Florida is called the “Sunshine State” for a reason, and seeking accredited computer science degrees in Florida could be the first step to living your subtropical dream. This state boasts miles of beaches and coastlines on both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, with either one being generally accessible in less than two hours of driving from anywhere in the state. In addition, Florida boasts several top-notch colleges and universities, both public and private. From the urban and metropolitan areas of South Florida to the tourist capital of Orlando and the state capital of Tallahassee, Florida provides abundant opportunities for graduates with computer science degrees. To see more accredited computer science degrees in Florida, visit Computer Science Degree Programs in Florida (A-L).

University of Central Florida

College of Engineering and Computer Science

The University of Central Florida is the second largest university in the United States, serving more than 60,000 students annually with numerous degree programs offered through twelve colleges, including the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Within this school, accredited computer science degrees are gained from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Division of Computer Science. At the graduate level, the University of Central Florida was ranked the 43rd best public engineering college in the country by U.S. News & World Report and the 4th best for hispanics by Hispanic Business Magazine.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree from the University of Central Florida provides a solid foundation in computer mathematical and theoretical knowledge. This degree leads to a wide variety of career choices rather than in any one specific technological area. Graduates are prepared to work in fields such as robotics, computer gaming, virtual reality, and computer architecture, just to name a few. The bachelor of science degree is expected to take about four years and requires a total of 120 credit hours at a minimum. Of these 120 hours, at least 36 hours are general education credits, usually earned within the first two years or as part of an associate degree program prior to entering the bachelor of science program. The remaining credits are made up of Basic Core courses, Support Courses, and Restricted Electives. In addition, students are required to pass a Computer Science Foundation Exam covering techniques, algorithms, programming skills, and more before moving into certain 4000-level courses in computer science.

Master of Science in Computer Science

The Master of Science in Computer Science degree builds from the knowledge gained in the bachelor program and requires a total of 30 semester hours to complete. Students can choose either a thesis or non-thesis program of study, with the non-thesis option involving more coursework and a portfolio that must be submitted to the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Graduate Committee detailing all major activities that the student has participated in as part of the graduate tenure. This would include a resume, details about term papers and projects, and a SASS audit. Whether thesis or non-thesis, students are required to complete the 30 semester credit hours in courses at the 5000 and 6000 levels. In addition, a plan of study is required from every graduate student at this degree level prior to completing the first nine credit hours of the program and must be approved by the graduate advisor and graduate coordinator.

Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Computer Science

The PhD is the highest degree available in this field and correspondingly prepares students for the highest positions following graduation, namely positions in education, industry, and government. The coursework balances both theory and practice and provides a broad basis in computer programming, architecture and theory while focusing on a specific area of research. The degree involves a total of 72 credit hours in courses at the 5000-7000 level, at least half of which must be at the 6000-7000 level and beyond those required for the Master degree. Students must also take at least 15 credit hours of Dissertation coursework. Students in the PhD in Computer Science are required to provide a brief portfolio for a qualifying review by the school’s graduate committee before completing their 19th semester credit hour in the PhD program and must achieve candidacy by authoring or co-authoring either an accepted journal article or high quality conference paper prior to registering for dissertation hours.

Accreditations

  • Computing Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET)

Contact Information

Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
4328 Scorpius Street
Orlando, FL 32816-2362
407-823-4758
leavens@eecs.ucf.edu
http://www.cs.ucf.edu/index.php

University of Florida

College of Engineering

The University of Florida is the state’s oldest major, public, comprehensive, land-grant and research university and is one of the nation’s most academically diverse public universities. It is one of only 17 public and land-grant universities belonging to the Association of American Universities. The College of Engineering does its part to live up to the university’s overall mission of education, research, and service in order to enhance and improve the social and economic well-being of citizens locally, nationally, and globally. Graduates of any of the programs within this college are trained for ways to find creative solution to problems, whether local or global, to be sound leaders in their chosen professions, and to maintain strong moral and professional ethics.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

This degree combines elements of a strong, engineering-oriented, technical base with an interdisciplinary component and strong communication coursework. This is a four-year degree program in which students will be required to take the same general education required courses and prerequisite courses in mathematics and sciences as students in other engineering programs. Beyond this, students take courses covering basic but essential areas of computing, technical electives that provide deeper knowledge in chosen areas of computer science, interdisciplinary electives of the student’s choice, and additional courses in communication beyond those that meet the general education requirements for a total minimum of 121 credit hours. The interdisciplinary electives can be taken as part of a formally declared minor or simply as a minimum of 15 credit hours at the course level of 3000 or above in an area of alternate interest for the student, whether declared as a minor or not. Students also take either a course in Professional Communications for Engineers or a writing or public speaking course of choice.

Master of Science in Computer Science

The Master of Science in Computer Science degree is offered through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Florida, although coursework and requirements are identical as those required to achieve a Master of Science in Computer Engineering from the College of Engineering. Students wishing to continue their graduate studies into further areas of engineering may wish to consider the latter. In either case, a total of 30 credit hours is required for the degree, and students may choose between a thesis option and a non-thesis option. If the thesis option is chosen, six credit hours of the 30 are dedicated to the thesis research process. Core subjects for this degree include coursework on programming, computer architecture, computer networks, and advanced data structures. In addition, students striving for the master degree must take and pass a final examination within the six months prior to graduation.

