University of Pittsburgh

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Computer Science Degree Programs at the University of Pittsburgh

The University of Pittsburgh appears in our ranking of the Top 50 Master’s in Computer Science Degree Programs.

Computer and information systems managers are in high demand in today’s business world. In fact, positions in those fields are expected to grow by 12 percent over the next ten years. The average salary, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for computer and information systems managers is $142,530 per year. Most computer and information systems manager positions require at least a bachelor’s degree although some positions may require a master’s degree or higher. The University of Pittsburgh offers several degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate level that prepare individuals for careers as computer and information systems managers.

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science at the University of Pittsburgh provides students with the scientific and practical approach to computation and the applications used in the process. Students gain an understanding of theory, experimentation, and engineering used in the design and use of computers. They also gain a strong understanding of computer science fundamentals as well as artificial intelligence, software engineering, data science, security, and high-performance systems. Some of the courses required include Intermediate Programming Using Java, Discrete Structures for Computer Science, Data Structures and Introduction to Systems Software.

The Bachelor of Science in Information Science teaches individuals how to look at problems holistically in an effort for them to understand technology as well as the needs of people who will be using the systems. Students gain an understanding of critical skills as well as a broad, theoretical knowledge of systems analysis, user needs, programming principles, database systems, networks and more. Courses required may include Fundamentals of Object-Oriented Programming, Python Programming for Data Management and Analytics, Database Management Systems, Analysis of Information Systems and Human Factors in Systems Design.

The Master of Science in Computer Science provides students an understanding of complexities in the computing world. The program is 30-credit hours which include a thesis. Graduate students are expected to participate actively in their own training while building a foundation of knowledge in computer science.  Courses required may include Theory of Computation, Algorithm Design, Computer Architecture, Wide Area Networks and Foundations of Artificial Intelligence.

The Master of Science in Information Sciences explains how information is the driving force behind the growth and evolution of any industry. Information professionals are constantly needed to help businesses maintain and utilize information in the best way possible. Students gain an understanding of information technologies, methods for keeping data safe, how to use machines to make decisions and ways to apply data mining to solve real-world problems. The program provides a strong foundation in information access and retrieval as well as systems design management and human-computer interaction. Students may specialize the degree in the following areas:

  • Big Data Analytics
  • Database and Web Systems
  • Geoinformatics
  • Human-Centered Computing
  • Information Security

The Ph.D. in Computer Science prepares individuals for careers in research as well as teaching by providing the necessary skills for both supervised and independent research. Over the years, students in the program have researched mobile apps to help improve the science of learning, built operating systems for high-performance computers, addressed security and privacy from a data-oriented perspective and improved computer performance as part of their studies. The program is 72-credit hours and requires a dissertation. Courses may include Computer Architecture, Computer Operating Systems, Principles of Database Systems, and Theory of Computation.

The Ph.D. program in Information Science provides an understanding of how technology uses information to enhance and improve lives. The program allows students to explore the intersection of information and technology. Students have researched 3-D brain reconstruction, human-robot interaction, geoinformatics, high performance cloud computing, user-centered design, data visualization, machine learning and health informatics. The program is 48-credit hours and includes 18 dissertation credits. Courses may include Research design, Information and Coding Theory, Cryptography, Social Computing and Adaptive Information Systems.

About University of Pittsburgh

The University of Pittsburgh was founded as the Pittsburgh Academy in 1787. The first classes were held in a log cabin on the American frontier. As Pittsburgh grew, it became clear that the city needed an academic institution with full university powers to better serve the region. In 1819, at the request of the trustees for the Pittsburgh Academy, the Pennsylvania legislature rechartered the school as the Western University of Pennsylvania.

A new building was constructed in 1830 on Third Street in downtown Pittsburgh. In 1845, the Great Fire of 1845 destroyed around 900 buildings including the school building along with all the records, files books, and scientific equipment. A local church offered its basement to continue classes until the new building can be constructed. However, in 1845, that building burned as well, suspending classes and again destroying records. A new building was constructed in another area but still downtown with classes held again in 1854.

