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Computer Science

17:1
Avg. student to faculty ratio
86%
Of CSU Grads Land Jobs Related to Their Career Plans
95%
Of Online Undergraduate Students Would Choose CSU Again
$86K
Average Starting Salary of Computer Programmers
Degree Overview Open Accordion

Start building the knowledge and skills you need to pursue a career in fields like computer programming, software development, cyber security, and more.

Online bachelor's in computer science from CSU

As the world becomes increasingly reliant on computers and software, opportunities for professionals with advanced knowledge are growing. The need for better programs and more effective computer systems spans nearly every industry and sector. Study online to earn your degree and meet the growing demand for professionals who can manage large amounts of data, improve computer software functionality, develop advanced applications, and consistently maintain stable security.

What is computer science?

The practice of computer science can be broadly defined as using computational methods to achieve specific objectives or solve specific problems. One common computer science skill includes the ability to encode, store, track, and transform information. Creating, testing, and improving software programs are also fundamental skills. With the right knowledge, it is also possible to design software applications that can learn and adapt semi-autonomously (i.e. machine learning). While the study and development of computer hardware is primarily a computer engineering discipline, the study and development of software, algorithms, and theoretical computing frameworks are all primary disciplines of computer science.

Choose from five unique concentrations

In addition to several optional degree minors, CSU also offers the following computer science concentrations:

  • Computer Science (General Concentration)
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
  • Computing Systems
  • Human-Centered Computing
  • Networks and Security

Study online and become part of the CSU community

The online bachelor’s in computer science program provides the academic foundation and practical skills you need to pursue a new career or advance in your current career path. As a student in this program, you will have the opportunity to exchange ideas with fellow classmates in a flexible, online program that allows you to earn your degree from wherever you are, on a schedule that fits your life.

Learning at a distance doesn’t mean learning alone. Although this program is entirely online, you will still interact closely with both instructors and peers. CSU faculty make it a priority to facilitate productive and meaningful discussions via email, online forums, phone conversations, and other methods.

Curriculum Open Accordion

Requirements to Graduate

A minimum of 120 credits are required to complete this degree.
The number of courses needed for completion of the program depends on:

Curriculum

Core Courses

General Concentration Courses


Technical Electives (6 cr.)


All University Core Curriculum (AUCC) – 31 credits

Students are strongly encouraged to select AUCC courses in consultation with their academic advisor. The following courses are required as part of the 31 required AUCC credits for the computer science degree:

Concentrations Open Accordion

Computer Science General Concentration

The general concentration option is a broad computer science program that prepares students for any introductory position in the field. This concentration also allows students to select a research area and focus on that topic in their 400-level coursework. Students can also take a breadth focus -- a little bit of everything -- for a broader perspective.

View Coursework Requirements

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Concentration

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are about creating intelligent systems – systems that perceive and respond to the world around them. AI and ML systems are everywhere, in our cars and smartphones, and businesses of all sizes are investing in these areas.

This concentration combines a rigorous computer science degree with coursework in AI, ML, and big data. This concentration also provides students the necessary foundational coursework and skills in math, statistics, and data science.

Upon completing this program, students will be able to:

  • Develop AI and ML approaches for complex real-world problems
  • Deploy high-performance computing tools for the analysis of large datasets
  • Use a broad range of AI and ML tools, techniques, and algorithms
  • Apply AI and ML tools in an ethical and socially responsible manner, with an awareness of biases that can result from their indiscriminate use
  • Communicate results of complex analyses verbally and in writing using appropriate visualization techniques
  • Confidently pursue graduate studies or professional employment in AI/ML and computer science

Career Opportunities
In addition to the opportunities open to all computer science graduates, the AI/ML concentration opens career paths that include:

  • Machine learning engineer
  • Data scientist
  • Business intelligence developer
  • Big data engineer
  • Data mining analyst
  • Natural language processing analyst
  • Computer vision engineer

View Coursework Requirements

Computing Systems Concentration

Computing systems are integrated devices that input, output, process, and store data and information. Computing systems encompass a wide range, from simple sensors and hardware components to phones, laptops, desktops, and entire data centers. Computing systems specialists are challenged to provide ever increasing levels of performance from these systems.

This concentration provides students with the necessary tools to solve important and demanding systems problems at scale. Students will learn how to design and assess computer systems from a holistic perspective that encompasses distributed and parallel algorithms, big data, systems software, networking, compiler design, and artificial intelligence/machine learning.

