About the department

Computer science creates essential infrastructure for daily life, impacting the way we work, learn, and connect, fueling societal progress and scientific discovery. Computing is everywhere, for everyone, and has the power to enhance all facets of life. Our mission is to serve the community by delivering the benefits of computing through conducting innovative research and educating tomorrow’s leaders. Learn more about our mission.

Tradition of excellence

The department can be traced back to the earliest days of computing in Minnesota. Since 1970, the department has grown from a small group of visionary numerical analysts to the national force in computing education, research, and innovation that it is today. Over 10,600 undergraduate and graduate degrees have been granted in the last half century, and enrollment continues to grow every year. Department alumni have founded more than 200 companies and have held leadership positions at universities and computer and software companies worldwide.

World-class academics

We provide outstanding education in the fundamentals and frontiers of computing to all students. We incorporate ethics throughout our curriculum - we encourage students to learn not just what and how, but also to ask why and who is impacted. We give students at all levels opportunities to engage in hands-on research with our world-renowned faculty.

Academic programs are consistently improved to reflect the latest scientific and technological advances. Undergraduates study software, hardware, and theoretical aspects of computing, along with the application of computing in science, engineering, business, and more. Offering coursework in both theoretical and applied computer science, the graduate program provides research opportunities in state-of-the-art centers and labs.

The department also offers an integrated degree program, which allow students to complete both a bachelor's and master's degree in 5 years.

In addition to the computer science degrees, the department faculty are also involved in the data science program (both graduate and undergraduate degrees), and the new Master's in Robotics program.

Cutting-edge research

We ground our work in the fundamentals of computing, innovating in areas including bioinformatics, data science, human-centered computing, robotics, and virtual reality. We continually pursue opportunities to work with colleagues across disciplines within the University and beyond, applying our results to solve real-world problems.

The department has received more than $35 million in new research funding over the past two years. Faculty and students have access to world-renowned computing facilities such as the Digital Technology Center and the Minnesota Supercomputer Institute. Specialized laboratories provide support for advanced graphics and visualization, virtual reality, computer networking, and distributed robotics. Research centers on the following areas:

  • Architectures and compilers
  • Bioinformatics and computational biology
  • Data mining, databases, and geographical information systems
  • Graphics and immersive computing
  • High performance computing
  • Human computer interaction
  • Networks, systems, and security
  • Robotics and artificial intelligence
  • Software engineering, programming languages, and compilers
  • Theoretical foundations

Community and industry connections

We take our innovation and teaching beyond the boundaries of the University, evaluating our practices through the lens of diversity and inclusivity to ensure our work benefits all. We make this possible through a collegial atmosphere - we value the voices of everyone within our community and actively seek to reflect different perspectives in our work.

The department fosters partnerships and joint research projects with major corporations including Target, IBM, Microsoft, Intel, Cisco, and more. Additionally, the National Science Foundation, NASA, Department of Defense, and the National Institutes of Health support the department's research. The Industry Affiliates Council, a department advisory group comprised of industry leaders, provides crucial input on industry trends.

National rankings and recognitions