Computer Science

A degree in computer science opens the door to careers that affect nearly every aspect of society. Computer scientists design the programs that run the financial centers of the world, and entertain people with Hollywood special effects, music, and games. Computers are nearly everywhere and computer science graduates are active in places that you might not suspect — from the control systems that run our automobiles to devices that automatically administer medication to critically ill patients.

The Department of Computer Science offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science. In addition, we offer minors in computer science and a certificate in geographic information science.

Program Overview

Your first year of courses in the major teaches you the fundamentals of programming. In the second year, you will begin to take more specialized courses, learning about how computers function, as well as advanced and efficient ways of organizing information. As you move into the upper division courses, you will learn several different computer languages, as well as elements of circuit design and how operating systems such as Windows and UNIX function. You will also have the opportunity to take courses in elective areas such as software engineering, robotics, and artificial intelligence.

Special Features

In addition to their teaching, our faculty work on diverse research projects, ranging from creating robots to roam the Martian landscape (pictured above) to designing systems that can determine whether or not a person has cancer. In many cases, there are opportunities for talented undergraduates to participate in these projects. We have a number of laboratories dedicated to specific research areas as well as general purpose Windows and UNIX computer labs such as the High Performance Computing Lab.

There is a student chapter of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) on campus which meets regularly — complete with free pizza and soda — to hear outside speakers and socialize.

Evening classes are offered for students who work during the day.

Career Opportunities

The long-term outlook for careers in computer science is very good. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, computer science and related careers are projected to be among the fastest growing occupations over the next ten years. Some computer scientists are employed by companies that design and manufacture computer hardware, or that write application programs for individuals and businesses. Other employment possibilities include a wide variety of businesses, government agencies, research foundations, and universities.

To further explore career options in this field, visit the Career Services Web site.

General Catalog

You can view more complete information regarding the Computer Science program in the General Catalog, or on the Department of Computer Science Web site. All students are responsible for reading and knowing the information pertinent to their areas of study available in the General Catalog. It contains requirements for all academic majors, course descriptions, policies, and regulations governing progress at the university. Catalogs are distributed at all New Student Orientation programs. To order a General Catalog, call (619) 594-7535.