The B.S. in computer science prepares students for either continued study at the graduate level or entry into the labor market. Students have been successful at both pathways, with some earning doctoral degrees and some reaching high levels in the private sector, including director of software development at major corporations. The curriculum includes a required core of courses that not only provides a broad base of fundamental knowledge, but also allows individuals to follow their own specific interests at the advanced level. All courses focus on general principles that will remain valid into the future but use tools and vehicles reflecting contemporary practice.
Computer science is perhaps the most pervasive technology of our time, reaching into every aspect of modern life, from work to recreation. It spans many disciplines, from mathematics and electrical engineering to linguistics, cognitive psychology, and graphic design. It is a challenge to provide a definition of the essence of such a sprawling discipline, but one the department faculty like is “Computer science is the study of what can be automated.”
Many people imagine that one must learn advanced mathematics to become a computer scientist or software developer. To be sure, some applications, such as computational modeling of physical processes, require techniques from advanced mathematics. Other applications, however, do not require mathematics beyond the basics taught in a strong high school program. Far more important is the ability to think logically and precisely and the ability to devise a plan to solve a problem. Students have successfully transitioned to computer science from a variety of nontechnical disciplines, including history, classics, and English literature.
In addition to meeting departmental requirements for a major, students must meet the University Core Curriculum requirements. Several required courses for the degree, such as COS 420 - Object-Oriented Design and THE 170 - Public Speaking , also satisfy Core requirements. Students are encouraged to consult with an academic advisor to identify other overlaps.
Minimum total number of credits required for graduation: 120
Courses used to fulfill major requirements in sections A through F below must be passed with a grade of C- or better. Courses that are prerequisites to COS courses must be passed with a grade of C or better. The cumulative grade point average of all courses applied to the major must be at least 2.0. Unless approval by the department is obtained, a maximum of three credits of COS 497 - Independent Study in Computer Science can be used to meet a degree requirement.
Specific course requirements are as follows:
D. Completion of three additional COS Courses
Completion of three additional COS courses numbered 300 and above, excluding COS 498 - Computer Science Internship . Graduate courses in the Department of Computer Science can be used to fulfill requirements in section C.
E. Mathematics and Science:
Enough additional courses from the following list to total, with the two required courses of the last item, at least 15 credit hours:
Completion of any two courses from the following:
USM Core Requirements
The USM Core Curriculum is a coherent, integrative, and rigorous liberal education that enables our graduates to be world-minded, intentional, life-long learners and captures your general education degree requirements.
Please Note: Core requirements may be part of your major and/or minor, and Core may have been fufilled with transfer credit. Please consult your MaineStreet Degree Progress Report (DPR) and review your degree progress with your Advisor. For additional information, access the USM Core webpage.