Academic Overview

The computer science department at the University of Virginia offers quality programs that emphasize basic science, technical mastery, research opportunities and a firm grasp of scientific principles as well as strong communication skills and creative problem solving. Here is an overview of the programs that we offer.

Undergraduate Programs

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

Our computer science B.S. degree prepares students for careers that provide both personal and societal rewards. As creators of information technologies our graduates are reaching out to people and the world by supporting and enhancing communication, health care, entertainment, scientific inquiry, transportation, business, and almost any other endeavor you can imagine.

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree offered by the Department of Computer Science is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET

Contact Tina Hittinger if you have questions:

Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science

Starting in Spring 2006, the Computer Science Department has offered an interdisciplinary major in Computer Science leading to a BA degree for students in the College of Arts & Sciences. We accepted our first group of students in 2006 and held our first graduation ceremony in May 2008.

Computer Science is the study of information processes. Computer scientists learn how to describe information processes, how to reason about and predict properties of information processes, and how to implement information processes elegantly and efficiently in hardware and software. The Computer Science major concentrates on developing the deep understanding of computing and critical thinking skills that will enable graduates to pursue a wide variety of possible fields and to become academic, cultural, and industrial leaders in areas that integrate the arts and sciences with computing. The Computer Science major is designed to provide students entering the University without previous background in computing with an opportunity to major in Computer Science, while taking courses in arts, humanities, and sciences to develop broad understanding of other areas and their connections to computing. Computing connects closely with a wide range of disciplines including, but not limited to, the visual arts, music, life sciences including biology and cognitive science, the physical sciences, linguistics, mathematics, and the social sciences. The core curriculum focuses on developing methods and tools for describing, implementing, and analyzing information processes and for managing complexity including abstraction, specification, and recursion.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering (in collaboration with the U.Va. Charles L. Brown Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering)

The Computer Engineering Program gives students an opportunity to work with some of the top researchers in the country and to participate in new research initiatives.  

Contact Natalie Edwards if you have any questions about this program:

Minor in Computer Science

The Department of Computer Science provides a minor program for qualified students. The courses in the minor program provide a solid foundation in computer science. The minor program is a six course, eighteen credit curriculum. The curriculum consists of the four required courses and two elective courses. The department can only allow a limited number of SEAS students to declare a minor in Computer Science due to a rapidly growing demand for computing courses. Unfortunately, at this time the University is only able to accept SEAS students as CS minors. Students wishing to declare the minor normally apply in the spring of their first or second year.

Undergraduate Admissions

Graduate Programs

The University of Virginia's Computer Science graduate program aims to produce well-educated researchers, teachers, and future leaders in Computer Science. Graduate degrees are a certification by the faculty that the student has a broad education in Computer Science and has performed original research in the area.

Computer Science offers the degrees of Master of Science (MS), Master of Computer Science (MCS), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). The MS degree requires course work plus a formal thesis. The MCS degree is based on courses, but students have the option and indeed are encouraged to conduct a substantial project. In either case, course requirements differ slightly for students applying only for the MS/MCS, versus those accepted for PhD study. Please note that a prior masters degree is not a prerequisite for applying to the PhD program. The PhD degree culminates with the student writing and defending a dissertation based on the result of independent, original research that makes a significant scholarly contribution to the student's field of study.

The Department of Computer Science also offers graduate degrees in Computer Engineering (in collaboration with the U.Va. Charles L. Brown Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering). 

Computer Engineering (CpE) offers the degrees of Master of Science (MS), Master of Engineering (ME), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).  More information can be found on the CpE website.

For more information about programs and curriculum please refer to our graduate handbook (currently being updated).

Graduate Admissions

Useful links for Computer Science Students

Computer Science Professor David Evans UVA

"Our department takes teaching seriously and takes pride in doing it well, at both the undergraduate and graduate level."

Prof. David Evans, Computer Science