Accreditations

  • Computing Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET)

Contact Information

College of Engineering Dean’s Office
300 Weil Hall
PO Box 116550
Gainesville, FL 32611-6550
352-392-6000
info@eng.ufl.edu
http://www.eng.ufl.edu/

University of Miami

College of Arts and Sciences

The only non-public university in the listing, the University of Miami is a private research university that has consistently been listed among the top 50 universities in the country by U.S. New & World Report over the last several years. The College of Arts and Sciences offers 36 majors and 42 minors that encompass a wide area of arts, sciences, and humanities. A liberal arts education is designed to produce graduates who can think critically and communicate effectively, regardless of what field they decide to major in or pursue post-graduation. At the University of Miami, the liberal arts education will also involve research, internships, and opportunities for volunteering in the vibrant and multicultural South Florida environment.

Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science

The Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science degree provides students the opportunity to have more of a liberal arts background while earning a degree in the computer science field. Students wishing to graduate with this degree must complete 17 credit hours in specific core computer science subjects that include coursework in computer programming, computer organization and architecture, C programming and UNIX, and software engineering. In addition, students will take seven credit hours of mathematics that will cover Calculus I or its equivalent and a course in discrete mathematics. Beyond this, students have a required nine credit hours to be chosen in a wide array of elective subjects related to computer science. This brings the total number of credit hours in computer science coursework to 33. For the Bachelor of Arts, remaining coursework may be taken in another discipline that will enhance or be enhanced by the computer science components.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

This degree provides a more in-depth math and science experience than the Bachelor of Arts degree and is designed for the student who plans to enter a specific computer science or technology field after graduation. For the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree, students are required to complete 23 credit hours in core computer science classes, to include those listed for the Bachelor of Arts degree plus coursework in data structures, algorithm analysis, and theory. Students will also take 17 credits in mathematics courses, to include subjects such as calculus and discrete mathematics, but also linear algebra and probability and statistics classes. The Bachelor of Science degree also requires 13 credit hours in science classes, to include an approved two semester sequence of courses with laboratory, and completion of the Social and Ethical Issues in Computing course. Finally, students striving for this degree will choose a specific track from several offered within the computer science field to focus there area of computer science expertise.

Master of Science in Computer Science

This Master of Science degree is open to students with either the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in computer science, although certain course prerequisites for this program are only listed as required courses with the Bachelor of Science degree. Students without that Bachelor degree may still vie for the Master of Science in Computer Science degree, but will need to add any missing prerequisite coursework to the list of requirements for the Master degree. Students seeking this Master degree have a choice of either a thesis option or a coursework option, with a minimum of 36 credit hours needed either way, including a requirement that a certain number of those credits be in classes at the 500 or 600 level. Either way, coursework will involve both theory and experience in the various topics. With approval of the Computer Science Graduate Committee, programs can be tailored to individual needs and interests within the computer science field.

Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Computer Science

The Doctorate degree involves several requirements designed to produce graduates who are not only at the top of their field in computer science, but also comfortable in positions of leadership and public presentations. Requirements include 24 credit hours of coursework, comprised of eight courses approved by the Computer Science Graduate Committee. These courses must include two courses each in the areas of Analysis, Application, and Systems, and at least four of the courses must be CSC6XX type. Students must also pass a written examination at the end of their first year. In addition, students select a research supervisor by the end of the second semester, show significant progress on a research project by the end of the third semester, and submit a report to the graduate committee to be considered for candidacy. Other requirements for this PhD involve annual presentations related to the thesis and dissertation and at least one semester of teaching a lab-based course.

Accreditations

  • Computing Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET)

Contact Information

Department of Computer Science
University of Miami
PO Box 248154
Coral Gables, FL 33124-4245
305-284-2268
csgrad@cs.miami.edu
http://www.cs.miami.edu

University of South Florida

College of Engineering

The University of South Florida is one of the largest public universities in the country and is one of the top 50 universities, public and private, in terms of federal research expenditure. As a global research university, the University of South Florida emphasizes global responsibility and preparation for contributing and collaborating in the workforce and beyond to improve the lives of citizens both locally and globally. The College of Engineering here is at the forefront of national research in areas of sustainability, renewable energy resources, computing technology, and several other areas. Research in each specific department also informs the choice of courses and direction of some of the degrees that can be obtained here.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

Among accredited degrees in computer science in Florida, this one comes from a school ranked number one in the state by the National Research Council. The focus on this bachelor degree program is theory of computation and the design, development, and application of software systems. The core required courses will include facets of this focus, with electives in a wide variety of other computer science related subjects that allow the student seeking this degree to tailor the educational experience to his or her personal goals. Some of the choices for subjects of the additional courses beyond the core courses include algorithms, data structures, operating systems, digital logic design, object oriented design, and more. Graduates of this program will be well-equipped to enter the workforce in their choice of computer science field, and should they wish to stay in the Tampa Bay area after graduation, could find ample opportunities in this vibrant setting on the west coast of Florida.

