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Academic Majors


Computer Science

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 software engineering. The Bachelor of Science program was the first in the region to be nationally accredited by the Computing Science Accreditation Board, Inc., later to merge with ABET, Inc.

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Background Information

The computer science courses required for the bachelor’s degree are typically taught by our regular faculty, all of whom hold a doctoral degree. As an undergraduate student, an advisor is assigned to help in choosing electives in their particular area of interest. For students with no computer experience, we offer introductory courses in the standard curriculum for majors. Advanced undergraduate students may have the opportunity to take graduate courses while completing their undergraduate program. An extensive and varied set of elective courses in every aspect of computer science is available as well.

The Program

(B.A., B.S., including Math and Computer Science, Physics and Computer Science, and Statistics and Computer Science double majors.)

We offer the most comprehensive and varied computer science programs in the region. In the core courses required of all majors, students are offered an opportunity to study concepts, applications and implementation techniques which provide a broad and practical base both for further study and for a career in computing. The curriculum offers an opportunity for an in-depth study of topics such as artificial intelligence, software engineering, computer graphics, system simulation, computer communication networks, multimedia, operating systems and database management systems. The department is expanding offerings in software engineering and bioinformatics. Students are encouraged to choose courses from related areas, such as business, economics, engineering, mathematics, operations research and statistics to broaden their program of study. A senior capstone experience that provides a semester long project for industry is required and provides an opportunity to add maturity to the computer science skill set before graduation.

Top students are encouraged to inquire about the 4+1 program providing a fast track through graduate school resulting in combined Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.

Career Opportunities

Computer scientists choose jobs in government, industry, teaching, research, agriculture, energy and other areas. They work in systems analysis, management information processing, databases, software systems, operating systems, process control systems, automation systems, simulation models, new computer design, security, encryption, gaming and development or management.

According to the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, software engineers, network systems and data communication analysts, computer scientists and database administrators are expected to be among the fastest growing occupations. Employment of these computer specialists is expected to increase much faster than average. Our programs provide excellent foundations for successful careers in these areas.

As an undergraduate student, you will find many opportunities to work part-time as a research assistant on campus, or as an intern with a local or regional business.

Graduates of our department have recently accepted employment in major national businesses, including Hewlett-Packard, IBM, AT&T, Apple, CISCO Systems, Google, Echelon, Cargill, SGI, Microsoft, Digikey, John Deere, Target Corp. and Thomson Reuters. Many have chosen positions in North Dakota and adjoining states. There is a large and growing need for computer professionals in North Dakota.

During the final semester of their senior year, students take part in a capstone program. The objective of the capstone program is to provide the students with an experience that brings together the technical knowledge they have acquired, while fostering valuable teamwork skills. This is accomplished by working in small teams on real life projects. Capstone projects are done in conjunction with corporate, industrial or government clients/sponsors. Recent sponsors include 3M, Appareo, ATK, CNSE, IBM, Microsoft, NISC, Noridian, John Deere, Polaris, Rockwell Collins, Sundog, Thomson Reuters, and West Corp.

The Facilities

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 a Web server with class assignments and other information which is accessed by thousands of users each day. The University provides more than 600 computers for student use.

High School Preparation

You should have the basic college preparatory courses in high school. Courses that develop the ability to think logically, to organize and to analyze are especially recommended (e.g., algebra, geometry, trigonometry, statistics and calculus).

The Faculty

    • Sameer Abufardeh, Ph.D., North Dakota State University
    • Anne Denton, Ph.D., University of Mainz, Germany
    • Wei Jin, Ph.D., University at Buffalo, New York
    • Jun Kong, Ph.D., University of Texas, Dallas
    • Dean Knudson, Ph.D., Northwestern University
    • Juan Li, Ph.D., University of British Columbia
    • Simone Ludwig, Ph.D., Brunel University, UK
    • Ken Magel, Ph.D., Brown University, Rhode Island
    • Oksana Myronovych, Ph.D., North Dakota State University
    • Ken Nygard, Ph.D., Virginia Polytechnic Institute
    • Mark Pavicic, Ph.D., Columbia University
    • Bill Perrizo, Ph.D., University of Minnesota
    • Saeed Salem, Ph.D., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    • Brian Slator, Ph.D., New Mexico State University
    • Jeremy Straub, Ph. D., University of North Dakota
    • Vasant Ubhaya, Ph.D., University of California-Berkeley
    • Gursimran Walia, Ph.D., Mississippi State University
    • Changhui Yan, Ph.D., Iowa State University
    • Hyunsook Do, Ph.D., University of Nebraska, Lincoln (adjunct)
      • Janet Fleming
      • Pratap Kotala
      • Joan Krush
      • Joe Latimer
      • Alex Radermacher
      • Katy Cox, Research Technician
      • Jane Dickerson, Administrative Secretary
      • Guy Hokanson, Research Technician
      • Carole Huber, Administrative Assistant
      • Betty Opheim, Administrative Secretary
      • Nate Olson, Systems Administrator
      • Annette Sprague, Administrative Secretary

