Most Frequently Asked Questions

What classes do I need in High School to major in computer science?

The CS major is a comprehensive program that assumes no prior knowledge of computer science. While we certainly encourage you to explore academic interests while in high school and to participate in activities that you find exciting, many CS majors came to Howard planning to study something entirely different and they end up doing just as well in the program. Again, you should note that all undergraduate admissions to Howard are done at the university level, so being particularly prepared in the field of computer science is unlikely to affect your chances of admission. However, if CS is of interest, we do have recommendations for your High School preparation.

  1. Four years of mathematics including calculus.
  2. One year of physics.
  3. One year of chemistry.
  4. Four years of English.
  5. Two to three years of a foreign language are encouraged.
  6. Three to four years of history/social studies are encouraged.
  7. Advanced Placement (A.P.) exams in Computer Science A, CS Principles, and Calculus. A grade 4 or 5 of the A.P. Computer Science A, and CS Principles can be imported for credit towards the C.S. major.

Where can I find out more about the program?

Almost everything about the CS program at Howard can be found on the CS websites under prospective students. You might also be particularly interested in the Considering CS? site that we've put together for Howard students who are thinking about majoring in CS. This page describes our program and presents some of the opportunities that are available to CS majors while in school and after they graduate.

How can I find out about Financial Support in the Department?

Financial aid for undergraduate students in the Department of Computer Science is available in several forms.

A limited number of scholarships and grants are available from funds within the school and are awarded on the basis of demonstrated scholarship and need. Awards are made for one year and are renewable for the second year on the basis of satisfactory performance and availability of funds. Students must apply each year for aid by completing a College of Engineering, Architecture and Computer Sciences Request for Financial Aid form and an FAFSA need analysis form. Both forms are available in the Office of Student Services. Scholarships are available in a variety of sources.

For scholarships available from Howard University directly, please contact the Office of Student Services.

  1. For scholarships available from the Department of Computer Science (such as Xerox, The Sean Fitzroy Jackman Excellence Award, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed/Martin, and others), please contact the Department Chair and also the Office of Student Services.
  2. For scholarships available outside of Howard University, please look here.

Work Related Options

  1. Work as a Lab Assistant, please contact the Department Chair.
  2. Become a CEACS tutor, please contact the HUSEM program director.
  3. Interested in engaging in undergraduate research, please contact the HUSEM program director.
  4. Want to have a Co-op experience, please contact student services.

Is there a specific emphasis in expertise and research within the Department of
Computer Science at Howard? And, which areas of
Computer Science are particularly strong at Howard?

The Department of
Computer Science at Howard has research strengths in a number of areas, including software engineering, computer and network security, networks, distributed systems, operating systems, machine learning, appropriate technology, systems engineering, modeling and simulation, digital multimedia, algorithms and complexity, and computational biology. A full list of research groups can be found here. Our primary strengths are software engineering and distributed systems.

What opportunities are there to get involved in Computer Science research as an undergraduate at Howard?

  1. Explore the Howard University Science, Engineering, and Mathematics (HUSEM) Program ?
  2. Individual faculty research webpages are linked from the departmental faculty listing.
  3. There are many research opportunities in the computer science department during the academic year. Many of the faculty sponsor undergraduate and masters students for research projects in their groups. Typically the faculty sponsor the students for credit, but in some cases projects also provide a stipend.

What research, internship, and fellowships opportunities exist during the summer months and how do I participate?

Faculty members post summer research opportunities directly to students via email or they are posted on the department website under announcements or news. These opportunities can be for credit, pay, or both. Opportunities are also advertised through the Student Services Office.

Can I take courses in video game design?

Several upper level computer graphics, computer animation and game design courses are available for C.S. majors to take in their junior and senior years.

  • CSCI-421 Computer and Video Game Development
  • CSCI-422 Game Engine Programming
  • CSCI-480 Digital Media and Multimedia Applications

Can I take courses that give me specialization in html & webpage design?

Several SCS courses provide web programming and design expertise. These include:

  • CSCI-363 Large Scale Programming (Java, J2EE)
  • CSCI-350 Structures of Programming Language (Java, XML, Lisp, Prolog, Smalltalk)
  • CSCI-364 Web Services
  • CSCI-402 Mobile Application Development (Andriod, iPhone, Windows Mobile)

Im interested in starting a technology startup. What courses can prepare me to launch my new startup?

  • CSCI-493 Bison Startup
  • CSCI-494 Bison Accelerate

What are the differences between the Computer Science and Computer Engineering degrees?

  • While there is substantial cross over between the two disciplines, in general, the Computer Science major focuses more on theory, software, and applications whereas Computer Engineering focuses more on computer hardware, digital system development, and system design.
  • The Computer Engineering program incorporates most of the core curricula of both electronic engineering and computer science. Students receive a grounding in circuit theory, electronic circuits, and telecommunications.
  • The Computer Science program places equal emphasis on theoretical computer science, mathematics, and experimental computer technology. Computer Science majors get trained in areas such as artificial intelligence, computational complexity and the analysis of algorithms, combinatorial methods, computer architecture, computer-aided digital design, computer communications, databases, mathematical models for computation, optimization, and software systems.


Howard West: A First Step in Creating More Opportunities for African-American Engineers

Fri, February 2, 2018

Howard West, an educational and career development initiative between Howard University and Google, Inc., is a first step in creating more opportunities for African-American engineers. Howard West, a vision of President Frederick, was realized in 2017 with a successful pilot program. (Photo credit: Google) Read More >>

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Workshop (Wed. Nov. 16th @ 6:30p - HUIRB 1st Floor)

Tue, November 15, 2016

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Workshop (Wed. Nov. 16th @ 6:30p - HUIRB 1st Floor) Serious about launching your own startup! This is one of several workshops that will be offered throughout the year. For those students who participate in all the workshops, they will receive up to $3K to fund their venture. Read More >>


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