When considering accredited computer science degree programs in Maine, consider the public universities that make up the University of Maine system. With degrees ranging from undergraduate to doctoral, as well as minors, you can tailor your educational experience to suit your specific career interests. Although known for its scenery and seafood, Maine is also home to some of the best university programs in New England and industries that welcome graduates of these programs. With the continuous growth of modern technology, careers in computer science fields exist just about everywhere, making these degrees highly sought after and valued.

University of Maine

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

The University of Maine is the flagship university of the University of Maine system. A land grant university, it is also considered one of the premier universities in New England. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is considered the intellectual heart of the University of Maine, offering foundational courses for every field and degree major offered. In addition to housing the majority of general education courses, several liberal arts and sciences majors are available within this college, including the several degree levels for computer science majors, as detailed below.

Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science

The Bachelor of Arts degree in computer science is designed for the student who seeks a strong foundation in computer science but with a lot of flexibility in choice of coursework taken outside of the major. It can provide the basis for a career in the computer sciences or for graduate work, if that is the student’s choice. Requirements include 47 credit hours of computer sciences courses, plus courses in Calculus, Statistics, English composition and Business and Technical writing. In addition, students are required to declare and complete a minor in a subject outside of their home department, consisting of 18 -21 credit hours, and must also complete a minimum of 72 credit hours in coursework outside of the computer science major. As some courses will likely meet more than one of these requirements, the total number of credit hours needed for this degree is 120 minimum.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

The Bachelor of Science is the more traditional computer science degree offered at the University of Maine. It also provides a basis for further graduate work or for a career in the computer science fields, and can also provide a strong background in computer science for an interdisciplinary team. Students seeking this degree need a minimum of 50 credit hours of computer science coursework, plus courses in Calculus and Statistics. In addition, this degree requires a capstone course and project. General education requirements include an English composition course and a technical writing course, along with at least 14 credit hours of various sciences. Students again need a total of 120 credit hours for completion of this degree, but there is a much stronger emphasis on the sciences and less flexibility with other coursework outside of the major than is found with the Bachelor of Arts degree.

Minor in Computer Science

The program for a minor in computer science at the University of Maine offers two tracks of coursework that can be followed to obtain this degree. Both require a total of 18 credit hours to complete and are available to students outside of the other computer science undergraduate programs. Both tracks include courses in the foundations of computer science, but then diverge. Track one involves introductory courses in object-oriented programming and design, data structures, and problem-solving through use of computer programming, plus two additional courses of the student’s choice at the 300 level or above. Track two involves courses in C++ programming, introductory and advanced, and a course in computer organization and architecture, as well as the two additional courses at the 300 level or above, chosen by the student. Students choose which track would best complement their other major coursework or future plans within the computer science field.

Master of Science in Computer Science

The Master of Science degree in computer science is a more intensive course of study that prepares students for the more advanced careers in computer science fields. Students seeking this degree may choose to either prepare and defend a thesis or complete a Masters level project. The thesis route is the traditional one and is required of students who intend to continue on to a doctoral degree in computer science. The thesis option requires considerably more work than the project and prepares students for careers in research and development as well as doctoral level work. The project route requires additional coursework and is more targeted, preparing students more for advanced jobs in industry. Regardless of path, this degree requires 30 credit hours at the 500 level and above, made up of required courses, electives, and either thesis or project hours. Both thesis and project options require some form of public presentation, either to defend or simply present.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Computer Science

The PhD is the highest academic degree offered and leads to opportunities for highly advanced careers in both academia and industry. Research for the required dissertation begins very shortly after the student is accepted into the doctoral program and continues throughout the program. The dissertation will need to describe original computer science research that will be ultimately publishable and provide an original contribution to the field. Admittance as a doctoral candidate hinges upon completion of all prerequisite course requirements and an acceptance vote by graduate faculty. Overall, the PhD requires a total of 58 completed credit hours in an approved program of coursework, with some of these being in prerequisite courses completed in striving for the Master degree. Upon completion of the dissertation, this too will need to be defended publicly prior to awarding of the degree. Finally, students will need to pass a qualifying examination upon completion of all coursework.

Accreditations

  • Computer Science Accreditation Commission (CSAC) of the Computing Sciences Accreditation Board (CSAB)
  • Computing Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET)

Contact Information
School of Computing and Information Science
5711 Boardman Hall, Room 348A
The University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469
207-581-2188
kkidder@spatial.maine.edu
http://www.umaine.edu/cis/

University of Southern Maine

College of Science, Technology, and Health

The University of Southern Maine is a public, regional, comprehensive university providing students with accessible and affordable education through five academic units, including the College of Science, Technology, and Health. The College in turn houses the School of Engineering and Physical Science which then contains the Department of Computer Science. Since computer science involves problem-solving through the use of computers, these accredited computer science degrees described below have a heavy emphasis on software development, but each also includes practice in hardware construction and implementation.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

This degree prepares students for either graduate study or success in the workforce after graduation, with a broad foundation of fundamental coursework mixed with the opportunity to focus on a specific area of computer science that interests the student. A total of 120 credit hours are required for completion, including the general education requirements that are needed for any Bachelor degree. Of these 120 credit hours, at least 30 of them must be in prescribed science and mathematics courses taken as electives or as part of the general education requirements. Students are also required to take two communications courses, one in public speaking and one in technical writing. Computer science coursework covers subject areas such as data structures, operating systems, algorithms, data systems, data structures, programming languages, and professional ethics. In addition, all coursework within the major must maintain an overall GPA of at least 2.0.

Minor in Computer Science

The minor is once again intended for students who want to complement a major in another discipline with a basic knowledge of programming practice and computer hardware fundamentals. Upon completion, students will be able to write programs that perform useful jobs within their area of specialty and recognize chances to automate tasks within their domain. Students seeking this minor will take coursework in structured problem solving, algorithms in programming, computer organization, data structures, and at least two other courses numbering 250 and above that would be of specific interest to the student when considering how they would complement their major. Students taking this minor take some of the same courses that fall under the above undergraduate degree in computer science, but without the breadth or depth of theory that are required for the Bachelor of Science degree.

Master of Science in Computer Science

This degree is designed to provide more in-depth knowledge of the concepts, theory, and practice of computer science, leading to graduates who are prepared for higher positions of responsibility and expertise. Graduates with a Masters degree are prepared to design, implement and test new software products, develop new hardware technology, and construct and manage large-scale computer systems. In addition, students will be prepared to continue their studies into a doctoral program if they so choose, as the Master of Science degree program involves the opportunity for advanced research projects. Completion of this degree requires a minimum of 30 credit hours, at least 18 of which must be in graduate level computer science courses. In addition, students need either a six-credit thesis track or a three-credit project track with an additional graduate course. Of the remaining electives, no more than two courses can be taken outside of the computer science department.

Accreditations

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

Contact Information
Computer Science Department
117 Science, Portland Campus
College of Science, Technology, and Health
University of Southern Maine
PO Box 9300
Portland, ME 04104
207-780-4499
lgrant@usm.maine.edu
http://usm.maine.edu/cos

Computer science disciplines continue to evolve and permeate nearly every aspect of our lives, providing for career security well into the future for graduates entering the field. Whichever university you choose, the accredited computer science degree programs in Maine will prepare you for an exciting and lucrative career in this dynamic field.

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