Department of Computer Science
The computer and Internet revolutions have fundamentally altered relationships between humans and information. Computer-based tools allow anyone to easily communicate and conduct business, and economically access, gather, and analyze vast amounts of information. These new markets have created a tremendous demand for knowledgeable and skilled computer programmers and analysts.
The Department of Computer Science is helping to meet this demand by preparing students for careers in such areas as software engineering, scientific and technical programming, networks, data communications and web and database programming.
Recent graduates have taken positions with a number of local companies such as Innovative Web Solutions, Black Lantern Studios, O’Reilly, PaperWise, Expedia, Accenture and Bass Pro, along with several national corporations such as Google, Twitter, Microsoft, Facebook, Cerner and many more.
The department offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science. This program requires 75 credit hours of computer science, mathematics and physics. The mathematics courses required for this program meet the requirements for a mathematics minor.
All students, regardless of major, are required to satisfy general education requirements of approximately 50 hours. A total of 125 hours is required for graduation.
The Computer Science program requires calculus and calculus-based physics. High school students can best prepare for this program by taking as much college preparatory mathematics as possible. High school physical science courses (such as chemistry or physics) are also appropriate. In addition, good communication skills are important, so students are encouraged to take courses that will develop and enhance their reading, writing, and speaking abilities.
The following is a representative list of the courses offered by the Department of Computer Science. Please consult the Missouri State University Catalog or department web site for course descriptions and specific degree requirements.
Computer Science faculty offer experience and interests in the areas of programming languages, data mining, robotics, pattern recognition, graphics, multimedia and software engineering. Our faculty are dedicated to undergraduate education and the approximately 200 students majoring in Computer Science.
The Department of Computer Science maintains three networked PC laboratory classrooms in Cheek Hall plus a dedicated PC-based Unix server on which Computer Science students may have an account. The University provides numerous computer services through networked servers and numerous PC- and Macintosh-equipped laboratories. All residence hall rooms have network connections. Equipment available for student use in coursework and research includes PC's, iMacs, iPads, Kinect, robotics, etc.
Missouri State University has an active student chapter of ACM, the national professional society for computer scientists. The chapter sponsors a number of professional and social activities. In addition, a select group of Computer Science students participate in the ACM Regional Programming contest each fall.
A number of our junior and senior Computer Science students participate in cooperative education, where they work full- or part-time for one or more semesters or summers and receive academic credit. This frequently serves as an internship for permanent employment upon graduation. Internships have been served at dozens of companies, representing a wide variety of employment experiences, such as manufacturing, government agencies, non-profits, financial services, etc.
Each semester, Computer Science students have the opportunity to gain real-world software development experience through Missouri State University’s Citizenship and Service-Learning (CASL) program. Our Department participates in this program by coordinating classroom instruction with selected projects in which students develop software for local government and service organizations. Students receive academic credit and provide community service as they learn their craft by integrating its theoretical and practical aspects.
The Department annually offers several $1,000 and $500 scholarships funded by major corporations, as well as the Mel Foster and Pete Sanderson scholarships, endowed by former faculty. These are available to Computer Science students at various levels. In addition to University-wide general scholarships and financial aid programs, there are a number of campus employment opportunities, primarily as assistants in the computer labs.
Our Bachelor of Science degree program has achieved national recognition through accreditation by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org. Only four other institutions in Missouri have achieved this. Accreditation recognizes that the department’s faculty, student support, curriculum, objectives, computing resources and institutional support all meet or exceed the accreditation board’s rigorous criteria. Accreditation, a talented and dedicated faculty, and small classes all indicate our commitment to high quality education.