Department of Computer Science

Overview

The computer science program provides students with a broad and deep foundation in theory and modern software and hardware concepts as well as introduces students to numerous programming languages and paradigms. Students have an opportunity to engage in significant programming and software development work, learning to innovate as well as invent new technologies, and we also offer students opportunities to collaborate on both traditional and applied research. In addition to required computer science courses, students have an opportunity to take electives in areas such as architecture and operating systems, computer graphics and visualization, data management, distributed systems, intelligent systems, languages and tools, security, and theory.  Learn more in our annual reports

Mohan Kumar

The CS department produces graduates who are among the most sought after in organizations. Faculty and student research spans all areas that are influenced by computer science. 

Read More

Department Chair
Mohan Kumar

$2.2M

Research Funding since 2018

280

Graduations in 2018-19

98%

Average Employment rate

55

Number of peer-reviewed publications in 2018

Latest News

  • May 15, 2019

    Student wearing eye-tracking headset stands with another student holding laptop.

    RIT research helps artificial intelligence be more accurate, fair and inclusive

    RIT has received a grant from the National Science Foundation to help make artificial intelligence smarter and more inclusive. The grant creates the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site in Computational Sensing for Human-centered AI and will allow a total of 30 undergraduate students from across the country to spend 10 weeks at RIT.

  • May 2, 2019

    Student stands in front of window.

    RIT/NTID provides groundwork for grads moving on to doctoral degree programs

    Abraham Glasser, a fourth-year computer science major from Pittsford, N.Y, wasn’t certain where he would land after graduation. But he credits his co-op experiences at Microsoft and NASA for helping him determine that he didn’t want a typical 9-to-5 job. Instead, he realized that a career developing accessible technologies for deaf and hard-of-hearing people would fulfill a passion for research.

Undergraduate Programs

The Bachelor of Science in computer science program provides students with a solid background in foundational computer science, as well as in-depth knowledge in specialized areas. Students are exposed to programming and software developmental work, as well as traditional and applied research. Combined with mandatory co-ops, the program prepares students for exciting careers.

Specialize in areas such as artificial intelligence, computer graphics, computer theory, networking, security, robotics, parallel computation, data mining, computer architecture, or systems software.

Learn More about Computer Science BS 

Graduate Programs

The Master of Science in computer science program admits students with varying backgrounds and prepares them for exciting careers in computing. The program includes foundational and advanced courses, electives and a capstone project. Students have the opportunity to specialize in such areas as artificial intelligence, data science, distributed systems, languages and tools, security, and theory.

The mass amount of data being collected by industries, retailers, and organizations requires knowledgeable professionals who can manage, process, and analyze this information to identify and understand trends and to make meaningful business decisions.

Learn More about Big Data Analytics Adv. Cert. 

Computer graphics and visualization, data management, and intelligent systems are just a few topics you’ll explore while developing the skills to keep up in this ever-changing field.

Learn More about Computer Science MS 

Minors and Immersions

In the computer science minor students explore an in-depth study of programming or sample selected theoretical or applied areas within the computer science field. At least two of the four electives must have course numbers of 300 or higher and students with the proper prerequisites may use graduate-level computer science courses toward the minor.

Learn More about Computer Science Minor 

Student Resources

Here you will find additional resources for the Department of Computer Science, such as advising, scholarships, lab resources, etc.
View resources

Future Students

Students who earn a degree in Computer Science develop many valuable skills and depending on their interests and experiences, can market themselves to work in many different types of industry. Remember that Computer Science is all about inventing and problem solving. A good way to think about computer scientists is that they develop the brains that actually run the computer programs people use. For example, when you search for a book online and you find the book you want and the website also tells you about similar books you might enjoy, computer scientists were the people who developed the brains for that website that give you those other recommendations based on your interests. This is just one example of the countless inventions that computer scientists develop every day.

We encourage prospective Computer Science students and their families to meet with a department representative before making a decision about what college to attend or program to study.  Our goal is to give you a better understanding of what Computer Science is, explain the details of the Computer Science program and curriculum, and answer any questions you might have.  You will also have the opportunity to take a self-guided tour through the Computer Science floor to see what our labs, classrooms, and student areas are like.

