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Computer Programming School in Dallas, TX with Degree Overviews

Jan 02, 2019

The Dallas area has 12 colleges offering computer programming degrees. Learn about degree programs, admission info and program requirements for three schools within 25 miles of downtown Dallas to make an informed education decision.

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Dallas Computer Programming Colleges

Individuals wishing to study computer programming can choose from numerous schools in the Dallas, TX, area. This article talks about three of those schools, which are all conveniently located 30 minutes or less from downtown. Included in the article is a table comparing the three schools, as well as a short section highlighting a few other school options.

  • Richland College is 10 miles from downtown Dallas and offers a certificate in computer programming and an associate's degree in software programming/developing.
  • Just four miles from downtown, Southern Methodist University gives students the chance to earn a bachelor's degree in computer science, a certificate in software engineering or a master's degree in computer science or software engineering.
  • Located 21 miles from downtown Dallas, the University of Texas at Arlington offers both bachelor's and master's degrees in computer science or software engineering.

Comparison of Schools

Choosing the right school can be confusing. Use the table below to compare important statistics, like enrollment numbers, tuition rates, retention rates and more.

Richland College Southern Methodist University University of Texas at Arlington
School Type 2-year; public 4-year; private not-for-profit 4-year; public
Total Enrollment (2017) 18,794* 11,789* 46,497*
Campus Setting Large city Large suburb Large city
Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $1,770 in-district; $3,330 in-state; $5,220 out-of-state* $52,498* $9,952 in-state; $25,152 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Aid (2016-2017) 55%* 79%* 85%*
Acceptance Rate (2016-2017) N/A - Open admissions 49%* 71%*
Full-time Retention Rate (2016-2017) 67%* 91%* 71%*
Graduation Rate 15% (students beginning in 2014)* 81% (students beginning in 2011)* 50% (students beginning in 2011)*

Sources: *NCES College Navigator

Richland College

Richland College is part of the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD), which has six other colleges in the Dallas area.

Programmer Level I Certificate

This program is designed to teach primary programming languages and develop students' skills in database programming techniques, structures and modeling. A basic understanding of personal computers and operating systems is required prior to starting the program. The first semester includes two introductory courses in programming. The second semester covers an advanced programming language and either a database, web or project management course.

Associate of Applied Science Software Programmer/Developer

Prior to beginning coursework, all students in this program need to meet prerequisites based upon Texas Success Initiative (TSI) assessments. Once these are covered, students begin the first semester of this 2-year degree program by taking introductory classes in computers, programming and networking technologies. Over the course of the degree program, students also choose a specialization, such as general programming, Java or C++, and complete general education courses in the humanities and social sciences.

Southern Methodist University

SMU offers its computer science programs through the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering. A combined bachelor's/master's degree is available in computer science, and at the graduate level, there is an information assurance certificate program for network professionals.

Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Science (BS) in Computer Science

The BA in Computer Science program includes core university coursework in liberal arts, computer science classes and a large elective block. This allows students to combine a computer science major with a second discipline, such as business or math. The BS program also requires the core curriculum, but electives are focused on computer science-related tracks, such as research, security or game development. A computer science premedical track is also available at SMU.

Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering

This bachelor's degree includes 34 credits in mathematics and science and 49 credits in computer engineering. Students can choose from available tracks in hardware, software engineering, networking, security and general. Fundamental courses cover software testing, software requirements, software architecture and programming concepts.

Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS)

SMU's MSCS program requires either 24 hours of coursework and six hours of thesis credit or 30 hours of coursework. The coursework is divided into 12 hours of core required coursework, covering topics such as database management, algorithm engineering and computer architecture, and 12 hours of electives. Master's candidates are also required to complete a 6-hour concentration in an area such as algorithms or architecture. The balance of hours can be chosen from a broad series of electives and must be approved by a faculty adviser.

Master of Science in Software Engineering (MSSE)

The MSSE program at SMU also requires 30 hours of credit, but a thesis is not required. Twelve hours of core coursework cover subjects such as software architecture and design and software project planning and management. Three courses chosen from electives such as , software safety or object-oriented analysis are also required. The remaining courses need to be approved by an adviser and can include classes in software metrics or user interface design.

University of Texas at Arlington

UT Arlington offers its computer science programs through the College of Engineering. At the undergraduate level, programs focus on design, and students have opportunities for professional contact. At the graduate level, programs are designed to facilitate continued professional and scholastic development. UT Arlington also offers a fast-track master's degree program.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science or Software Engineering

In either of the bachelor's programs at UT Arlington, pre-professional coursework must be completed with a grade of 'C' in order to continue on to the professional courses. These courses include English and history classes along with introductory computer science and engineering courses. Professional courses in both majors include fundamentals of software engineering, object-oriented software engineering, professional practices and operating systems. The software engineering coursework also focuses on software testing and computer architecture.

Master of Science in Computer Science or Software Engineering

The master's program in computer science at UT Arlington is offered with both thesis and non-thesis options, while the software engineering program requires a thesis or 6-hour software team project. These programs require between 30 and 36 credits to graduate, depending on whether students select the thesis or non-thesis option. Candidates choose from electives such as programming language concepts, computational complexity, computer graphics or applied graph theory and combinatorics.

Other School Options

These schools are also part of the Dallas County Community College District:El Centro College in Dallas, Brookhaven College in Farmers Branch and North Lake College in Irving offer continuing education programs in computer programming as well as certificate and associate's degrees in computer science.

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