Study Computer Science and Algorithm Design at the University of Montana

Computer science has several areas of focus, all of which are in demand in the marketplace — and offered as concentrations within the computer science degree program to arm UM students with the skills they need to excel in the job market.

As an algorithm design major, you receive in-depth training in algorithm theory with practical applications. The program prepares you to design efficient data structures and algorithms for challenging computational problems across a broad range of domains.

The result? You receive a well-rounded education that prepares you exceptionally well for a post-graduate career or for additional studies at UM — perhaps toward a mathematics bachelor’s degree, mathematics minor or mathematics-computer science bachelor’s degree, or studies in physics or biochemistry.


estimated average salary of UM graduates with a bachelor's in data science


growth in software developer jobs in US by 2026


of UM computer science alumni are working in a field related to their program of study

What can you do with a computer science degree?

The field is wide open for computer science graduates, especially for algorithm design or computer programming majors. Your career may take the path of developing the next generation of robots, or developing solutions for sensor problems for such big players as Google, Microsoft or Facebook. They’re always on the lookout for talented, well-trained algorithm engineers and programmers like those from UM.

Computer science jobs

  • Research positions
  • Software development
  • Algorithm development engineer
  • Sensor analyst
  • Data scientist
  • Platform developer
  • Computer programmer

Computer science salaries

Algorithm engineers are paid on average $121,555/year, with salaries ranging from $66,000 to $165,000. Computer and information research scientists earn an average of $126,840/year, while Computer programmers earn $89,190/year. As the demand for computer science experts grows, it’s expected that salaries for highly-trained individuals will also rise.

“The faculty is very intelligent and competent, which is very important. I appreciated the courses I could take.”

- UM computer science major

Experiential learning in the computer science degree program

Computer science lends itself very easily to practical application —it’s no wonder experiential learning plays such a large role in our algorithm design degree program, offering students the chance to “dig in” with internships and research opportunities.

Internships for computer science majors

There’s no shortage of hands-on learning opportunities for UM computer science majors with an algorithm design concentration. Internships at local and national tech firms are plentiful and almost always paid.

Undergraduate research experiences for the bachelor's in computer science

The vast majority of students in the algorithm design concentration engage in paid, rewarding undergraduate research. Faculty maintain multiple millions of dollars — including funding from NSF, NIH and DOE — of active research grants with which they fund student research.

These opportunities provide exposure to real-world problems that demand novel data structures and algorithm development, and provide experience collaborating as a team to creatively solve problems.

One student recently published a high-impact paper important to the study of virus-like elements that jump through the genome. A UM professor and his students recently published a paper solving a classic combinatorics problem to create the world’s fastest exact isotope calculator.

Career development for computer science majors

UM computer science majors with a focus in algorithm design are versed in problem solving as well as programming — making them strong assets when solving new problems at UM and in the field. Add guidance and faculty mentorship, in addition to student clubs such as the Computer Science Club and Women in Computing, and students have solid skills and relationships that can translate to job opportunities in the future.

Scholarships for computer science majors

UM can provide you with skills to succeed in the world — we’ll even help you pay for your education, with scholarships such as the JR Scholarship and Mike McGinley Scholarship. Learn more about scholarship opportunities for algorithm design majors.

Algorithm design degree requirements

The computer science degree with a concentration in algorithm design provides a 360˚ view of computer science, including Parallel Computing, Advanced Algorithms Topics and Web Applications. Plus, you study Design and Analysis of Algorithm, which prepares students in conceptual thinking and problem solving, as well as Advanced Algorithms, exposing you to seminal papers and recent breakthroughs in the field.

View all classes for the bachelor’s degree in algorithm design.