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COMPUTER SCIENCE IS TRANSFORMING EVERYTHING AROUND US. GET INVOLVED TO SOLVE PROBLEMS & BUILD A BETTER WORLD.

Computer Science and Engineering (CSE)

com.pu.ter sci.ence and en.gi.neer.ing

To conduct research to develop new methods, architectures, and algorithms in order to solve complex problems, then invent the future by developing the vast array of applications that operate within these frameworks.

Also Known As: Computer Scientist, Software Engineer, Software Developer, Artificial Intelligence Specialist, Computational Linguist, Information Scientist, +10,000 more

A computer-generated display of green squares labeled with a seemingly random series of numbers and titles

WHY CSE AT MICHIGAN?

  • No. 6

    institutional ranking in CS at CSrankings.org

  • 83

    award-winning faculty

  • $29M+

    in research funding

  • 1957

    The CSE program at Michigan is one of the oldest and most respected in the world

  • 4

    U-M alumni have received the AM Turing Award, considered the “Nobel Prize” of computing

Technical rigor and relevance

Interdisciplinary, teamwork, and entrepreneurial opportunities

Graduates recruited to all sectors of the economy

A male student with a phone attached to his forehead taps against a transparent screen

What do Computer Science Engineers do?

We understand how to design and analyze algorithms, how to store and retrieve information, how computers function, and how to develop software systems that solve complex problems. We master these skills and suddenly, we have an incredible power to create: to make something unprecedented, something noteworthy, something entirely ours, all using our ever-trusty sidekicks – computers.

ACADEMIC CONCENTRATIONS

  • Computer Hardware

    Design the circuits and architectures, such as microprocessors, memories, and storage devices, for advanced computing systems.

    Courses: Logic Design, Embedded System Design, VLSI Design, Computer Architecture, Logic Circuit Synthesis & Optimization

  • Computing Infrastructure

    Develop the software systems that dictate how computers, networks, data centers, and applications handle and process data.

    Courses: Operating Systems, Compiler Construction, Database Management Systems, Computer Networks, Distributed Systems

  • Intelligent Systems

    Develop systems that can autonomously collect, analyze, and respond to their environments and other external stimuli.

    Courses: Computer Vision, Machine Learning, Autonomous Robotics Design Experience, Informational Retrieval & Web Search, Artificial Intelligence

  • Software Development

    Operate in the abstract- build the tools and systems that are used to store, retrieve, process, and display data for users..

    Courses: Object Oriented & Advanced Programming, Operating Systems, Database Management Systems, Web Systems, User Interface Development, Computer Game Design & Development

  • Theory of Computation

    Study the foundations of computing and push its limits through the development of new classes of algorithms, data structures, and cryptography..

    Courses: Cryptography, Algorithms, Programming Languages

  • Web Technology and Applications

    Build websites, user interfaces, and computing applications used for advertising, publishing, e-commerce, online games, chats, graphs, and so much more.

    Courses: Practical Programming in Java, Computer Security, Web Systems, Informational Retrieval & Web Search

  • Areas in which a student, through the use of technical and free electives and in consultation with their advisor, could decide to focus.

Areas in which a student, through the use of technical and free electives and in consultation with their advisor, could decide to focus.

Graduate receiving hood during ceremony

Sequential Undergraduate/Graduate Studies Program (SUGS)

Complete your bachelor’s and master’s degrees in only five years with SUGS by taking some graduate-level classes during your undergraduate years, so you can save yourself one semester and complete the masters with only two additional semesters.

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Sample Course List

First-Year

First-Year

  • Fall Semester
    • CoE Core Calculus I (Math 115)
    • CoE Core Engineering 101
    • CoE Core Chemistry (130/125/126 or 210/ 211)
    • Elective Intellectual Breadth
  • Winter Semester
    • CoE Core Calculus II (Math 116)
    • CoE Core Engineering 100
    • CoE Core Physics (140/141)
    • Elective Intellectual Breadth

Sophomore Year

Sophomore Year

  • Fall Semester
    • CoE Core Physics (240 / 241)
    • Major Requirement Discrete Math (EECS 203)
    • Major Requirement Prog. & Intro Data Structures (EECS 280)
    • Elective General Elective
  • Winter Semester
    • CoE Core Applied Lin. Algebra (Math 214)
    • Major Requirement Data Structures & Algorithms (EECS 281)
    • Major Requirement Flexible Technical Electives
    • Elective Intellectual Breadth

