We are excited to offer a new computer science major beginning in Fall 2020. This major is available to both new and current students. Please watch the video and read our helpful FAQ and documents below for more information.

NEW MAJOR AND CONCENTRATION DESCRIPTIONS

NEW COMPUTER SCIENCE MAJOR

The new computer science major at CSU provides you a broad background in the field while simultaneously allowing you to focus on specific areas. In addition to a general computer science degree with the option for a minor in a field of your choice, we offer the following concentrations:

  • Software Engineering
  • Computer Systems
  • Networks and Security
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
  • Human-Centered Computing
SOFTWARE ENGINEERING CONCENTRATION

Software engineering involves designing, implementing, and maintaining computer programs. Developing modern software systems requires more than programming skills and core computer science concepts. It requires software engineering skills, which are in high demand in the software industry.

The software engineering concentration focuses on the concepts, techniques, and tools necessary for software analysis, design, testing, maintenance, and teamwork. Your courses will include hands-on work with the software engineering tools used in industry.

This concentration combines a rigorous computer science degree with courses in software design, software testing, project management, and system analysis and design.

COMPUTER SYSTEMS CONCENTRATION

Computer systems are integrated devices that input, output, process, and store data and information. Computing systems encompass a wide range, from simple sensors and hardware components to phones, laptops, desktops, and entire data centers. Computer systems specialists are challenged to provide ever increasing levels of performance from these systems.

The computer systems concentration provides you the necessary tools to solve important and demanding systems problems at scale. You will learn how to design and assess computer systems from a holistic perspective that encompasses distributed and parallel algorithms, big data, systems software, networking, compiler design, and artificial intelligence/machine learning.

Data is our most valuable resource. Large scale data are being generated by programs, sensors, and simulations. Drawing timely and effective insights from these data are at the heart of modern problems in computer science and society in general. The computer systems concentration includes courses that teach you how to accomplish this goal, from storing, transporting, organizing, and extracting insights from data to expressing programs that execute in parallel and distributed environments encompassing hundreds of thousands of cores.

NETWORKS AND SECURITY CONCENTRATION

Networks connect computers and other devices so they can share information. The networks and security concentration involves designing, building, and maintaining networks and protecting them from cyberattacks.

Network and security technology is vitally important to almost every modern field of human endeavor including biology, physics, agriculture, medicine, defense, and more.

There is explosive demand for professionals who can understand the underlying principles of networks and security, incorporate them into products and practices, and provide defensive capabilities against cyber threats.

The networks and security concentration provides you core and elective courses on computer networking, systems security (including the latest trends and technologies in cyber-security), ethical hacking, operating systems, databases, and software. You will develop fundamental skills in security architecture and analysis, cryptography, system vulnerabilities and attack vectors, malware analysis and defense, intrusion detection and protection, network architecture, engineering and network software development. The CSU Cyber-Security Center of Excellence expands upon these course offerings with lab equipment, research topics, and certification opportunities.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLINGENCE AND MACHINE LEARNING CONCENTRATION

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are about creating intelligent systems – systems that perceive and respond to the world around them. AI and ML systems are everywhere, in our cars and smartphones, and businesses of all sizes are investing in these areas.

The AI/ML concentration combines a rigorous computer science degree with coursework in AI, ML, and big data. This concentration also provides you the necessary foundational coursework and skills in math, statistics, and data science.

HUMAN-CENTERED COMPUTING CONCENTRATION

Human-centered computing (HCC) focuses on developing tools that improve the relationship between people and technology so that people can concentrate on the problem rather than the technology. The ultimate goal of HCC is to make the computer invisible.

Human-centered computing involves designing, developing, and deploying human-centric computer systems. In this concentration you will learn techniques for human-computer interaction using gestures, mobile devices, large surfaces, and virtual environments. You will also learn how to design and conduct human-subject experiments and understand the role of HCC in developing human-centric artificial intelligence systems. The concentration provides rich interdisciplinary training in computer vision, machine learning, design and psychology.

GENERAL MAJOR - NO CONCENTRATION OPTION SELECTED

The general Computer Science major provides students with a broad background in the field of computer science as well as optionally gives students the opportunity to complement their computer science major with a minor in a field of their choosing. Students will find that there is a great need for knowledge in the combination of computer science with other disciplines.

COMPUTER SCIENCE NEW CURRICULUM FAQ

General Questions

WHY IS THE COMPUTER SCIENCE CURRICULUM CHANGING?

The goal of the new CS curriculum is to create a flexible, unified CS major that reflects the different areas of the field of computer science and its interdisciplinary nature.

The new curriculum also reflects feedback from students, faculty, and industry.

