Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions covering our Computer science and Information Systems program, Computer Science Major requirements and procedures.
QUESTIONS ON COMPUTER SCIENCE AT SBU
Computer Science is a field that takes a broad approach to computing. It covers all aspects of modern computer systems, and their ever-increasing role in contemporary society. Students majoring in CS will acquire deep theoretical and technical understanding, as well as practical knowledge of computer software and hardware development.
Some traditional job titles include Computer Programmer, Software Engineer, Systems/Network/Database Administrator, Computer Architect and Designer. However, computer scientists hold positions as diverse as the applications of computer technology -- ranging from Computer Animators to Engineering Managers, Team Supervisors and more. Some of our graduates work for companies located on Long Island such as Broadridge Financial Solutions, Applied Visions and Softheon,, while the rest pursue opportunities around the country or even the world at large. We have our graduates at Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and many others. Our graduates also find positions in the financial industry - top Wall Street companies such as Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase have hired dozens of our graduating undergraduates over the past few years. There are many positions in the Government sector as well, including those related to National security. Northrop Grumman Corporation, one of of the largest defense companies, has a significant presence on Long Island and employs many of our graduates. Our top undergraduate students often choose to continue their education to a graduate level. You can also look here for other types of occupations related to Computer Science.
People who learn a given computer technology can often find entry-level positions without formal training, but everything related to computers changes very fast. Indeed, many of the technologies you will learn during your stay in school will likely be obsolete within five-to-ten years. However, the principles you learn here will enable you to master the new technologies as they come out. People who have learned specific technologies instead of the fundamental principles will not be able to make that jump.
Not at all. Of course, computer scientists do often write code. However, you might think of CS as taking real life problems, and reducing their complexity to a level that even machines can "understand". Solving larger-scale real problems is both difficult and fun. This requires extensive higher-level system design and problem solving skills. With the proper design, actually coding the program often becomes a relatively straightforward part of the job.
Empirical evidence suggests that many jobs being outsourced are those which do not require a CS degree in the first place, such as software quality assurance and routine programming tasks. On the contrary, there are many types of CS jobs which are unlikely to go overseas, for example those requiring direct interaction with US customers or those related to national security. Still, students should prepare themselves to the changing environment. It is more important than ever to develop problem solving, team management and other relevant skills rather than concentrate just on learning how to program. As long as the US is at the forefront of economic, technical, and scientific activity, new challenges in computing and its applications will be formulated here, so people who can understand such problems and convert them into code will remain in demand.
This is a very common question. Although there is considerable overlap between the two fields, Computer Science focuses primarily on software systems, while Computer Engineering on hardware systems. Software application development, Internet programming, and database/information management systems are more the province of Computer Science, while Computer Engineers often work in embedded system development and low level hardware design. It is fair to say that the amount of software development performed in the US greatly exceeds that of hardware development, and that nationally far more students study Computer Science than Computer Engineering.
Both majors will teach you basic programming, fundamentals of computer hardware and will give you the skills necessary for creating software and hardware systems to solve problems in the real world. However, CS deals more with the "science" of computers, putting more emphasis on algorithm development/analysis and efficient ways of storing/processing information, while the CE track stresses more the engineering aspects of hardware systems. To put it another way, CE studies ways to build good computer systems while CS tries to figure out what to do with them.
First-year (100-level) and second-year (200-level) courses typically have 150-200 students. The lectures for these courses are taught by professors and are complemented by recitations and/or laboratories, taught by teaching assistants to smaller groups of about 30 students. Upper-division (300-level and 400-level) class size ranges from 20-30 students for special topics courses to 60-90 students in the most popular courses.
Rarely. With occasional exceptions, all core courses (first-year and second-year) are taught by faculty with advanced degrees in Computer Science. Upper-level courses are occasionally taught by advanced graduate students, but this is uncommon.
Students do not need to buy their own computing equipment. Our first-year courses are supported by facilities maintained by the Division of Information Technology (DoIT). Later courses are supported by our own instructional laboratories. Students with their own computers have access to the campus network from campus residences. Departmental research laboratories are available to undergraduates working on research projects supervised by our faculty.
A score of 3 on Computer Science A is equivalent to CSE 101 at SBU; A score of 4 on Computer Science A is equivalent to CSE 114; waiver of CSE 101 at SBU.
A score of 3, 4 or 5 on Computer Science Principles is equivalent to CSE 101 at SBU.
All AP credit equivalencies may be found here.
The College of Engineering and Applied Sciences administers a number of scholarships, including scholarships for incoming freshmen who have been admitted to the CSE or ISE major. Please click here for more information.
Students doing an approved computer-related project for a private enterprise, a public agency, or a non-profit organization may register for credit in CSE 488 Internship in Computer Science. Three credits of CSE 488 be used as a technical elective to satisfy CSE major requirements.
CSE majors may participate in research projects supervised by our faculty and register for credit in CSE 487 Research in Computer Science. Through a University program, URECA, students participating in supervised research may partake in summer research fellowships, small grants and travel grants.
The CSE website has detailed information about our programs, including degrees offered, graduation requirements, course descriptions. Please note, all decisions on applications for freshman and transfer admission are determined by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Their contact information may be found here.