Junior Year

Junior Year

  • Fall Semester
    • CoE Core Math 215/216
    • Major Requirement Computer Organization (EECS 370)
    • Major Requirement Flexible Technical Electives
    • Elective Intellectual Breadth
  • Winter Semester
    • Major Requirement EECS 301, MATH 425, or STATS 412
    • Major Requirement Core Elective
    • Major Requirement Core Elective
    • Elective Intellectual Breadth

Senior Year

Senior Year

  • Fall Semester
    • Major Requirement EECS Elective
    • Major Requirement Upper Level CS Elective
    • Major Requirement Technical Elective
    • Elective General Elective
  • Winter Semester
    • Major Requirement Upper Level CS Elective
    • Major Requirement Technical Communication and EECS 496
    • Major Requirement Technical Elective
    • Elective General Elective

Individualized schedules will be made by students in consultation with an advisor who will tailor their classes to better fit the student's needs.

Practice Your Purpose

Apply the skills you are learning in class to the real world.

Student Design Teams

An aerial view of students with laptops gathered around a table
Michigan Hackers
M Sail Logo
MSAIL - Michigan Student Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
A room full of students using laptops and wearing headphones
Wolverine Soft - Video Game Development
A drone with 4 propellers floats in the air with a pyramid shaped center with a white box on tip and wires sticking out
MAAV - Michigan Autonomous Aerial Vehicles
A student races an all-terrain baja car with enormous wheels on a dirt track with mountains in the background.
Michigan Baja Racing
MDST Logo
MDST - Michigan Data Science Team
An electric racecar labeled with a large “Michigan” with a student driver wearing a full-face motorcycle helmet
Michigan Electric Racing
4 students wearing MRover shirts smile while carrying the rover, a machine platform with 4 tires and a robotic arm.
MRover - Michigan Mars Rover
2 team members wipe the completed maize and blue solar car. The car has a sleek design and half covered in solar panels.
Solar Car Team
A small vessel made up of two boxes sits in the NERS Fountain. The bottom box has a painted shark face
UM::Autonomy - Autonomous Boat
A student wears a powered exoskeleton. It is worn like a backpack and has metal pieces that extend down to the feet.
STARX - Strength Augmenting Robotic eXoskeletons
Members of Hyperloop pose for a photo in the North Campus Grove
Michigan Hyperloop
Students For Exploration And Development of Space
Students for the Exploration and Development of Space
A student in a full-face motorcycle helmet sits nearly horizontally as he rides the maize electric motorcycle named “Chronos”
SPARK - Electric Racing
A woman atop a roof wearing a hard hat and holding a power tool in front of a set of solar panels.
Grid Alternatives
Masa Logo
MASA - Michigan Aeronautical Science Association

Professional Development

Arbor Hacks Logo
ArborHacks
Code M Logo
Code-M
GEECS Logo
Girls in EECS
HKN Logo
Eta Kappa Nu - Honor Society
IEEE Logo
IEEE - Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Research

Kevin Fu headshot
Kevin Fu: Security and Privacy Research Group
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David Fouhey headshot
David Fouhey: 3D Modeling Representations
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Todd Austin headshot
Todd Austin: Chip Stops Hacks Before They Start
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Harsha V. Madhyastha headshot
Harsha Madhyastha: Better directing Internet Traffic
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Roya Ensafi headshot
Roya Ensafi: Online Censorship Detector
READ MORE
Jenna Wiens headshot
Jenna Wiens: Preventing Deadly Hospital Infections
READ MORE
Walter S. Lasecki headshot
Walter Lasecki: Crowds + Machines Lab
READ MORE
H V Jagadish headshot
Mike Cafarella, HV Jagadish & Barzan Mozafari: Database Research Group
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Alumni Biographies

Each of these alumni are real people who were once in your shoes, deciding a major. Explore their path and how a Michigan education set their life in motion.