HOW IS IT CHANGING?
    • Unified: The CS-CS, CS-HCC, and ACT majors will be unified into a single major with a common core. All will require:
      • 8-10 upper division CS courses.
      • Calculus I, upper division Linear Algebra, upper division Statistics.
        • Including a Calculus I for Computational Sciences majors choice, currently being designed between the Math and CS departments.
      • 7 credits of natural sciences from a restricted CS approved list.
      • CS 201 (ethics) for one AUCC Arts & Humanities requirement.
    • Flexible: choices to reflect the diverse opportunities and interests in the field of computer science. Students will have the following choices:
      • Opportunity to choose a breadth of CS upper division courses, much like the CS-CS major today.
      • Option to choose a minor. Most all CSU minors will fit due to the reduction in required math and science credits, and no technical electives will be required for students who choose this option.
      • Option to choose a concentration in one of 5 areas: HCC: Human Centered Computing, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Computing Systems, Networks and Security, Software Engineering.
DO I HAVE TO CHANGE TO THE NEW CURRICULUM?

No, if you are currently a CS-CS, CS-HCC, or ACT major, you are grandfathered into the old curriculum and do not have to change.

HOW DO I DETERMINE IF I SHOULD CHANGE?

Each student’s situation and interest are unique so make sure you thoroughly review the new check sheets to determine what is best for you; however, the closer you are to graduation, the more likely you will want to stay on your current curriculum. Other common feedback we have heard from students:

  • If you are committed to a minor (other than math) or a 2nd major, it most always makes sense to switch to the new curriculum
  • If you are a CS-CS major and primarily have CS 3xx and CS4xx courses remaining, you may want to stay on the current curriculum.
  • If you are an HCC major who is interested in more psychology courses and less CS courses, stay on the current curriculum.
  • If you are an ACT major, who is more interested in the non-CS technical electives and less math, stay on your current curriculum.
WHERE DO I FIND MORE INFORMATION ON THE NEW CURRICULUM AND HOW IT COMPARES TO THE CURRENT CURRICULUM?

Look through the curriculum comparison, checksheets, and more on the New Computer Science Major website.

CAN I CHANGE MAJORS NOW?

No, this curriculum is effective Fall 2020. You cannot officially change until fall.

I WENT TO RUN DARS AND CANNOT FIND A WAY TO SPECIFY THE NEW CURRICULUM SO I CAN SEE HOW IT AFFECTS ME. HOW DO I DO THIS?

As this is not effective until Fall 2020, DARs will not be available for this curriculum until summer or fall 2020.

IF I AM STILL UNSURE OF WHICH IS THE BEST CURRICULUM FOR ME, WHAT SHOULD I DO?

The CS academic advisors will gladly answer your questions via email or meet with you. However, in your email or prior to your meeting, we will require you to read through the provided materials on the CS website, and let us know what you are thinking and why. This will give us insights into what is important to you.

Class Choice Questions

I HAVE DECIDED TO STAY ON THE CURRENT CS CURRICULUM, BUT I AM REALLY INTERESTED IN SOME OF THE NEW SCIENCE COURSE CHOICES ON THE NEW CURRICULUM, MAY I CHOOSE FROM THIS LIST?

Yes, but a CS advisor will need to do a substitution before you graduate.

I HAVE DECIDED TO STAY ON THE CURRENT CS CURRICULUM, BUT I AM INTERESTED IN SOME OF THE TECHNICAL ELECTIVE CHOICES FOR THE NEW CURRICULUM, INCLUDING ADDITIONAL CS COURSES AND IDEA CHOICES, MAY I CHOOSE FROM THIS LIST??

Yes, but a CS advisor will need to do a substitution before you graduate.

I HAVE DECIDED THAT I’D LIKE TO MOVE TO THE NEW CURRICULUM; HOWEVER, I HAVE COMPLETED BOTH OF MY AUCC ARTS AND HUMANITIES, DO I STILL NEED TO TAKE CS 201 (ETHICS)?

No, as long as you request this at time of change of major and do so by end of Spring 2021 semester.

I HAVE DECIDED THAT I’D LIKE TO MOVE TO THE NEW CURRICULUM; HOWEVER, I HAVE ALREADY COMPLETED MATH 229, DO I STILL NEED TO TAKE AN UPPER DIVISION LINEAR ALGEBRA COURSE?

No, as long as you request this at time of change of major and do so by end of Spring 2021 semester.

 

I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS ON MATH

Do I have to take Calculus II?

The new curriculum does not require Calculus II except if you choose the AI/ML concentration. Do note that if you take MATH 160 as your Calc I course, you will need MATH 161 if you select MATH 369 as your linear algebra choice rather than DSCI 369. If you optionally want to take Calculus II, it will count as a technical elective for those concentrations that allow one lower division technical elective. The current curricula that require Calculus II will still require Calculus II.

 

WHEN WILL THE NEW CALCULUS I FOR COMPUTATIONAL SCIENCES BE OFFERED?

We are hoping for Fall 2020, but will know more towards the end of semester.

WHAT ARE THE CURRENT PRE-REQUISITES FOR THE UPPER DIVISION LINEAR ALGEBRA CHOICES?
    • MATH 369: MATH 161 or Calculus I for Computational Sciences
    • DSCI 369: MATH 124 & MATH 126
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