Data is our most valuable resource. Large scale data are being generated by programs, sensors, and simulations. Drawing timely and effective insights from these data are at the heart of modern problems in computer science and society in general. The Computing Systems concentration includes courses that teach you how to accomplish this goal, from storing, transporting, organizing, and extracting insights from data to expressing programs that execute in parallel and distributed environments encompassing hundreds of thousands of cores.

Upon completing this program, students will be able to:

  • Design scalable systems for computational and data intensive problems
  • Design distributed and parallel algorithms to analyze large data sets
  • Leverage diverse computing architectures in support of problem solutions
  • Program accelerators/coprocessors (e.g., for deep learning)
  • Confidently pursue graduate studies or professional employment in computer systems and computer science

Career Opportunities
In addition to the opportunities open to all computer science graduates, the Computing Systems concentration opens career paths that include:

  • Cloud applications designer
  • Systems designer
  • Data scientist
  • Dig data analyst
  • Compiler designer
  • Database specialist
  • Supercomputing applications specialist

View Coursework Requirements

Human-Centered Computing Concentration

Human-centered computing (HCC) focuses on developing tools that improve the relationship between people and technology so that people can concentrate on the problem rather than the technology. The ultimate goal of HCC is to make the computer invisible.

Human-centered computing involves designing, developing, and deploying human-centric computer systems. In this concentration students will learn techniques for human-computer interaction using gestures, mobile devices, large surfaces, and virtual environments. Students will also learn how to design and conduct human-subject experiments and understand the role of HCC in developing human-centric artificial intelligence systems. The concentration provides rich interdisciplinary training in computer vision, machine learning, design and psychology.

Upon completing this program, students will be able to:

  • Design interactive systems using state-of-the-art HCC techniques
  • Design and conduct human-subject experiments
  • Build complex 3D worlds for user interaction (e.g., virtual and augmented reality)
  • Confidently pursue graduate studies or professional employment in HCC and computer science

Career Opportunities
In addition to the opportunities open to all computer science graduates, the HCC concentration opens career paths that include:

  • User experience designer
  • Virtual and augmented reality developer
  • Human-centric developer for intelligent systems

View Coursework Requirements

Networks and Security Concentration

Networks connect computers and other devices so they can share information. The Networks and Security concentration involves designing, building, and maintaining networks and protecting them from cyberattacks.

Network and security technology is vitally important to almost every modern field of human endeavor including biology, physics, agriculture, medicine, defense, and more. There is explosive demand for professionals who can understand the underlying principles of networks and security, incorporate them into products and practices, and provide defensive capabilities against cyber threats.

This concentration provides students core and elective courses on computer networking, systems security (including the latest trends and technologies in cyber-security), ethical hacking, operating systems, databases, and software. Students will develop fundamental skills in security architecture and analysis, cryptography, system vulnerabilities and attack vectors, malware analysis and defense, intrusion detection and protection, network architecture, engineering and network software development. The CSU Cyber-Security Center of Excellence expands upon these course offerings with lab equipment, research topics, and certification opportunities.

Upon completing this program, students will be able to:

  • Work effectively in teams to develop computational solutions to complex problems
  • Develop products and technologies that provide network/cyber-security solutions or incorporate these technologies into products that require security or network capabilities
  • Analyze technologies and situations for cyber vulnerabilities to develop improvements to attack and defense methodologies
  • Communicate technical ideas effectively in writing and verbally
  • Confidently pursue graduate studies or professional employment in networks and security and computer science

Career Opportunities
In addition to the opportunities open to all computer science graduates, the Networks and Security Concentration opens career paths that include:

  • Software developer
  • Software architect
  • Network security analyst
  • Software project manager
  • Computer systems security analyst
  • Computer and information systems manager
  • R&D jobs for both cyber-security attack and defense

Employers in a wide range of fields recognize the need for network and cyber-security architecture and implementations within their domains, which creates R&D and management opportunities across a wide job market.

View Coursework Requirements

Learning Experience Open Accordion

Study in a flexible, online format

Earn your bachelor's degree from a respected, regionally accredited public research university in Colorado without traveling to a campus. Although the program is entirely online, you will still have opportunities to interact closely with both your instructors and peers. You will also have access to many of the same resources and services as CSU’s resident students.

