New computer and information sciences degree program at UAB is first in the state

The UAB Department of Computer and Information Sciences joins a short list of computer science programs in the Southeast to offer a Bachelor of Arts degree in computer and information sciences.

CIS degreeThe University of Alabama at Birmingham will now offer the state’s only Bachelor of Arts degree in computer and information sciences. Bachelor of Arts degree programs in computer science are emerging across the country in response to industry growth and demand. The UAB Department of Computer and Information Sciences joins a short list of computer science programs in the Southeast to offer the degree.

“One of the goals of the UAB College of Arts and Sciences is to offer innovative interdisciplinary programs that span the traditional boundaries of science, arts and humanities,” said Robert Palazzo, Ph.D., dean of the UAB College of Arts and Sciences. “With the ever-increasing use of computers and computer software in all aspects of life, computer science is becoming an integral part of many fields of study. This new degree will give students a unique opportunity to combine their interests and maximize career prospects.”

Due in part to a greater emphasis on cloud computing, the collection and storage of big data, the continued demand for mobile computing, and more everyday items’ becoming connected to the Internet, graduates with experience in applying computer science skills and developing innovative solutions are in high demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computing is one of the fastest-growing areas of the labor market. Computer and information technology occupations are projected to grow nearly 15 percent by 2024, faster than the average for all occupations.

The UAB Bachelor of Arts degree in CIS is designed for students interested in combining a broad-based liberal arts education with a strong foundation in computer science. Graduates of the program will be equipped to use the tools and techniques of computer science to solve computational problems related to arts, humanities, business, engineering and other areas, meeting industry demands for such professionals. This depth of knowledge is commonly referred to in many industries as “T-shaped” knowledge. The concept of a T-shaped professional refers to individuals with a deep expertise in a single area, usually technical, complemented with a broad working knowledge of multiple areas of inquiry, establishing a professional as capable of interacting with various facets of an organization.

Due in part to a greater emphasis on cloud computing, the collection and storage of big data, the continued demand for mobile computing, and more everyday items’ becoming connected to the Internet, graduates with experience in applying computer science skills and developing innovative solutions are in high demand.

A total of 40 credit hours are required for the degree, in addition to core curriculum and credits required for a chosen minor. A distinguishing feature of UAB’s Bachelor of Arts degree in CIS is its inclusion of a minor, in order to provide students with significant exposure to a second discipline, using the added freedom of the Bachelor of Arts degree with its reduced requirements in math and other natural sciences.

Although any minor at UAB may be taken to fulfill the minor requirement, some of the recommended options for this particular degree include art studio, biology, criminal justice, entrepreneurship and professional writing. If students complete a double major, the minor requirement is waived.

Graduates with a Bachelor of Arts degree in CIS will also have the option of pursuing graduate-level studies in computer science since the program’s core curriculum fulfills typical computer science graduate school course prerequisites.

The program will be available to students this fall.

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