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Our curriculum provides a broad, practical base for a career in computing while also offering an opportunity for in-depth study of topics like artificial intelligence, software engineering, cybersecurity, operating systems, and database management systems.


Recent News from the Department

Meet the department: Pratap Kotala, assistant professor of practice
NDSU to offer software engineering major

NDSU is set to offer a Bachelor of Science degree in software engineering, starting in fall 2023. The program will be a joint offering of the Department of Computer Science and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

“In recent years, the demand for software engineers has increased significantly across the United States. These positions require design expertise in both software and principles of hardware design,” said Ben Braaten, professor and chair of electrical and computer engineering. “The degree program is a great blend for careers in engineering, software development, cybersecurity, web development, mobile app development and gaming, to name a few.”

Software engineering involves the application of approaches to the development and maintenance of software systems. The degree is recommended for students who want careers as a software engineer or software developer. Read more

Challey Spotlight: Zia Muhammad

The Challey Institute for Global Innovation and Growth is highlighting the impact of our faculty and students at NDSU and in the community. This month, we are shining a spotlight on Zia Muhammad.

Zia Muhammad is a first-year Ph.D. student studying computer science at NDSU. He grew up in Islamabad, Pakistan, where he completed his master’s degree in information security at the National University of Science and Technology and taught cybersecurity at Air University. He previously worked as a researcher at the National Cyber Security Auditing and Evaluation Lab in Pakistan. In August 2022, he came to the United States to pursue his doctoral studies at NDSU. As a Mancur Olson Graduate Fellow, he will engage with the ideas of the Challey Institute and participate in a graduate student reading group on “An Introduction to Public Choice.” Read more

MS and PhD in Software and Security Engineering program now offers two distinct tracks

These days computer science majors have a wealth of career options available to them. With rapid and considerable growth in the fields of software development and cybersecurity, the computer science department at NDSU is now offering two tracks to its MS and PhD programs, which are now called Software and Security Engineering, to offer a more focused area of study. The program started this fall and it is designed to deal with the different training and knowledge base required in each field. Students choosing the software engineering track will study topics such as Software Requirements Definition and Analysis (CSCI 715), Software Testing and Debugging (CSCI 718), and Introduction to Database Systems (CSCI 765). Those pursuing a cybersecurity track will study topics such as Ethical Hacking (CSCI 604), Cybersecurity Law and Policy (CSCI 609), Computer Crime and Forensics (CSCI 610), and Foundations of the Digital Enterprise (CSCI 773).


NDSU team finishes second at cybersecurity competition

A team of NDSU students recently placed second in the capture-the-flag cybersecurity competition at the BSides Portland Conference at Portland State University. More than 35 teams student and professional teams competed to solve real world cybersecurity challenges. 

The NDSU team included students Ben Clark, Caden Schmandt and Cameron Kolodjski. NDSU students Danielle Hanson and Matthew Tassava also attended the conference. 

“It was a great learning experience,” Clark said. “Opportunities like this are hard to come by. The challenges, labs, workshops and talks all were excellent.” Read more

NDSU team wins National Cyber Summit Cyber Cup competition

A team of NDSU students took first place in the academic division at the National Cyber Summit’s Cyber Cup cybersecurity competition. The competition brought teams from across the country to Huntsville, Alabama, where they demonstrated their cybersecurity prowess to solve a series of challenges.

The NDSU team was comprised of students Cameron Kolodjski, Cayden Schmandt, Jack Hance and Jonathan Rivard, who are all studying computer science. Nearly 40 teams competed across the academic and industry teams competition divisions.

“I’m really proud of us as a team. We’ve come a long way since I was a freshman,” said Schmandt. “I’m very thankful for the experience that NDSU and the Cybersecurity Student Association has provided for me as I’ve been working towards my degree and to build my skillset.” Read more

CS student Amanda Fetzer awarded prestigious SMART scholarship

Amanda Fetzer, a Bachelor of Science student at North Dakota State University was awarded the Department of Defense Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation Scholarship.

Fetzer is currently studying Computer Science, with a minor in Robotics. She said, “Ever since I first got into STEM, I wanted to learn about space and collaborate with NASA. Thanks to this SMART scholarship, that dream is now a reality.“

This award provides students with full tuition for up to five years, mentorship, summer internships, a stipend and full-time employment with the Department of Defense after graduation. This unique opportunity offers students hands-on experience at one of over 200 innovative laboratories across the Army, Navy, Air Force and larger Department of Defense. During summer internships, SMART scholars work directly with an experienced mentor, gaining valuable technical skills. After graduation Fetzer will work at the Kirtland Air Force research lab in Albuquerque NM.

The Department of Defense is committed to developing the Nation's STEM talent and is the largest employer of federal scientists and engineers with nearly 150,000 civilian STEM employees working across the Department. DoD STEM activities support this mission by providing authentic learning experiences through a variety of education and outreach initiatives, such as the SMART Scholarship-for-Service Program. For over a decade, SMART has trained a highly skilled STEM workforce that competes with the evolving trends of industry to support the next generation of science and technology for our nation.

For more information on the SMART Program or to learn how students can apply, please visit The application is open annually from August through December.


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