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Major Maps

Strategic Enrollment Management and Student Success

Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon [View Image]
2021-2022

Computer Science

College of Engineering

Concentration(s):
Cybersecurity, Data Science, Software Engineering
Program description

The Department of Computer Science offers undergraduate and graduate programs. The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science is a rigorous, highly concentrated curriculum of computer science courses. It includes advanced study in several important areas of computer science and provides a strong foundation in this discipline. Every course is taught by full-time faculty members who also serve as advisers to both undergraduate and graduate students.


The master’s degree emphasizes continuing self-development of individuals currently engaged in science-, technology- and engineering-related fields. It prepares persons who have completed undergraduate majors in these fields for entry into careers in areas that use computing technology. Both the theoretical and applied aspects of computer science are emphasized in this program. The program offers courses in a wide range of areas in computer science, including machine learning, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and cloud computing, data mining, bioinformatics, and medical informatics.

Career opportunities

Computer science (CS) spans the range from theory through programming to cutting-edge development of computing solutions. Computer science offers a foundation that permits graduates to adapt to new technologies and new ideas. The work of computer scientists falls into three categories: a) designing and building software; b) developing effective ways to solve computing problems, such as storing information in databases, sending data over networks or providing new approaches to security problems; and c) devising new and better ways of using computers and addressing particular challenges in areas such as robotics, computer vision, or digital forensics.   

Change of major requirements

VCU GPA of 3.0 or greater, with a minimum of 12 VCU credit hours earned. Completion of MATH 151 with a grade of "B" or higher, or placement in MATH 200. Completion of any two of MATH 200, MATH 201, STAT 212, all with grades of "B" or higher. Any of CHEM 101 and CHEZ 101, PHYS 207, or BIOL 151 and BIOZ 151 with grades of "B" or higher.


Bachelor-level job titles
  • Computer programmer
  • Cybersecurity engineer
  • Data engineer or architect
  • Project manager
  • Sales engineer
  • Scrum master
  • Software engineer or developer
  • Software quality assurance and test engineer
  • Web or mobile app developer
Graduate and professional level job titles
  • College Professor
  • Computer Architecture Engineer
  • Data Scientist
  • Lead Software Engineer
  • Machine Learning Engineer/Scientist
  • Project Leader
  • Research & Development Engineer
Professional associations and resources
Highest level of math required
  • MATH 201 or higher
Science required
  • 5+ additional science courses
Foreign language requirements
  • No
Additional tuition/fees
  • Yes
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
  • 3.0+ cumulative GPA
Department name:
Department of Computer Science
Building/room location:
401 West Main Street, Room E4225
Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
Monroe park
Phone:
(804) 828-0575
Email:
compsci@vcu.edu

Major map compass icon [View Image]
Major map

Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to explore minors, certificates, and plan your required REAL experience.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide.
  • Talk to professors about your research interests, electives, and strategies for success in your classes.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation classes with the da Vinci Center.
  • Continue coursework in programming, math, chemistry, and physics.
  • Consider Accelerated Master’s, added at end of second year.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Make friends with diverse perspectives and join a cultural or identity-related student organization.
  • Explore social issues, develop cultural competency skills, and engage with faculty through iExcel pop-up courses.
  • Investigate globally-focused courses in your major by pursuing language coursework or setting language proficiency goals with advisors and faculty.
  • Apply for the Critical Languages Scholarship.
  • Consider short-term, semester, and year-long study abroad opportunities.
  • Learn the historical and current events that have shaped cultures to which you have been underexposed.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Complete a gap analysis with your career advisor to identify key skills required for your professional field.
  • Seek out practical experience through independent skill-building, internships, shadowing, or part-time work.
  • Explore global career options with a career advisor to set goals for getting your dream job.
  • Organize examples of your academic and professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections in an ePortfolio.
  • Attend career and internship fairs and other professional development events.
  • Pursue a digital badge to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences employers and graduate schools value.
  • Take ENGR 395 Professional Development & gain key skills for finding internships, co-op’s, or research opportunities.
  • Apply for internships, co-ops, and VIP Teams.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Connect with alumni on VCULink for career advice, industry contacts, and meaningful professional relationships.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of professional interest.
  • Ask a faculty or staff member to be your academic and professional mentor and to provide future letters of recommendation.
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
  • Attend Engineering Internship/Career Fairs.
  • Consider attending a national career fair (SWE, SHPE, NSBE) to gain exposure to more employers.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • See your academic and career advisors to discuss graduation progress and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology, and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Attend or present a poster at a scientific meeting or conference.
  • Consider the Cybersecurity or Data Science Certificates for meeting upper level CMSC elective requirement.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Build language proficiency and cultural competence by carrying out your plans for study abroad, internships, and service-learning.
  • Update your engineering resume to include how you have developed your communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Get required REAL experience and effect community change by using iExcel’s Active Citizen’s Toolkit to vote and volunteer.
  • Explore new cultures at one of Richmond’s wide array of festivals.
  • Prepare for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams by showcasing your interpersonal skills on your resume.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Take advantage of mock interview opportunities through InterviewStream or meeting with a career advisor.
  • Update your ePortfolio.
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student experience.
  • Work on developing your professional online presence (LinkedIn, Handshake, Github).
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Make a plan with your academic, career, and faculty advisors for applying to graduate school or land a micro-internship.
  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and Engineering Career Services about graduate school versus a job.
  • Study for and complete any standardized exams required for graduate school the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • Attend the Engineering Internship & Career Fair.

