The computer science program will provide students a broad-based understanding of the computing discipline and prepare them for a productive professional career and/or pursuit of advanced degrees in the field. The computer science curriculum places a strong emphasis on writing, communications, professional skills and ethical concerns.
At the completion of a graduate degree, computer science graduates also should have the ability to work in multidisciplinary environments with cross-functional teams, perform modeling and experimental analysis on challenging research problems, and investigate current advances in computing research for the purpose of making innovative contributions that are particularly expected at the Ph.D. level.
Mission Statement – The Department of Computer Science engages in the research, education, and service activities required to create and disseminate the knowledge of problem solving using computers.
Program Educational Objectives – Within a few years of graduation, Bachelor of Science in Computer Science graduates are expected to:
Student Outcomes – Bachelor of Science in Computer Science graduates of Texas Tech University should attain the Criterion 3 Student Outcomes a-k as the following.
(a) An ability to apply knowledge of computing and mathematics appropriate to the
(b) An ability to analyze a problem, and identify and define the computing requirements appropriate to its solution.
(c) An ability to design, implement, and evaluate a computer-based system, process, component, or program to meet desired needs.
(d) An ability to function effectively on teams to accomplish a common goal.
(e) An understanding of professional, ethical, legal, security and social issues and responsibilities.
(f) An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
(g) An ability to analyze the local and global impact of computing on individuals, organizations, and society.
(h) Recognition of the need for and an ability to engage in continuing professional development.
(i) An ability to use current techniques, skills, and tools necessary for computing practice.
(j) An ability to apply mathematical foundations, algorithmic principles, and computer science theory in the modeling and design of computer-based systems in a way that demonstrates comprehension of the tradeoffs involved in design choices.
(k) An ability to apply design and development principles in the construction of software systems of varying complexity.
General Standards and Requirements – Admission requirements and academic standards for the Department of Computer Science are consistent with the dynamic enrollment plan for the Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering. Refer to the introduction to the Whitacre College of Engineering section of this catalog (pages 295-296) for a description of the criteria for initial admission to the Whitacre College of Engineering and the lower-division foundational curriculum. The recommended foundational curriculum for computer science consists of ENGL 1301, 1302; MATH 1451, 1452; CS 1411; PHYS 1408; and either PHYS 2401 or the required science elective.
A student may apply for admission to the upper division of a degree program upon completion of the foundational curriculum and a minimum of 12 credit hours of Texas Tech coursework. The acceptance criterion is based exclusively on a cumulative GPA for coursework completed at Texas Tech. The specific GPA standard varies among the degree programs and may change from one academic year to the next as necessary to align enrollments with the educational resources. For students who entered Texas Tech prior to June 1, 2012, a minimum 2.0 GPA is required for admission to the computer science upper-division degree program. Students entering Texas Tech after June 1, 2012, must have a minimum 2.5 GPA.
The academic standards required by the Whitacre College of Engineering and the Department of Computer Science are given in the introduction to the Whitacre College section of the catalog and summarized below. Exceptions to these standards are at the discretion of the dean of the Whitacre College of Engineering.
All students entering the computer science degree program are expected to follow the sequence of courses shown in the curriculum table in this section and must satisfy the requirements of the Dynamic Enrollment Management Plan (DEMP) for computer science and the Whitacre College of Engineering. DEMP details are available from the department. Students demonstrating satisfactory performance may deviate from the specified sequence of courses only with the express approval of a computer science undergraduate advisor and only when such deviation is required to obtain a normal load of coursework for the student.
Computer science majors are not required to have a minor field. However, many students choose to pursue a minor. Minors can be pursued in virtually any field of study offered at Texas Tech. The minor must consist of a minimum of 18 hours, with at least six of those hours at the 3000 or 4000 level. A minor may require additional hours of study, depending on the particular minor field.
Minor in Computer Science – A minor in computer science consists of a minimum of 18 hours, with at least six of those hours at the 3000 or 4000 level. CS 1300, 1303, 1305, 4311, and 4366 may not be part of a minor. Minor courses require the approval of the undergraduate advisor.
Dual Degree – Computer science is part of a dual-degree program in which students can earned a B.S. in Computer Science from the Whitacre College of Engineering and a B.S. in Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science from the College of Arts and Sciences. This degree program follows all requirements mandated for the Bachelor of Science degrees for both the Whitacre College of Engineering and the College of Arts and Sciences. Students are advised by an academic advisor in each college and may declare either college as their primary college. The five-year dual-degree curriculum table is listed in this section.
