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Computer Science

What Can I Do With A Major In Computer Science?

Computers have become a critical and ubiquitous part of modern society. Their reach is almost endless as they touch and impact all aspects of life from communication to education, medicine to the environment and well beyond. Correspondingly, there continues to be a high demand for people with knowledge and skills in computers and information technology.

The objective of the undergraduate curriculum in computer science is to develop professionally competent and broadly educated computer scientists who wish to pursue commercial careers or graduate studies leading to research or academic careers. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of computers and their applications, areas of specialization are emerging as computer science disciplines in their own right. Just a few examples of this specialization include: environmental modeling, bioinformatics (applying the principles of computer science to problems in biology. Examples include drug discovery and design, genomic analysis, exploratory data analysis of large data sets resulting from such experimental techniques as Mass Spectrometry, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), Microarray experiments (gene chips), DNA forensic analysis, etc.), communication, artificial systems (automating human capabilities via computers), entertainment (computer games, movie industry, music industry), research (supporting the research efforts in a particular field)

The expertise of the Computer Science Department faculty are diverse and include:
Biological and Biologically Inspired Systems (genetic algorithms, machine learning, bioinformatics)
Human-Computer Interaction
Scientific Computing and Data Visualization
Software Engineering
Database Management Systems

The Computer Science Department at the UM offers B.S. and M.S. degrees. The B.S. program is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET (www.abet.org), a specialized accrediting body. The UM Computer Science Department curriculum, therefore, is similar to those of other recognized computer science programs.

 A combined major in Computer Science and Mathematical Sciences is also offered.

Employment Projections

According to the most recent 10-year forecast of job growth in all fields of employment released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics in November 2009 (http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2009/11/art5full.pdf), computer and mathematical occupations as a group are expected to “grow more than twice as fast as the average for all occupations in the economy” and “computer specialists will account for the vast majority of this growth.” Some of the occupations that are expected to show the most growth are: network systems and data communications analysts, computer software engineers (applications and systems software), and database administrators.


A Sample of Related Occupations