Frequently Asked Questions
The School of Engineering now requires all students to own a laptop. You can find the minimum specifications here.
The Department of Computer and Information Science does not require a particular operating system. The majority of software used in CSci courses is open source, and there are generally versions available for the 3 major operating systems: Linux, macOS, and Windows.
Regardless of which brand laptop you buy, be aware that many new laptops (particularly Macs) are not upgradeable, meaning you are stuck with the existing amount of RAM and hard drive space throughout the life of the laptop. Therefore, we strongly recommend you “future-proof” your purchase by selecting a model with as much RAM and hard drive space as you can afford beyond the minimum specs listed on the School of Engineering’s computer requirements page.
How do I apply for admission?
You can apply online at the Office of Admissions website.
How do I apply for financial aid?
You can learn more about financial aid opportunities and apply for aid by visiting the Office of Financial Aid website.
What does SACS and ABET accreditation mean?
Accreditation ensures you receive a high-quality educational experience. Visit our page on accreditation to learn more.
What other computer-related programs are offered at Ole Miss?
Our BSCS and BA, can be described as flexible, generalist degrees in computer science. The focus of these degrees tends to be on software development and systems-level issues. There is a strong foundation consisting of the fundamental theories, technologies, and skills of computing. On this foundation, the students can select electives in computer science and other areas to specialize their programs to specific application areas or to continue to explore foundational issues. Some students have used the flexibility of the BSCS as a springboard for further professioal study in law, business, or medicine.
Those more interested in the deeper issues of computer hardware design may want to consider the computer engineering emphasis on the BSEE degree offered by the Department of Electrical Engineering. The degree program combines a rigorous ABET/EAC-accredited degree program in electrical engineering with what is essentially a minor in computer science. Of course, BSCS students interested in hardware issues can also choose electrical engineering courses for their electives, perhaps completing a formal minor in engineering.
The Management Informantion Systems (MIS) program in the School of Business Administration may be a better fit for some students. This is essentially a general business degree with emphasis on the application of information technologies and information systems principles to business problems. The MIS program tends to focus more on the behavioral aspects of computing than the technical aspects. Of course, BSCS students can also take business courses for some of their technical electives and/or prepare to study for a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree upon completion of the BSCS.
Students interested in the visual, artistic aspects of Web design may want to consider the offerings of the Department of Art in the College of Liberal Arts. For example, the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree offers a concentration in graphic/Web design. Students in this program learn about the artistic techniques of graphic design, including how to apply those principles in the design of Web sites. Students in this field use graphics application software to create the images that appear as part of Web applications. In general, these students do not get involved with technical, programming aspects of Web design. On the other hand, computer science graduates should be well equipped for the Web programming and even the development of the graphic applications that graphic designers use in their work. Of course, BSCS students with interests in both the technical and visual aspects of Web design can use their electives to take art courses.
What if I want to transfer from another institution?
The University of Mississippi readily accepts the transfer of college-level, academic course credit from other regionally accredited institutions in the USA. We welcome transfer students from regionally accredited junior/community colleges and other four-year colleges.
Junior and community college students planning to continue their studies at a four-year institution such as Ole Miss should be mindful of the limitations of the technical or technology courses and programs offered at those institutions. Those may be quite good programs, but they are vocationally oriented programs designed for students who plan to study for two years and then directly enter the workforce with specific skills. Often the technical courses will not transfer to four-year institutions such as Ole Miss. Of course, the regular, academic programs and courses offered by community colleges may be quite good options for many students to take. However, prospective transfer students should be careful to coordinate their community college studies with the expectations of the senior college to which they expect to transfer. Prospective transfer students should also note that no more than one-half of the credit required for an Ole Miss degree program may be transferred from a junior or community college.
Current University of Mississippi students must also obtain written approval of his or her academic dean before taking courses at another institution with the intention of transferring credits toward an Ole Miss degree.
What are the advantages of a computer science degree from Ole Miss?
The Ole Miss approach to computer science education is to offer flexible, generalist programs. This is in keeping with the strong liberal arts tradition of the University, the flagship arts and sciences institution for the State of Mississippi. It is also within the multidisciplinary engineering science tradition of the Ole MIss School of Engineering. Building upon the foundation of the flexible Ole Miss computer science degree programs, a student can select electives in computer science and other areas to personalize his or her program to meet many different career goals.
A computer science student at Ole Miss offers the full resources of a major arts and sciences university. In addition to the studies in computer science, the student can also pursue studies in areas such as the McDonnell-Barksdale Honors College, the Croft Institute for International Studies, the Trent Lott Leadership Institue, the Center for Intelligence and Security Studies, the Chinese Flagship Program, and the Center for Manufacturing Excellence (CME). By using these unique resources, Ole Miss computer science students can prepare themselves to assume leadership positions as their careers’ progress.
