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Computer Science & Engineering Degree Titles Change to Reflect Current Trends

July 3, 2008

The University of Texas System has approved changes to the titles of undergraduate and graduate degrees offered by the Computer Science & Engineering Department within the UT Arlington College of Engineering. More specifically, the current Computer Science & Engineering degree programs will be called Computer Engineering effective in the fall 2008 semester. At the bachelor’s and master’s levels, this will result in three degrees provided by the department: Computer Science, Computer Engineering and Software Engineering. At the Ph.D. level, the department will offer Computer Science and Computer Engineering programs. There will be no changes in degree requirements in any of the programs.

Changes to the degree titles were brought about to more accurately reflect specific areas of study and research conducted by the students. “The three programs together overlap in courses and faculty, but are very distinct in their individual emphasis,” said Dr. Fillia Makedon, chair of the department. “All three strengthen our department by providing a healthy distinction and interaction of three areas of concentration.”

The Computer Engineering degree combines computational principles and theory with solid engineering applications and practices. Computer Engineering courses will prepare the students for applications in circuit design, embedded systems, wireless communication systems, computer architecture, effective design and manufacturing, high performance system design, energy systems, and others..

“We expect a large number of new students will be entering the Computer Engineering program,” Dr. Makedon continued, “providing new insights and links with the Computer Science and the Software Engineering programs.”

While the Computer Engineering studies concentrate more on hardware systems, Computer Science studies accentuate software development and applications. Theory and methods studied in the Computer Science degree aim to improve the performance of real-world applications found in Computer Engineering and deliver the most efficient configuration of hardware and software systems.

Software Engineering studies emphasize the design and implementation of large – 100,000 lines of code or more – high-quality software programs that are usually the product of team endeavors. Students learn to validate, implement and maintain software systems using software engineering technologies and tools to deliver safe systems without errors, and that are easy to use and efficient in their time and space resources

Historically, the computer science program started at UT Arlington in the early 1970’s as a master’s-level program within the Industrial Engineering Department. A Ph.D. program was started a few years later. A bachelor’s degree was first offered in 1978.

The Computer Science and Engineering Department was established in 1980, and the undergraduate program was accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) in 1983. This was the first computer science and engineering undergraduate program to be accredited in the state and has maintained its accreditation ever since. In 1995, the program also received accreditation from the Computing Sciences Accreditation Board (CSAB), making it the first program in Texas accredited by both ABET and CSAB. The CSE Department started the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and the Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering degrees in 2001.