Start learning from experts in the field

Both faculty and students in CSU’s Department of Computer Science continue to push boundaries in research and innovation. As a student in this program, you will learn from instructors with extensive knowledge in subject areas that include:

  • Software engineering and development
  • Networks and security
  • Database systems
  • Distributed systems
  • Parallel programming
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Machine learning

Gain the in-depth knowledge you need to excel in a growing industry by learning from scholar-practitioners and collaborating with like-minded peers.

Career Opportunities Open Accordion

Explore a wide range of career options

What kind of job can you get with a computer science degree? You might be surprised by the variety of choices out there. Today, there are numerous career opportunities, and many are quite lucrative. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a computer programmer was $84,280.

Median salaries for five other careers that may be of interest to graduates of this program:

  • Web Developer: $69,430
  • Network and Computer Systems Administrator: $82,050
  • Computer Systems Analyst: $88,740
  • Software Developer: $105,590
  • Computer Network Architect: $109,020

Common computer science employers for CSU graduates:

  • Amazon
  • Apple
  • Avago Technologies
  • Avaya
  • Blue Horseshoe Solutions
  • Bounce Software
  • CA Technologies
  • Cerner Corporation
  • Charles Schwab
  • Charter Communications
  • Colorado State University
  • Comcast
  • Deloitte
  • Encompass Technologies
  • General Dynamics Mission Systems
  • Google
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • IBM
  • Lockheed Martin
  • LogRhythm
  • Madwire
  • Microsoft
  • MiTek
  • Northrop Grumman
  • Numerica Corporation
  • Raytheon
  • Return Path
  • Saudi Aramco
  • Seagate Technology
  • Secure64
  • Tyler Technologies
  • United Launch Alliance
  • US Air Force
  • Western Digital Corporation
  • YouSeeU

Potential job titles include:

  • Analyst
  • Android Engineer
  • Application Developer
  • Cyber Intel
  • Cyberspace Operations Officer
  • DevOps Engineer
  • Embedded Systems Engineer
  • Full Stack Developer
  • Graphics Software Engineer
  • Information Administrator
  • Interface and Integration Developer
  • IT Analyst
  • IT Infrastructure Administrator
  • Java Developer
  • Product Support Consultant
  • Production Engineer
  • Program Manager
  • Quality Assurance Engineer
  • Research Assistant
  • Sales Engineer
  • SAP System Engineer
  • Senior Web Developer
  • Software Consultant
  • Software Developer
  • Software Test Engineer
  • Statistical Programmer Analyst
  • Systems Engineer
  • Technical Support Analyst
  • Web Developer
Degree Minors Open Accordion

Grow your knowledge and focus on a topic that interests you. A degree minor can help you discover new passions and talents, and further specialize your education so you become more marketable to employers. Relevant courses often apply to both major and minor requirements, so a minor can be added without greatly changing your degree plan.

Courses already taken can apply to a minor regardless of when the minor is added to your student record. All minor requirements must be completed prior to graduation.

Undergraduate Minors

Agricultural Business

Build knowledge of production management, financial management, marketing management, international development, and trade through an agricultural lens. To earn the minor, you must complete 21 credits from the following courses:

Required Courses

Select any 15 credits from the following

Anthropology

Get a cross-cultural view of humanity and the broadly conceived dimensions of human behavior. You have the option to focus your anthropology studies on one or more sub-disciplinary divisions, including physical anthropology, archaeology, ethnology, or applied anthropology. To earn the minor, you must complete 22 credits from the following courses:

Business Administration

Computer Science

Add to your knowledge base and feel confident working with fields like computer programming, software development, cyber security, and more.

Required Lower Division Courses

Select one course from the following

Required Upper Division Courses

  • CS courses numbered 300 or above (12 cr.)

Program Total Credits: 24

Please note: Additional Math courses may be required depending on the 300/400 level courses that students choose.

Creative Writing

Explore creative writing in one or more of the following genres: poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction. In addition to broadening your writing repertoire, gain workshop experience at an advanced level. To earn this minor, you must complete a minimum of 21 credits in courses with E or CO subject codes, with at least 15 upper-division credits.

Required Courses

Select one group from the following

Fiction
Poetry
Nonfiction

Upper-Division Electives

Economics

Gain insight into current socioeconomic problems in the areas of resource allocation, inflation, unemployment, income distribution, environmental degradation, international trade, and monopoly power. This minor prepares you for careers in business management, teaching, government, banking, and public policy. To earn the minor, you must complete 21 credits from the following courses:

Gerontology

Prepare for a variety of careers in gerontology and develop an understanding of the biological, psychological, and social aspects of adult development and aging. This interdisciplinary minor prepares you to fill the need for well-trained professionals to support aging adults, and can be paired with any CSU major.

