Course Syllabus

Course Banner

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Click here to download a pdf version of the syllabus

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Instructor Introduction Video

What CS 372 is about

The theme of CS 372 is “How Computer Networks Work”.  We will begin with an overview of the basic concepts of networking technologies.  We will then delve deeper into these concepts by exploring networking functionality at each of the layers of the Internet Protocol Stack.  Along the way, we will learn about the hardware and software that enable network communication, the protocols that control network communication, and some of the applications that make it possible for the general public to use and enjoy the Internet.

Computer networking is complicated.  There is an enormous body of knowledge that encompasses multiple areas of specialization.  We will attempt to handle the complexity by concentrating on theory, abstractions, and general concepts, and then using a few example technologies to illustrate the concepts.  In addition, we will have some hands-on lab experience to reinforce the concepts.

CS 372 is an introduction to computer networking.  As such, we chose a mostly theoretical approach to the materials, with some hands-on lab and programming work.  It offers an overview of several aspects of networking (breadth), with details about a few networking technologies (depth).  It can be a first step in earning certification in networking.

CS 372 is not a network administration course.  It is not a certification course in any area of specialization.  Additional courses are required in order to qualify for a CNA/CNE or other networking or systems administration professional certifications.

The university catalog description for CS 372 is:

"Computer network principles, fundamental networking concepts, packet-switching and circuit switching, TCP/IP protocol layers, reliable data transfer, congestion control, flow control, packet forwarding and routing, MAC addressing, multiple access techniques."

The prerequisites for this course are CS 261 and CS 271 or equivalents.


Oregon State University does have a System Administration course available, CS312, but only currently in an on-campus offering (although, depending on the instructor, the course can be completed entirely remotely).


Course Introduction

Course / Designer Introduction


This syllabus describes the administrative parts of the course and serves as a contract between student and instructor.  Remaining in this course indicates acceptance of these rules.

Your first task in this course will be to take and pass the syllabus quiz (below). Once you do this, the first module of the course will be unlocked.

Syllabus Quiz


Communication Policy

Please post all course-related questions in the Piazza discussion boards so that the whole class may benefit from our conversations.  Not all posts require a reply from the instructor or learning assistants and often it is better for students to work on an answer to a question themselves, helping cement understanding or locate resources to answer questions.

To contact the learning assistants, open Canvas Inbox, compose a new message, select this course, then next to the ‘To’ box click the address book, select “Teaching Assistants”, then choose the name(s) of learning assistants you wish to contact.

Please DM in Slack or email the instructor only for matters of a personal or private (grading) nature.  The instructor or a learning assistant will reply to most course-related questions within 48 hours.

If there are questions about grading, please contact your assigned grader first but feel free to reach out to an instructor directly if there are still questions afterward.

Name Role Email Grading range (last name)
Joseph Jess Instructor Regrade requests
Rafid Al-Mahdi GTA A-Hua
Victor Agostinelli III GTA Hun-Mo
Victor Li GTA Mur-Shee
Yashwanthi Anand  GTA Shel-Z

Office Hours are held via Slack (Links to an external site.).

Discussion Board via Piazza (Links to an external site.).

Office hours:

Day and Time Person Location

M-F 1300-1400, 

Joseph Jess Slack and Piazza

Saturday and Sunday 1600-1800

Rafid Al-Mahdi Slack and Piazza
MW 1300-1500 Victor Agostinelli III Slack and Piazza
Thursday 1100-1200 and Friday 1400-1500 Yashwanthi Anand Slack and Piazza
TBA Victor Li Slack and Piazza

eCampus Resources (Links to an external site.) - These resources will be useful for all of your classes throughout the term...  Library Information, Helpdesk Contact Info, Canvas Tech Support, etc...


What you will need for CS 372

Required software is available for free download. It doesn’t matter if you are using a Mac or a PC, though there are sometimes hiccups with Macs and Wireshark; we will help you get set up.

Additional Resources: These online resources may be helpful during various parts of the CS372 course:

Course Summary:

Date Details