Celebrating 30 Years of Computer Science at UNG

Inside cover of the 1983 North Georgia Undergraduate Catalog

1983 North Georgia College undergraduate catalog, the first year the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science was offered

This semester marks the 30th anniversary of the bachelor’s degree program in computer science at North Georgia. In September of 1983, the Department of Mathematics became the Department of Mathematics & Computer Science at North Georgia College, offering a bachelor of science degree in computer science at a time when few universities offered complete degree programs in computing.

Dr. Phil Buckhiester was department head, and tuition and fees for a three-month term totaled a whopping $308, plus another $3 a quarter if you registered a vehicle on campus. Room and board added another $502 per semester if you lived in the dorms.

Digging back even further into the history of computing at North Georgia with the generous help of longtime friend and colleague Jeanette Mann, now with Distance Education and Technology Integration at UNG’s Gainesville campus, we found the first programming courses were offered 45 years ago, and the CS minor began 35 years ago:

The first seven computer science majors graduated in the spring of 1984, and over the following three decades, more than 340 computer science and information systems alumni would follow in their footsteps. Our graduates have gone on to exciting and rewarding careers at IBM, Adobe, AT&T, Equifax, Blizzard Entertainment, CareerBuilder.com, ADP, HP, MetLife, Norfolk Southern, UPS, the US Army, and in countless other industries and government, non-profit, and educational organizations worldwide.

Thirty years later, the University of North Georgia created the Department of Computer Science as part of the university’s consolidation restructuring. A semester’s tuition and fees total $3,346 for a regular 15-hour load, a far cry from the 1983 price, but still one of the best values in the University System.

With a combined total of more than 425 computer science, information systems, and technology management majors, there’s never been a better time to begin a career in information technology and computer science. USA Today cites over 8 million high-tech jobs are expected to be created over the next five years alone.

I am honored to serve as the first department head of the new Department of Computer Science at the University of North Georgia, building on a 30-year tradition of excellence. Check out the great things our students and alumni are doing at http://ung.edu/cs !

1983 Undergraduate Catalog entry for the Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science

1983 Undergraduate Catalog entry for the Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science at North Georgia College

About Bryson Payne

Author of Teach Your Kids to Code, Speaker, and Professor of Computer Science at the University of North Georgia.

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2 Responses to “Celebrating 30 Years of Computer Science at UNG”

  1. John Cheatham Says:

    Awesome to see this history. My grandfather, Walter Jackson Carpenter, was the first professor from NGC to be training on a computer (yay vacuum tubes).


    • Dr. Payne Says:

      Cool to learn the connection – I found the first CS classes in ~1968, but I hadn’t been able to find the instructor(s) before now – thank you! 45 years of CS at UNG!


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