Required Courses

Electives (3-6 credits)

Global and Environmental Sustainability

Prepare to meet today's pressing environmental challenges with this interdisciplinary minor offered by The School of Global Environmental Sustainability (SoGES). Explore innovative research to understand how to solve problems that arise between humans and the environment. To earn your minor, you must complete 21 credits (12 upper-division credits) from the following courses:

Required Courses

Select one course from each group (A-D)

At least 3 credits must be upper-division (300-400 level). Courses may not satisfy two groups.

Group A: Society and Social Processes (select one)
Group B: Biological and Physical Processes (select one)
Group C: Economy and Profitability (select one)
Group D: Skills (select one)

Upper-Division Elective – select 3 upper-division credits from categories A-D with a subject code not previously taken (3 cr.)

History

Expand the breadth of your knowledge by earning an undergraduate minor in history. Choose from a range of courses based on your interests. This minor may be particularly useful for students who plan to pursue careers in education, public service, government, museums and archives, law, and other professions that require skills in research, writing, and the analysis of information. To earn the history minor, you must complete 21 credits from the following courses. (Note: You must complete at least 12 upper-division credits and 9 lower-division credits).

Select any 9 credits from the following

Select any 12 credits from the following

Horticulture

Growing and managing plants requires you to understand the science and the business of cultivation, and this online bachelor's degree minor emphasizes both. To earn the horticulture minor, you must complete 21 credits from the following courses.

Required courses (14 credits):

Select two courses (for a minimum of 7 credits) from the following:

Interdisciplinary Global Studies

Develop an understanding and appreciation of diverse cultures and peoples with courses in international and global history, politics, languages and cultures, economics, and environmental issues. To earn this minor, you must complete 21 credits from the following courses:

Required Courses

Select four courses below

One course from each category, 12 credits total with at least 9 credits in upper-division (300-400) coursework.

History, Politics, and Society
Languages and Cultures
Economy and Environment

Interdisciplinary Information Science and Technology

This interdisciplinary minor is sponsored by departments in different colleges across CSU: Computer Information Systems, Computer Science, English and Journalism and Media Communication. The program is designed for students seeking a broad foundation in information technology, but not seeking to major in a specific information technology-related field. The program requires 21 credits and is open to students majoring in any field other than computer science, computer information systems, and electrical and computer engineering.

Required Course

Elective Courses

Select any 15 credits from the following

Program Total Credits: 21

Note: Nine credits must be from upper-division courses. A minimum of six credits must be completed from at least two subject codes.

Machine Learning

Media Studies

Understand the role and influence of mass media in American society and other cultures by studying media and film history, criticism, law, ethics, social effects, cultural consequences, and multicultural and international media issues. To earn the minor, you must complete 21 credits from the following courses:

Required Courses

Select any 15 credits from the following

Political Science

Gain a foundation in political theory and prepare for careers in law, teaching in the social sciences, journalism, and public service. To earn the minor, you must complete 21 credits from the following courses:

Required Courses

Select six credits from the following

Select nine credits of upper division classes from the following

Science Communications

The minor in Science Communication is designed to educate highly qualified communicators who have interests in specialized academic disciplines and career fields. Because science often involves complicated research and processes, communicating the results of that work requires special skills. This program is designed to prepare students for a wide range of niche career opportunities in media, corporate communication, science-related industries, and scientific environments.

Required Courses

Select two courses from the following:

Sociology

How to Add a Minor

Please connect with your assigned advisor to request to add a minor. Note that you must apply and be admitted to the University for a bachelor's degree program before you can add a minor to your student record. Once you are admitted, one or more minors may be added to your student record.

Undergraduate Certificates

Spanish for Animal Health and Care

For students interested in working in animal science, veterinary medicine, or related fields, this certificate program teaches intermediate-level Spanish for use in agricultural and animal care settings. Learn to communicate in Spanish about livestock, equine, and small animal breeds, give directions for animal care and handling, issue instructions for safety and drug administration, and more.

Courses

Seed Science and Technology

Prepare for a career as a seed analyst with online courses in seed technology. These courses, led by Colorado State University and supported by three other major universities (Iowa State University, Virginia Tech, and the University of Kentucky) and the Crop Science Society of America, offer a comprehensive overview of seed analysis, a technical skill requiring patience, attention to detail, and a scientific understanding of seed biology. After completion, you will be prepared to complete the examinations to become a Registered Seed Technologist.

