Across the state, Maine has more than 15 schools that offer associate's, bachelor's, and master's programs in computer science, information systems, and/or technology. Some programs are designed to focus on the science of computer technology, while others integrate liberal arts education with computer systems knowledge. Hands-on training and performance opportunities are often included, such as research projects, independent studies, or internships; graduate students may complete a thesis or dissertation. All programs include instruction within computer labs.
Below are brief overviews of the programs available at the ten largest public and private (not-for-profit) institutions, as well as a comparison table with school and tuition information.
At Bowdoin College in Brunswick, students can pursue an undergraduate program that combines a liberal arts core with major coursework in computer science. In 2013, the computer science faculty was composed of four members. Students have access to basic, advanced and robotics labs.
The Bachelor of Arts curriculum requires three courses in algorithms, computer science, and data structures, after which students can choose electives in artificial intelligence, algorithmic theory, and systems. Advanced students may work on independent studies or summer research projects; seniors are encouraged to participate in the honors program.
Central Maine Community College
Central Maine Community College in Auburn offers both an Associate of Applied Science and an Associate of Science in computer technology. Both programs are designed to teach students how to install, repair, network, and program computers. Common coursework includes topics in networking, operating systems, server administration, and Visual Basic. Future professionals can also participate in internships and choose electives in, among other subjects, computer forensics, Java programming, structured query language (SQL) and Web development.
Students who pursue the Associate of Applied Science acquire the skills they need for immediate entry into the field and to pursue a number of valuable industry certifications. Credits earned through the Associate of Science program may be transferable to a relevant 4-year degree.
Located in Waterville, Colby College's undergraduate program in computer science is designed to provide students with an understanding of computational theory, hardware, and software. The 2013 faculty was composed of three members. Relevant resources include a computer lab, a robotics lab, and the Colby Science Library.
In addition to a liberal arts foundation, requirements for the Bachelor of Arts include six courses in, among other subjects, computer concepts and organization, data structures and programming languages. Students also complete a math course and take electives in computer graphics, game design, Web programming, and other related topics.
Unique to the college is a major in interdisciplinary computing that allows students to pursue 5-9 courses in biology, environmental studies, music or the performing arts. For example, students who choose to focus on the environment can learn about geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing, study ecology and participate in an upper-level colloquium.
Eastern Maine Community College
Eastern Maine Community College in Bangor offers both a 1-year certificate in computer repair and an associate's degree in computer systems technology. Requirements for the 31-credit certificate program include general education courses in composition and math, as well as career-training topics in hardware, Linux operating systems, telecommunications, and Visual Basic programming.
Similar courses can be found in the 60-credit Associate in Applied Science in Computer Systems Technology program. In addition to learning how to configure and maintain different systems, students also take a course in Web page design and work with local and wide-area networks in a lab-based setting.
At Husson University in Bangor, aspiring professionals can earn an Associate of Science or a Bachelor of Science in computer information systems, and both programs require courses in business. The 2-year program prepares students for entry-level work with computer applications and programming languages and includes training in accounting, business law, PC management, and Web programming.
Students who advance to the 4-year program pursue upper-level topics in financial or project management, marketing, and human resources. They can also take a class in database or network design, learn how to manage a Windows server and participate in information systems internships. Additional programs include a combined Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems/Master of Business Administration program that can be completed in five years.
Southern Maine Community College
Southern Maine Community College in South Portland offers an associate's program that can help students prepare for entry-level work in the computer science industry or for transfer to a bachelor's degree program. In particular, students learn how to work with algorithmic concepts and applications to solve hardware- and software-related problems. Learning outcomes include the ability to create computer programs and hardware schematics using a variety of programming languages. Courses cover topics in calculus, computer architecture, data structures, and object-oriented programming.
University of Maine
Located in Orono, the University of Maine offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in computer science, and the programs are overseen by 12 faculty and staff members. Program features include opportunities for lab-based research and the chance to participate in the university's Cyber-Defense Competition.
