Bachelor’s Degree Programs

For more information on any of the offered degree programs, students should contact a CISE Academic Advisor or visit the CISE Student Services Center (E405 CSE Building).

Computer Science (CSE)

The Computer Science program combines a strong engineering oriented technical basis with a flexible interdisciplinary component and an emphasis on communication skills. This flexibility will be increasingly important in the future as computers become important tools in an ever-increasing number of fields.

Students in the engineering computer science (EG-CSE) program will satisfy the same requirements for general education and obtain the same engineering pre-professional background in mathematics and science as other engineering students. The program contains a strong technical component comprising a set of required courses covering essential areas in computing and a set of technical electives enabling students to deepen their knowledge in chosen areas of computer science and engineering.

In addition, the program includes a set of interdisciplinary electives in an area of the student’s choice. This area may be chosen from anything the university has to offer. Students may choose an established minor, a predefined “track,” or if nothing available meets their needs, work with an advisor to develop their own program.

To answer the demands of industry for employees with both technical competence and the ability to communicate effectively, the program requires communication courses beyond the usual engineering general education requirements.

Computer Science (CSC), College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

This program combines the study of computer science with a liberal arts education. It prepares students for employment as computing professionals while offering significant freedom to choose coursework in other areas. The major is especially popular with students who want the technical education in computer science with the flexibility to take other non-technical courses, sometimes in the form of a minor or certificate.

Note: the CSC and CSE degree programs are virtually identical in the core Computer Science coursework. Both programs are Bachelor of Science and are equal in terms of the learning of the discipline of Computer Science, as well as career preparation and opportunities. CSE is under the rules, regulations, policies, and authority of the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering; CSC is under the rules, regulations, policies, and authority of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS). The CISE department administers the academic particulars and delivery of the CSC program; however, since the CSC is under the authority CLAS, students interested in changing majors to CSC will need to contact an advisor in the CLAS Academic Advising Center in Farrior Hall.

Catalog Year 2013-present

Digital Arts and Sciences (DAS)

Note: Below is information on the Bachelor of Science degree in Digital Arts and Sciences in the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, not to be confused with the Bachelor of Arts degree in the College of the Arts. While the realm of activity for both is in creative computing, the fundamental difference between the two is that the BS-DAS in Engineering is fundamentally a computer science degree, rooted in computer programming, and the BA-DAS in Arts involves utilizing software that has already been developed – no computer science training is required. For information on the BA-DAS in College of the Arts, visit the program website.

The Digital Arts and Sciences (DAS) degree is a specialized program which integrates engineering and design: a core computer science curriculum with special emphasis on human-centered computing. This consists of computer science, art and design courses that are related to digital media, interaction and communication.

The curriculum is designed to bridge the gap between “engineers” and “humans” – the skill set achieved provides the flexibility to focus on coursework in both computer science and design. This enables students to create software that is computationally complex, user-friendly, and aesthetically pleasing.

A portfolio is not required to apply; students will build their portfolio through coursework, internships, and personal projects.

Because the DAS program is multidisciplinary, students will take courses primarily in the fields of computer science, mathematics, digital arts, fine arts, and communication.

Students must first complete fundamental computer science and digital arts courses, along with mathematics and science courses before continuing onto specific upper-level electives. Many courses have specific prerequisites that must be taken into consideration upon choosing coursework for the next semester. A sample 4-year tracking sheet is included as an example below.

To complete a Bachelors of Science in Engineering, students will have:

  • 5 Mathematics courses
  • 3 Physical Science courses and labs
  • 6 DAS-specific courses
  • 9 Computer Science and Engineering courses
  • 5 Interdisciplinary courses
  • 3 courses related to Fine Arts

In-Depth detail of the course requirements can be found below:

Catalog Year 2013-present

Combined B.S./M.S. Program in Digital Arts and Science

Students also have the opportunity to apply for the Combined B.S./M.S. degree in Digital Arts and Sciences. More information about the program can be found here.

Career & Internship Opportunities
Career Paths after Graduation

Career paths for a DAS student include (but not limited to):

  • Software Engineering
  • User Experience and User Interaction Design
  • Video Game Development
  • 3D Modeling and Animating
  • Mobile App Development
  • Research in related fields

Students have been offered positions in these fields from companies such as Microsoft, Electronic Arts (EA), Ford Motors, Mobiquity, Grooveshark, Disney, Pixar, Mindtree, and Harris, among others.

Internships

CISE holds a Career Development Workshop (CDW) every fall and spring, where top industry representatives come to interact with students interested in fields related to computer science and computer engineering. CDW provides students the opportunity to interview for internships and full-time positions. Students may also get advice from industries about what skills to perfect and develop important networking skills.