        Sample Curriculum


        General Education Requirements
            First Year Experience
        1     UNIV 189 - Skills for Academic Success
        3     COMM 110 - Fundamentals of Public Speaking
        3, 3     ENGL 110, 120 - College Composition I, II
              ENGL 321 - Writing in Technical Professions or
        3      ENGL 324 - Writing in the Sciences
            Quantitative Reasoning
        4     MATH 146 - Applied Calculus I (B.A.) or
             MATH 165 - Calculus I (B.S.)
        10   Science & Technology
        6   Humanities & Fine Arts
        6   Social & Behavioral Sciences
        2   Wellness
        -   Cultural Diversity
        -   Global Perspective
        41   Total
        Credits   Major Requirements
        4, 4   CSCI 160, 161 - Computer Science I and II
        3   CSCI 213 - Modern Software Development
        3   CSCI 222 - Discrete Mathematics
        3   CSCI 313 - Software Development for Games
        3   CSCI 366 - Database Systems
        3   CSCI 445 - Software Projects Capstone
        3   CSCI 489 - Social Implications of Computers
        36   Total
        Credits   Additional Requirements (B.A. Only)
        3 or 4   CSCI 114 - Microcomputer Packages or
                 CSCI 116 - Business Use of Computers
        3   CSCI 159 - Computer Science Problem Solving
        3   CSCI 371 - Web Scripting Languages
        3   CSCI 488 - Human-Computer Interaction
        3   COMM 260 - Introduction to Web Design
        3   COMM 261 - Introduction to Web Development
        3   STAT 330 - Introductory Statistics
        2   STAT 331 - Regression Analysis
        16   Humanities and Fine Arts Electives
        7   Electives
        46-47   Total
        Credits   Additional Requirements (B.S. Only)
        3   CSCI 336 - Theoretical Computer Science II
        3   CSCI 372 - Comparative Programming Languages
        3   CSCI 374 - Computer Organization and Architecture
        3   CSCI 415 – Networking & Parallel Computation
        3   CSCI 467 - Algorithm Analysis
        3   CSCI 474 - Operating Systems Concepts
        4   MATH 166 - Calculus II
        3, 3   STAT 367 & 368 - Probability and Statistics
        11   Humanities and Fine Arts Electives
        9   Computer Science Electives
        17-19   Science Requirements
        65-67   Total
        122-124   CURRICULUM TOTAL

        This sample curriculum is not intended to serve as a curriculum guide for current students, but rather an example of course offerings for prospective students. For the curriculum requirements in effect at the time of entrance into a program, consult with an academic advisor or with the Office of Registration and Records.

        Room 258

        The Industrial Agriculture and Communications Center is located on the corner of Centennial Boulevard and Albrecht Boulevard (Campus Map)

        Contact Information

        Joan Krush, Academic Adviser
        Department of Computer Science
        North Dakota State University
        Quentin Burdick Building 258
        Dept #2740
        PO Box 6050
        Fargo, ND 58108-6050

        Tel: (701) 231-8562 / Fax: (701) 231-8255

        Office of Admission
        North Dakota State University
        Ceres 114
        Dept #5230, PO Box 6050
        Fargo, ND 58108-6050

        Tel: (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802



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        Office of Admission
        North Dakota State University
        Phone: +1 (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802
        Campus address: Ceres Hall 114
        Physical/delivery address: 1301 Administration Ave., Fargo, ND 58102
        Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 5230 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
        Page manager: NDSU Webmaster

        Last Updated: Wednesday, September 06, 2017 11:25:12 AM
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