Our department offers a B.S. degree in Computer Science (CS) and a two-years Pre-engineering program. Our CS program includes math, science, and liberal arts as well as CS courses. In your first year as a CS student you will begin with an overview of the field of CS, and then move into computer programming. As you continue you will learn much more than programming such as study of algorithms (step-by-step procedures) to solve problems, how the computer itself is organized, how the system software that "drives" the computer works, the mathematical theory underlying computer science, how to design and implement databases, and the evolving issues in computer networking.

Among the important attributes of a professional computer scientist today are communication skills and the ability to contribute in a team development environment. Our program requires a technical writing course, an oral communication course, and a one year senior-level CS course where you work with a team to take a project for a real customer through all of the phases of software development. In addition, our senior "professionalism" course covers career planning, interactions with others on the job, ethics and professional responsibility, and even gives you individual job interview practice.

Graduates of our program have pursued technical careers both here in Hawaiʻi and on the mainland; some have chosen to further their education through graduate school.

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo prides itself on excellent teaching and, because of the size of the school, the ability to know each and every student. In computer science you will have many opportunities to interact with faculty through small classes and independent projects. To sum up our department: we truly know and care about each and every one of our students, we work hard to provide them with a technically challenging and up-to-date degree program, and we try our best to help them be successful. We invite you to join us. We are in Hawaiʻi - land of sun, rain, flowers, mountains, oceans, volcanoes, surfing, camping, hiking, and many other activities that guarantee you a good time when you're not studying.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to apply concepts and techniques from computing and mathematics to both theoretical and practical problems.

  • Students will be able to demonstrate fluency in at least one programming language and acquaintance with at least three more.

  • Students will have a strong foundation in the design, analysis, and application of many types of algorithms.

  • Students will have a fundamental understanding of computer systems.

  • Students will have the training to analyze problems and identify and define the computing requirements appropriate to their solutions.

  • Students will have the training to design, implement, and evaluate software systems working both individually and collaboratively.

  • Students will be able to communicate effectively orally and in writing.

  • Students will have the knowledge, skills, and attitudes for lifelong self-development.

  • Students will have the ability to analyze the local and global impact of computing on individuals and society.

  • Students will have a fundamental understanding of social, professional, ethical, legal, and security issues in computing.

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Our Degrees and Campus


Computer science is about problem-solving with computers. With its wide reach, a degree in computer science empowers you to influence various fields like science, business, healthcare, education, law, art, and more. Even if it's not your major, computer science courses enhance your logical thinking and problem-solving abilities.

The University

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo is characterized as a comprehensive, diverse, regional university. Scholarship and research are an important part of faculty work and student engagement, but the primary focus is on providing high-quality baccalaureate and postgraduate education.

Student Experiences in Our Programs

Students learn in and out of the classroom, on and off campus, applied learning experiences and career placement.

Climate zones on the
Island of Hawaiʻi (out of 14)
One of the most diverse
universities in the nation

Our Faculty

We are your academic ʻohana. We teach the vast majority of courses, using best practices from education research.

Harry “Keith” Edwards
Harry “Keith” Edwards Ph.D.
Professor, Computer Science
Michael “Mike” Peterson
Michael “Mike” Peterson Ph.D.
Chair and Associate Professor of Computer Science
Shawon S. M. Rahman
Shawon S. M. Rahman Ph.D.
Professor, Computer Science and Engineering
Francis Ray M. Cristobal
Francis Ray M. Cristobal
Jr. Specialist, Computer Science
Travis Mandel
Travis Mandel Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Computer Science
Winston Wu
Winston Wu Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Computer Science

Contact Us!

Please contact us for more information, a site visit, or a Zoom meeting.