From creating smartphone apps to developing large-scale software that powers business and industry, computer scientists use their technical and creative skills to improve people’s lives in almost every area imaginable. The systems created by computer scientists impact all aspects of society and influence or transform work done in medicine, education, music, travel and business.
As a computer scientist, you could develop video games or improve health care through the development of electronic medical equipment. You might produce animation for the movie industry, invent a new hand-held device or develop software to manage an air traffic control tower. Many computer science students found their own tech start-up companies and chart their own path after graduation.
The Bachelor of Science degree and minor in Computer Science are offered through the College of Engineering and Applied Science. The undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree in Computer Science is offered through the College of Arts and Sciences. Note: Students who pursue a BA in computer science cannot also pursue a minor in computer science.
Computer science is concerned with how computers are constructed, how they store and process data, how they are used in problem solving, and how the quality of those solutions is assessed. Computer science goes well beyond the machine to the study of how people interact with the technologies around them, with applications of computer science reaching far and wide. At it's essence, it is the science of creating software for a variety of users, and understanding how that software interacts with the hardware on which it is run.
At CU Boulder, the Department of Computer Science is interdisciplinary and collaborative, giving students the opportunity to explore applications in fields ranging from science to architecture. Students tackle problems hands-on, including completing a year-long software design project for an industry client or to jumpstart their own startup. Students also can gain professional exposure through the student chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery on campus.
And the Department of Computer Science at CU Boulder is one of the top 50 programs in the nation, according to the most recent US News and World Report rankings. This is thanks in part to the surrounding, thriving high-tech industry in the city. From well-known companies such as Oracle, Microsoft and Google, to national laboratories (NIST, NOAA, NCAR, and NREL) and robust technology start-up culture, the opportunities for internships and jobs for computer science students in Boulder is virtually unlimited.
The Department of Computer Science is nationally recognized in several areas of research, including, but not limited to, Artificial Intelligence, Computational Biology, Human-Centered Computing, Numerical and Scientific Computing, Programming Languages and Software Engineering, Systems and Networking and the Theory of Computing.
For the undergraduate students pursuing a BA degree in computer science, there are a number of research opportunities beyond just class work available:
Computer science graduates have excellent job prospects and are in demand from companies based in many industries including traditional software/hardware companies (IBM, National Instruments, HP, Sun Microsystems, Apple and Google) and technology start-up companies. They produce the software and systems that touch lives every day in fields ranging from communications to finance to publishing. They are, of course, software developers, but also have become teachers, writers, doctors, lawyers, scientists, military leaders and entrepreneurs. They work at some of the largest, most influential companies in the world, at research institutions, non-profits, and at the smallest start-ups of every type imaginable. And many lead highly successful companies that they themselves have founded.
For the 2015 graduates from the Department of Computer Science:
Many graduates of the program also go onto pursue graduate studies, gaining admittance to top schools such as MIT, Princeton, Harvard, Cornell, Stanford, University of California Berkeley, and the University of Texas at Austin.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects:
At CU Boulder, Computer Science graduates with a B.A. earn less than the nationwide average of comparable majors as reported by PayScale. CU Boulder alumni in this discipline earn an estimated annual salary of $75,184 based on a pool of 89 alumni who graduated between 2014 and 2018. This amount is also lower than the average for all CU Boulder graduates with a bachelor's degree, according to a survey by Esmi Alumni Insight of 25,000 alumni who graduated between 1989 and 2018.
Career Services offers free services for all CU Boulder degree-seeking students, and alumni up to one year after graduation, to help students discover who they are, what they want to do, and how to get there. They are the bridge between academics and the world of work by discussing major and career exploration, internship or job searching, and graduate school preparation.