We encourage you to call our Student Services Office in advance at +1.585.475.2995.  A member of our staff will be able to assist you in setting up a one hour appointment with our Manager of Student Services. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate same day appointments and availability during the week fills up quickly.

If you are a current student at RIT and are interested in possibly changing your current major to Computer Science, please review the following information, as well as review our curriculum flowcharts for either the BS program or the MS program.

NTID students in an associate degree program who are seeking admission to the Computer Science BS program should review the information and follow the process below, substituting the Intent to Enroll form for the Change of Program form.

Entrance Criteria


BS Program

1. Students must have at least a 2.8 cumulative GPA and a 3.0 GPA in technical courses (computing, math, and science if applicable).

2. Students in their first term of their first year at RIT may not apply for a change of program into Computer Science.  They must wait until they are in at least their second term to apply.

3. Students in the Computing Exploration program are able to have at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA.  There is no GPA requirement for individual technical courses.

4. Students who were once in Computer Science, then completed the College Restoration Program (CRP), and who are now applying to re-enter Computer Science will have their own individualized entrance criteria, as noted on their original CRP referral.  

 **It is important to note that we cannot guarantee acceptance into Computer Science even if the above entrance criteria are met, as it will depend on the demand and on the space available in our program from term to term. The exception to this is for Computing Exploration students who are guaranteed entry with at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA.

MS Program

Applicants must satisfy prerequisite requirements in mathematics (differential and integral calculus, probability and statistics, discrete mathematics, and computer science theory) and computing (experience with a modern high-level language [e.g., C++, Java], data structures, software design methodology, introductory computer architecture, operating systems, and programming language concepts. If an applicant lacks any prerequisites, bridge courses may be recommended to provide students with the required knowledge and skills needed for the program.

Change of Program Process 

If you believe Computer Science is the right fit for you, please follow the following process: 

1. Meet with your assigned academic advisor from your current home department and file an official Change of Program Application form.  Your home department will sign off on the form and will send it to us for evaluation.

2.  Your application must also include a one-page personal statement to be submitted along with the Change of Program Application form.  This statement should include the following information:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Why you are applying for Change of Program
  • Your academic strengths
  • Why you believe you will be successful in the Computer Science program
  • Your professional goals and interests

Applications that do not contain this personal statement will not be considered.

Time Frame for Change of Program Processing:

The Computer Science Department will process Change of Program requests twice per year:

  1. Applications received no later than the last day of classes for the Fall semester will be considered for Change of Program beginning in the subsequent Spring semester.
  2. Applications received no later than the last day of classes for the Spring semester will be considered for Change of Program beginning in the subsequent Fall semester (although technically the Change of Program will be processed beginning with the Summer term.)

In each case, applications received by the deadline will be held as pending, and processed once grades for the Fall (or Spring) term have posted.  


 Generally Acceptable Coursework

BS Program

All coursework will be evaluated on an individual basis, however, there may be alternative courses used in place of required courses as noted below. Students who do not take the typical courses required may need to learn some topics on their own in order to be fully prepared to take additional Computer Science courses.

1. General Education coursework as well as YearOne and Wellness can be applied. Keep in mind that Computer Science has specific Math and Science requirements and also restricts choices for the Ethical Perspective.

2. In place of CSCI 141/142 (Computer Science I/II), students may use IGME 105/106 (Game Development and Algorithmic Problem Solving I/II), ISTE 120/121 (Computational Problem Solving in the Information Domain I/II), CPET 121/321 (Computational Problem Solving I/II) (students who substitute this course sequence will be required to take an additional Computer Science Elective).

3. In place of MATH 190 (Discrete Mathematics for Computing), students may use MATH 200 (Discrete Mathematics and Introduction to Proofs).

4. In place of MATH 181/182 (Project-Based Calculus I/II), students may use MATH 171/172/173 (Calculus A/B/C), MATH 181A/182A (Calculus I/II). Students must have taken the Math Placement Exam here at RIT and earned a score in order to enroll in a calculus course, or have received appropriate Advanced Placement or transfer credit for calculus.

5. Students in majors that require co-op may be allowed to apply their co-op experiences to satisfy the Computer Science co-op requirement, but these experiences are evaluated on a case by case basis.