Master of Science in Computer Science

The Master of Science in computer science degree program involves an additional 30 credit hours beyond the baccalaureate level, and gives a choice of thesis or non-thesis options. Regardless of options, all students are required to take three core courses, Principles of Computer Architecture, Operating Systems, and Theory of Algorithms. Beyond this, and just as with the Bachelor degree, courses are chosen to suit the student’s interests and goals. Some of the areas that are available at this level include furthering those chosen as part of the undergraduate degree, but also include areas of artificial intelligence, networks, image processing, robotics, pattern recognition, and software security. Students choosing the thesis option will complete 24 credit hours of coursework and six credit hours of thesis-related courses. Students choosing the non-thesis will stick to 30 credit hours of coursework. Graduates of this program often find work in research laboratories, private industries, and educational institutions worldwide.

Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Computer Science and Engineering

Building on the master degree, the PhD is given upon completion of coursework as dictated by the doctoral committee and completing a minimum of 20 credit hours of dissertation work beyond any completed as part of the master degree thesis. In addition, students must pass a PhD qualifying exam, complete a major area research paper and presentation, and present a successful dissertation defense. Otherwise, the PhD is given in recognition of a student’s highest scholarly achievement in independent research, conducting and reporting. Students seeking this degree must have a minimum of 72 credit hours completed beyond the baccalaureate degree. These will include the 30 credit hours that make up the Master degree, plus up to 15 semester credit hours of independent study/directed research and at least 20 hours of dissertation credits. Graduates of this program will be at the top of their field in computer science and in high demand both locally and globally.

Accreditations

  • Computing Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET)

Contact Information

Computer Science & Engineering
4202 East Fowler Avenue
University of South Florida
ENB-118
Tampa, FL, 33620-5399
813-974-3652
ugadvisor@cse.usf.edu
gradvisor@cse.usf.edu
http://www.cse.usf.edu

University of West Florida

College of Arts and Sciences

The University of West Florida is a smaller public university with several campuses located in the northwestern part of the state and specializing in smaller class sizes and more focused programs. The College of Arts and Sciences encompasses courses in traditional arts, humanities and the sciences, including computer sciences. The Computer Science department within this college provides several undergraduate degrees in this field, including information systems, cybersecurity, and software engineering. Students in any of these areas and others enjoy the personal attention from faculty members in all areas of their studies, attention that may not always be found at the undergraduate levels of some of the bigger colleges and universities.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

Computer science is considered one of the specializations within the computer science department, with the Bachelor of Science in computer science degree concentrating on theoretical foundations of this area and including coursework in algorithms, data structures, software engineering, computer architecture, and concepts of programming languages. Support courses are heavy in mathematics and science and include courses in Calculus, Physics, and Linear Algebra. Beyond this, students seeking this degree will take a minimum of 12 semester hours at the 3000-4000 course level in specialized areas of computer science. These areas include Systems Security, Artificial Intelligence, Distributed Software Architecture, Control Systems Programming, and Database Systems. Graduates from this program will have a solid foundational education in the computer science field and will be sought after by both private industry and public sectors of the workforce.

Computer Science Minor

This Minor is available to students in majors other than Computer Science or Computer Information Systems, and provides a broad basis of knowledge on software aspects of computer systems. It prepares students for software development on a number of levels with coursework in the fundamentals of programming that use procedural and object-oriented paradigms. Students are required to take two lab courses, Algorithms and Program Design and Data Structure and Algorithms, along with an advisor-approved computer science elective. In addition, students will choose one other course from a listing that includes subjects such as object oriented programming, systems and networks, and theory of computation, all of which are also laboratory courses. A Computer Science Minor can complement any number of other disciplines, as computers are integrated more and more into our daily lives, both within the workforce and outside of it.

Master of Science in Computer Science

The Master of Science in Computer Science once again builds on the skills and coursework taken within the undergraduate program in computer science. It involves more in-depth study of theoretical computer science topics and applications of knowledge in areas of network and communication devices, analysis of algorithms, programming languages, and operating systems. There are 14 credit hours required in specific courses involved with this degree and 18 credit hours of electives. The required courses cover subjects of advanced computer systems and advanced programming languages, as well as six hours of thesis coursework. The electives cover a wide variety of computer science related specializations and include subjects such as artificial intelligence, advanced computer graphics, data mining, database systems, simulation and modeling, and networks. Graduates of this program find themselves in higher positions of authority in a wide area of industry, education and government upon completion of this degree.

Accreditations

  • Computing Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET)

Contact Information

Department of Computer Science
University of West Florida
11000 University Parkway
Pensacola, FL 32514
850-474-2542
computerscience@uwf.edu
http://uwf.edu/cas/cas-departments/computer-science

For graduates who choose to live and work in the state, you will find many and varied options for lifestyle and opportunity. Regardless of where you choose to seek accredited degrees in computer science in Florida, you have several top choices of schools within the state to meet your specific needs and goals.

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