Why study computer science at the University of Minnesota?
The University of Minnesota is an outstanding place to further your computer science education.
Over the last 50 years, the Computer Science & Engineering (CS&E) department has become a national force in education, research, and innovation. We have world-renowned programs and expertise in areas such as robotics, human-computer interaction, virtual reality, data science, and more.
Currently, we have more than 500 graduate students associated with the department.
Be part of a world-class public research university
The University of Minnesota Twin Cities is a top 10 U.S. public research university with world-class academics, award-winning faculty, and state-of-the-art facilities. Our faculty, researchers, and students improve our understanding of the world and create technologies and ideas that improve our quality of life.
The U of M is known for life-changing inventions such as the pacemaker, the retractable seat belt, HIV drug Ziagen, cancer therapies, biodegradable plastics, and technologies that advance agricultural production. In fiscal 2020, the University's research & development expenditures exceeded $1 billion for the first time and our researchers successfully competed for a record $876 million in awards.
In addition, the University of Minnesota offers masters and doctoral degrees for more than 130 research-based graduate programs in the fields of science, art, engineering, agriculture, medicine, and humanities, as well as interdisciplinary programs. Students are taught and advised by award-winning and internationally-recognized faculty.
Conduct cutting-edge research with outstanding faculty
Research is at the heart of the Computer Science & Engineering department. We have advanced the field of computing through pioneering research in recommender systems and collaborative filtering, graph partitioning, spatial computing, micro-robotics systems, and more. We have faculty and students conducting research in almost every area of computing, with our main research areas being:
- Architectures, Compiler Optimization, and Embedded Systems
- Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
- Data Mining, Databases, and Geographical Information Systems
- Graphics and Immersive Computing
- High Performance Computing
- Human Computer Interaction (HCI)
- Networks, Distributed Systems, and Security
- Robotics and Artificial Intelligence
- Software Engineering and Programming Languages
- Theoretical Foundations
As a graduate student, you'll find more than 50 potential faculty advisors within the department. We also encourage interdisciplinary study, and in fact, one of your graduate committee members must be from a program outside of computer science. Students are currently working on research with psychology, forestry, architecture, American Indian studies, public health, and the University’s Medical School.
We have collaborative research spaces and cutting-edge lab equipment to create an environment that encourages new discoveries and the development of new technology. CS&E students have access to many outstanding affiliate research and outreach facilities including the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute, the Digital Technology Center, the Informatics Institute, the Laboratory for Computational Science and Engineering, the Center for Transportation Studies, the Charles Babbage Institute for Computing, Information & Culture, and the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications.
Strong financial support for graduate students
Did you know that you can be paid to go to graduate school? This is true for many students in our department’s graduate programs. Students with funding typically have their tuition and almost all of their health insurance costs covered. They also receive a stipend paid them to help cover their living expenses. Most CS&E graduate students are eligible for financial support, including teaching assistantships (TA), research assistantships (RA), and graduate fellowships. We guarantee funding to all of our Computer Science Ph.D. admits from day one. As long as students are making progress in their academic and research efforts, they will continue to have funding throughout their doctoral experience.
Join an active and engaged student body
As a graduate student in our department, you’ll have many opportunities to build lasting relationships with your peers, both inside and outside of academics. All our graduate students are invited to attend weekly coffee hours, bi-weekly student research talks, community service events, and various fun outings and activities. You’ll also get to join an active community on Slack, where students coordinate social events, participate in virtual games and activities, seek advice from their peers, and share their favorite memes.
All these things (and more) are hosted by our Computer Science Graduate Students Association (CSGSA), a student-run organization that is committed to advocating for you and helping you build meaningful personal and professional connections.
Live and work in the Twin Cities
The campus is located in the heart of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area, which is rich in cultural and natural attractions, and where opportunities to collaborate with industry abound.
Minneapolis and Saint Paul are incredibly diverse cities with vibrant neighborhoods, award-winning parks and recreation opportunities, exciting professional sports teams, renowned restaurants, and top-notch entertainment options.
The Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area is a wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family. From natural resources and recreational opportunities to a robust job market, affordable cost of living and high quality health care, the Twin Cities and the state of Minnesota top many livability rankings:
- No. 3 overall best state (U.S. News 2019)
- No. 3 in quality of life (Forbes 2019)
- No. 6 best place to live (U.S. News 2019)
- No. 21 on cheapest place to live (U.S. News 2019)
- No. 22 on best places to live for quality of life (U.S. News 2019)
- No. 1 (Minneapolis) and No.3 (Saint Paul) best park system (ParkScore Index 2020)
- No. 2 best state for working moms and dads (WalletHub 2020)
- No. 1 best state to raise a family (WalletHub 2020)
- No. 3 safest state in the U.S. (WalletHub 2020)
- No. 1 best international airport (Airports Council International 2019)
In addition, Minnesota has a strong business climate—with 16 Fortune 500 companies and many of the nation’s largest companies, including UnitedHealthGroup, Target Corporation, Cargill, Best Buy, 3M, General Mills, and C.H Robinson Worldwide, headquartered here. Companies excel across a diversified mix of sectors, including manufacturing, retail, medical devices, biosciences, health care, information technology, agriculture, clean energy, and water technology.