UF also holds the Career Showcase every fall and spring, with a Technical Day on day two for "Gators in computer science, engineering, information systems, research, and other technical fields." If a company is not at CDW, chances are they will be at Career Showcase.

In addition, Gainesville has a growing startup scene and local companies are always looking for fresh talent.

Internships help solidify a student's knowledge of programming, problem-solving and teamwork, and help prepare students for the work environment. Although not required, they are encouraged.

Career Planning

The Career Connections Center provides assistance with resume building, mock interviews and other career planning services.

Narratives from Past Graduates
Narrative 1: Digital Media Developer
  1. What are the job prospects given a DAS degree?

    ..if DAS students are applying for a multimedia position, I think they have a higher chance of being accepted than a person from CISE with no graphics exposure, the reverse is true, too. if you are a DAS major and applying for a position that doesn't involve multimedia and graphics, the employers will probably prefer getting someone who looks more experienced in purely programming. needless to say, a lot depends on the position you're applying to, your experience and the people doing the interview...

  2. Is it easier to get a job with the regular (CISE) degree?

    ...I wouldn't say easier or harder, I guess it depends. but I always have to clarify for people that I graduated from DAS engineering and NOT Arts since the term is so general and can work for both. I always made sure of that during interviews. I guess it is viewed positively since I got accepted in several places...

  3. What do employers ask during an interview, and what is their reaction to the DAS degree?

    ...During an interview I got asked puzzles, programming, problem-solving, and based on my CV I got asked a few practical Photoshop and 3D questions. Also, I showed my portfolio and answered questions about it. A portfolio is a must especially in multi-media and arts-related projects, I don't care if a person spends 1 hour describing to me a project, if I don't see it, the project doesn't exist!!! I want to SEE IT...

  4. How is the DAS degree received in the UF jobs fair?

    ....I did apply to lots of companies online but I didn't get many answers but on the contrary, I got much more answers from companies from the UF career Fair....

Narrative 2: Software Engineer
  1. What are the job prospects given a DAS degree?

    There really are a wide array of job prospects available to DAS graduates. One of the most important aspects that students should stress in interviews is that their education is highly interdisciplinary and that it is engineering-centric. (They should also make sure to stress that their degree is in DAS, not DIS.) I know of several students who now work in the entertainment industry for either game companies or animation studios. Both industries are notoriously difficult to “break into” though. While this is often the dream that many students enter the DAS program with, I hope that students don't discount the possibility of working for a traditional engineering firm. Several firms are looking for incoming new graduates who are able to bridge gaps and approach problems with unique perspectives.

  2. How is the DAS degree received in the UF jobs fair?

    Unfortunately, I can't answer this question as an attendee of the career fair. I would expect that the degree itself is not as important as the qualifications of the student and the initial interview. There is generally a place on the applications to indicate the degree program, but this really only serves to give a generic perspective of the background of the applicant. Honestly, many employers are probably still unfamiliar with the DAS degree program so students should be prepared to provide an overview of the program. Students should be prepared to answer technical questions on programming and engineering practices. If they are applying to a studio, they need to make sure they have a digital portfolio/demonstration reel in addition to their résumé. Employers are still looking for well-rounded individuals with excellent communication skills.

  3. What do employers ask during an interview, and what is their reaction to the DAS degree?

    Employers are generally interested in ascertaining personality, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, judgment and decision making skills, teamwork, adaptability, independent learning, and communication skills. These are the core attributes that I think I've had all employers ask questions about. Additionally, applicants should be prepared to address specific topics related to the job they are applying for. They should ALWAYS be prepared to discuss projects that they have worked on or internships they have participated in. They should be prepared to reflect on their student experience critically. If I could offer any pointers it would be:

    1. Answer the questions that are asked to the best of your ability without getting sidetracked.
    2. Don't forget that an interview is YOUR opportunity to ask questions to the interviewer, too.

    Hiring managers aren't just trying to be nice when they ask if you have any questions. A lack of questions for the interviewer shows a lack of interest in the company/position that you are applying for. Pick a few target companies and visit their websites to gather information and be prepared with some questions of your own.

    Finally, my experience has been that the DAS degree is very well-received once employers understand what the program is about and how I feel it has prepared me for the job that I'm applying to. Bottom line, it's up to the student to sell themselves. The interview is about the person, not their degree. Another way of thinking about this issue is that employers are more concerned with the knowledge you possess than the education you were given.

