What is the difference between computer science and engineering in computer science?
I know I love computer science, but on many applications, it lists both of these as majors, with the distinction of computer science being in their arts school, and the latter in their engineering school #science #technology #stem
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“Computer Science” is an umbrella term which encompasses four major areas of computing: theory, algorithms, programming languages, and architecture. At the undergraduate level, programs usually cover a broad range of computing topics and allow students to engage in projects across multiple areas. For graduate studies in computer science, it is typical to focus on one area. Therefore, it is important to research the graduate program to make sure that the school has the faculty and resources that you need to complete your master’s or doctoral project. While Carnegie Mellon has remained the vanguard over the decades, many schools you might not be that familiar with also have great Computer Science programs, including state schools like Rutgers, University of Texas at Austin, and University of Maryland at College Park.
“Computer Engineering” typically focuses specifically on computer hardware and software. It is an integration of computer science and electrical engineering. For this reason, many people who want to become computer engineers earn an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering (often with a minor or double major in computer science), and then earn a graduate degree in computer engineering. When searching for a graduate program, look for schools that are equally strong in computer science and engineering. MIT is still the leader here, but other schools like the University of Washington and Texas A&M University have built on their strong engineering programs to integrate computer science. Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) has its roots in engineering and has been producing technological advances in computing since its inception. This is reflected in FIT’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department’s outstanding faculty and facilities as well as its commitment to preparing graduate students to be innovators in computer engineering.
I went to Marquette and got my degree in computer engineering but also majored in computer science and there was a decent amount of overlap. I think the biggest difference at Marquette was computer engineering students took more hardware classes like circuits, how semiconductors worked, building logic gates. Where the computer science students took an additional data structures and algorithms class. The other difference was because they were in two different school the arts school had more general prereqs like 2 years of a foreign language, etc whereas the engineering school prereqs were still pretty focused on engineering like CAD and a fun robotic programming class.
I think in the end if your interest is in software but are intrigued by some hardware concepts, computer engineering gives you that flexibility a bit more than computer science. Once you graduate if you're looking for software jobs I think the distinction doesn't really matter that much. Both options provide a pretty similar base and companies aren't really going to distinguish in my experience.