The Bachelor of Science program is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and requires 50 credits of major coursework in, among other topics, data and discrete structures, object-oriented programming, problem solving and software engineering. Similar courses can be found in the Bachelor of Arts curriculum.
Students pursuing the 30-credit Master of Science take three core courses in algorithms, computer science, and software engineering. They also complete a project or thesis. The 58-semester-hour doctoral program is designed to prepare students for careers in academia, the computer science industry or research, and it culminates in a dissertation.
University of Maine at Augusta
The University of Maine at Augusta offers both an associate's and a bachelor's degree in computer information systems, and instruction takes place under the guidance of three full-time professors and a number of professionally employed adjuncts. Students pursuing an Associate of Science complete 33 credits of major coursework, including an elective in C++, Java, PHP or Visual Basic programming.
Qualified students may advance to the Bachelor of Science program, where they complete 75 credits of major coursework in, among other areas, database design, information technology, and management information systems. They also participate in junior- or senior-year internships.
The university also offers a combined program that allows students to earn a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems and a Master of Business Administration in five years. Short-term courses of study include a 31-credit undergraduate certificate in health informatics; advanced students may be interested in the 45-credit post-baccalaureate certificate in computer information systems.
University of Maine at Farmington
The University of Maine at Farmington offers a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science program that combines classroom and hands-on training with opportunities for research. The curriculum includes 48 credits of major coursework in, among other topics, database and operating systems, computer architecture, networking and programming languages. Students also have the chance to work on independent study projects and participate in internships. Other program features include a low student-faculty ratio and ongoing mentoring.
University of Southern Maine
The University of Southern Maine in Portland offers both an undergraduate and a graduate program in computer science, as well as a 4-course graduate certificate in software systems technology. In 2013, the computer science faculty was composed of eight professors.
The Bachelor of Science program is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET and includes topics associated with computer systems technology, programming, and software design. Students also take a minimum of 15 credit hours in advanced mathematics electives.
Students in the 30-credit Master of Science program acquire the training they need to develop comprehensive computer systems, hardware technology, and software products. In addition to a thesis or a project, requirements include topics in database and operating systems, algorithm design and computational theory.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Computer Science Degrees Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-19)|
|Bowdoin College||4-year; private not-for-profit; distant town||Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science||$53,922*|
|Central Maine Community College||2-year; public; rural|| Associate of Science in Computer Technology,
Associate of Applied Science in Computer Technology
|$3,720 in-state; $6,540 out-of-state*|
|Colby College||4-year, private not-for-profit;|| Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science,
Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Computing (concentrations in theatre and dance, biology, environmental studies or music)
|Eastern Maine Community College||2-year; public; small city|| Certificate in Computer Repair Technology,
Associate in Applied Science in Computer Systems Technology
|$3,779 in-state; $6,599 out-of-state*|
|Husson University||4-year, private not-for-profit; small city|| Associate of Science in Computer Information Systems,
Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems,
Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems/Master of Business Administration
|Southern Maine Community College||2-year; public; small city||Associate in Science in Computer Science||$3,770 in-state; $6,590 out-of-state*|
|University of Maine||4-year, public; small suburb|| Bachelor of Science in Computer Science,
Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science,
Master of Science in Computer Science,
Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science
|$11,170 in-state; $30,970 out-of-state*|
|University of Maine at Augusta||4-year; public; distant town|| Associate of Science in Computer Information Systems,
Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems,
Certificate in Health Informatics,
Postbaccalaureate of Science (Computer Information Systems)
|$7,988 in-state; $17,918 out-of-state*|
|University of Maine at Farmington||4-year, public; remote town||Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science||$9,118 in-state; $18,598 out-of-state*|
|University of Southern Maine||4-year, public; small city|| Bachelor of Science in Computer Science,
Certificate of Graduate Study in Software Systems,
Master of Science in Computer Science
|$8,918 in-state; $21,294 out-of-state*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.