Do the computer science degree programs require (or allow) a minor?
The BA program requires a minor. A minor is usually an 18 credit hour concentration of coursework in some discipline outside the major. Most departments and interdisciplinary programs in the College of Liberal Arts have defined minors in their disciplines. In addition, there are minors defined in accountancy, business administration, engineering, computer science, geology, mass media and communications, intelligence and security studies, park and recreation management, and perhaps other fields. See the the current Undergraduate Catalog for information on the requirements for the various minors.
BA majors in computer science can study toward any defined minor (except computer science), subject to any restrictions imposed by the department or program offering the minor.
The BSCS program does not require a minor. However, BSCS students may study toward an optional minor. The optional minor may be drawn from any minor allowed for the BA degree except mathematics and computer science.
Although many students may choose not to complete the formal requirements for a minor, all BSCS students are encouraged to choose their 15 credit hours of technical electives to be a coherent group of courses from other disciplines that enhance their study of computer science.
What if I already have a bachelor’s degree in another field?
Students can obtain a second bachelor’s degree by satisfying the requirements for the BSCS or the BA computer science major and earning at least 30 hours of credit above the first degree. However, most students with an undergraduate degree in a field related to computer science may want to consider study toward a graduate degree in computer science as an option.
What if I have more questions?
If you have more questions about the computer science programs, contact us at 662-915-7396 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Graduate Admissions FAQ
What is the guideline to be admitted to your graduate programs?
Admission to our graduate program requires official scores on the GRE general exam, a TOEFL or IELTS exam score (for individuals whose native language is not English), official transcripts, an application, etc. More information on the application process is available at http://gradschool.olemiss.edu/ and http://www.international.olemiss.edu/.
What scores are required on the admission tests?
For individuals whose native language is not English, the university has the following minimum requirements on full admission: TOEFL Internet Based (IB) 79-80, TOEFL Computer Based (CB) 213, TOEFL Paper Based (PB) 550, or IELTS 6. Students whose score falls below will be required to enter the English as a Second Language (ESL) Program prior to academic enrollment. There is no minimum requirement on GRE score. We evaluate the applications for a particular semester and admit students who are competitive with the pool of applicants for that semester.
Can I get into the graduate programs if I do not have an undergraduate degree in computer science?
We receive applications from individuals with a non-CS background almost every year. Some of our current graduate students do not have a BS degree in CS. If an applicant has a degree in engineering, mathematics, or a related area, a good GPA, and basic CS background, the applicant will be treated in the same fashion as other individuals with a CS degree. In determining “basic CS background”, we look for evidences that demonstrate the understanding of computer programming, data structure, algorithms, operating system, computing languages, theory of computation, and computer organization. An individual lacking in one or more of the above areas may be “conditionally admitted” to our graduate program provided that the information we collect about the individual from his or her materials shows high promise that the individual can succeed in our program.
How can I obtain an RA/TA/GI position in the department? (RA – research assistant, TA – Teacher Assistant, GI – Graduate Instructorships.)
The department has limited TAs, GIs, and RAs positions. The number of openings at a particular point in time varies depending upon budget, how many supported students are continuing from the previous semester, levels of external funding at that point in time, what work we have that needs to be done, etc. All applicants for assistantships need to fill out an online application at http://cs.olemiss.edu/content/assistantship-application.
Is out-of-state tuition automatically waived if I receive an assistantship?
Yes, there are tuition benefits to assistantship appointments. The nonresident portion is waived and some or all of the other tuition is waived depending upon the level of support.
How much does an assistantship pay?
It varies based on the education and skills of the student, type of job, source of the money, etc. Quarter-time (10 hour per week) Teaching Assistantships (TAs) might draw stipends of $2500 for a semester plus a nonresident tuition waiver and a waiver of 75% of the resident tuition. Half-time( 20-hours per week) would be $5000 with a full tuition waiver. Graduate Instructorships (GIs) pay slightly more than TA positions (These are for students with at least 18 graduate hours and who are instructors of record for classes). Research Assistant (RA) positions are externally funded. They may pay higher than GI depending on the budgets of the funded projects.
Does the University provide a stipend or housing for graduate assistants?
The university does not provide stipend or housing for graduate students. However, the department has limited TAs, GIs, and RAs positions. Please refer to Question 4 above for the process of applying for assistantships.
What are the requirements for me to get an assistantship?
We use a of combination of GRE scores, previous grades, previous courses taken in computer science and mathematics, and other information we can collect about the applicant from his or her materials in determining whether to give an assistantship to an admitted individual.