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor the semester before you graduate to ensure that all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Choose REAL electives to diversify your skillset and round out your degree.
  • Choose CMSC electives relevant to your preferred post-graduation opportunities.
  • Declare any possible outstanding minors for which you may already have credit (Math, for example).
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Carry out globally-oriented research projects with multilingual faculty and international partners.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Master your answers to interview questions about your experience working with diverse populations.
  • Plan for how you will grow your cultural agility after graduation.
  • Continue to explore cultures beyond your own through scholarly and recreational avenues.
  • Visit the Museum District’s many offerings, such as the VMFA and the Virginia Museum of History and Culture.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Meet with a career advisor in Engineering Career Services.
  • Prepare for graduation by making a plan to complete licensing exams, applications, and self-marketing activities.
  • Single out prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed by Career Services. 
  • Connect with the Office of VCU Alumni Relations at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and the VCULink Industry Network or alumni chapter.
  • Attend Engineering Internship/Career Fairs.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon [View Image]
2021-2022

Computer Science

College of Engineering

Concentration(s):
Cybersecurity, Data Science, Software Engineering
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNINGGET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITYBUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCEGET REAL EXPERIENCEPREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
ExploreYear 1
ExperienceYear 2
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to explore minors, certificates, and plan your required REAL experience.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide.
  • Talk to professors about your research interests, electives, and strategies for success in your classes.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation classes with the da Vinci Center.
  • Continue coursework in programming, math, chemistry, and physics.
  • Consider Accelerated Master’s, added at end of second year.
  • Make friends with diverse perspectives and join a cultural or identity-related student organization.
  • Explore social issues, develop cultural competency skills, and engage with faculty through iExcel pop-up courses.
  • Investigate globally-focused courses in your major by pursuing language coursework or setting language proficiency goals with advisors and faculty.
  • Apply for the Critical Languages Scholarship.
  • Consider short-term, semester, and year-long study abroad opportunities.
  • Learn the historical and current events that have shaped cultures to which you have been underexposed.
  • Complete a gap analysis with your career advisor to identify key skills required for your professional field.
  • Seek out practical experience through independent skill-building, internships, shadowing, or part-time work.
  • Explore global career options with a career advisor to set goals for getting your dream job.
  • Organize examples of your academic and professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections in an ePortfolio.
  • Attend career and internship fairs and other professional development events.
  • Pursue a digital badge to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences employers and graduate schools value.
  • Take ENGR 395 Professional Development & gain key skills for finding internships, co-op’s, or research opportunities.
  • Apply for internships, co-ops, and VIP Teams.
  • Connect with alumni on VCULink for career advice, industry contacts, and meaningful professional relationships.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of professional interest.
  • Ask a faculty or staff member to be your academic and professional mentor and to provide future letters of recommendation.
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
  • Attend Engineering Internship/Career Fairs.
  • Consider attending a national career fair (SWE, SHPE, NSBE) to gain exposure to more employers.
Year 3
  • See your academic and career advisors to discuss graduation progress and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology, and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Attend or present a poster at a scientific meeting or conference.
  • Consider the Cybersecurity or Data Science Certificates for meeting upper level CMSC elective requirement.
  • Build language proficiency and cultural competence by carrying out your plans for study abroad, internships, and service-learning.
  • Update your engineering resume to include how you have developed your communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Get required REAL experience and effect community change by using iExcel’s Active Citizen’s Toolkit to vote and volunteer.
  • Explore new cultures at one of Richmond’s wide array of festivals.
  • Prepare for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams by showcasing your interpersonal skills on your resume.
  • Take advantage of mock interview opportunities through InterviewStream or meeting with a career advisor.
  • Update your ePortfolio.
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student experience.
  • Work on developing your professional online presence (LinkedIn, Handshake, Github).
  • Make a plan with your academic, career, and faculty advisors for applying to graduate school or land a micro-internship.
  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and Engineering Career Services about graduate school versus a job.
  • Study for and complete any standardized exams required for graduate school the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • Attend the Engineering Internship & Career Fair.
ExcelYear 4
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor the semester before you graduate to ensure that all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Choose REAL electives to diversify your skillset and round out your degree.
  • Choose CMSC electives relevant to your preferred post-graduation opportunities.
  • Declare any possible outstanding minors for which you may already have credit (Math, for example).
  • Carry out globally-oriented research projects with multilingual faculty and international partners.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Master your answers to interview questions about your experience working with diverse populations.
  • Plan for how you will grow your cultural agility after graduation.
  • Continue to explore cultures beyond your own through scholarly and recreational avenues.
  • Visit the Museum District’s many offerings, such as the VMFA and the Virginia Museum of History and Culture.
  • Meet with a career advisor in Engineering Career Services.
  • Prepare for graduation by making a plan to complete licensing exams, applications, and self-marketing activities.
  • Single out prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed by Career Services. 
  • Connect with the Office of VCU Alumni Relations at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and the VCULink Industry Network or alumni chapter.
  • Attend Engineering Internship/Career Fairs.
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