  4. Is it easier to get a job with the regular (CISE) degree?

    I think it's probably easier to be found in an online database search if you have a CISE degree since many universities offer comparable programs. DAS really only exists at UF which is potentially as much of a benefit as it is a hindrance. DAS students are provided with a very unique educational experience that prepares them to approach problems in non-traditional ways. This can be a great selling point once you secure an interview, but it can be harder to get your foot in the door if you're applying online or by mail. Try to take advantage of the career fairs. That way you are able to meet face-to-face with potential employers. You remove the barrier of having to be found.

  5. What companies are hiring DAS students?

    I wish I had a definite answer on this one, but I don't. I know what KINDS of companies are hiring DAS students, though. Arts and entertainment companies (EA, DreamWorks, etc.), engineering firms and government contractors (Harris, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, etc.), modeling and simulation firms (Link Simulation and Training, Army PEO STRI, etc.) There really are several possibilities.

Narrative 3: Digital Media Developer

I was looking for a job that allowed me to work in 3D and programming. I wasn't interested in modeling or animating so my advice is probably not applicable to people who would like to pursue those careers.

I develop simulations and content using 3D avatars for culture and language training for the military and government sector.

  1. What are the job prospects given a DAS degree?

    The simulation industry is really big right now, and they could use plenty of engineers who understand 3D, animating, modeling etc. I would say a majority of companies that go to I/ITSEC every year would be looking for DAS students.

    There's always the gaming industry, but I would be wary of this industry. Unlike most industries like the government sector, the gaming industry goes through a big hiring process per the title of a game. If the game falls behind schedule (which they always do) they hire more people about mid-way through the project. Once the project is completed or if the title flops, they lay off about 50 percent of the people. If you're a self-starter, highly motivated individual, you'll be fine. I just think its one of those things that students should think about before they get caught up in the hype.

  2. How is the DAS degree received in the UF jobs fair?

    At the career fair, research the companies that have simulation departments. They are more likely to need a DAS student.
    Companies usually send recruiters to the job fair, so most of them are not technical but they can definitely help you get your foot in the door. Most of the people I talked to at the career fair said, “E-mail me in a week with your resume, and I'll try to push it through the process, but you have to apply online as well.” I believe recruiters helped me with obtaining interviews.

  3. What do employers ask during an interview, and what is their reaction to the DAS degree?

    This is all in how you present the DAS degree to the recruiters. They still don't know what “DAS” is whether its more like Full-Sail curriculum of learning tools or a computer engineering degree. Whenever it was my chance to talk to recruiters my second sentence was always: “I have a Digital Arts and Sciences degree under the Computer Engineering Department. What that means is that instead of taking courses in electrical or circuits, I specialized in more art and computer graphics courses such as: list courses.” I think that you need to enunciate that you took all the same computer science courses as a computer engineer or else you'll receive the “so you're a website designer” question. Portfolios also help get the point as to what you are interested in and what you can do as a future employee at their company.

    The questions they always asked me were:

    1. What kind of role you wanted to play in the company (management, software lead)?
    2. From what you see on the company website, what projects are you interested in?
    3. They also asked me some technical questions about search algorithms, or about how to use particular tools such as Flash and Photoshop especially since those programs were on my resume.
  4. Is it easier to get a job with the regular (CISE) degree?

    Its probably easier to explain the job you want with a CISE degree. However, an individual with a CISE degree or DAS degree with a good GPA, involvement in extracurricular activities, leadership roles, and a confident friendly attitude will probably receive offers either way. The good news is that your degree will help you get that first job, but from then on, I really believe that industry looks at your past job performance and projects. The degree will only determine your starting pay grade.

Narrative 4: Software Engineer
  1. What are the job prospects given a DAS degree?

    The DAS degree gave me a wide gamut of skills, at the risk of lacking expertise in any single skill. I found the job prospects to be very favorable, although I oftentimes would have to educate the employer concerning my skill set. I found most employment positions to either be engineering or fine arts oriented. The engineering positions also included significantly higher salaries as well as more challenging tasks. The disparity between the fine arts and engineering-oriented positions could exceed up to $30k annually. In this regard, I found myself interviewing with only engineering oriented firms. Essentially, I had to choose between positions that emphasized the engineering background against positions that emphasized the fine arts background. Regardless, the DAS degree gave me numerous skills which allowed me to engage virtually any employer. I used to say, “If the firm has a website, I can work for them.” (the irony was that every firm has a website)

  2. How is the DAS degree received in the UF jobs fair?

    Although only a select portion of UF jobs fair firms could benefit from the DAS degree (in 2006), I found the degree to be received favorably by all of them. I oftentimes would find myself educating the potential employer of my skills and coursework, but I found the degree applicable to a wide range of positions including multimedia production (images, video, audio), website development, image processing, database management, software development, as well as general IT support. I ended up accepting a job in image processing. I did not expect to find a lead at the UF jobs fair, but I forced myself to go, in an effort to practice my 1-minute commercial.

