Computer Science Bachelor’s Programs
Computer science (CS) bachelor’s degree programs cover the mathematical and theoretical underpinnings of computing. There are three types of degree options available: bachelor of arts (computer science), bachelor of applied science (computer science), and bachelor of computing (computer science).
There may be a school that offers interdisciplinary bachelor’s degree programs, which allow CS students to combine their interests. These include a bachelor’s in mathematics in computer sciences, a bachelor’s in technology in computer science and engineering, or a master of engineering in computing science.
The courses for a bachelor of computer science (BCS), vary depending on the school. However, they usually cover areas such as computer programming, computer hardware, and artificial intelligence engineering. The topics that students might be interested in include information, computability, algorithm design, and automata.
Below is a page that discusses bachelor’s degrees in computer science. It includes information about common curricula and career options for graduates. This overview provides information about program rankings as well as helpful resources such as professional organizations and scholarships for students in computer science.
What is a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science?
Core coursework in computer programming, data structures, logic, and computation is common in CS bachelor’s degrees. Due to the wide range of CS disciplines, bachelor’s programs may differ in their focus and availability of specializations. Some programs might be heavily focused on math and require courses in discrete mathematics, statistics, probability, calculus, and probability.
Many electives and specializations allow students to select from a range of electives, including software testing, data communications, computer networking, and operating systems. Students who are more theoretically inclined might choose to study information theory and computation theory. Others might choose to specialize in artificial intelligence, real-time computing, or computer graphics.
A bachelor’s degree in CS is extremely versatile and prepares students for diverse CS and IT careers. Software developer, network architect, information security analyst, or computer systems engineer are some of the possible roles that graduates could be considered for.
Graduates may also choose to pursue a relevant master’s degree, which is a common requirement for computer and information research scientists. This group of professionals solves complex problems through the creation of innovative computing designs and new technology applications. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), research scientists earn a median annual salary of $122,840, and jobs in the profession are projected to grow 16% between 2018-2028.
Common Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science
- Interaction between Human and Computer
- HCI is a discipline that studies the design and implementation of interactive computing systems. It aims to provide intuitive user interfaces. This course draws from computer science, cognitive psychology, design, as well as computer science. It discusses the current theory, methodology, guidelines, and design of interactive computing systems. The entire design process is covered by students, including setting specifications and designing prototypes, as well as evaluating and analyzing the interfaces that they create. HCI courses often use case studies to aid students learning. Many courses require prerequisites, such as math or computer science.
- Data Mining and Machine Learning
- Machine learning and data mining are a new addition to the CS course catalogs. They introduce key concepts and methods for sorting and analyzing large data sets with machines. These courses allow students to create relevant applications in a range of fields including industrial automation, biometrics, and market segmentation. Students will learn about both supervised as well as unsupervised learning models, and how neural networks are used in machine learning. The histogram, Bayesian classificationifiers, decision trees, and linear machines are some of the concepts. Expectation maximization is another. Pseudocode is a way for students to create their own programs. Students should be familiar with Python before they begin the course.
- Digital Technology and Ethics
- This multidisciplinary course provides a framework for understanding and responding to ethical dilemmas posed by digital technology. The course covers both general ethical theories and issues related to digital technology such as privacy, intellectual property, and censorship. The course examines the emerging issues associated with autonomous machines and computational genomics as well as pervasive computing. This course applies to all CS students. However, it is particularly important for those who are interested in computer forensics and information systems management. The prerequisite for enrollment in this class is a previous course in digital literacy.
- Software Engineering
- This course focuses on the components of the software development cycle. It covers the structure and requirements of a project as well as the identification of stakeholders. Students create project specifications, prototypes, as well as validation techniques. This course might cover the differences between object-oriented and function-oriented programming models. Documentation is often an integral part of any project. Students can expect to learn about documentation practices and methods for managing requirements throughout a product’s lifecycle.
- Data Structures
- This course teaches students key concepts and algorithms in a data structure. Students will learn about graphs, queues, stacks, hash tables, and graphs among other data structures. Students will also learn to analyze and write algorithms using recursion. The course will use examples and case studies to illustrate the many and varied practical applications of these theoretical concepts.
Admission requirements for a Bachelor of Computer Science
Candidates who have strong academic records and high standardized test scores are required for bachelor’s degrees in computer science. Candidates typically need to have a high school diploma or equivalent and a minimum of 2.0-3.0 GPA. Many programs require that freshman applicants submit SAT/ACT scores. Candidates may also need to have high school prerequisites for English, natural sciences, math, and foreign languages.
Bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science are often open to students who have relevant work experience or previous college coursework. They may be able to waive the requirement for standardized test scores.
Many programs allow applicants to apply online. Official transcripts and scores from standardized tests may be required. There is a $30-$75 application fee. Many schools require essays and letters of recommendation.
Is a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science worth it?
Associate degree holders can work in a variety of technology-related positions, including web developer, computer systems analyst, and support specialist. Many entry-level IT or CS jobs require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree.
A bachelor’s degree enables graduates to work as database administrators, software developers, network architects, and information security analysts. Master’s degrees are available to some bachelor’s degree holders, which allows for greater advancement in their field.
A bachelor’s degree is a great way to increase your salary or get promoted to higher-level positions, such as project manager or manager of computer and information systems.
PayScale reports that computer science professionals earn an average of $85,000 per year, while CS associates make $65,000 annually. According to the BLS, computer and information systems managers make a median annual salary of $146,360.
Computer Science Professional Organizations
- Association for Women in ComputingEstablished in 1978, AWC supports the professional growth of women in technology careers, including programmers, technical writers, consultants, and system analysts. AWC is one of the first professional associations for women in this field. It offers mentorship, education, networking, and networking opportunities. AWC is affiliated with the Institute for Certification of Computer Professionals. It encourages professionalism and competence and offers programs to improve both professional and technical skills. There are many networking opportunities available online as well as in person at AWC’s local chapters all over the country. AWC has student chapters at many colleges and universities for women interested in computing careers.
- Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer SocietyIEEE endeavors to foster a global community among technical professionals and inspire innovation that improves society. Many members collaborate on technology in areas such as robotics and sustainable energy. IEEE aims to bring together its 419,000 members around the world through conferences, online networking, collaboration tools, and events. This organization is geared towards students and professionals in engineering and technology. It also publishes technology standards, publications, and other relevant information, which it curates in its digital library.
- Computing Research AssociationFounded in 1972, the CRA comprises over 200 affiliated professional organizations and computer research organizations in government, industry, and academia. The CRA supports computing research and expands its impact. It also helps to develop talent and support computing researchers through leadership development programs. The CRA provides information that helps guide federal policy regarding computing research support.
- Computer Professionals for Social responsibility since its founding in 1981, this international organization has advocated for ethical, responsible technology use. CPSR has 26 members and educates policymakers and the public on various technology issues. CPSR is responsible for the incubation of important projects such as the Public Sphere Project and the Civil Society Project. Privateer is another example. CPSR also publishes a handbook for activists, guidelines, and policies on responsible technology, and a monthly newsletter for members.