The School of Computing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln provides focus areas to help equip graduates from all our undergraduate programs with advanced skills focused in specific areas. In addition to gaining in-depth knowledge and experience in important computing topics, students who pursue a focus area also benefit from studying with graduate students who will also be taking these courses.

To earn a focus area certificate, you must earn a grade of C or higher in each of three courses from a focus area of your choice. Required and technical elective courses may be counted towards a focus area. Special topics courses may be counted towards a focus area upon approval by the School of Computing Curriculum Committee. Customized focus areas are also possible (upon approval by the School of Computing Curriculum Committee).

Students who complete the requirements for a focus area will receive a certificate signed by the School of Computing Director that can be listed on their resume. Completing a focus area shows that you have successfully pursued a computing topic in-depth, which can set you apart from others when applying for a job or graduate school.

To declare a focus area, contact your academic advisor.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) aims at building agents, often as computer systems, that are capable of rational reasoning and behavior.  Today, AI techniques are widely successful and used in Computer Science, Engineering, Life Sciences, Data Science, and Management. This focus area addresses both the foundations of AI and Machine Learning and their applications.

Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning

CSCE 421, CSCE 475, CSCE 476, CSCE 478, CSCE 479

Computer Architecture & High-Performance Computing

Computer Architecture & High-Performance Computing explores cutting-edge topics in developing future computer architecture and high-performance computers, which is increasingly relevant given advances in cluster computing and multi-core architectures and demands for scalable simulations and data analytics. Topics range from cluster and parallel programming, embedded systems, data modeling, and systems administration.

Computer Architecture & High-Performance Computing
CSCE 411, CSCE 430, CSCE 432, CSCE 435, CSCE 436, CSCE 456, CSCE 457


Information security and privacy are essential to the role of computers in modern life. Computers are entrusted with information on business, health, and personal life. Our computer systems need to operate securely and protect the privacy of important information. Computer security builds upon foundations including cryptography, computer system design, networking, and programming languages to create trustworthy systems and services.

CSCE 438, CSCE 457, CSCE 462, CSCE 463, CSCE 477 

Data Science and Informatics 

This focus area covers topics in the science of data and information, data collection, processing, and analysis, and information systems engineering. This focus area equips students with hands-on experience and advanced knowledge and skills for today's data-driven problem solving. It spans applications including machine learning, data mining, databases, graphics, computer vision, computational linguistics, geoinformatics, and bioinformatics. 

Data Science & Informatics
CSCE 410, CSCE 411, CSCE 412, CSCE 413, CSCE 464, CSCE 470, CSCE 471, CSCE 472, CSCE 473, CSCE 474, CSCE 478, CSCE 479

Foundations of Computer Science

The roots of computer science trace back over a century, long before the electronic computer was invented, to a time when mathematicians began designing models of hypothetical machines that could automatically compute solutions to logical and mathematical problems. Unconstrained by the physical limitations of today’s technology, they explored the limits of computability by machine and, according to one famous theorem, also of the human mind. This ongoing theoretical study has produced and continues to produce many important and very relevant results that impact computer science today.

Foundations of Computer Science 
CSCE 421, CSCE 423, CSCE 424, CSCE 428, CSCE 440, CSCE 477

IoT, Robotics, and Embedded Systems

IoT, Robotics, and Embedded Systems help tie the cyber and physical worlds together through sensing, computation, communication, and control. They provide computers the awareness of, and ability to interact with, the physical world and govern things from stoplights to airplanes. Increasingly, through a suite of embedded computing devices, everyday items from vacuum cleaners to cars are becoming robots having the ability to perform complex tasks autonomously. They receive feedback about the broader world from a host of sensors commonly known as the Internet of Things (IoT). This focus area will equip you with both hands-on experience and theoretical understanding in embedded systems, sensor networks, and robotics. Topics include embedded programming, wireless communication, robotic design and development, control, real time systems, and covers IoT, robotics, and sensor networks.

IoT, Robotics & Embedded Systems 
CSCE 436, CSCE 438, CSCE 439, CSCE 454, CSCE 459, CSCE/SOFT 460, CSCE 473, CSCE 476


This focus area explores cutting-edge research topics in developing future internet and wireless networks. This area is increasingly relevant in our connected world due to advances in wireless communications, Internet of Things, software-defined networking, mobile networks, and network security. Topics range from wireless communications to networking, Internet of Things and mobile networks to data and network security. 

CSCE 438, CSCE 455, CSCE 456, CSCE 458, CSCE 459, CSCE 462, CSCE 463, CSCE 465

User-Centered Computing

The User-Centered Computing focus area explores topics that are broadly applicable to the design aspects of computing systems used by computing professionals, scientists, and the public. Courses in this area present concepts which are foundational to both basic and applied topics in computing, such as requirements elicitation, prototyping, graphic design, eye tracking, and user testing. 

User-Centered Computing
CSCE 411, CSCE 412, CSCE 453H, CSCE 454, CSCE 470

Software Engineering

Software engineering aims to provide systematic, cost-effective and rigorous processes, techniques and tools for teams of software developers to design, construct, deploy, manage and maintain complex software systems. Topics in this focus area cover basic and applied concepts in software design, architecture, development, testing, and analysis.

Note: This focus area is not available to software engineering majors.

Software Engineering
CSCE 425, CSCE 453H, CSCE 454, CSCE/SOFT 460, CSCE/SOFT 461, CSCE 464, CSCE/SOFT 466, CSCE/SOFT 467, CSCE/SOFT 468