Feb 22, 2024  
2013-2014 Undergraduate Catalog 
2013-2014 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Computer Science

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Minimum number of credits required to graduate: 120

Minimum Cumulative GPA required to graduate: 2.0

Minimum Grade requirements for courses to count toward major: Must obtain a grade of “C” or better in COS 125, COS 140, COS 225, MAT 126, MAT 127, ENG 101 and ENG 317.

Other GPA requirements to graduate: Required GPA in Major: 2.0

Required Course(s) for fulfilling Capstone Experience: COS 397 and COS 497 or COS 495 or COS 499

Contact Information: George Markowsky, Chair of the Computer Science department, 237 Neville Hall, 581-3941

Computer science is the foundation of computing and information technology. Computer scientists study the theory, design, implementation, and performance of computers and computer software, including the study of computability and computation itself.  Computer scientists bring their breadth and depth of knowledge to bear to efficiently solve computing problems. They design and implement software systems. They devise new uses for computers, both to solve new problems and to provide novel, innovative capabilities and services.

Core areas of computer science include databases, high-performance computing, artificial intelligence, computer networks, computer graphics, software engineering, operating systems, programming languages, cybersecurity and computer organization and architecture. Computer science intersects other sciences to form such fields as computational biology and bioinformatics, medical informatics, computational chemistry, cognitive science, robotics, and computational linguistics. Knowledge of computer science, beyond simply what is needed to implement and use information systems, is increasingly important in medicine, business, law, and science, as well as being important for making informed decisions about technology. 

The required course work in computer science provides the student with an understanding of the basic areas of computer science: structure of programming languages, operating systems, software engineering, algorithms and data structures, computer architecture, and the theory of computer science.  Electives allow students to study additional topics such as database, high performance computing, networks, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity.  A capstone experience allows students to use their accumulated knowledge of the field either through field experience, independent study, or as an undergraduate researcher in one of our laboratories. 

Minimum hours needed for graduation: 120 degree hours. Required GPA: 2.00. Required Major GPA: 2.00. At least 18 hours of computer science courses numbered 300 or above must be taken at Orono. All students must satisfy the general education requirements of both the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and University. A University of Maine student who wishes to take a course elsewhere for the degree must have the course approved in advance by the department and the college.

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree is our traditional computer science undergraduate degree.  It prepares students to work in the computer industry or to study computer science in graduate school. The B. S. degree is also appropriate for students who wish to contribute a strong computer science background to an interdisciplinary team, such as one in bioinformatics.    The B.S. degree is accredited by the Computer Science Accreditation Commission (CSAC) of the Computing Sciences Accreditation Board (CSAB), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation (CORPA).

The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree gives the student a strong foundation in computer science while providing more flexibility in coursework outside the major. It also prepares the student for a rewarding career in computing or for graduate work.

Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science

All students must satisfy the University requirements for graduation. All required courses required by the Computer Science Department must be taken for a grade; courses taken PASS/FAIL will not count.

Mathematics Courses - 16 hours

Capstone Experience Requirement

To meet the capstone requirement for the B.S. students must use their accumulated knowledge of the field in addressing a particular problem. Students may meet the capstone requirement through field experience (described with the B.A. degree below) or an independent study, including an independent study as an undergraduate research assistant in one of our laboratories.

Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

Required courses - 9 hours

  • ENG 101 College Composition Credits: 3
    See Footnote 1
  • ENG 317 Business and Technical Writing Credits: 3
    See Footnote 1
  • CMJ 103 Fundamentals of Public Communication Credits: 3

In addition to the above, 21 hours must be chosen from the areas of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. These electives must be taken from the departments in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences listed below.  Courses used to meet the general education requirements in the area of Human Values and Social Context may also be counted toward this requirement, provided the courses are from the departments listed below.  Students must take at least six hours in each of the areas (Social Science; Arts and Humanities). They also must take two upper-level courses, where an upper-level course is a 200 level or above course with a prerequisite.

Social Sciences: Anthropology, International Affairs-Anthropology, Communication, Economics, International Affairs-Economics, International Affairs-Political Science, Journalism, Mass Communication, Native American Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology.

Arts and Humanities: Art, English, French, German, History, International Affairs-Foreign Languages, International Affairs-History, Latin, Modern Languages, Music, New Media, Philosophy, Romance Languages, Spanish, Theatre.

Science Requirement - 14 hours

Students must take a minimum of 14 credit hours of science. This must include a two-semester sequence of a laboratory science (e.g., PHY 121 and PHY 122), for a total of 8 hours, and an additional 6 hours of science courses. Courses fulfilling this requirement may be from any of the following areas:

  • Astronomy (AST; except AST 114)
  • Biological Sciences (BIO)
  • Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology (BMB; BMB 207 and above)
  • Chemistry (CHY; CHY 121 and above)
  • Earth Sciences (ERS; ERS 101 and above)
  • Forest Ecosystem Science (FES)
  • Marine Science (SMS; SMS 110 and above)
  • Physics (PHY; PHY 121 and above)
  • Wildlife Ecology (WLE; WLE 200 and above)

Footnote 1

A student must complete these courses with a grade of “C” or better in each; a grade of “C-” is not sufficient.

Bachelor of Arts Degree in Computer Science

B.A. Distribution Requirement

All students pursuing the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences must complete a second major or a minor outside the major.

Footnote 1

A student must complete these courses with a grade of “C” or better in each; a grade of “C-” is not sufficient.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

The Department has several research laboratories focusing on such areas as artificial intelligence and software agents, database systems, high-performance computing, cybersecurity, and computer modeling of physical processes. Most of these laboratories routinely include undergraduates who assist the professors and the graduate students in their research. Students are mentored by the professors and graduate students, and they get a good idea of what research and graduate school is like. In addition to the interesting and valuable experience gained, the students are often paid and/or co-author research papers.

Career Opportunities

Computer Science graduates are well-positioned to secure rewarding, high-paying jobs in the computer industry that are relatively immune to outsourcing. In addition, graduates can also apply their knowledge wherever computers are used, including businesses, research institutions, educational institutions, and government laboratories and agencies. The B.S. and B.A. degrees both provide a rigorous emphasis on computer science along with a strong liberal arts education. Consequently, students are well prepared to enter any career that requires a liberal arts degree. Graduates of the Computer Science Department are also well prepared to enter graduate school for further study in computer science or other related fields or, with some additional preparation, to enter a professional school.

Graduate Work

The Department offers both the Master of Science (M.S.) and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in computer science. Please see the graduate catalog or the Department’s Web page (www.cs.umaine.edu) for more information.

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