Dec 06, 2023  
2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog 
2015-2016 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, 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

Contact Information: Silvia Nittel and Carol Roberts, Undergraduate Coordinators, School of Computing and Information Science, 348 Boardman Hall,,

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. 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.

The requirements listed on this page are specific to this particular major. Students are also responsible for meeting any graduation requirements set out by their college. Students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) should make sure to review those requirements as stated on the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences  page of the catalog.

Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science

All students must satisfy the University requirements for graduation. All required courses by the School of Computing and Information Sceince must be taken for a grade; courses taken PASS/FAIL will not count.

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)
  • Forest Ecosystem Science (FES)
  • Marine Science (SMS)
  • 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 School of Computing and Information Science 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 School of Computing and Information Science 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 School offers the Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Computer Science), the Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Spatial Information Science and Engineering, the Master of Science in Spatial Informatics, and the Master of Science (M.S.) in Information Systems. Please see the graduate catalog School’s Web page for more information.

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