Frequently Asked Questions

Graduate Program 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? Your advisor is Caitlin Thaxton, 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/CS 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 master's programs MS/CS 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 Program 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. For scholarships, visit USU's scholarship application portal, Scholarship Universe, and learn about College of Science Dean's Office Scholarships.
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 i7 (8 cores) or AMD Ryzen 7 (8 cores)
Memory: 16 GB of RAM
Storage: 512GB SSD
Video: Integrated graphics with 14" or 15" full HD (1920x1080 aka 1080p) display
OS: Windows 11, macOS, Linux
Good brands include:
* Lenovo ThinkPad E series
* HP Pavillion or Envy
* Acer Swift
* ASUS VivoBook
Chromebooks are unsuitable for software development because they don't support the tools you 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? Yes. See details. 
Can I register for upper-division CS classes while still in the preprofessional program? You can request permission to take upper-division CS classes by filling out the form found here.
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. Coursework 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, an estimate of the amount of time it will take to complete a BS in CS after you complete a bachelor's degree in another field depends on the number of courses you successfully completed in applicable computer science and math courses for your first bachelor's degree, which tend to have multiple prerequisites. 
Also, students with an undergraduate degree in a field related to computer science may be eligible to apply for a graduate degree program in computer science, instead of pursuing a second bachelor's degree.
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.
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 ( 
  • 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 courses 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.  
  • Advising staff and CS instructors are student-centered.  They are available to help you develop a program of study that will meet your 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.