  • Alex Grills headshot
    • Alex Grills
    • Google
  • Alexandra Brown headshot
    • Alexandra Brown
    • Learning A-Z
  • Diego Calvo headshot
    • Diego Calvo
    • Amazon
  • Eric Pesch headshot
    • Eric Pesch
    • Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products
  • Eric Yu headshot
    • Eric Yu
    • Facebook
  • Jim Boerkel headshot
    • Jim Boerkoel
    • Harvey Mudd College
  • Robert Reneker headshot
    • Robert E Reneker III
    • Community Mental Health Authority
  • Scott Iekel-Johnson headshot
    • Scott Iekel-Johnson
    • NETSCOUT
  • Zi Yang headshot
    • Zi Yang
    • Google
Alex Grills headshot

    Alex Grills

    Google

Alexandra Brown headshot

    Alexandra Brown

    Learning A-Z

Diego Calvo headshot

    Diego Calvo

    Amazon

Eric Pesch headshot

    Eric Pesch

    Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products

Eric Yu headshot

    Eric Yu

    Facebook

Jim Boerkel headshot

    Jim Boerkoel

    Harvey Mudd College

Robert Reneker headshot

    Robert E Reneker III

    Community Mental Health Authority

Scott Iekel-Johnson headshot

    Scott Iekel-Johnson

    NETSCOUT

Zi Yang headshot

    Zi Yang

    Google

Not sure what major to choose?

Tap into our network of 85k+ engineering alumni. Do you have questions you’d like answered? Our alumni are always eager to talk about engineering.
(Current and admitted UM students only.)

Speak to an Alum
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Industries & Occupations

  • Computer systems design
  • Software industry
  • Scientific research
  • Federal Government
  • Data Processing, Hosting, and Internet Services
  • Computer hardware industry
  • Business consulting and management
  • Financial Institutions
A student looks up wile experiencing virtual reality through a smartphone placed in a small cardboard box over his eyes

Companies

  • Amazon
  • Apple
  • Bloomberg
  • Cisco Systems
  • Citi
  • Facebook
  • Ford Motor Company
  • Google
  • Hulu
  • IBM
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Microsoft
  • Motorola Solutions
  • Sprint
  • Toyota

Find salary information at the Bureau of Labor Statistics

$91,151- U-M Computer Science graduates average starting salaries (ECRC 2017-2018 Annual Report)

LEARN MORE

LEARN MORE

Alex Grills headshot

Alex Grills

  • Google
  • Software Engineer

University of Michigan, BSE Computer Science, 2016
Career Summary

Out of college, I joined a quantitative hedge fund located in Houston as a software engineer. After nearly 3 years, I decided to make the big move to Google in LA. How rigorous Michigan’s computer science program was definitely helped me the most in my job. I wasn’t totally prepared for the work that I had to do, but I certainly had the foundation of knowledge and experience working under pressure to get up to speed quickly. The Michigan brand also really helps getting that first job – there are wolverines everywhere!

Advice to Students

As cliche as it is, you should build relationships with your professors. I did not do enough of that and I really regret it. Simply going to office hours once a week makes a big difference.

Also, if you decide to go into computer science (which you should), grab a copy of the book Clean Code by Robert Martin. Read the whole book after taking EECS 280 and you will be much more prepared for the courses that come after it. I promise you it will be the most useful material you will read outside of class.

Alexandra Brown headshot

Alexandra Brown

  • Learning A-Z
  • Software Engineer

University of Michigan, BSE Computer Science Engineering, 2017
Career Summary

During my time as a student I had the opportunity to partake in two software engineering internships in the summer after my sophomore and junior year. I was also an instructor’s assistant for EECS 280, a second level introductory programming course. My internships gave me real world experience on what it would be like in a computer science career and practice with projects outside of schoolwork. I worked in industries I had never had experience in before. As a computer science engineer, there’s opportunity in every other discipline from health care to finance, so it was great to have experience beyond what a class could give me. My major design project was creating a tool for a blind person so they would be able to code, again giving me insights to the potential of my major. My time as an IA allowed me mastery of the basics and seeing how other people learn which helped me tremendously in interviews.

Working at Learning A-Z requires curiosity and passion, and my experiences leading up to a professional career were great in preparing me for such a role. I create software to improve literacy of elementary school students all over the world – something that is very motivating to me. In all my projects I made sure to understand truly what sort of impact it could have; it makes me proud to be an engineer.

Reflection on Time Spent at U-M

During my time as a student, I was a member of Eta Kappa Nu, an EECS honors society. I also made other nerdy, talented, smart friends in a theater group, Not Even Really Drama Students. I also made sure to have time for music, so I played in the campus orchestra. Make sure to set aside time for other passions and not just your engineering classes.