In 1882, a fire destroyed the Allegheny County Courthouse downtown, leading the school to sell its downtown land and buildings to the county and move to Allegheny City on Pittsburgh’s north side. In 1896, the first women graduated from the school. Women were admitted despite a vote by students not to allow them to enroll. Administration, in an effort to boost enrollment, overrode the decision. The name of the school changed to the University of Pittsburgh in 1908.

Today, there are over 34,000 students attending the University of Pittsburgh and more than 307,000 alumni. The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings named the University among the top-five public universities in the Northeast. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance ranked the school one of the top 100 best value public colleges in the country.

University of Pittsburgh Accreditation Details

The University of Pittsburgh is accredited by the Middle States Commission. This accreditation indicates that the school undergoes periodic, voluntary peer reviews to confirm that students receive the highest quality of education. It also qualifies students at the University for federal financial aid. In addition to regional accreditation, programs throughout the school are accredited by the following organizations:

  • Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
  • Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education
  • Accrediting Commission on Education for Health Services Administration
  • American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business, Accreditation Council
  • American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
  • American Bar Association
  • American Board of Medical Genetics
  • American Chemical Society
  • American Council on Pharmaceutical Education
  • American Dental Association
  • American Dietetic Association
  • American Library Association
  • American Nurses Association
  • American Occupational Therapy Association
  • American Physical Therapy Association
  • American Psychological Association
  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • Council on Education for Public Health
  • Council on Rehabilitation Education
  • Council on Social Work Education
  • Liaison Committee on Medical Education
  • National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration
  • National Association of Schools of Theater
  • National Athletic Trainers Association
  • National League for Nursing

University of Pittsburgh Application Requirements

In order to apply for undergraduate programs in Computer or Information Science, applicants must provide official high school transcripts along with official SAT or ACT scores. Transfer students must provide official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended as well. There are short answer questions that are part of the application but there is no essay and no letters of recommendation required.

Applicants for the Master of Science in Computer Science program must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university. They must have completed courses in Intermediate Programming, Discrete Structures, Data Structures, Computer Organization and Assembly Language, Algorithm Design/Computation Theory, Programming Language for Web Application/Structured Programming Languages and Operating Systems/Systems Software. Applicants must provide official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended as well as official GRE scores. They must provide three letters of recommendation, a resume and a statement of intent.

Those who wish to enter the Master of Science in Information Sciences must have a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university and a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher. They must have completed courses in programming, statistics, and mathematics. Two letters of recommendation are required along with official GRE scores. A resume and a 500-word or less statement of intent must also be submitted.

Applicants to the Ph.D. in Computer Science program do not have to hold a Master of Science to apply but must have demonstrated computing aptitude. All applicants must have completed Intermediate Programming, Discrete Structures, Data Structures, Computer Organization and Assembly Language, Algorithm Design/Computation Theory, Programming Language for Web Application/Structured Programming Languages and Operating Systems/Systems Software. They must provide official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended as well as official GRE scores. Three letters of recommendation, a statement of intent and a current resume are also required.

Applicants to the Ph.D. in Information Science must provide a 1,000-word essay describing their academic and professional goals and identify potential areas for their dissertation research. They must have completed graduate-level courses in Statistics or Discrete Math, Cognitive Psychology, Systems Analysis and Design, Data Structures and Database Management. Applicants must hold a master’s degree from an accredited college or university and must provide official transcripts from all schools attended. They must also have a minimum 3.3 GPA. Applicants must provide letters of recommendation and official GRE scores as well.

University of Pittsburgh Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition for Pennsylvania residents for undergraduate programs at the University of Pittsburgh is $776 per credit hour and graduate tuition is $947 per credit hour.

Financial aid is available in the form of grants, scholarships, work-study programs and loans. All students should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to qualify. Students who wish to be considered for scholarships should complete the PittFund$Me application as well.

From research achievements to the quality of its academic programs, the University of Pittsburgh ranks among the best in higher education.