Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! Our introductory programming courses (CSCI 18X) have no prerequisites. Only about 25% of our students do have prior CS / programming experience (though that number is rising).
Any student who is accepted to UNCA can take courses and / or major / minor in Computer Science. There is no additional application into the program.
Software Engineer is the most common job title. Students also get jobs in data analytics and business informatics at banks and insurance companies. We’ve had graduates work in firmware engineering at SpaceX, internal application development/blockchain at IBM, cybersecurity in northern Virginia, virtual reality in Raleigh, etc.
We offer a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (major), with two concentrations: Computer Systems and Information Systems. We also offer a Computer Science minor.
The two concentrations are similar. They prepare you for the same jobs. The core courses are the same in both. Computer Systems has one more required Computer Science course (and two courses that are different between the concentrations), one additional Math course and two physics courses. However, the physics courses fulfill the Lab Science requirement of the Liberal Arts Core. So, in practice, Computer Systems ends up being about three more courses total than Information Systems. Information Systems is for those whose priority is to finish as quickly as possible (for example, if trying to double major.)
- Individual attention — small class sizes, faculty who know you. Faculty teach all aspects of the courses, not Teaching Assistants.
- Modern, flexible curriculum — curriculum is rigorous but provides relatively low required credit hour requirements, which makes it easier to take free electives or add additional minors or majors.
- Value — the tuition is much lower than most comparable CS programs.
- Faculty who excel at and focus on teaching.
- With no graduate students, undergraduate students are the focus.
- Our graduates are well-rounded, empowered, and get great jobs.
The average class size is about 17. Introductory classes are typically capped around 20-24, depending on the classroom.
Any fairly recent laptop (Mac or PC) should be fine for most students. However, if you take the Virtual Reality or Game Programming courses, some of the game engine software libraries have more substantial system requirements, so if you want to run these on your personal machine, you might want a newer/higher-end model. (These game engine system requirements change over time but you can look up the system requirements for the “Unity” and/or “Unreal” game engines to get a sense of the current requirements).
Undergraduate research is a strength of our program; we have faculty specializing in artificial intelligence, robotics, deep/machine learning, natural language processing, games programming, data science/analytics, computational biology, human-computer interaction, virtual reality, and open source software development. Students can tailor the program through elective courses, undergraduate research projects, and their capstone project.
Yes. We offer a two-course Systems sequence that introduces students to the foundations for cybersecurity. We also offer a Cybersecurity course every spring semester. We sometimes offer “special topics” courses in cybersecurity as well. Students interested in cybersecurity can also pursue undergraduate research projects and/or choose their two-semester capstone project to be in that area.
Yes. We offer a Game Programming course, as well as courses in Computer Graphics and Virtual Reality. Students interested in game programming can also pursue undergraduate research projects and/or choose their two-semester capstone project to be in that area.
You can visit https://registrar.unca.edu/transfer-students/transfer-credit-equivalencies/ (or search “unca transfer credit equivalency”). That page has information on transfer credit and a table for AP exam credits
We can tailor the requirements based on your experience, so it’s often best to discuss your situation with the Computer Science department chair. Email Dr. Kevin Sanft at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach out to the Computer Science department chair, Dr. Kevin Sanft, by email at email@example.com. He’s always happy to chat with prospective students!