Advice to Students

Make the most of your time here. Spend time and get to know your professors. Take advantage of office hours not only for help, but also in networking with peers and faculty members. I’ve met really interesting and intelligent people at the University. It’s important to have a support system when classes become tough and stress is high.

Diego Calvo headshot

Diego Calvo

  • Amazon
  • Analyst

University of Michigan, BS in Computer Science Engineering, 2016
Washington State University, MBA, expected 2021
Career Summary

I was very involved in the entrepreneurship community at UM while working on my bachelor’s degree in Computer Science Engineering, particularly with the group MPowered Entrepreneurship. That leadership experience helped me lead 50+ associates at an Amazon Fulfillment Center as an Operations Manager, after which I moved to Amazon corporate where I use my Computer Science degree daily in my analyst role.

Advice to Students

Get involved in a student organization that you really, really like, in your freshman year. You can afford to be picky; if you go to one mass meeting and you don’t like it, there are hundreds of other groups to try tomorrow.

Eric Pesch headshot

Eric Pesch

  • Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products
  • Information Architect

University of Michigan, BSE Computer Science Engineering, 2013
Career Summary

Through the career fair, I was able to network and build relations with various companies continuously and landed at Cisco via a recruiter I talked to 3 years in a row and who saw my growth. From there I “paid my dues” – did the legwork of busy technical documentation, basic design, and technical debt clean-up – that were core to applications I would later get to redesign and replace. Once I became too comfortable and felt my growth slowing down, I switched up roles and went from API development and application engineering to the data side at Disney. From there, I could mix the principles of end-user application design with the backend plumbing which would feed them instead. And from that I landed in a role where I now design both together – the applications and the backend.

Reflection on Time Spent at U-M

From UofM, the foundational knowledge I built in two key areas – software object-oriented design and technical communications (yes, that class is actually important) – differentiated me from other New Hires and Interns. There’s a very noticeable gap between a code monkey – someone who can sling code, brute force it – and a good software engineer. A software engineer can:

  • Make software scalable and efficient
  • Make software testable
  • Make software modular
  • Can communicate why all the above are important
  • Can communicate the business value (e.g. it helped the company process 600M records in minutes, every hour, saving $125k/day in manual labor) and NOT just the technical value (e.g. I built a system that can scale out to hundreds of compute nodes… because it’s cool) of all the above
Favorite Classes

Most of that difference I learned in a few classes I still remember today:

  • “Operating Systems” – The intricacies of working computer software
  • “Gaming for the Greater Good” – Scaling up ground-up developed code, building towards specific business requirements and goals, and communicating the value and worth of a project
  • “Data Structures and Algorithms” – Writing efficient, vs. functional, programs
Advice to Students

Take the classes I listed above, they will make your foundational software skills solid.

Find extracurriculars that mean something to you and own them. I continued exploring my music background (did the Michigan Marching Band, Campus Bands, etc.) and explored my software skills (Student Space Systems Fabrication Laboratory – S3FL – building software to track high-altitude weather balloons).

Don’t be a pure academic. Build a balanced class load. Take general electives like “linguistics” and “astronomy” because they help and pop-up in surprising ways down the road.

Be aware of what’s going on around you. Read the news. Get The Michigan Daily. What is current and popular may also lead to an opportunity to explore and get involved.

Knock on your neighbor’s door in the dorms and say hello. The dorms can be a little isolating unless someone takes the first step.

Eric Yu headshot

Eric Yu

  • Facebook
  • Software Engineer (Android)

University of Michigan, BSE Computer Science, 2017
Career Summary

While at UM, I got leadership experiences in student organizations through MPowered Entrepreneurship and the Chinese Student Association on the Executive Board and as Vice President. I worked on various side projects, building out different apps with friends. I also interned at GE Aviation (2015) and at AppFolio (2016).

Favorite Student Orgs

MPowered Entrepreneurship changed my life. It was the best organization I decided to join in college.

Favorite Classes

If you’re doing CS, take EECS 482 (OS). Really tough class, but really forces you to work hard.

Advice for Students

Key things to focus on: develop strong engineering skills, but don’t forget to focus on the interpersonal skills as well

Jim Boerkel headshot

Jim Boerkoel

  • Harvey Mudd College
  • Assistant Professor

Hope College, BS Mathematics, 2006
Hope College, BS Computer Science, 2006
University of Michigan, MS Computer Science and Engineering, 2008
University of Michigan, PhD Computer Science and Engineering, 2012
Career Summary

Jim completed his doctoral thesis on developing distributed approaches for constraint-based, multi-agent scheduling under the supervision of Ed Durfee at the University of Michigan. In 2017, Boerkoel was recognized with an NSF CAREER award for his project “Robust and Reliable Multiagent Scheduling under Uncertainty.”