QUESTIONS REGARDING INFORMATION SYSTEMS AT SBU
Our Information Systems program is structured as an applied program of study, the application area being business information systems. Computer Science majors may choose a variety of different electives (e.g., programming languages, databases, computer graphics) and take more natural science and mathematics courses, whereas Information Systems majors follow a more focused computing curriculum and take additional business or economics courses.
Information systems workers can be found in most major companies and virtually all companies in the Information Technology industry. There is a wide spectrum of such jobs, but many require an understanding of the business of the company, use computer systems, and serve as an interface between non-technical users/employees and software developers. For example, the Stony Brook University Medical Center employs well over 100 IT workers, yet they would not characterize any of them as Computer Science workers. These workers are concerned with the operation of the Medical Center servers and networks, the selection, training, testing, and installation of software package, the training of users, along with a variety of other tasks. In a software organization, the IS work typically includes requirements gathering and analysis, interface design, marketing, quality assurance, channel management, and training. These jobs usually do not directly involve software development, but require an understanding of the issues in software development as well as a comprehensive understanding of the use of software systems, along with good communication skills.
Students doing an approved computer-related project for a private enterprise, a public agency, or a non-profit organization may register for credit in ISE 488 Information Systems Internship. ISE 488 may satisfy one upper-division ISE elective or could potentially satisfy a specialization requirement.
ISE majors may participate in research projects supervised by our faculty and register for credit in ISE 487 Research in Information Systems. Through a University program, URECA, students participating in supervised research may partake in summer research fellowships, small grants and travel grants. ISE 487 may satisfy 1-upper division ISE elective or could potentially satisfy a specialization requirement if taken for 3 or more credits.
This website has detailed information about our programs, including degrees offered, graduation requirements, course descriptions. Please note, all decisions on applications for freshman and transfer admission are determined by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Their contact information may be found here.
QUESTIONS FOR COMPUTER SCIENCE MAJORS
Per the Undergraduate Bulletin, students are responsible for fulfilling the major and minor requirements as published in the official Undergraduate Bulletin for the semester and year in which the student declares the major or minor, this semester and year is referred to as the "requirement term". Students can find the current Undergraduate Bulletin here and can find past Undergraduate Bulletins here.
Most CSE majors carry a semester load of 2-3 upper-level CSE courses, plus 2-3 courses in mathematics, natural sciences, or general education requirements. Four or more upper-level CSE courses in one semester represents a heavy course load and would not be advised. Please see the Undergraduate Bulletin for a Sample Course Sequence.
To get transfer credit for a course, please refer to the Transfer Equivalency Database. If the course you are trying to transfer is not in the database, please submit a detailed course syllabus with information such as project descriptions, and a transcript to the Computer Science Undergraduate Office which will then be evaluated. Note, only courses transferred before matriculation can be used for CSE major admission purposes.
The G/P/NC option is not available for most CSE courses. Please see the Undergraduate Bulletin for a complete list of courses without the G/P/NC option. If you are looking to retake a course for a second attempt, you must wait until the retake enrollment date, as per the academic calendar. Please follow up with an advisor to discuss your academic concerns. Note: A final grade of P does not satisfy a major requirement.
Per the Spring 2020 bulletin, CS students must complete at least one lecture/laboratory combinations (BIO 201/204 or BIO 202/204 or BIO 203/204 or CHE 131/133 or CHE 152/154 or PHY 126/133 or PHY 127/133 or PHY 131/133 or PHY 141/133) and additional natural science courses from the following list (AST 203, AST 205, CHE 132, CHE 321, CHE 322, CHE 331, CHE 332, GEO 102, GEO 103, GEO 112, GEO 113, GEO 122, PHY 125, PHY 132, PHY 134, PHY 142, PHY 251, PHY 252) for a total of 9 credits.
If you were admitted prior to Spring 2020, please make sure to refer to the bulletin that corresponds with your requirement term, which can be found here.
We can only evaluate computer science courses, other courses are evaluated by the departments offering them. Please refer to the Transfer Equivalency Database to see if your course has already been approved for transfer credit. If your courses have not been preapproved, submit Transfer Course Evaluation Forms to the department(s) offering them.
A specialization is not required in order to complete CSE major requirements; however, you do have the option to select an area of specialization. This allows you to take a set of courses that foster in-depth exploration in the various fields of Computer Science.You can find more information about the various specializations we offer here.
QUESTIONS FOR INFORMATION SYSTEM MAJORS
To declare a specialization, you will need to contact the ISE Undergraduate program Director. More information about each specialization may be found here.
No, courses that are used towards ISE major requirements cannot also be used towards ISE specialization requirements.
You may submit a request for enrollment in an ISE course using this form. Note, only well-reasoned requests are considered and you must meet the required course prerequisites. Requests are typically reviewed every 1-2 business days.
Students may use any 300-level or above ISE or CSE course that is not already satisfying a major or specialization requirement. Note, ISE 475 may be considered among the ISE upper-division electives, but may only be counted once.
The G/P/NC option is not available for most ISE courses. Please see the Undergraduate Bulletin for a complete list of courses without the G/P/NC option. If you are looking to retake a course for a second attempt, you must wait until the retake enrollment date, as per the academic calendar. Please follow up with an advisor to discuss your academic concerns. Note: A final grade of P does not satisfy a major requirement.