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Department of Computer Science

BS in Computing Science (CS) | BS in Computing Science (IS) | BS in Computing Science (IA) | BS in Computer Software Engineering Technology | Minor in Computer Science | Course Descriptions


The Bachelor of Science in Computing Science is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET http://www.abet.org

Chair: Peter A. Cooper     (936) 294-1569

Faculty: Minkyung An, David Burris, Lei Chen, Hyuk Cho, Jiahuang Ji, Qingzhong Liu, Timothy McGuire, Gary Smith, Li-Jen Shannon, Karpoor Shashidhar, Cihan Varol, Jenny Zhou

Websites: Computer Science: http://cs.shsu.edu/; Digital Forensics: http://df.shsu.edu


The Department of Computer Science is a community of faculty, staff and students, centered in the computer science disciplines. The Department of Computer Science is dedicated to providing the highest quality education possible to its graduate and undergraduate students through excellence in teaching and excellence in research. The department is committed to furthering the pursuit of knowledge and meeting the needs of a diverse society.

The Department of Computer Science seeks to provide an environment that encourages innovative thinking, academic rigor and the pursuit of scholarship in an atmosphere that promotes high ethical and moral values and mutual respect, embracing diversity, and working towards a goal of instilling a life-long love of learning.

Academic Programs

The Computing Science program offers major study plans for students wishing to pursue careers in industry or government (as programmers/analysts/software engineers, as network and database administrators, and as digital forensics and information security professionals) or to prepare for advanced studies at the graduate level. Minor study plans are offered which can be tailored to the needs of students majoring in almost any field. A plan leading to secondary teacher certification in Computer Science is also offered.

The Bachelor of Science in Computing Science at Sam Houston State University has been accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, Inc., the recognized accreditor of college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology. ABET accreditation demonstrates a program’s commitment to providing its students with a quality education.


Sam Houston State University provides a comprehensive computing environment for students. The Office of Information Technology Services operates a large number of computing laboratories containing desktop computers, and workstations. A variety of operating systems, network protocols, programming languages and application packages are available. Students have full access to the Internet and E-mail facilities when on campus and through remote access facilities from off-campus. In addition to the institutional facilities, the Department of Computer Science operates a range of lab facilities to support its mission and programs, including network robotics and Unix/Linux labs, a data recovery lab and a network security lab. The department operates a 40-node symmetric multiprocessing system for use in parallel processing, digital forensics, cryptanalysis, and steganographic research. The department also has access to state-of-the-art visualization facilities. As part of its operations, the department of Computer Science houses the Sam Houston State University Center of Excellence in Digital Forensics, a center dedicated to the development of digital forensics training for law enforcement personnel and research opportunities into forensics and security issues.

Career Opportunities

Computing professionals support many scientific, governmental, and commercial enterprises though network and communication systems management, application (computer program) development and maintenance, and hardware design. The management of computing resources within organizations is typically a mission critical activity and computing professionals occupy key organizational roles as network and database administrators, software engineers, systems analysts and programmers. Of key concern in today’s modern environment is the protection, assurance, and recovery of computing resources, providing opportunities for those wanting to work in the information assurance and digital forensics fields.

Suggested Minors

Because computer systems are a part of our everyday lives, they have application to many academic fields. Many of our computer science students select minors in scientific fields such as Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry or GIS, or in business related fields such as Accounting. Other minors, including Art, Music, and Linguistics, are also valuable; however, particularly the relationship to Criminal Justice is growing, given the connected world in which we live and the need to protect our systems and ourselves from digital crime.

Student Organizations

The Sam Houston Association of Computer Scientists (SHACS) provides a learning environment through speakers and special projects that unite students, professors, and industry professionals. These relationships help promote the sharing of knowledge and skills related to computer science. The club sponsors fieldtrips, campus visits by guest speakers and occasional student/faculty outings. Further information can be found in the organization's webpage at http://www.shsu.edu/~org_shacs/.


The Computer Science department does not operate internships as part of its degree program.


