Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science

Pair knowledge of computer science with social sciences, the humanities or business to be a creative problem-solver with a variety of impactful, in-demand career paths including social media, health care and data analytics.

This bachelor's program is intended for students who have never attended college, who have attended some college but did not complete a degree and want to transfer, or who already have a degree in another field and want a second degree in computer science (in which case the master's degree may also be appropriate). 

The new, accredited degree eliminates roughly a year’s worth of credits in engineering, math and science that are required by the department’s bachelor of science degree. Instead, students select from dozens of approved plans that include earning a second major or minor in the arts, the humanities, business or other non-STEM areas.

See the MSU catalogue for more details.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

Learn the fundamentals of computing while diving into diverse and exciting fields like artificial intelligence, multimedia and computational biology.Right now is the perfect time to pursue a degree in computer science: Each year there are more jobs involving computing and computers.

The bachelor's program is intended for students who have never attended college, who have attended some college but did not complete a degree and want to transfer, or who already have a degree in another field and want a second degree in computer science (in which case the master's degree may also be appropriate). 

Students can pursue either the professional option or the interdisciplinary option.

The professional option allows a student to delve more deeply into both computer science and related technical areas. The compilers course,CSCI 468, serves as the capstone for this option.

See the MSU catalogue for more details.

Many opportunities and challenges lie at the intersection of technology and other fields. The interdisciplinary option allows a student to pursue a minor of choice such as Entrepreneurship or Japanese Studies. During a student's senior year, the minor area must be connected back to computer science through a senior project. CSCI 482RandCSCI 483R serve as the capstone for this option.

See the MSU catalogue for more details.

Minor in Computer Science

Because computing is pervasive in today's society, a computer science minorcomplements any major and provides additional marketable skills.

A Computer Science minor consists of the following 27 credits:

  • Either CSCI 127, The Joy and Beauty of Data, 4 credits (offered starting in Fall 2017) or CSCI 111, Programming with Java I, 4 credits (offered through Summer 2017)
  • CSCI 132, Basic Data Structures and Algorithms, 4 credits
  • CSCI 232, Data Structures and Algorithms, 4 credits
  • 9 upper division computer science credits
  • 6 computer science credits at any level

For more information, please contact John Paxton (john.paxton@montana.edu).

Master of Science in Computer Science

With the industry embracing new technologies such as machine learning, blockchains, and augmented reality, now is a great time to pursue an advanced degree in computer science. We encourage encourage computer science students as well as those who have degree in other disciplines to explore the option of a master's. 

The master's degree prepares students for careers as software engineers and computing specialists in companies of all sizes. Some of the leading technical companies prefer to hire master's students. Generally, master's degree holders receive a starting salary that is substantially higher than that for Bachelor's degree holders and are hired to work on more technically advanced projects.

Fellowships and teaching assistanceships provide funding opportunities. Our master's program offers a thesis track, courses-only track, and an option to earn a master's while earning a Ph.D. Read more about the master's program, including about how to apply to the master's program.

Students on the thesis track must complete a Program of Study of at least 30 credits which includes at least 20 credits of coursework and exactly 10 credits of thesis. The Program of Study is to be filled out during a student's first semester of graduate school in consultation with his or her advisor. More details about the master's thesis track.

Students on the courses-only track must complete a Program of Study of at least 30 credits. The Program of Study is to be filled out during a student's first semester of graduate school in consultation with his or her advisor. More details about the master's courses-only track.

In some cases, graduate students enroll directly in the PhD program with just a Bachelor's degree in computer science. There are various reasons why such students may later desire to obtain a Master's degree along the way to the Ph.D. More details about the en route to Ph.D. option.

 Ph.D. in Computer Science

The rigorous program of study leading to a PhD degree prepares a student to be able to extend the base of knowledge about computer science through independent research. Positions for Ph.D.s exist in both institutions of higher education and in industry.

The doctoral program is generally intended for students who have a bachelor's or master's in computer science, who want to pursue a career in academia as a faculty member in computer science, or who intend to pursue a career in research at research laboratories or in private industry. This excellent article by Mor Harchol-Balter of Carnegie-Mellon University describes the PhD process.

More details about the Ph.D. in computer science at MSU.