Computer Classes in Columbus, Ohio with School Summaries

Sep 17, 2018

The need for computer skills permeates our society, so it's no surprise that the Columbus area is home to over 15 schools offering computer courses. To find out which one is right for you, learn about the degree options and program requirements for three colleges within five miles of downtown.

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Columbus Schools with Computer Courses

The Columbus area has many schools offering diverse computer courses and programs. This article centers on the required coursework at three schools located less than 15 minutes from the city's center. After exploring the program options, look over the table of school stats, and check out the details on a few other area colleges.

  • Columbus State Community College is a large, 2-year school that offers computer information technology certificate and computer science associate's degree programs. The campus is just over a mile from the downtown area.
  • Capital University, situated about five miles from central Columbus, features both a minor and a bachelor's degree in computer science.
  • Located roughly four miles from downtown Columbus, Ohio State University is a research university with opportunities for pursuing advanced studies. Students can earn a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree in computer science.

Comparison of Schools

No matter how appealing an academic program seems, where you choose to attend can very well come down to your wallet. Compare the tuition rates, and many other factors like graduation figures, in the following table.

Columbus State Community College Capital University Ohio State University-Main Campus
School Type 2-year; public 4-year; private 4-year; public
Total Enrollment (2017) 27,204* 3,384* 59,837*
Campus Setting Large city Large suburb Large city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $3,808 in-state;
$8,430 out-of-state*
$34,600* $10,592 in-state;
$29,696 out-of-state*
% of 1st-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017) 74%* 100%* 80%*
Undergraduate Acceptance Rate (2017) Open admissions* 69%* 48%*
Retention Rate for Full-Time Students (2017) 63%* 78%* 94%*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate 21% (students began 2014)* 59% (students began 2011)* 83% (students began 2011)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

Columbus State Community College

Enrollment is almost 30,000 at the school today, and there are two campuses and five regional learning centers. The college emphasizes career and technical training, as well as offering bachelor's degree transfer programs, licensure programs, online learning, and continuing education courses. The computer information technology (CIT) department features certificate and associate's degree-level training.

Certificates in Computer Information Technology

There are various short-term certificates available through the CIT department, including computer literacy, database specialist, management information systems (MIS), network administrator, software developer, and Cisco Certified Network Administrator (CCNA) routing and switching, which prepares learners for two Cisco certification exams. Certificate programs require from 8-29 credit hours depending on topic and complexity.

Associate of Applied Science in Computer Science

This program provides core training in operating systems, programming, logic, systems analysis, networking, and applications. Students also choose among seven tracks: cybersecurity, game developer, information technology support technician, management information systems, network administrator, software developer, and web developer. The curriculum is specialized for each track; for instance, the network administrator track emphasizes networking, communications, working with databases, virtualization, and accounting. Game developers learn about graphics, C# and Java programming languages, 3-D modeling, the gaming industry, and game engines.

Capital University

Capital University is a Lutheran university that is committed to the development of critical thinking, leadership, and free inquiry in its students. The school also emphasizes lifelong learning skills and opportunities for undergraduates to conduct primary research. Capital offers more than 60 majors and 50 minors, including in computer science.

Minor in Computer Science

This minor consists of 18 credits and can be used to enhance the student's major or explore a different interest. Required courses introduce computer science, algorithms, and data structures. To complete the program, students then choose from topics such as digital design and logic, parallel computing, Unix, and computer architecture. Also available are introductory courses on artificial intelligence and scientific visualization, as well as seminar and independent study options that explore areas outside the regular curriculum.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

This program is composed of a series of core computer science courses; a seminar; supporting math courses such as calculus, discrete mathematics, and statistics; and electives. Courses explore artificial intelligence, operating systems, computer architecture, computer graphics, algorithms, and database systems. Seminars include guest faculty lectures, student presentations, and special topics not part of the regular curriculum.

Students can also choose a computer science major in the dual-degree engineering program. Core studies include computer science, algorithms, software engineering, and computational science, with required supporting topics such as mathematical proofs, calculus, dynamic systems, differential equations, chemical principles, and physics.

Ohio State University

Founded in 1870, OSU today has seven campuses, including the main campus in Columbus. Most of OSU's computer programs are part of the computer science and engineering department, which emphasizes preparing students for the information age through the development of research and professional skills.

Bachelor's Degree in Computer and Information Science

Students can earn a BA or BS degree in this program. The BA is for students who seek a liberal arts education with an emphasis on computer and information science. The BS is designed for those who want to concentrate on math and the physical sciences, with a strong focus on computers. Graduates of both programs will be prepared for positions in a variety of industry areas, such as software development, marketing, documentation, and quality assurance. Course topics may cover areas such as electrical engineering, discrete math, statistics, ethics, and software.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering

Students receive both theoretical and practical training in building and maintaining computer systems and languages. Courses are structured so that students apply their computing skills to areas such as biology, engineering, sociology, and public policy. Topics specific to computer science include computer graphics, operating systems, systems analysis, database retrieval systems, and human-computer interfaces. In addition to conventional methods of instruction, students can join various computer science professional societies on campus to enhance learning and professional development.

Master of Science in Computer Science and Engineering

Ohio State's master's degree program consists of core courses, original graduate research, a thesis project, and/or a culminating exam. Students may explore a variety of research areas, such as computer graphics, computer networking, artificial intelligence, and software engineering. In addition to conventional coursework and independent research, students can apply for fellowships, giving them an opportunity to learn full-time while receiving a stipend.

PhD in Computer Science and Engineering

The PhD program emphasizes research and is individualized according to each student's interests. In the first stage of the program, students choose one major and two minors; possible choices include software engineering and programming languages, graphics, theory and algorithms, software systems, and artificial intelligence. Students must also prepare a written dissertation proposal and present it as part of their candidacy exam.

Once accepted as PhD candidates, students spend the second part of the program on research, seminars, and dissertation work. To graduate, students must defend the dissertation in a final oral exam. A direct PhD track is available; students automatically receive a master's degree upon successful completion of the exam to become a PhD candidate.

Other Schools

Otterbein University is a private liberal arts college that awards a BS and BA in Computer Science. The school is located about 16 miles north of Columbus in Westerville. East of the city about 40 miles is Central Ohio Technical College, a 2-year public school with an Associate of Applied Business degree in information technology programming and software development. Bachelor's degrees in computer science as well as computer systems and network engineering are also available at Mount Vernon Nazarene University, located about 50 miles northeast from downtown Columbus.

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