The Department of Computer Science offers the following scholarships:

  • The Computer Science Scholarship: awarded to full-time undergraduate students working toward a degree in Computer Science with an overall GPA above 3.0.
  • The Johnny Cook Kelly Memorial Scholarship: awarded to full-time undergraduate computer science majors with a preference given to students from Whine Rand County.
  • The Mohamed Ahmed Noman Scholarship: awarded to full-time undergraduate students in good standing and majoring in Computer Science.

Each of these scholarships requires a minimum GPA of 3.0 and registration in courses leading to a degree in Computer Science. Other criteria are also pertinent to individual scholarships. More information can be obtained through the department.

Program Specific Requirements

The baccalaureate degree in Computer Science has the following program specific requirements:

Mathematics: 17 hours (6 upper level).
The specific requirements are: MATH 1420, MATH 1430, MATH 2395, MATH 3379/STAT 3379, and 3 hours of advanced MATH/STAT course.

Science: 16 hours.
The specific requirements are: four 4-hour (3 hours lecture + 1 hour lab) courses in natural sciences, among which two 4-hour natural sciences courses also satisfy the requirement for Component Area III of Core Curriculum.


Bachelor of Science, Major in Computing Science

3 Digit to 4 Digit Crosswalk

The Computing Science major requires a total of 44 hours of Computer Science coursework, which includes 26 hours of CS required courses and 18 hours of degree specific courses. General degree requirements must also be met. The 44 hours of coursework for the Computer Science major should be distributed as follows (Note: CSTE courses may not be used to meet this requirement):

REQUIRED COURSES: COSC 1436, COSC 1437, COSC 2329, COSC 3318, COSC 3319, COSC 4318, COSC 4319, COSC 4349 26 hrs.
Students are expected to select an emphasis from one of the following concentrations:
Computer Science (CS): COSC 2347, COSC 3337, COSC 4316, COSC 4327, 6 hours of advanced COSC/DFSC courses 18 hrs.
Information Systems (IS): COSC 2347, COSC 2327, COSC 3337, COSC 4326, 6 hours of advanced COSC 18 hrs.
Information Assurance (IA): DFSC 1317, COSC 2347, DFSC >2317 , DFSC 3317, DFSC 4317, 3 hours of advanced COSC or DFSC course 18 hrs.
The total must include a minimum of 21 advanced hours: Total 44 hrs.

COSC 4327 is recommended for students electing to complete the Information Systems (IS) concentration. Students are required to get a C or better grade in COSC 2347.

Students with extensive high school programming experience may elect to begin a major or minor program with COSC 1437 or COSC 2329.  Students who have taken the advanced placement computer science examination may be eligible for credit for COSC 1436 and COSC 1437.

Bachelor of Science, Major in Computing Science (Information Science, IS)

3 Digit to 4 Digit Crosswalk

Bachelor of Science, Major in Computing Science (Information Assurance, IA)

3 Digit to 4 Digit Crosswalk

Minor in Computer Science

A Computer Science Minor consists of 21 or more hours of Computer Science coursework of which at least 9 hours must be advanced. Students are recommended to take COSC 4349 as an advanced course. Three recommended minor plans are shown below. Modifications may be made to meet individual student needs as approved by the Computer Science Department Chair. Individualized minor plans are available for students seeking a Computer Science minor for Certification.

Bachelor of Science, Major in Computer Software Engineering Technology

Computer Science Minor:

Students will select an emphasis from one of the following concentrations:

Computer Science Minor
Computer Sciences (CS): COSC 1436, COSC 1437, COSC 2329, COSC 2347, COSC 3318, COSC 3327, 3 hrs. of advanced COSC/DFSC courses 23 hrs.
Information Systems (IS): COSC 1436, COSC 2327, COSC 2347, COSC 3318, COSC 3337, COSC 4326, 3 hrs. of advanced COSC/DFSC courses 22 hrs.
Information Assurance (IA): COSC 1436, COSC 2327, DF 1317, DF 2317, DF 3317, DF 4317, 3 hrs. of advanced COSC/DFSC courses 22 hrs.

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