The rapid advances in computer technology in today's highly technological society have resulted in a continuing demand for computer science graduates. The computer science professional applies the basic principles of computing and the latest technological advancements to solve problems in business, education, and government. BGSU’s Computer Science department offers majors and specializations that can well-prepare the students for the high in demand job market.

Undergraduate Degree Offerings

B.S. in CS degree requirements includes basic CS courses with emphasis on stronger computer science and mathematic courses. An Internship/co-op is required. Total 122 credit hours required: university-level general education requirements (36 hours), college-level requirements (foreign languages, lab sciences, quantitative literacy, multidisciplinary), major requirements (50 hours of CS courses, Calculus I, Discrete Math, Statistics, electives).

B.A. in CS degree requirements include more liberal arts courses than B.S. degree with less CS and MATH requirements. Total 122 credit hours required: university-level general education requirements (36 hours), college-level requirements (foreign languages, lab sciences, multidisciplinary), major requirements (39 hours of CS courses, Calculus I, Discrete Math, Statistics, electives).

B.S. in SE degree requirements include basic CS courses and have an emphasis on development of software and computer software applications. An internship/co-op is required.  Total 122 credit hours required: university-level requirements (36 hours), college-level requirements (foreign language, lab sciences, quantitative literacy, multidisciplinary), major requirements (53 hours of CS/SW courses, Calculus I, Discrete Math, Statistics, electives).

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Want to know more? What do these various degrees and their various specializations mean in terms of possible careers, job outlook, course requirements? View the comparison table for further information.

Computer Science Minor

An undergraduate student in any college of the university can minor in Computer Science by completing 18 hours of coursework, as follows:

CS 2010 and CS 2020 (6 hours)
CS Electives (12 hours)

Transfer courses included in the minor carry a maximum of three hours of credit per course. Credit at the 1000-level is limited to three hours. Credit for CS 1000, CS 3900, CS 3901, CS 3950 may not be counted toward the minor. CS courses included in a major (such as IS) may not be counted toward the minor.

Computer Science/Software Engineering External Mentorship Program

Undergraduate Program and Student Information

Undergraduate Program: Common Questions and Answers

Any PC with an Intel i5 processor (or AMD equivalent) and 8-16 GB of memory should be sufficient to run applications for the CS curriculum. A Macbook Pro with similar specs is also acceptable. Please be aware that as of 2020 the new Macbooks come with the Apple proprietary M1/M2 (any ARM-based chip). As of Summer 2022 Microsoft is still not offering an ARM-based version of Windows which prevents the use of virtualization software or use of Bootcamp on a Mac to run Windows. Microsoft Office and Microsoft Visual Studio (Windows version only) are the only required applications. Microsoft Office 365 is available as a free download for all BGSU students. Visual Studio will be available for download through the CS department's Azure Dev Tools for Teaching program after enrollment in your first CS course.

Because we are part of a university that emphasizes the liberal arts, you will receive a well-rounded education resulting in transferable skills that carry you beyond a narrow engineering focus.

In our program, you will learn not only how computers are engineered, but also how to ...

  • envision and implement usable software
  • work effectively in teams
  • solve technical problems
  • communicate with non-technical persons
  • manage projects, and
  • conduct yourself in an ethical and professional manner.

Our curriculum closely tracks and implements the recommendations made by the primary professional organizations in the computing world: the Association for Computing Machinery, the Association for Information Systems, and the IEEE Computer Society.

High school algebra is important. Two to four years of the same foreign language will get you a bit of a head start with general university requirements. Beyond that, we look for students who are imaginative, who love to discover how things work, who are good at solving puzzles or problems, and who want to make technology useful.

Founded in 1969, we were the first undergraduate computer science department in the state of Ohio, and we are still the only one to have received a Program Excellence Award from the Ohio Board of Regents. We are proud to have this recognition but we take even greater pride in the fact that students have always been our primary focus. We know that, in a very practical sense, we don't teach computer science; we teach young men and women.

  • All our courses are taught by regular faculty, not graduate students.
  • Our class sizes are deliberately small (25-35 students).
  • Our professors are routinely accessible outside of class for 1-on-1 help.
  • The majority of our students earn good pay and academic credit through an integrated internship program. You advisor will help you develop a year-by-year plan that reserves a block of time for your internship.
  • Most students keep the same academic advisor from entry until graduation; you won't get lost in the shuffle.
  • We maintain close ties with regional employers who actively recruit our graduates and provide scholarship assistance.
  • We make it possible for students to combine computer science with another major or minor, such as digital art, digital music, management information systems, or geographic information systems.
  • Our students have established their own local chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and a Women in Computing group. Both groups invite guest speakers of their choice, organize field trips to points of interest, and conduct social and fund-raising events. Both organizations are open to all CS majors and minors.

