalogs earlier than 2018-2019.

NEW: This also applies to the Cybersecurity emphasis.

Students in the 2018-2019 catalog will see elective CS-HU courses listed as available to fulfill their additional CS coursework.

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Knowledge, Skills, Abilities (KSA) Categories

The following table provides a high level grouping of the key Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities identified with 17 industry partners. These KSAs form the basis for creation of the new 1-credit Hatchery Unit courses and enhancements to current computer science courses.

TechnicalPractical knowledge and skills associated with the computing field
ProfessionalA person engaged and qualified in the computing profession
Collaboration & TeamsWorking with people and groups to achieve a goal
Research & DevelopmentSeeks innovation and improvement of products and processes
EntrepreneurshipOrganizes, manages, and assumes risks of a business or enterprise
BusinessUnderstanding how a company makes money and executes strategy

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CS-HU Catalog Descriptions

A Hatchery Unit (CS-HU) course is a short 1-credit course to develop specific professional skills for computer science.

  • A Hatchery Unit course is generally offered over a five-week period. The level of commitment and effort required in this course is the same as that of a three-credit course, although limited to the five-week period.

CS-HU 130 Foundational Values (1-0-1)(F,S). Foundational values for computer science students and professionals include knowledge, skills, and values supporting the inclusion of diverse individuals in all aspects of the discipline. Students learn how to develop and adapt a social contract that enhances one’s ability to create and maintain a diverse, inclusive, and socially-just learning and working environment. Students also reflectively apply their new social contract in prototype situations that they encounter as computer science students and professionals.

NOTE:This course is a PREREQ for CS 230 Fall 2018 onward.

CS-HU 153 Navigating Computer Systems (1-0-1)(F,S). Effective use of operating systems. Creating and using virtual machines. Installation and management of software packages. Basic command-line environment, filesystem layout, commands for navigating and manipulating systems, file permissions and security, filters, and an introduction to shell scripting. PREREQ: CS 121.

CS-HU 250 Introduction to Version Control (1-0-1)(F,S). Introduction to the central ideas, practices, and day to day usage of software version control. Brief history with practical examples using Git, Mercurial, or Subversion. Basic client side usage such as committing, branching, merging, pull-request as well as more advanced usage. Server side operations such as commit hooks and tool chain integrations will be explored. PREREQ: CS-HU 153.

NOTE:This course is a COREQ for CS 253 Fall 2018 onward.

CS-HU 269 A Brief Intro to Human Computer Interaction (1-0-1)(F/S). Introduction to user-centered design for software programs. The user-centered design cycle, design guidelines, best practices, and evaluation techniques for usable applications. Coursework includes class sessions, online interaction, assignments, and contributing to a project. COREQ: CS 221.

CS-HU 271 Agile Development (1-0-1)(F,S). Scrum for software development. Scrum process, user stories, acceptance criteria, and test programming. Students work in Scrum teams. PREREQ: CS 221.

NOTE:This course is a COREQ for CS 321 Fall 2018 onward.

CS-HU 274 Software Testing (1-0-1)(F/S). Software testing concept and tools. Topics include testing strategies, equivalence partitioning, boundary value analysis, test coverage criteria, test programming with JUnit, test-driven development. PREREQ: CS221. (The first offering of this course is planned for Fall 2019)

CS-HU 310 Intro to Database System Usage (1-0-1)(F,S). Application-intensive course on database systems. Topics covered in this course include: data modeling; insertion, deletion, and update statements; basic SQL queries including queries with negation; and database APIs. PREREQ: CS 221.

NOTE:This course is a COREQ for CS 321 Fall 2018 onward.

CS-HU 375 Secure Programming (1-0-1)(F/S). Secure programming in Java and C/C++. Topics include buffer overflow, formatted output, integer overflow, command injection, and secure coding principles and practices. PREREQ: CS 221, CS 253, and CS-HU 310. (The first offering of this course is planned for Fall 2019)

CS-HU 390 Technical Interviews, Jobs and Careers (1-0-1)(F). Prepare students for computer science technical interviews. Demonstrate how knowledge gained in classes can be used to solve new problems. Encourage teamwork and peer feedback. Learn how to negotiate jobs and manage career growth. A Hatchery Unit (HU) course is a short course to develop specific professional skills for computer science. (Pass/Fail) PREREQ: CS 230, CS 253, and CS 321.

CS-HU 398 Current Topics in Computer Science (1-0-1)(F, S). Explore current topics in computer science from industry and academic perspectives. PREREQ: CS 230 and CS 321.

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NSF Award

Boise State University’s Department of Computer Science is one of seven engineering and computer science departments across the country to receive a five-year, $2 million REvolutionizing engineering and computer science Departments (RED) award from the National Science Foundation. The project is titled “Computer Science Professionals Hatchery: An Ecosystem for Nurturing the Next Generation of Computer Science Professionals.”

Read the article “Computer Science Program Hatching New Ideas for Education

Boise State University NSF Grant Award #1623189: “IUSE/Professional Formation of Engineers: REvolutionizing engineering and computer science Departments”

“This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1623189.”
“Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.”