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FAQ

Future Student FAQ

Why should I earn a degree in Computer Science?

Computer science is fundamental in today’s digital world. Almost every major challenge facing our world is turning to computing for a solution, from conquering disease to eliminating hunger, from improving education to protecting the environment. Medical imaging and other medical software applications are revolutionizing the practice of medicine, mobile devices are transforming the way people live and communicate, web search engines have become a ubiquitous part of our everyday lives. None of these developments would be possible without advances in computer science. In another ten to fifteen years, it is expected that all major systems and infrastructure in the world will be controlled by software. Computer science will play a critical role in this transformation.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting a strong increase in computing jobs in the next ten years.  To find additional information about careers in the discipline (including salary, minimum education requirements, and projected job growth), we recommend a look at the Bureau of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Why should I choose the Boise State Computer Science program?

Boise State’s Computer Science Department offers a Bachelors of Science degree that is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET.  The department offers a Bachelors of Science in Computer Science with  emphases in Cybersecurity, Machine Learning, Entrepreneurship, and Secondary Education as well as minors in computer science and cybersecurity, and a certificate in Data Science. The department also offers and participates in masters and doctoral level programs. 

Our small class sizes allow students to interact frequently with professors, and to experience real world applications and networking through numerous industry events throughout the year.  The department benefits from an active industry advisory board that among many things, helps ensure curriculum is appropriate. Outside of the classroom, the downtown Computer Science building creates a tight bond with local software development companies, with many opportunities for high-paying internships and year round part-time employment.  Graduates of Boise State’s Computer Science program enjoy a high job placement rate (95% in 2016).  Due to the robust Boise Software Ecosystem and Boise’s quality of life, most graduates (around 90%) accept employment locally upon graduating. Computer Science majors are in high demand and have the highest pay of any major in the University. Check the US Department of Education scorecard website to compare salaries for majors and universities.

What type of computer should I get?

We suggest students buy a computer with the fastest processor and the most memory that they can afford (right now 8 GB of RAM is enough for basic needs). Also, most of our students end up installing multiple operating systems (e.g. Linux and Windows, Linux and MacOS) on their computers so you may want to look for a laptop that has enough hard drive space and memory to do that (we would suggest 16 GB of RAM if you want to run virtual machines). Windows developer and VMware software is provided for free by the College of Engineering through the OnTheHub program. Once you have signed up for classes an account is generated for you and e-mailed to your u.boisestate.edu email account.

Can I obtain a second degree in CS if I already have an undergraduate degree in another field?

If you already have an undergraduate degree in another field, you can get a second Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science through the Post-Baccalaureate (Post-Bacc or Second Degree) program. This program requires that you complete only the required classes and their pre-requisites from the undergraduate Computer Science program. This program is ideal for qualified students who have previously received degrees in other disciplines. Each student is assigned a custom plan for their second degree (based on prior education and experience).

Graduates of this program will be prepared for further advancement in their current field or for immediate employment in either the computer industry or many other businesses that increasingly rely on computer science. For most students, this second degree can be completed in two to three years. That can take longer if the prior major did not include many math courses. Summer courses can be a great way to catch up on those and other pre-reqs/required courses.

Application and Admission Requirements

Interested students must:

  • Submit the Boise State University Undergraduate Admission Application, along with nonrefundable application fee, to the Admissions Office. You can apply online through the Admissions Office website. The application form may also be obtained by contacting the Admissions Office at (208) 426-1156/4184 or 1-800-824-7017 or by email at admissions@boisestate.edu.
  • Arrange for official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended to be sent directly to the Admissions Office.
  • After admission: contact the Computer Science Department (computerscience@boisestate.edu) to request advising. Department staff will connect you with a second degree advisor who will look at your application and transcripts to develop a checklist of courses that would be required for your second degree. This advising cannot occur prior to admission. If you have general questions prior to admission, department staff may be able to assist you.
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