Computer Science & Engineering Honors Curriculum

Program Director
photo of Chris Burke

Dr. Chris Bourke
CSE Honors Curriculum Director
cbourke@cse.unl.edu
Schorr 105

Program Description

The CSE Honors Curriculum offers the opportunity to take your first and second year core CSE courses in separate honors sections.  These honors sections typically have much smaller enrollments, cover topics at an accelerated pace so that more advanced topics can also be covered, and provide a more challenging introduction to motivated students.  No prior computing or programming knowledge is required, but the honors sections do typically have extra work and/or higher expectations.

Admission Requirements

Incoming freshmen will receive an invitation to the CSE Honors Program if they meet the following admission requirements.

  • A minimum ACT composite score of 29 or a minimum SAT score of 1300
  • A class rank equivalent to the top 20%
  • Demonstrate high aptitude in advanced mathematics or exposure to CSE topics or a high-level programming language
  • Demonstrate a commitment to academic and intellectual excellence

Students who do not meet the initial admission requirements or who did not otherwise receive an invitation may apply to join the CSE Honors Program if they satisfy the following requirements.

  • They must have completed at least one academic year at Nebraska or at another institution of higher learning and maintained a minimum GPA of 3.5 in CSE courses and as a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher
  • They must have completed at least two CSCE courses that count toward their degree requirements
  • They must have demonstrated the potential for further academic excellence and success in the CSE Honors Program
  • They must obtain a recommendation from a CSE faculty member

Students meeting these requirements and wishing to enroll in CSE Honors Curriculum courses should contact the CSE Honors Curriculum Director or the individual instructor for the honors course(s) they are interested in.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • I was accepted into the UNL Honors program.  How is the Computer Science and Engineering Honors Curriculum different from the UNL Honors program?

    This is a distinct program from the UNL Honors Program and though the admission criteria are similar, the CSE Honors Curriculum is typically only for CSE majors (Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Software Engineering).  Non-majors may take one of our Honors Curriculum courses with permission from the instructor.  Since these courses are smaller, seats are limited.  Of course, students taking the designated courses (courses with an H in the "number") receive credit for the UNL Honors Program as well.  It is always an option to contract for honors for any course, just speak with your instructor.
  • I was not accepted into or didn’t apply to the UNL Honors program.  Can I still participate in the Computer Science and Engineering Honors Curriculum?

    Yes, simply contact the program director and/or the instructor of the course you wish to enroll in to discuss further opportunities. 
  • How are the CSE Honors curriculum courses different from non-honors versions of the same course?

    The Department of Computer Science & Engineering offers separate honors sections of its core courses for those in the Honors Curriculum.  These separate honors sections are typically much smaller.  They cover the same topics, but typically at a faster pace so that additional advanced topics can also be covered.  They typically have more requirements and are more challenging, but ultimately more rewarding. 

  • I don’t have much of a background in computing.  Would you recommend the Honors or Non-Honors courses?

    Our introductory computing courses do not typically require prior knowledge.  Those with a background in computing may pick up on concepts more quickly, but typically by the end of an introdctory course, everyone is on the same high level.  The honors courses are more challenging, but many past honors students have not had a strong computing background and have nevertheless met this challenge.  It depends more on you and your willingness to put in the work and seek help when you need it rather than your prior background.
  • Are there any fees or scholarships tied to the CSE Honors Curriculum?

    No additional fees or tuition are required.  Unfortunately, no scholarships or aid is associated with this program.
  • I am unsure whether I will be attending UNL, but would like to participate if I do attend.  Should I still accept my spot in the CSE Honors Courses?

    Please do accept if you receive an invite; this does not obligate you to attend UNL but it does give us an estimate on the number of seats to "save" for invitees.  If you decide later not to attend UNL we'll definitely miss you but wish you luck.  Of course you can always accept later on at New Student Enrollment just be sure to discuss it with your advisor!