The Computer Science Department offers majors and minors in computer science (CS),
computer security (Sec), and information technology (IT), and additional minors in
bioinformatics, robotics, and web design and programming.
Computer Science Fields
Computer science explores programming and theoretical foundations of computing with emphasis on algorithms
and mathematical principles. Computer scientists work on developing new designs for
hardware and software. CS majors prepare for careers in software development or for
graduate studies in any area of computing. If you dream about designing space missions
at NASA, this can be your starting point!
Computer security deals with major challenges experienced whenever computers are used, in all sectors
of life: small businesses, large corporations, organizations, law enforcement, the
military and the government. Computer security professionals analyze and counteract
threats to networks and computer systems, detect intrusions and assure privacy. This
work is highly valued and demand for professionals with such an expertise is expected
only to grow. To work in computer security, one needs a very rigorous preparation
including fundamentals of hardware and software.
Information technology is concerned with forming and maintaining computing environments for businesses and
organizations. Information technicians chose and configure hardware and software,
monitor performance and security of databases, web servers and computer networks.
If you dream about providing computing support at the 21st century level, IT is for
you. IT technicians are sought in health care, financial or educational services,
commerce and manufacturing. As our IT major requires only a small number of credits,
it can be easily taken as a second major.
According to recent job market analysis, computing jobs form one of the fastest growing
segments and will remain in that position for a number of years. Because of security
concerns, most current and future computing jobs will not be subject to outsourcing
— they will remain in the country. Altogether, computer science, computer security
and information technology are excellent career choices for life.
Which Major is Best for You?
If you like programming, problem solving and math, choose the CS major. And, if you
want to make it even stronger, add the Sec or IT Minor.
If you like problem solving and math, choose the Sec major. And, if you want to make
it even stronger, add the CS or IT Minor.
If you like problem solving or are not sure what major to choose, start with the IT
major — it requires a smaller number of credits and gives you flexible options:
- You can later switch to CS or Sec Major.
- If you decide to build more strength in IT, you can add Sec or CS Minor.
- You can add a second major. The 40 credits devoted to IT B.A. should still be quite
easy to complete. But if you wish, you can replace the IT major with a minor. Your
knowledge and skills in IT will nicely complement those of another area and will be
highly marketable when you start looking for a job.
- Because of an overlap in requirements for CS, Sec and IT majors, it is easy to switch
after one semester from one major to another.
- In the case of computing disciplines, a B.S. (Bachelor of Science) degree is more
respected than a B.A. (Bachelor of Arts); a B.A. version of a computing major is typically
used only as a second major.
- Double majors are encouraged, but you cannot choose two of the CS, Sec and IT majors,
because they share many courses.
- To strengthen a computing major, add a minor in another area of computing. In the
case of minors in IT, CS or Sec, 6–7 credits can be counted towards both the major
and the minor, so instead of taking 18–22 credits for the minor, you need only 12–15.
Credits Required for Majors and Minors
All require 33 general education credits in addition to credits toward the major.
- CS major (B.S. — 58 cr., and B.A. — 49 cr.)
- Sec major (B.S. — 56 cr.)
- IT major (B.S. — 52 cr. and B.A. — 40 cr.)
- CS minor (add 12 cr. to the major)
- Sec minor (add 15 cr. to the major)
- IT minor (add 12 cr. to the major)
Interdisciplinary minors related to computing:
- Bioinformatics minor for computer science students (add 18–21 cr. to the major)
- Robotics minor — physics emphasis (add 12–19 cr. to the major)
- Web design and programming minor (add 12–18 cr. to the major)
Some of our students choose a double major, or a major and a minor, or even a major
and two minors; they enroll in the honors program or write a thesis for an advanced
honors project. They also register as teaching assistants at our department or work
as tutors in the Learning Center. We encourage you to consider right from the start
how you can distinguish yourself.