The Department of Computer Science and Engineering at The Chinese University of Hong Kong is the first Computer Science department in Hong Kong. The University has been offering computer courses since 1968. In 1970, the Joint Universities Computer Centre (JUCC) was established and an ICL 1904A computer was installed in the University as a joint facility for the two local universities. In line with the increased demand for trained computer personnel, the Department of Computer Science was established in the Science Faculty in the academic year of 1973/74. A minor programme in Computer Science was then implemented and the response was overwhelming. From 1971 to 1975 the Department also offered a one-year postgraduate diploma course in System Analysis.

The Department launched its undergraduate major programme in Computer Science leading to the BSc degree in 1978. The Postgraduate Division was established in 1982. In 1983, the Computer Science major programme became the first one outside the United Kingdom to be accredited by the British Computer Society (BCS). When the Faculty of Engineering was founded in 1991, the Department joined the new Faculty and started to offer an undergraduate major programme in Computer Engineering leading to the BEng degree. The name of the Department was changed to Department of Computer Science and Engineering in 1995.

Since its founding, the Department has expanded rapidly in enrollment, curriculum, staff, equipment, research and services to the community, in both quality and quantity. Currently, the Department offers programmes leading to BSc, BEng, MSc, MPhil and PhD degrees. The Department has the most advanced computing equipment and cloud infrastructure for both Computer Science and Computer Engineering research. The Department consists of over 30 faculty members, including 1st Turing Award recipient in Hong Kong, 7 ACM Fellows, 15 IEEE Fellows and a student body of 1035 students. The Undergraduate Division includes 430 students in the Computer Science major programme, 120 in the Computer Engineering major programme, 80 in the Artificial Intelligence: Systems and Technologies major programme, 70 in the Computer Science minor programme and 5 in the Web & Cloud Computing minor programme. The Postgraduate Division contains about 130 MSc students and 200 full-time research students, carrying out research in a very co-operative and friendly environment. Graduates from the Department have distinguished themselves in industrial and academic societies in Hong Kong as well as all over the world.