A UGA student group works on computers and phones.

Computer science gets a new home at UGA

In 1984, Bill Gates was on Time Magazine’s cover for the first time, Steve Jobs launched the original Apple Macintosh PC and eight University of Georgia faculty members launched UGA’s computer science department. Thirty-eight years later, what began with a single undergraduate program has today grown into the UGA School of Computing.

Now, more than 4,600 UGA computer science alumni have a school to call their own, and thousands of students looking to enter what is a massive—and still growing—field can look to UGA’s enhanced commitment and know that they can pursue their passion as a Bulldog.

The School of Computing is jointly administered by the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences—where UGA Computer Science began—and the College of Engineering.

“The University of Georgia is committed to creating synergies across our campus that foster new opportunities for students and faculty and better serve communities in Georgia and around the world,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “I am excited about the positive impact the School of Computing will have on research and education in the STEM disciplines at UGA.”

Those disciplines are among some of the most popular ones at the university:

  • The College of Engineering is the fastest growing college at UGA—the number of engineering majors has almost quadrupled since 2012;
  • Computer science enrollment at UGA has increased by 202% over the last eight years;
  • And the number of UGA graduates with a bachelor’s degree in computer science has jumped from 51 in 2013 to 256 in 2021.

It makes sense why students would have such an interest in pursuing these fields. Nationally, employment in STEM-related occupations is projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to grow 8% through 2029, which is more than double the 3.4% growth projected for non-STEM occupations. Within STEM, computer science and engineering are among the fields with the highest forecasted growth.

The School of Computing is the home to the Institute for Artificial Intelligence as well as the Institute for Cybersecurity and Privacy, allowing students to delve deep into these specifics areas. And partnerships with the Department of Energy and UGA’s Institute for Integrative Precision Agriculture allow for even more nuanced, high-level work.

Faculty at the School of Computing are experts in a vast array of disciplines, including artificial intelligence, data analytics, bioinformatics, parallel and distributed computing, robotics, virtual reality, evolutionary computing and beyond. The number of faculty and the range of their expertise figures to grow in the next few years.

“The strategic hiring of new faculty will create new opportunities for undergraduate and graduate instruction while also supporting research in areas that are of strategic importance to our state and world,” said UGA Provost S. Jack Hu.