All this, combined with the small-town atmosphere of Bowling Green, makes us an attractive learning community.

Our advisors will help you tailor your choice of elective courses to fit your special interests. If your interests span multiple disciplines, your advisor will help you find complementary courses in other areas even as you major in computer science. With careful planning, you could minor in another area or even simultaneously pursue a second major. Your program can include an independent project entirely of your own design or an honors project. If you have extremely specialized interests, you are welcome to stay aboard for a Master's degree.

A popular misconception is the belief that having a computer job means you sit alone and write computer programs all day long . This is not true even for those specifically hired as programmers.

In fact, a BS or BA degree in computer science is a gateway to many varied careers, including accessibility specialist, computer forensic specialist, computer graphics specialist, computer manager, computer scientist, computer security professional, computer service technician, computer support specialist, computer trainer, cryptanalyst, cyber-security specialist, database developer, database manager, data miner, digital artist, digital intelligence specialist, game designer, game programmer, Internet system administrator, network communications specialist, network administrator, network systems analyst, software architect, software developer, software engineer, software programmer, software tester, systems analyst, systems manager, systems operator, technical writer, usability engineer, web designer, and web developer.

More information about what you can do with a CS major

  • Cooper Tire and Rubber Company (Findlay, Ohio)
  • Ernst & Young (Cleveland, Ohio)
  • HMB Information Systems Developers (Columbus, Ohio)
  • Huntington National Bank (Columbus, Ohio)
  • Libbey, Incorporated (Toledo, Ohio)
  • Marathon Oil Company (Findlay, Ohio)
  • Nationwide Insurance Company (Columbus, Ohio)
  • Owens-Corning (Toledo, Ohio)
  • Progressive Insurance (Mayfield Village, Ohio)
  • Sogeti USA LLC (Columbus, Ohio)
  • "The computer science faculty are not only my teachers, but also my friends. They always seem interested in me as a person and eager to help me out."
  • "Completing an internship was the single most important factor in helping me get my first job."
  • "The variety of courses is good -- a mix of theoretical skills, hardware, operating systems, and languages."
  • "We have been recruiting at BGSU since the start-up of our software development firm in 1994. From then through today, we have found BG graduates to be bright, energetic, and enthusiastic about solving our clients' technology problems. They arrive on their first day of work with real-world project team experience, and they immediately roll up their sleeves to tackle the pressing issues. Their fast-learning, inquisitive nature makes it easy for us to put them on assignments that might normally require someone with more experience." --Patrick Brennan, Partner, HMB, Inc.
  • "exceptional technical ability"
  • "very good analytical and problem-solving skills"
  • "willing and eager to learn"
  • "adapt quickly to a work environment"
  • "capable of independent, self-motivated thought and action"
  • "well oriented to the problems of the real world"
  • "among my best employees"

Various scholarships are available to computer science majors, and some are awarded directly by the Department of Computer Science:

List CS Scholarships

In year 1, about 25% of your courses are in computer science; the rest are taken to meet general university requirements. In year 2, about 33% are in computer science. In year 3, about 50% and, in year 4, about 75% are in computer science.

In computer science, you start with classes in programming fundamentals, object-oriented programming, and computer organization. Then, in the second year, you study information management technologies along with standard data structures and algorithms. In your third year, you will probably study Operating Systems and Networks in the fall semester, then do an internship (co-op) in the spring semester. In your fourth year, you will study usability engineering and take a number of computer science electives, depending on your interests.

As a CS major at BGSU, you will intern with a major regional employer, where you will do practical computer-related work as a full-time paid employee for about three months. We have a course that gets you ready for this experience; it covers job fairs, resume writing, interview strategies, job searching and employer expectations.

We promise to schedule your courses so that you can take an internship at any convenient time after the completion of your sophomore year -- fall, spring or summer. Finally, we will help you leverage your internship experience to get an early advantage in the job market.

Yes. We already have a substantial number of students who have transferred credit from other area schools, including the University of Toledo, Owens, Lorain, Firelands, and Findlay. Generally speaking, the hours will transfer and, if the content matches the content of one of our courses, you will also get credit for that course. The Computer Science Department has its own transfer credit evaluator, who will assess your transcript against departmental requirements.

Updated: 07/10/2023 02:59PM