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College of Liberal Arts
University of Mississippi

Computer Science

What does it mean to major in computer science?

At its core, computer science involves the rigorous study of processes, a series of actions to achieve some desired result. In particular, it is the study of processes carried out by computers. Computer science students learn how to define processes and encode them so that they can be carried out efficiently by computers. This involves such tasks as determining what result is needed (systems analysis), developing efficient and flexible software to encode the process (algorithm design, programming, and software engineering), and organizing the data needed and generated by the process (data structures and database management). They also learn how to use the technologies of computers, communication technologies, and the control programs work together to effectively achieve the desired results.

The fact sheet provides a summary of the major, information about the program, and our alumni.  The degree sheet gives the specific requirements and a sample 4-year curriculum plan.


Minor in Computer Science?

The minor in computer science enables students to develop an understanding of the fundamental concepts and techniques of computing science. Students thus can enhance their studies in other disciplines by adding a dimension of algorithmic thinking and developing practical computational skills useful in many areas of contemporary society.

A minor consists of 6 courses, including Computer Science I, II, III, one course at the 200 level or above, and two courses at the 300 level or above.


computer science major photoWhy is UM a good place to study computer science?

UM offers students different options, depending on career interests. Students can pursue a Bachelor of Arts offered from the College of Liberal Arts or a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science offered from the School of Engineering. Recently the School of Engineering added a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from the Department of Electrical Engineering. The BA degree allows greater compatibility with other areas of liberal arts, including 52 minor fields of study, including aerospace studies, digital media studies, mathematics, physics, and many more. The BS degree in computer science prepares students for graduate school or more technical careers.

The Department of Computer and Information Science has faculty members whose research interests include big data, data mining, data science, parallel & GPU computing, virtual reality, software architecture, machine learning, databases, artificial intelligence, IoT, and graphics.


Faculty profile

Dr. Charles Fleming, Assistant Professor of Computer and Information Science, is a native of Mississippi and earned his undergraduate degree in mathematics at the University of Southern Mississippi. After several years in industry he returned to academia and completed his Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Fleming’s primary research area is computer security, where he studies security applications of machine learning.

What study computer science at the University of Mississippi?

“The field of computer science is transforming the world at an unprecedented rate, and a degree in computer science is the gateway to a career that is rewarding not just financially, but also in the sense that you can be an integral part of this transformation. The University of Mississippi Department of Computer and Information Science is a small department with a world-class faculty. This translates to small class sizes where students have the opportunity to learn from leading researchers and educators in intimate small group settings. But small doesn’t mean we lack options. We offer a wide range of courses, including emphases in data science and computer security, two of the hottest areas in computer science. UM CSCI is the perfect place to start your career in high tech.”


What can computer science majors do after graduation?

A liberal arts education prepares graduates to deal with complexity and change. They gain key skills in communication, problem-solving, and working with diverse groups. Related careers to BA in computer science include web design and development, mobile application development, software developer, information security analyst, user interface design, user experience (UX) design, and project manager. In addition to being qualified as programmers, system analysts, network administrators, BA students with the broader skills of the liberal arts are especially prepared for project management positions that act as a liaison between the developers and the clients.

Our BA degree alumni are working in many different sectors of the economy, with the top six groups shown in the infographic above. The top economic sectors for their employer include STEM firms (IT, telecomm, energy, engineering, manufacturing, and science firms), business and finance firms, and higher education.


Student profile

Annie Walsh

Annie Walsh (BA computer science, minor in digital media studies ’21)
Junior Software Engineer, Revv Fundraising Platform

“I chose the BA program in computer science because of the curriculum differences. The College of Liberal Arts offered opportunities to take a foreign language, history, and English courses, providing a more well-rounded education. Computer science has opened many doors, including website development with local businesses and a technology leadership position in my sorority.”

Why study computer science at UM? “I have enjoyed the variety of classes, and the BA degree path has shown me how computer science can intertwine with other subjects. I look forward to using my STEM major in fields such as public relations, marketing, or web development. I know that there are many opportunities out there being a woman in computer science, and I am excited to see what the future holds.”


For more information

Dr. Yixin Chen, Chair and Professor of Computer Science
Department of Computer and Information Science
201 Weir Hall
University, Mississippi 38677
(662) 915-7396  |