Further Steps and Contact Information

Once you have read the above information and have reviewed the curriculum flowchart for either the BS program or the MS program, if you still have questions and would like to meet with someone from Computer Science, you may contact the following:

BS Program
Rebecca O'Connor
Academic Advisor
Last Names: A-Ch
rebecca AT cs.rit.edu

Mina Pulcini
Sr. Academic Advisor
Last Names: Ci-K
mina AT cs.rit.edu

Don Denz
Academic Advisor
Last Names: L-Sh
don AT cs.rit.edu

Christina Rohr
Academic Advisor
Last Names: Si-Z
christina AT cs.rit.edu
(Appointments available through the Computer Science main office)

MS Program
Dr. Hans-Peter Bischof
Graduate Program Director
hpb AT cs.rit.edu

If you feel comfortable with this information and do not feel the need to meet with someone from Computer Science, then you do not have to, and can go ahead and submit your official application. You can start to plan to enroll in appropriate Computer Science courses for the upcoming term, but please note that Computer Science courses are restricted initially to students currently in the major. You will need to wait until the restrictions lift to enroll or wait list for Computer Science courses.

The Department of Computer Science evaluates and awards Advanced Placement (AP®) credit based on the following chart:

AP Credit Chart for Semesters

Placement Exams When Entering RIT

RIT Math Placement Exam (ALEKS or MPE)

The Computer Science program at RIT requires a calculus sequence as part of your course requirements. In an effort to enable you to succeed in your college math courses, the math department has developed an on-line calculus placement test. The purpose of this exam is to assess mastery of some of the fundamental mathematical concepts that you may have seen in your high school math courses. In particular, it tests skills in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and functions, all of which are crucial to succeed in the various calculus sequences at RIT. The placement exam has no effect on your GPA. It simply provides a strong recommendation to us in the CS department regarding the suitable course to begin your required mathematics sequence.

All entering students whose program requires a calculus sequence, including those who have AP credit and those who may have transfer credit, will need to take this exam online (once credit is received and processed, this may affect a student's course placement). The Computer Science department will not be able to register you for a math course until you have taken this exam.

Failing to take this exam may affect your ability to be placed in the appropriate course at a later date because seats are limited. In addition, your financial aid may be affected if your schedule does not include the minimum number of credits (12). Therefore, the placement exam will be available for your convenience online at http://mathplacementexam.rit.edu/ from May 15th to June 30th, 2017.Technical support is available Monday-Friday, 9:00am - 4:00pm by calling 585-475-7060.
 

RIT Writing Placement Exam (WPE)

The purpose of the WPE is to determine whether students are able to be registered directly into a writing course or if they must take the Basic Writing course first. The WPE is a writing test in which the student is asked to write an essay of four to five paragraphs. Students may have fifty (50) minutes to write the essay. Students may take the WPE only once, so they should endeavor to do their best on the exam.

Students do NOT have to take the WPE if they meet the following criteria:

- An SAT verbal score of 560 or higher
- An SAT essay exam score of 6 or higher
- An ACT English portion score of 23 or higher

The WPE is available online at http://mycourses.rit.edu only during the month of June, 2017. To access the exam, students use their RIT username and password to log in to MyCourses. All students were sent a postcard in May outlining the exam details.

We encourage prospective Computer Science students and their families to meet with a department representative before making a decision about what college to attend or program to study.  Our goal is to give you a better understanding of what Computer Science is, explain the details of the Computer Science program and curriculum, and answer any questions you might have.  You will also have the opportunity to take a self-guided tour through the Computer Science floor to see what our labs, classrooms, and student areas are like.

We encourage you to call our Student Services Office in advance at +1.585.475.2995.  A member of our staff will be able to assist you in setting up a one hour appointment with our Manager of Student Services. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate same day appointments and availability during the week fills up quickly.

Also, RIT's admissions web site contains a wealth of information that will guide you through the admissions process and help you to schedule a campus visit. In addition to a listing of admissions events, you will also find detailed maps and travel information that will help you find our campus. We look forward to meeting you and hope you make Computer Science at RIT a part of your life.

Welcome to RIT and to the Computer Science (CS) department of the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences (GCCIS)! Here you will find information regarding the CS orientation events for fall semester, depending on whether you are an entering first-year, transfer, or graduate student.  Plus learn about AP Exams and the RIT Math Placement Exam, as well as our Frequently Asked Questions.

View Orientation details