Courses

Note: Additional study and testing is required to become a Certified Seed Analyst or Registered Seed Technologist.

Faculty Open Accordion
Indrajit Ray

Indrajit Ray

(970) 491-7097
indrajit.ray@colostate.edu




Albert Lionelle

Albert Lionelle

(970) 491-2090
albert.lionelle@colostate.edu




Laura Moreno Cubillos

Laura Moreno Cubillos

(970) 491-6356
laura.moreno_cubillos@colostate.edu




Shrideep Pallickara

Shrideep Pallickara

(970) 492-4209
shrideep.pallickara@colostate.edu




Yashwant Malaiya

Yashwant Malaiya

(970) 491-7031
yashwant.malaiya@colostate.edu




Russell Wakefield

Russell Wakefield

(970) 491-2090
russ.wakefield@colostate.edu




Sanjay Rajopadhye

Sanjay Rajopadhye

(970) 491-7323
sanjay.rajopadhye@colostate.edu




Ross McConnell

Ross McConnell

(970) 491-7524
ross.mcconnell@colostate.edu




Dave Matthews

Dave Matthews

(970) 491-4193
dave.matthews@colostate.edu




Joe Gersch

Joe Gersch

(970) 492-4003
joe.gersch@colostate.edu




Chuck Anderson

Chuck Anderson

(970) 491-7491
chuck.anderson@colostate.edu




For a complete and current list, please visit the Department of Computer Science Faculty and Staff Directory.

How to Apply Open Accordion

Application Deadlines

Fall semester August 1
Spring semester January 1
Summer semester May 1

Start your application online and upload materials directly into the online system. You can save your progress and return any time.

Apply Now

Planning to transfer credits from another college or university? Please review our FAQ page, then complete a Tentative Transfer Evaluation Form to see how your prior credits may transfer.

1 Review Admission Requirements

  • Previous college credit may be transferred into the online computer science bachelor's degree program, and minimum credits required can vary depending on previous coursework completed.
  • 2.5 cumulative GPA from all coursework previously completed*
  • Satisfy admission requirement in mathematics
  • High school graduation or equivalent
  • Grades of C or better in the following courses or their equivalent:
    • One semester of the equivalent to Computer Science 1: Programming (CS 163 or 164i) AND
    • One semester of the equivalent to Calculus in Physical Sciences (MATH 160*) or the equivalent to Computer Science 2: Data Structures CS 165

* A 2.5 cumulative GPA for all college work attempted is the threshold for consideration. Applicants who have a cumulative GPA below 2.5 should be prepared to demonstrate academic success in the form of an upward GPA trend and no D/F grades in their most recent terms.

Additional information may be required for international applicants. Please connect with a coach to learn more.

i Calculus courses not equivalent to Math 160 and programming courses in Java, JavaScript, C, C#, or C++ not equivalent to CS 163 or CS 164 will satisfy the competitive entrance requirements but may not meet graduation requirements within the major.

2 Talk with a Student Success Coach

Call or email our student success team to find out if the program is a good fit for your goals. Our coaches are available Monday-Friday to help you find the right program and navigate the application process.

Student Success Coach: Terrance Dickens
Phone: (970) 698-7337
Email: terrance.dickens@colostate.edu

Schedule Time to Talk

3 Complete Online Application

Complete Colorado State University's online undergraduate application and pay the $50 nonrefundable application processing fee (payable online) or waiver (if eligible).

  • Select "Computer Science — online degree program" when choosing major.

Online applications must be submitted before 5 p.m. (Mountain Time) on the deadline date. If you miss the application deadline, you may still register for courses to begin your program of study as a non-degree student. Students seeking Federal financial aid must be admitted prior to enrolling.

4 Apply for Financial Aid (Optional)

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Use FAFSA code 001350. Additional financial aid information is also available.

5 Check Your Application Status

View your application status at any time to ensure your application checklist is complete or to check on updates.

Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis and may take up to six weeks during high volume application periods.

Questions? Call (970) 698-7337 or email terrance.dickens@colostate.edu.

Questions?

We love learning about your goals and answering any questions to help you on your journey.

Terrance Dickens
Computer Science
Student Success Coach
Schedule Time to Talk

Program Details

Courses
Credits
120
Tuition
$476 per credit
Degree Awarded
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Time Frame
Varies based on intensity of study and previous coursework

Application Deadlines

Fall semester
August 1
Spring semester
January 1
Summer semester
May 1

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