The B.S. in computer science prepares students for either continued study at the graduate level or entry into the labor market. Students have been successful at both pathways, with some earning doctoral degrees and some reaching high levels in the private sector, including director of software development at major corporations. The curriculum includes a required core of courses that not only provides a broad base of fundamental knowledge, but also allows individuals to follow their own specific interests at the advanced level. All courses focus on general principles that will remain valid into the future but use tools and vehicles reflecting contemporary practice.
Computer science is perhaps the most pervasive technology of our time, reaching into every aspect of modern life, from work to recreation. It spans many disciplines, from mathematics and electrical engineering to linguistics, cognitive psychology, and graphic design. It is a challenge to provide a definition of the essence of such a sprawling discipline, but one the department faculty like is “Computer science is the study of what can be automated”.
Many people imagine that one must learn advanced mathematics to become a computer scientist or software developer. To be sure, some applications, such as computational modeling of physical processes, require techniques from advanced mathematics. Other applications, however, do not require mathematics beyond the basics taught in a strong high school program. Far more important is the ability to think logically and precisely and the ability to devise a plan to solve a problem. Students have successfully transitioned to computer science from a variety of nontechnical disciplines, including history, classics, and English literature.