About Our Department

The Department of Computer Science at North Dakota State University offers course work leading to bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in computer science and, at the graduate level, in software engineering. the Bachelor of Science program was the first in the region to be nationally accredited by the Computing Accreditation Board, Inc., later to merge with ABET, Inc.

Department Objectives

  • Continuous review and improvement of our undergraduate programs to ensure that all graduates remain competitive for quality jobs,
  • Continuous review and improvement of our service courses to ensure that they meet the needs of students and community members in successful ways,
  • Enhancement of our M.S. and Ph.D. programs to ensure that our graduates are nationally competitive,
  • Expansion of our research activities,
  • Expansion of our service activities to provide more varied and extensive service to the state and region, including leadership and participation in economic development activities, and
  • Development of increased cooperation with other departments at North Dakota State University and with departments at other schools in the state.


North Dakota State University has offered Computer Science since 1973. The first courses were offered in the Division of Mathematical Sciences and the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (now the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering). A Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science first was offered in 1977, the Master of Science degree in Computer Science was added in 1979 and the Ph.D. program in Computer Science began in 1986. The Department began the Management Information Systems (MIS) program in 1988. Graduate programs in Software Engineering were launched in 2002, including; Certificate, Master of Science, and Ph.D. curriculums. A graduate certificate in Electronic Commerce first was first offered in 2002. Most recently, in 2009, an online ‘distance education’ professional Master’s degree program was initiated.

The Division of Mathematical Sciences split into three departments: Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science / Operations Research in 1988. Kenneth Magel served as the Department Chair for the first eight years. Then, in 1996, Kendall Nygard took the helm for nine years.  In 2005, Kenneth Magel once again accepted the Chair position until the leadership structure changed to a department head system. In 2007, Brian M. Slator became the first Head of the Department. In 2017, the department moved back the chair system, and Kendall Nygard was Department Chair until replaced in 2020 by Simone Ludwig as Interim Department Chair. In 2019, the Computer Science Department officially became part of the College of Engineering.

As of 2021, the Department has; eight full professors, three assistant professors, two professors of practice, one senior lecturer, and three lecturers. There are approximately 140 graduate students, in both computer science and software engineering, and about 400 undergraduate students.


The department is located in the Quentin Burdick Building along with Information Technology Services. Students have free access to a wide range of computer systems.

Equipment includes running a cluster of Linux workstations, high-end microcomputers, running Windows, Macs, and peripheral equipment including digitizers, plotters and laser printers. The department and the University have assumed a leadership role in computer networking through the acquisition and implementation of high-bandwidth network switches on campus. The University also has entered into a six-state consortium for extremely high-level networking in the Upper Midwest and connectivity to the National Science Foundation supercomputer centers. We are also a charter member of Internet 2 and have connectivity to the national VBNS research network. Residence halls are connected to the campus network, making it easy for students with computers to access remote information for course work and various investigations. The department maintains several Web servers with class assignments and other information which are accessed by thousands of users each day. The University provides more than 600 computers for student use. Internet usage is unlimited for students. In addition, students can make use of free short one to four-hour courses in a wide variety of computer software subjects.

Additional information about our department: Computer Science PDF

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