He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department at Harvey Mudd College where he leads the Human Experience & Agent Teamwork Lab. The goal of the HEATLab is to develop techniques that augment humans’ own cognitive and physical abilities to create integrated human-agent teams that are more capable than their individual counterparts.

Advice to Students

Be more; do less. Don’t underestimate the value of a negative result. There’s value in trying something out, even if only to discover it’s not for you.

Robert Reneker headshot

Robert E Reneker III

  • Community Mental Health Authority
  • Software Developer

University of Michigan, BSE Computer Science, 2015
Career Summary

After leaving the University of Michigan, I went to work for a company called Infosys Limited, which, while it provided me with many interesting opportunities, wasn’t a good fit for me. After leaving Infosys I took some time to think about what I wanted next in my career and I eventually got a job at Community Mental Health Authority of Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham Counties, which is a job that I find professionally satisfying.

Reflection on Time Spent at U-M

The work I did at Michigan is crucial to my success today, as my education gave me a strong foundation of knowledge needed to succeed in Software Development. Not only did I learn skills related to programming and the fundamentals of Computer Science, but I also learned a variety of Soft Skills that help me be a better teammate and help my colleagues and I to work well together.

Favorite Student Orgs

I was a member of WolverineSoft during my time at Michigan and spent a year as the organization’s Social Events Coordinator, which allowed me to pursue game development as a hobby while also teaching me many things that also help me professionally.

Scott Iekel-Johnson headshot

Scott Iekel-Johnson

  • NETSCOUT
  • Director of Product Management

Duke University, BSE Electrical Engineering/Computer Science, 1994
University of Michigan, MSE Computer Science, 1997
University of Michigan, PhD Computer Science, 2001
Career Summary

I originally expected to work in research in industry (e.g. IBM TJ Watson), but took a chance on joining a startup first, which was Arbor Networks. I joined as a software engineer, starting as a developer and architect, but because it was a startup and needed everyone to pitch in with their skills in a variety of ways, I also helped with writing documentation, meeting with customers to explain what we do and help sell our early product, and managing. Over time as the company grew, roles became more formalized. In order to continue my ability to learn new things, and help lead and influence strategy, I moved from engineering into Product Management. This gave me new challenges and new opportunities to grow beyond a technical role and was a great transition to help my career grow. It did made me wish I had taken a business class or two while at the University, but there were training opportunities to fill in those gaps in knowledge.

Reflection on Time Spent at U-M

Favorite Classes: I always enjoyed building things, and classes that gave me a chance to do that and better learn how to create were always my favorites.

My favorite activities revolved around music (band, wind symphony), which helped to inspire creativity.

Advice to Students

Don’t be afraid to pursue outside interests and look for ways that they can help you think about your core career work in new and creative ways.

Zi Yang headshot

Zi Yang

  • Google
  • Cloud Technical Resident

University of Michigan, BS Computer Science, 2019
Career Summary

During undergraduate, I gained a lot of experience while interning. The summer after sophomore year, I worked as a data analyst intern on a battery research project at Stanford University. I learned how to be self-sufficient and resourceful, building scripts and reporting tools from the ground up.

After my junior year, I interned at JP Morgan Chase as a Software Engineering intern working in Credit Risk Management Technology. Here I learned how to work on a team, communicate effectively, and gave me a sense of what it’s like to work in industry. I recommend undergraduates to look into both academia and industry to see which role would be the best fit for them.

I’m currently in an accelerated development program called the Google Cloud Technical Residency. The program is 12 months of in-classroom and on-the-job training, which includes 3 rotations in different roles within the Cloud organization. Residents will gain technical and customer-facing skills for a Cloud-first world. This new grad program will allow me to become well prepared to join Google’s fastest growing business, Cloud.

Career Timeline
  • Stanford University
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • Google
Favorite Student Orgs

Girls in EECS (GEECS), UM Beekeeping, Residential College Clay Club

Favorite classes

Web Systems (EECS 485), Intro to Computer Security (EECS 388), Software Engineering (EECS 481), Latin Dance (Dance 100), Collecting Stories: Audio Essay (Writing 201 mini-course)

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