  3. What do employers ask during an interview, and what is their reaction to the DAS degree?

    My initial interviews involved mostly behavioral questions concerning my ability to work in teams, experiences concerning my senior project, my most and least favorable courses, as well as my knowledge of general concepts such as critical path and the traceability matrix. These interviews were generally used to gauge my attitude and willingness to learn. My subsequent interviews were filled with stringent programming questions that could be found from any “programming interview questions” book. I personally felt like I received stringent interviews in an effort to gauge my programming ability in comparison to a regular CISE graduate. The DAS degree continued to be favorable during the interviews, as it gave me a unique background from the standard applicant.

  4. Is it easier to get a job with the regular (CISE) degree?

    I would argue that it is easier to get a job with a regular CISE degree, but it isn't nearly as much fun! More importantly, I would also argue that after some work experience has been acquired, a DAS graduate becomes exponentially more valuable than a regular CISE graduate. The ability to combine expertise in software engineering and imagery is a rare and powerful combination. The degree can expose you to the world of website development, image processing (geospatial, biomedical, etc), and multimedia production. I am a strong supporter of combined professions. We need more engineers who are also experts in other fields.

  5. What companies are hiring DAS students?

    The DAS degree is applicable to professions such as:

    • website design & development (Google, WebMD, ...)
    • medical imaging (GE, ...)
    • finance IT support (Bank of America, Citigroup, ...)
    • image processing (Harris Corporation, BAE, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, U.S Government, Nikon, Kodak, ...)
    • simulation (Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, U.S Government, ...)

    It's been 3 years since I have been job searching, but I generally found some area of my degree to apply to any prospective firm. It's all about how hard you look. Write a cover letter that illustrates your unique ability to contribute value to the firm, and you'll have the employers attention.

    I also feel that it is important to ask, “What DAS students are being hired by companies?” Remember that a proactive student will take the time to educate the employer, as well as envision a position which he or she would be beneficial. I felt my success as a DAS graduate has been due to my summer internships, as well as my leadership and extracurricular activities. Because the DAS degree covers such a wide gamut of skills, it is very important to continue progressing them beyond what is taught in the classroom OR to chose a single skill and enhance it until you have a competitive advantage.

Involvement Opportunities

There are many clubs, research, and internship opportunities available to enrich students’ undergraduate education.

Clubs
Research Opportunities

Research is a gateway to continuing higher education. If you would like to get involved in research opportunities, check out the CISE faculty page to see if someone is conducting research in an area you're interested in. Research is open to students of all levels.

FAQs
Why should I be interested in Digital Arts and Sciences (DAS)?

The DAS degree programs at the University of Florida provide the student with a deep knowledge of human-centered computing. This knowledge is achieved through a solid mathematics, science, and computer science core. There is an extension of this core to topics including human-computer interaction, computer graphics, computer simulation, computer vision, virtual environments, ubiquitous computing, and aesthetic computing.

What is human-centered computing?

Human-centered computing is defined in Wikipedia as "an emerging, interdisciplinary academic field broadly defined with computing and computational artifacts as they relate to the human condition." While there are many aspects to human-centered computing, the DAS program focuses on teaching the student the relationship between the human and media through computational methods. This relationship informs areas such as digital games, cinematic effects, visualization, and mixed reality.

What kinds of jobs are available for DAS graduates?

Most jobs of the future will require a strong knowledge of graphics, sound, and sensory immersion and engagement. So, our DAS degree programs can be thought of as a "next generation" CS degree.

How do I choose which degree to seek?

Since DAS is spread between two Colleges (Engineering and Fine Art), you may be torn between each. You should imagine that DAS did not exist and then ask yourself which college would best suit your degree requirements.

Are there communities for DAS topics?

There is a Facebook group for the UF Digital Arts and Sciences Club.

How long will it take to complete the DAS Degree program?

The undergraduate degree program can be done in four years and the graduate program in one to two years, but as with any degree program, there are fluctuations based on your desired rate of progress toward satisfying degree requirements, course staffing and semester availability of courses.

Who are the CISE faculty who teach and research in DAS-related areas?

We have a great set of faculty who teach and research in the DAS area. Explore their homepages: