Rochester Institute of Technology

Academic Program Overviews

Student Skills & Capabilities, Salary Data, Career Information 

Computer Science BS

Program Overview

Computer science covers a wide spectrum of areas within the field of computing, ranging from theoretical to practical. Computer science professionals can specialize in areas such as artificial intelligence, computer graphics, computer theory, networking, security, robotics, parallel computing, data mining, computer architecture, systems software, and game development, among others. Programming is an important aspect of computer science, but computer scientists also must be adaptable as well as adept at problem solving and analytical reasoning, able to understand design principles, and fluent in using computers. Professionals in the computing field are in demand in a wide variety of industries, and RIT’s computer science program equips students to take advantage of these opportunities by providing the necessary technical skills and valuable background in communication, professional responsibilities and ethical behavior.

Degrees Awarded

  • Bachelor of Science
  • Master of Science
  • Combined BS/MS Degree


  • Approximately 840 BS students; approximately 60 BS/MS students; approximately 450 MS students.

Cooperative Education & Experiential Education Component

  • BS Students are required to complete a minimum of three co-op work assignments. One assignment occurs during summer and two assignments take place during semesters.

Salary Information

                      Avg.                                            Range
Co-op:        $21.15                                  $10.50 - $48.00
BS:              $84,000                                $40,000 - $120,000
BS/MS:       $95,000                                $60,000 - $105,000

Student Skills & Capabilities

  • The Computer Science Department emphasizes problem solving, object-oriented programming, documentation and testing, and an approach that includes careful analysis of design alternatives when solving problems.  Team and collaborative efforts are encouraged.
  • Prior to starting their first co-op assignment, students will typically have completed: Computer Science I and II (which introduce problem solving and data structures using Python and Java); The Mechanics of Programming (which uses C); Concepts of Computer Systems (which includes an introduction to assembly language as well as some high-level hardware design issues and architectures) and Introduction to Computer Science Theory, as well as an introductory Software Engineering course.  In addition, students will have completed two Calculus courses and courses in Discrete Mathematics, Probability and Statistics, and Linear Algebra.
  • During the upper years of their program, students expand their background with respect to programming languages, data management, intelligent systems, theory and algorithms.  Students gain additional depth in one or more areas within Computer Science by choosing from both undergraduate and graduate level Computer Science courses.


The BS degree is nationally accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET,

Equipment & Facilities

Well over 100 workstations and servers. Linux operating systems environment. PC lab, MAC lab, and specialized labs in Graphics, Database, Distributed Systems, Document & Pattern Recognition, Computational Studies, Portable Eye Tracking, as well as several labs devoted to research and development.

Nature of Work

The widespread and increasing use of computers and information technology has generated a need for highly trained, innovative workers with extensive theoretical and practical technical expertise.  Job tasks and occupational titles used to describe these workers evolve rapidly and continually, reflecting new areas of specialization or changes in technology, as well as the preferences and practices of employers.  (Source:  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics O.O.H.)

Training / Qualifications

A bachelor's degree commonly is required for software engineering, computer programming, and systems analyst jobs, although a master’s degree is preferred for some positions.  Computer scientists must be able to think logically and creatively. They must possess a strong aptitude for math and other technical topics, as these are critical to the computing field. Computer software engineers and programmers must have strong problem-solving and analytical skills. Ingenuity and creativity are particularly important in order to design new, functional software programs. The ability to work with abstract concepts and to do technical analysis is especially important for systems engineers because they work with the software that controls the computer's operation. Because they often deal with a number of tasks simultaneously, they must be able to concentrate and pay close attention to detail. Although computer scientists sometimes work independently, they frequently work in teams on large projects. As a result, they must be able to communicate effectively with computer personnel, such as programmers and managers, as well as with users or other staff who may have no technical computer background.  (Source:  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics O.O.H.)

Job Outlook

Many computer programmers work in computer system design and related services, an industry that is expected to grow as a result of an increasing demand for new computer software. In addition, new applications will have to be developed for mobile technology and the healthcare industry. Job prospects will be best for programmers who have a bachelor’s degree or higher and knowledge of a variety of programming languages. Keeping up to date with the newest programming tools will also improve job prospects. (Source:  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics O.O.H. ’16-‘17)

Job Titles

Computer Scientist, Software Engineer (Applications Software Engineer, Systems Software Engineer), Technical Specialist, Software Developer, Computer Programmer, Systems Analyst, Network Architect, Web Developer, Software Tester, Software Quality Assurance Specialist.


Computer scientists held about 25,600 jobs in 2014. Although they are increasingly employed in every sector of the economy, the greatest concentration of these workers, about 26 percent, was in the Federal government. Many computer scientists were also employed by software publishing firms, scientific research and development organizations, and in education.

Computer software engineers and computer programmers held about 1.1 million jobs in 2014. Although computer software engineers and computer programmers can be found in a wide range of industries about 32 percent were employed in computer systems design and related services. Many also worked for software publishers, manufacturers of computers and related electronic equipment, financial institutions, and insurance providers.

Computer systems analysts held about 567,800 jobs in 2014. Although they are employed in many industries, 27 percent of these workers were in the computer systems design and related services industry. Computer systems analysts also were employed by governments; insurance companies; financial institutions; and business management firms. Employment growth is also expected in IT consulting firms. As more small and medium size firms demand advanced systems, the practice of analysts moving between businesses is expected to increase. (Source:  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics O.O.H.)

Significant Points

  • -Computer scientists, software engineers, programmers and systems analysts are among the occupations projected to grow the fastest and add the most new jobs over the 2014-24 decade
  • -Excellent job prospects are expected as organizations continue to adopt increasingly sophisticated technologies
  • -Job prospects will be best for applicants with a bachelor's or higher degree and relevant experience (software engineer, computer programmer, systems analyst in industry)
  • -Most computer scientists (research or academia) are required to possess a Ph.D. (Source: O.O.H.)

Selected Employer Hiring Partners

Amazon, Apple Inc,  BlueTie, Calero Software, Carestream Health,  Cisco Systems, Citigroup, CryptoLabs, Datto Inc, Electronic Access Solutions, eLogic Group, EnerNOC Inc, Facebook, Factset Research Systems, Fidelity Investments, General Electric, Google, Harris Corp, IBM, Intel, Intuit, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, MOOG Inc, National Security Agency, Oracle, Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics,  Paychex,  Rochester Software Associates, Thomson Reuters, Vanguard, Vistaprint, Windstream, Xamarin.

Contact Us

We appreciate your interest in your career and we will make every effort to help you succeed. Feel free to contact Kris Stehler, the career services coordinator who works with the Computer Science program. You can access information about services through our web site at
Kris Stehler, Career Services Coordinator,This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;  585.475.5468
Rochester Institute of Technology . Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education
Bausch & Lomb Center . 57 Lomb Memorial Drive . Rochester NY  14623-5603