Published: Nov. 13, 2017

CU Boulder is launching an online, post-baccalaureate degree in computer science, a move designed to help meet the changing needs of students as the national computing workforce continues to expand.

Students work at laptop computerThe new CU Boulder program was started in part to help those with diverse academic backgrounds enter the computer science field. The degree is tailored to people who already have a bachelor’s degree but do not have the prerequisite coursework for graduate study in computer science.

Despite an enrollment surge in computer science degree programs in the U.S. and Canada in the past decade, there currently are nearly 500,000 computing jobs unfilled in the United States. This is leading many workers to consider career switches, said Dean Bobby Braun of the College of Engineering and Applied Science.

“This year, while schools around the country were struggling to hire faculty, CU Boulder’s Department of Computer Science increased the number of its faculty by 50 percent to leap ahead of the growing demand for computer science graduates across the state,” said Braun. “This new degree is part of our overall strategy to prepare the workforce that the 21st century requires.”

CU Boulder’s computer science department has a history of innovation in computing education, having launched a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2013 to meet demand from students in the College of Arts and Sciences, said Braun.

The new online program will include foundational coursework in topics like algorithms, programming languages and software development, as well as elective options in fields like information visualization and data mining. The program can be completed in one year for someone studying full time or three years for a part-time student.

“This program is just as rigorous as our on-campus Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degrees and taught by the same faculty,” said Professor Dirk Grunwald of computer science, one of the new program’s leaders. “The only difference is we focus on core computer science classes so students can complete the degree quickly.”

Applications are being accepted now and the first classes will start in January 2018. For more information about the computer science online program, visit