Frequently Asked Questions

Graduate Programs FAQs

Question Answer
Is financial aid available for graduate students?   Yes. Details about financial aid can be found on each CS program's specific page
What are the admission requirements for graduate students?  Admission requirements can be found on each CS graduate program's page.  
Who is my advisor?  Caitlin Thaxton is the Graduate Program Coordinator 
If I am admitted, will I receive funding from the department? Departmental funding in the form of Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA) and Graduate Research Assstantships (GRA) is available to PhD students and some MS Plan A students. Students who apply for Fall intake by the priority deadline may be eligible for these positions. GTA positions are available by separate application for admitted students who have accepted the offer of admission by April 15. GRA positions are awarded by individual faculty members based on their available funding. 
What is the difference between the Computer Science MS and MCS? The Master of Computer Science (MCS) is a coursework-only, professional degree, whereas the Master of Science in Computer Science (MS/CS) is research-oriented degree that requires writing a thesis or research report. The MS/CS is preferable if you would like to pursue a PhD, a career in academica, or a career involving research. Otherwise, the MCS is a great option for furthering your knowledge and experience. Please note that departmental funding is only available to PhD and some MS/CS Plan A students.
How much does it cost? Tuition and fees vary by the number of credits you take. This means there is not an exact cost that you can depend on, but you can make a good estimate using the following resource. You can find the current tuition and fee schedule linked on this page 
You can calculate how much it would cost to complete the total number of credits in your program by adding up how many credits you plan on taking each semester.
For example: If you are in the MS/CS Plan A program, you would need to complete 30 credits total. If you are planning on being a full-time student, you will need to take at least 9 credits per semester. Thus, you can calculate the total cost of the program as the cost for 9 credits + 9 credits + 9 credits + 3 credits.

Undergraduate Programs FAQs

Question Answer
Can I get credit for an internship or work in the computing industry? Yes! Students must apply for the CS 4250 course. Meet with your advisor for more details.
How can I get help with my coursework? The CS Coaching Center is available for those taking CS courses and the Aggie Math Learning Center provides Math tutoring.
How do I find an internship? We recommend you start with USU’s Career Design Center
Are scholarships and other financial aid available? Yes. See USU's Financial Aid Office , Scholarship Office and the College of Science scholarship information 
What are the admission requirements for  undergraduate students? See the New Student Admission Requirements
What kind of laptop do I need? We suggest a modern mid-range laptop for the average CS student:
CPU: Intel i5 (4 cores) or AMD Ryzen 5 (6 cores)
Memory: 8GB of DDR4 SRAM (16GB if it's affordable)
Storage: 512GB SSD
Video: Integrated graphics with 14" or 15" full HD (1920x1080 aka 1080p) display
OS: Windows 11 or Linux
Good brands include:
* Lenovo ThinkPad E series
* HP Pavillion
* Acer Aspire
* ASUS VivoBook
Avoid Chromebooks and anything like them; they are unsuitable for software development because they don't support the tools our students will need.
Who is my advisor? Your advisor is determined by the program you are enrolled in and your last name. See the CS Advising page for more details.
Does USU  have a concurrent (5-year) BS/MS program in computer science? [UG chart] Yes. See details. 
Can I register for upper-division CS classes while still in the preprofessional program? Can I register for upper-division CS classes while still in the preprofessional program?
How do I know how my credits will transfer to USU? See USU's Transfer Credit page 
If I have completed a BS or BA in another field, will any of my credits apply to a BS in CS? The first BS/BA degree takes care of all general education and depth requirements. Course work completed in the first bachelor’s degree  that is less than 10 years old and overlaps CS major requirements may be used toward the second bachelor’s degree.  
To a great extent, the amount of time needed to complete a 2nd BS in CS is determined by the number of completed applicable computer science and math courses, as these courses tend to have multiple prerequisites. 
Also, students with an undergraduate degree in a field related to computer science may want to consider study toward a graduate degree in computer science.
Does the CS program require (or allow) a minor? USU’s computer science program does not require a minor. However, students may pursue a minor if they choose. A math minor has the most overlap with the CS major. Other minors may add time to the student’s graduation date. However, students who enter USU with credits earned through concurrent enrollment, AP credit, and the like, usually have room for a minor without adding semesters to their graduation date.
What other computer-related majors does USU offer? See USU’s degree finder for a list of degrees offered at USU.  https://www.usu.edu/degrees/
Why major in CS at USU? Careers in the computing field are among the highest paid and fastest growing sector of the US economy (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) .
Careers in the computing industry tend to be dynamic and interesting, with long term job security and satisfaction (https://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/rankings). 
CS majors at USU study cutting-edge topics such as software engineering, information and database systems, networking and parallel systems, artificial intelligence, computer security.
The USU Computer Science Department offers a variety of study that allows students to gain a broad knowledge of the field, as well as an area of specialization.  Students can tailor their studies to their professional goals.  
The faculty and staff of the Department are student-centered.  They are available to help students develop a program of study that will meet their educational goals.
As technology advances in the computer field, employers want employees to keep up. Software engineers must learn new skills if they wish to remain in this advancing field. A primary goal of USU’s CS program is to teach students to be lifelong learners such that they can adapt to a dynamic, rapidly changing field.