What is computer science?

Computer science is the exploration, design and innovation of computing. Computer science is responsible for the tools we use daily, like web search, email, social networks and databases, as well as advanced systems like robots, driverless cars and modern aviation. All engineering, scientific, business and social science disciplines depend on different areas within computer science, and it has been and will continue to be the driving force behind many emerging fields.

Blending innovative research with exceptional educational programs, Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar provides students with both the theoretical foundations and the practical experience necessary for success in a wide range of fields.

What will I study?

Students pursuing a B.S. in computer science must take a minimum of 360 units in the following categories: computer science, mathematics/probability, engineering and natural sciences, humanities and arts, required minor, Computing @ Carnegie Mellon and free electives.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar follows the curriculum for Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science, which is recognized as a world leader in different areas of computer science education. Students in the Computer Science Program acquire skills that transcend technological trends. The program encourages creativity and provides the fundamental skills to develop new technologies.

The Computer Science Program provides students with a core set of skills: mathematical reasoning, algorithmic thinking, and the fundamentals of programming. Students also gain substantial depth in a different field through a minor in a second discipline. As computing has strong links to many other fields, this provides students with unparalleled flexibility to pursue their interests.

The theoretical component of the computer science curriculum ensures that students have the formal tools to remain current as technologies change. Students also gain insight into the practical issues of building and maintaining systems by participating in intensive project-oriented courses.

Areas of study

Big Data and Machine Learning
In this data-driven world, many applications, businesses, and scientific disciplines must collect, store, clean and analyze massive amounts of data to extract critical information. Students learn machine learning techniques to extract information, create large-scale database management systems, and leverage cloud systems and architectures to process this information.

Robust and Secure Systems
A critical area in our fully connected world is ensuring that operations are secure, data maintains its integrity and resources and systems are available when they are needed. For effective collaboration among many devices in various settings, students must have a solid understanding of the system software, including device operating systems, networked systems and protocols, and fundamental distributed systems challenges.

Robotics and Artificial Intelligence
Many traditional roles and jobs are being automated and delegated so they can be more efficiently, effectively, and safely conducted by robots or intelligent software systems. Different areas of computing merge to enable applications that range from large-scale industrial automated factories, to robots navigating dangerous disaster areas, to driverless vehicles that can operate more safely.

Cutting-Edge Applications
Many applications have become so popular that they are now sub-disciplines within the world of computer science. These include web applications, natural language processing that enables human to machine communication and automated translation, and computational biology that uses the power of computer science to analyze and understand different biological systems.

Theory and Logic
Knowing how to program is the first step; knowing how to program well is the next challenge. The theory and logic courses at CMU-Q explore areas such as sequential and parallel algorithms, complexity, languages and automata and graph theory. Students with a strong foundation in these concepts can answer questions like: How do you know your program solves the problem? How do you know it finishes within a reasonable amount of time? If the problem is framed differently, can you use well-known and studied algorithms and data-structures?

Programming Paradigms
Programming is our way of communicating with computers and thus a basic tool for every computer scientist. At CMU-Q, students learn how to program imperative, functional and object-oriented paradigms, with emphasis on proving programs correct. To better develop certain solutions, students may study how to design and implement their own programming languages.

Cutting Edge Research

Exposure to cutting-edge research is critical for our computer science students. As undergraduates, they learn to tackle real-world problems by developing practical, efficient and novel solutions. Students at CMU-Q have many opportunities to engage in research: they have the option of a senior thesis project, independent study guided by a faculty mentor, or internships with one of the CMU-Q research groups.

Sample plan

What will I do with my degree?

Graduates find work as software engineers, software developers, financial analysts, game programmers, design engineers and consultants. They can also work in emerging fields such as language technology, computational biology, human-computer interaction and robotics.

Careers for computer science graduates

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Roboticist
  • Graphics programmer
  • Machine learning specialist
  • Software engineer
  • Network architect
  • Data scientist
  • Business intelligence analyst
  • Design engineer
  • Applications developer

Where do graduates work?

AirBnB
Exxon Mobil Qatar
General Electric
Google
Microsoft
Ooredoo
Qatar Airways
Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI)
Qatar Petroleum
Qatar Shell

Where do CMU-Q computer science alumni pursue graduate studies?

Carnegie Mellon University
Georgia Institute of Technology
Princeton University
Stanford University
Technical University in Munich
University of California
University of Michigan
University of Technology, Sydney
University of Toronto

Abdulaziz Al-Haddad

“We are constantly given homework assignments that represent smaller versions of real life problems. This learning experience is demanding, but is also the best introduction to our future jobs.”

Fatma Tlili, Class of 2018

Program at a Glance

Standard completion time

4 Years


Minimum units required for degree:

360 units

Computer Science: 135, Mathematics: 49, Science and Engineering: 36, Humanities and Arts: 63, Minor requirement/Electives: 74, Computing @ Carnegie Mellon: 3


Admission requirements
All applicants are required to meet the following academic and subject prerequisites.


Application deadline
Fall Semester: March 1



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Research opportunities

Research opportunities

Computer science students are involved in real-life problem sets from their first semester, gaining invaluable experience in discovery, method and generating new ideas.

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Academic Enrichment

Academic Enrichment

Computer science students can choose from an extensive slate of academic enrichment opportunities, including a variety of programming and computing-related competitions.

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General Education

General Education

General Education includes mandatory and elective classes in a wide range of academic areas, including Arabic, architecture, chemistry, design, English, history, math and physics.

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What will your day look like?

What will your day look like?

Take a look at a day in the life of a student at Carnegie Mellon Qatar.

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Meet the Faculty

Houda Bouamor

Houda Bouamor

Visiting Assistant Teaching Professor, Computer Science

Gianni Di Caro

Gianni Di Caro

Associate Teaching Professor, Computer Science

Mohammad Hammoud

Mohammad Hammoud

Assistant Teaching Professor, Computer Science

Khaled Harras

Khaled Harras

Program Director, Computer Science; Associate Teaching Professor, Computer Science

Valentin Ilyin

Valentin Ilyin

Associate Teaching Professor, Computational Biology

Christos Kapoutsis

Christos Kapoutsis

Assistant Teaching Professor, Computer Science

Kemal Oflazer

Kemal Oflazer

Associate Dean, Research; Area Head, Computer Science; Teaching Professor, Computer Science

Saquib Razak

Saquib Razak

Associate Teaching Professor, Computer Science

Giselle Reis

Giselle Reis

Assistant Teaching Professor, Computer Science

Ryan Riley

Ryan Riley

Associate Teaching Professor, Computer Science

Upcoming events

New Student Orientation

12:00AM - 11:59PM

Parent Information Session

4:30PM - 5:30PM

Convocation Ceremony

6:00PM - 8:00PM

Career Café

8:30AM - 10:30AM