Computer Science Schools in Denver, CO with Degree Overviews

There are at least 10 schools within 25 miles of downtown Denver that have computer science degree programs. Read an overview of the programs available at three schools no more than 10 miles from downtown, and see requirements and admission information to find out which school is the right one for you.

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Denver Schools for Computer Science Degree Programs

There are several schools in the Denver area that offer computer science programs, and this article looks at three that are no more than 20 minutes from the city center. These schools offer degree programs at all levels. Following information about each school's degree programs is a table of facts about the schools such as enrollment, tuition, acceptance rates and graduation percentages. Prospective students can use this data to help them decide on a school. Information on a few other Denver-area colleges with computer science programs is at the end of this article.

  • Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver), almost two miles from downtown, is the largest educator of undergraduate students in Colorado. It offers a bachelor's program and an option to minor in computer science.
  • The University of Colorado - Denver, (UCD) offers computer science options through the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the school's main campus two miles from downtown Denver. It offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs in computer science, along with a minor option.
  • The University of Denver (UD), about five miles from downtown, offers both traditional and contemporary degree options related to computing and computer science through the School of Engineering & Computer Science. It offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs in computer science, as well as a minor in the field.

Metropolitan State College of Denver

The Metropolitan State College of Denver offers both an undergraduate major and a minor program in computer science. Certification programs are also available in advanced software engineering techniques and for information systems specialists, in areas such as databases, end user support and programming. MSU Denver seeks to provide small classes taught by teachers who are actual professors, and students may custom-design their degree programs to fit their interests.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

The bachelor's program at MUS Denver is offered through the Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences. Students need to earn 120 credit hours to graduate, which includes a math minor, covering classes such as calculus and computational matrix algebra. The required computer science coursework includes 50 semester hours of classes such as introductory computer science, computer organization, programming languages, operating systems, algorithms and software engineering. In addition to general education requirements, students also need to meet a minimum of 30 hours in science and math requirements.

Minor in Computer Science

To earn this minor, students need to complete 20 hours of coursework in computer science with a grade of C or better. Computer Science I and II are required, comprising eight of the hours, and then students may choose from computer science electives in upper-division courses to complete the balance of the required coursework.

University of Colorado - Denver

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

To earn a bachelor's degree in computer science from UCD, students need to complete 128 semester hours of coursework with a minimal 2.0 GPA. During the course of the program, students will take 73 semester hours of required and elective computer science courses covering computing fundamentals, algorithms, database systems, data structures and programming languages. Twenty-one semester hours of math coursework in calculus, differential equations and discrete structures and ten hours of physics are also required, providing a solid technical background for degree candidates. During the last two semesters of the program, computer science majors are required to take two senior design project classes.

Minor in Computer Science

Open to any undergraduate at UCD except those already majoring in computer science, the minor in computer science requires completion of seven required classes and three electives with a 2.0 GPA or better. The required coursework includes calculus and analytical geometry, computing fundamentals, programming, data structures and discrete structures. Electives at the advanced 3000 level need to be approved.

Master of Science in Computer Science

Applicants to UCD's master's degree program will need a bachelor's degree (GPA of 3.0 or better) with prerequisite coursework in math and computer science. The program involves 30 semester hours of required and elective classes covering topics such as operating systems, computer architecture and algorithms. Students may opt to earn their degree by completing a master's thesis or project, or by taking additional coursework. The thesis and project options require defense before a committee.

Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science and Information Systems

The Ph.D. program in computer science and information systems at UCD is offered through both the computer science and engineering school and the business school. This program requires completion of 60 semester hours of coursework, such as parallel processing, management information systems, computer networks and security, plus dissertation research. Ph.D. students take courses in research, methodology and computer science during the first two years and then need to pass the preliminary exam, followed by the comprehensive exam in the third or fourth year. The Ph.D. proposal and dissertation defense occur in the fourth year.

University of Denver

The University of Denver offers the ability to create interdisciplinary degrees, so in addition to majoring in computer science, students may be able design their own majors. Active research is ongoing in areas such as information security, software engineering and humane gaming.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

The program at the University of Denver is grounded firmly in the study of mathematics, and students earning a bachelor's degree will earn a minor in math as part of the program. An additional minor in a second discipline must be earned over the course of earning the 183 quarter hours required to graduate. Core computer science coursework includes classes in discrete structures, systems programming, algorithms and computer organization.

Minor in Computer Science

Students must complete 20 quarter hours of related courses for the computer science minor; these include three introductory classes. Coursework in discrete structures, algorithms and data structures is recommended, and additional courses may need to be approved by faculty from the computer science department.

Master of Science in Computer Science

The master's program is designed for students who have a bachelor's degree and requires prerequisite courses in computer science, computer organization, algorithms and data structures, and discreet structures. The 48-quarter-hour program includes required coursework in programming languages, operating systems and algorithms, along with two courses from elective options that include compiler design, compiler construction, computer networking and computer graphics. Candidates may choose to complete a thesis.

Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science

Students wishing to earn a Ph.D. in Computer Science will need to complete 90 quarter hours of coursework and to successfully produce and defend a dissertation. Optional fields of study include software engineering, programming languages, numerical computing, game theory and graphics. Doctoral candidates will need to meet coursework and examination benchmarks during the course of the degree program in order to continue their studies.

Comparison of Schools

Individuals need to consider many factors when choosing a school. The following table presents important data about these three schools in a format that makes it simple to compare them.

Metropolitan State College of Denver University of Colorado Denver University of Denver
School Type 4-year; public 4-year; public 4-year; private not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2011) 23,789* 22,495* 11,797*
Campus Setting Large City Large City Large City
Tuition and fees (2011-2012) $4,834 in-state, $15,690 out-of-state* $7,394 in-state, $20,570 out-of-state* $37,833*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2011) 67%* 69%* 85%*
Acceptance Rate (2011) 70%* 60%* 68%*
Retention Rate (2011) 66% for full-time students; 58% for part-time students* 76% for full-time students; 56% for part-time students* 89% for full-time students; 80% for part-time students*
Graduation Rate (2011) 21%* 40%* 78%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Other School Options

Both the Community College of Denver, located in Denver, and the Arapahoe Community College, located just outside Denver, offer certificate and associate's degree options, which will typically take up to two years to complete. Programs offered by these colleges include associate's degrees in areas such as computer information systems and technology and certificates in computer information systems, network technology and graphics.

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