Combined Bachelor's and Master's Programs – The department offers two combined Bachelor of Science and Master of Science curricula.
In both cases, completion of the degree requirements leads to the awarding of two
degrees. In one curriculum, the degrees awarded are the Bachelor of Science in Computer
Science and the Master of Science in Computer Science; in the other, the degrees are
the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and the Master of Science in Software
Engineering. Students choosing the combined degree program would be admitted initially
as pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. The graduate component of the
program would be added upon admission to the master's degree by the Graduate School
during the student's third year of study. Students must meet the university requirement
to take the Graduate Record Examination as well as other graduate admission requirements
of the department before enrolling in graduate-level courses.
The Department of Computer Science offers a number of graduate programs ranging from a Certificate in Software Engineering to a Doctorate of Philosophy. The department has an excellent graduate faculty with research specialties in a variety of areas, including programming language design, logic programming, computer security, artificial intelligence, distributed computing, software engineering, computer graphics, data mining, robotics, bioinformatics, and image compression. Further information is provided below and students also should refer to the Graduate School section of the catalog and general rules/regulations for graduate degrees.
Students who do not have a background in computer science are required to take a short series of courses to provide the necessary background knowledge for graduate study in computer science. These courses are required for leveling only; they cannot be counted in satisfying the required hours for graduation. Students in other departments at Texas Tech who wish to transfer to computer science must first complete all leveling courses or show that they have taken the equivalent courses at another university before their application will be considered.
Please see the Department of Computer Science website for additional details and requirements of the Graduate Program and admissions.
The department offers two Master of Science degrees, a Master of Science in Computer Science (M.S.C.S.) and a Master of Science in Software Engineering (M.S.S.E). The M.S.C.S. is a multidisciplinary degree program designed to strengthen skills in advanced computing concepts concerning software development, modeling, and experimental techniques. The M.S.S.E. is a professional degree program with an emphasis on the integration of systems and software engineering concepts. Both degree programs require filing a degree plan within the student's first semester of study and passing the Final Comprehensive Examination as required by the university.
Master of Science in Computer Science – The degree plan for students pursuing a Master of Science in Computer Science must include two theory courses chosen from CS 5381, 5383, and 5384 as well as two systems courses chosen from CS 5352, 5375, and 5368. The thesis plan requires an additional four CS graduate elective courses (one of which may be CS 7000) and 6 hours of CS 6000. The non-thesis project/report option requires an additional seven CS graduate elective courses (one of which may be CS 7000) and 3 hours of CS 6001/6002. The non-thesis exam option requires an additional eight CS graduate elective courses.
Master of Science in Software Engineering – The degree plan for students pursuing a Master of Science in Software Engineering
(M.S.S.E.) has two options: a thesis option or a project option. The plan for both
options must include CS 5373 and 5374. Students choose a number of courses from the
following list of software engineering electives (four for thesis option, five for
project option): CS 5332, 5341, 5358, 5363, 5368, 5379, 5380, 5381; ENGR 5392; STAT
5384, 5385; IE 5316, 5319, 5320. In addition, the thesis option requires two additional
CS graduate elective courses and six hours of CS 6000. The project option requires
an additional four CS graduate elective courses and three hours of CS 6001. Both options
allow at most one CS 7000 as a CS graduate elective.
For the Ph.D. degree, students are required to demonstrate general knowledge in several
areas of computer science and proficiency in a single research area. Certification
of research proficiency will be based on a record of accomplished research. The record
must be substantiated by published articles, technical reports, and papers presented
at meetings, workshops, and conferences. The Ph.D. degree requires a minimum of 60
hours of graduate coursework, 12 hours of CS 8000 (Doctor's Dissertation), and candidacy
The Graduate Certificate in Software Engineering is intended for those who do not need or wish to have a full graduate degree in software engineering or computer science. In particular, the certificate is directed towards working professionals and graduate students who are interested in systematic software development. In addition to any leveling requirements, coursework for the certificate requires 12 hours consisting of CS 5373 and 5374 plus two courses from the following list: CS 5332, 5358, 5363, 5369, 5380, and IE 5320.
Rattikorn Hewett, Ph.D., Chairperson
Professors: M. Gelfond, Hewett
Associate Professors: Lopez‑Benitez, Mengel, Rushton, Shin, Watson, Zhang, Zhuang
Assistant Professors: Chen, Lim, Siami Namin, Rahnamay Naeini
Instructors: Colmenares, G. Gelfond