Computer Science : About The Program

About Our Degrees

The Computer Science and Engineering Department offers instruction in all areas of computer science and computer engineering. The computer engineering curriculum emphasizes hardware, software, and system integration issues of computing. Topics include such diverse areas as analog and digital electronics, logic design, computer architecture, VLSI, computer networking, signal/image processing, algorithms and data structures, programming languages, software engineering, computer organization, artificial intelligence, and operating systems. The Computer Engineering program is accredited by ABET.

Computer science curriculum emphasizes systems (both software and hardware), computing fundamentals and applications. Topics include such diverse areas as software systems, database, algorithm and data structures, programming languages, software engineering, theory of computation, computer organization, artificial intelligence, operating systems, computer networking, vision and image processing, data mining and machine learning.

Both the BA and the BS in Computer Science prepare students well for professional positions in computing and information technology fields and for graduate work. The primary difference is that the BS program provides a more concentrated approach to computer science, while the BA program encourages students to combine computer science with studies in another field. In addition, the CSE department offers a combined program permitting highly qualified students to graduate with a five-year program leading to a combined BS/MS degree in computer science. In conjunction with the School of Management, the department offers a five-year program leading to a combined degree in computer science and business administration (BS/MBA). A BS degree in computational physics is offered jointly with the Physics department.

The university offers a BS degree in bioinformatics and computational biology, with options for a concentration in biology, biophysics, computer science and engineering, or mathematics. Please refer to the bioinformatics and computational biology program for further details.

Acceptance Criteria - BS and BA

See the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences for acceptance criteria.

Acceptance Information

See the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences for acceptance information.

Advising Information

Entering freshmen/transfers are offered a wide range of special advisement opportunities and academic help sessions by the Office of Undergraduate Education, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (410 Bonner Hall). Students in the program obtain academic guidance jointly from a senior academic advisor in Engineering and from the Computer Science and Engineering Undergraduate Advisor (338R Davis Hall).

Upon admission, the department of computer science and engineering writes to inform students of their faculty mentors, whom they may consult regarding technical aspects of the program, as well as future research opportunities, and academic, and career goals. Students are required see an advisor at least once a semester. A semester before graduation, students are required to meet with an advisor to ensure their remaining coursework satisfies the general education, design, and other program requirements needed to graduate.

To graduate with a degree from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, students must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 in technical classes required for the major (includes engineering, math, technical electives, and science classes). Please refer to the degree program sections of the catalog for additional requirements.

Computer science majors are exempt from the SEAS residency requirement.

Required courses cannot be taken Pass-Fail or Satisfactory-Unsatisfactory.

Students must obtain a minimum overall and UB GPA of 2.0 to be considered in academic good standing with the University.

Prerequisites are satisfied with grade of C- or better. If student does not obtain the required grade, the student must retake the prerequisite course before proceeding to the next course.

All CSE 300/400-level courses are for majors only.

Departmental senior standing is achieved when students complete a minimum of:
2 of CSE 300-level courses for BA Program in CS and
3 of CSE 300-level course for BS program in CS or CEN

At least six of our required CSE courses must be taken at UB, and at least four of these courses should be 300 or 400-level CSE courses (excludes CSE 492, CSE 494-CSE 499).

Degree Requirements

Please see Degrees and Policies.

About Our Courses

Generally, classes in the freshmen and sophomore years tend to be somewhat larger as these classes serve as the foundation for many engineering majors. Once students enter their junior year, they take classes that are required for their particular major and class size decreases even more.

The School of Engineering's block scheduling initiative assists first-semester freshmen by providing the same coordinated schedule of classes for approximately twenty students. So even though some classes may be larger, students will become familiar with other students who are in their other classes. In addition, students who opt for our small group academic support sessions interact closely with peer tutors on a weekly basis through our student excellence initiative. In the small groups, students work with professional instructors in about a 10:1 ratio. The workshop style format combines interactive instruction and student problem solving practice on material from Calculus, Physics, and Chemistry courses. In the short run, the groups provide personal attention in helping students understand challenging course material. The ultimate goal is that students learn how university level problems differ from those in high school and how to approach them.

Typical class size:
Freshman/introductory courses:
calculus = 60 lec/30 rec, physics = 155 lec/30 lab, chemistry = 275 lec/24 lab, computer science = 110-120 lec/20-25 rec
Sophomore /intermediate courses: 60-90 lec/20-25 rec
Upper level/advanced courses: 25-75 lec/10-25 rec

Suggested Introductory Courses
For the BA:

For the BS:

In the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, what do teaching assistants (TAs) do?

They support instructors in lower-level undergraduate courses, cover recitations and laboratories, assist students, help grade papers, support instructional laboratories, and hold office hours.

For course descriptions, please see Courses.

About Our Faculty

The faculty members of the department, all of whom have national and international reputations in their fields, are involved in research projects that have been supported by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Postal Service, the U.S. Air Force, the Department of Defense, National Institute of Health, Advanced Research Project Agency, New York State Foundation of Science, Technical and Academic Research, and a variety of special contracts. Many have also received research funding from corporations such as Microsoft, Fujitsu, NEC, Sprint and IBM.

These projects include research in: algorithms and theory, augmentative technology for the handicapped, computer networks and distributed systems, computer security and information assurance, computer vision and information visualization, data integration and databases, high performance and grid computing, cyber infrastructure and computational science, knowledge representation, computational linguistics, medical applications and bioinformatics, human computer interaction, wireless computing, multimedia databases and informational retrieval, pattern recognition, machine learning, data mining, programming languages and software systems and VLSI and computer architecture.

Several of the faculty serve on the editorial boards of major research journals as well as the boards of major national professional societies. Many members of the department have won university awards for excellence in teaching, such as the SUNY/Chancellor's Award and the Milton Plesur Award.

See a list of our Undergraduate Faculty.

Practical Experience and Special Academic Opportunities

As part of their undergraduate education, students are encouraged to participate in work experience classes and research opportunities.


Work experience is available through the Engineering Career Institute program in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, as well as departmental co-op and internship classes. The Engineering Career Institute (EAS 396, 1 academic credit) provides career-effectiveness skills and co-op placement assistance during the junior year. This may be followed by one to three co-op work experiences (EAS 496, 2 academic credit hours). Co-ops may not be used to satisfy the requirements for the BS. Descriptions of co-op courses may be found in the Undergraduate Catalog.


Internship opportunities include a field experience working on a computer science and engineering project in a real-world setting under the joint direction of a supervisor from industry and a faculty advisor from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Projects selected should integrate the material learned in academic courses. Upon completing the internship (CSE 496), the student is expected to have fulfilled an internship contract. Only P/F grades will be given; therefore, internships may not be used to satisfy the requirements for the BS program.


Undergraduate research experiences are available for course credit (Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity or Independent Study) or as a paid assistant in the research laboratory of a faculty member. The Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity serves as a clearing house for information regarding undergraduate research opportunities.

Independent Study

Independent study is tailored towards special projects working independently with the faculty. (May not be used to satisfy the requirements for the BA or BS.)

Extracurricular Activities

Complementary Programs and Courses

Links to Further Information About this Program

Updated: 13 Nov 2012 06:00:49 EST