CSE enrollment experienced significant growth in the Winter 2023 semester, with 10% growth in undergraduate programs, 30% in graduate programs, and an overall 13% increase, from previous numbers recorded for the Winter 2022 semester. What contributed to the big bump? “We are offering our students flexibility in the teaching modalities to take courses either in-person or online. We have many students who moved to other states and decided to come back and take courses online so they can graduate.” says Marouane Kessentini, CSE Department Chair. “That, along with our focus on modernizing our programs based on industry needs, our strong reputation for dedicated teaching, and the market demand for computer science and engineering professionals, our department is poised for this kind of growth for years to come.”

The CSE department have been hard at work this year building new programs that meet the substantial demand in the Michigan and US economy for specialized knowledge in computing and technology. New programs in Cybersecurity and accelerated 4+1 degree options for undergraduates have been approved to start offering to students in the Fall 2023 semester. Additional programs in Artificial Intelligence are also expected to start in Fall 2023.  “Interaction and discussion with our Industry Advisory Board led us to develop these new programs to meet the needs of industry, in SE Michigan in particular,” says Kessentini. “Not only undergraduates, but also graduate level professionals are in strong demand, so in addition to our new undergrad programs, we have developed a stackable certificate program in AI topics like Smart Manufacturing & Industry 4.0, AIOps, and Embedded AI, among others, for current professionals to upskill in these areas at the graduate level.” The certificates are just 12 credits each, and can be stacked into any of the MS degrees offered by the CSE department. With all graduate courses being offered both in person and online, the certificates are an attractive option for current professionals in industry. Additional graduate programs are in the works as well.

The 30% growth in the graduate admissions in CSE correlates with the jump in research funding achieved during the past fiscal year. CSE saw total funding surge past the $6M mark, an all-time high, counting for more than 68% of SECS total funding, and jumping more than 1500% over the previous year. “Along with more research opportunities secured by our faculty, comes more need for graduate student productivity,” says Hua Ming, Associate Professor and Program Coordinator for Graduate Admissions. “Our overall grant productivity this year represents an encouraging direction for fundamental R&D in CSE at OU. We want to continue that effort and see gains every year for our external funding metrics. Our faculty are young and eager to develop strong research programs. Our students love experiential learning and participating in research. The SECS leadersip is directing more resources towards faculty to leverage into more research programs, and larger collaborative federal grants,” says Ming, “one effort feeds into the other.”