Database Design

Last update: February 21, 2024 - Added Generative AI statement

Databases are at the core of virtually all critical information system. In this competition you will flex your database design and SQL muscles to show you’ve got the right stuff to make data work for you!

In this two-part competition, teams will be provided with a problem statement which will require them to design a database, create an entity relationship diagram reflecting their design, and generate SQL code to query and modify the database. Teams may also be asked to construct additional SQL code (DQL/DML) and/or respond to questions about general database design and management issues.

ERDs should be created using diagramming software such as Microsoft Visio, Visible Analyst, or LucidChart. All SQL code must be written using standard structured query language and must utilize Oracle, MySQL, or MSSQL Server. Each team is required to bring their own laptop/notebook PC, with their own diagramming and database software.

Team Composition

Teams may be made up of 1-2 people.


Friday, April 5, 2024 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Skills and Resources

Successful teams will need skills in database design, entity-relationship modeling, and structured query language (SQL). Participants must use Oracle, MySQL, or MS SQL Server.  MS Access and other development suites that support drag and drop are not allowed. For all objectives, only standard SQL commands may be used.  Application specific commands, those unique to Oracle, MS SQL Server, or MySQL will result in a reduction of points.

The competition may contain all or some of the following components:

(1) Database Design: Teams must submit a database design based on the given problem statement or SQL script. The design will be represented by an ERD with entities, relationships, attributes, primary and foreign keys, cardinality, and optionality; and the relational schema normalized to 3NF.

(2) Data Definition Language (DDL): Teams will be required to write the SQL code to instantiate the design shown in their ERD into a physical database, including all keys.

(3) Data Query Language: Teams may be required to write one or more SELECT queries to query an existing database or the database they have created.

(4) Data Manipulation Language (DML): Teams may be required to write one or more DML statements to INSERT, UPDATE, or DELETE data from an existing database or the database they have created.

(5) Knowledge demonstration: Teams may be presented with multiple choice, fill in the blank, or multi-section questions about their design or general database/SQL knowledge.


Teams will be given the problem statement at the beginning of the contest time.  A short time will be allowed to ask general questions about competition rules, however no specific questions about the problem or database concepts will be addressed.  Once the question & answer time has closed, no further questions will be answered.  Each team will submit their solution for judging prior to the contest closing time, at which point no further submissions will be accepted.

Statement Regarding use of Generative AI

We—the USITCC Conference Committee and the Foundation for Information Technology Education (FITE)—recognize the impressive growth, application, and overall utility of AI in shortening the time to completion of projects both professionally and academically. The use of Generative has increased dramatically in recent years. Students, employees, and organizations are leveraging tools such as ChatGPT, Bard, DALL-E, Midjourney, and DeepMind to supplement their own skillsets and produce greater volumes of work.

With that said, we and our cooperative organizations jointly decided to prohibit/ban the use of Generative AI from the 2024 USITCC competition.

The competitions at USITCC are primarily focused on and tailored to the knowledge bases and skillsets of undergraduate students from 2 & 4-year schools. The purpose of these competitions is to gauge, test, and present appropriate challenges for this level of student understanding and the competitions also allow students to detect their own deficiencies and strengths. Students will need to possess a solid understanding of the fields they are competing in on their own merits to truly discover where their strengths and weaknesses lie, such that they may better develop themselves for the professional world in which they are seeking careers.

Therefore, usage of Generative AI to assist in the answering, production, and development of student submissions is prohibited from the competition overall. Violation of this ban may result in the forfeiture of the competitor in that competition. We reserve the right to examine competition related network traffic data during this event. Certain web domain access may be blocked as well.

Previous Problem Statements

2023 USITCC Database Design

2022 Regional Competition Database Design

2019 USITCC Database Design

2018 USITCC Database Design

Return to the competitions overview page.