Feb 29, 2024  
2022-2023 Westminster College Catalog 
2022-2023 Westminster College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Computer Science, B.S.

Computer Science Mission Statement

Consistent with the mission of the College, the Computer Science major provides programs that:

  • Foster knowledge of a rich and diverse set of ideas in mathematics and computer sciences (quantitative science).
  • Develop intellectual curiosity and a commitment to lifelong learning.
  • Develop problem solving skills: creative imagination, logical reasoning, critical evaluation, mathematical modeling and common sense.
  • Develop effective communication skills.
  • Develop an appreciation of interrelations of computer science and mathematics
  • Stimulate an aesthetic appreciation of the discipline.
  • Generate modes of analytical thinking that can be extended to all areas of human thought and exploration.

Learning Outcomes: Computer Science

  1. Develop a working knowledge of and problem solving strategies for a variety of subdisciplines in the field.
  2. Learn the techniques and skills of computer programming, testing, and debugging.
  3. Be able to read, write and speak effectively to a wide variety of audiences about technical ideas.
  4. Learn the techniques and skills analysis of computer software and hardware.
  5. Develop the ability to visualize, represent and manipulate abstract ideas.
  6. Participate in discipline-related activities outside of the classroom.

Computer Science (CS) offers programs which provide a broad background in computing knowledge and skills, as well as practical experience. Traditionally, CS is concerned with the design and development of all types of software, especially software that runs computers or allows devices to work. In addition CS majors at Westminster are exposed to all facets of computer science, from computer architecture to the theoretical study of computation. Many CS majors will take first jobs as programmers but have the skilss necessary to move to higher positions involving software design, analysis and management. At Westminster College, CS majors take two semesters of programming (currently in Java), data structures, computer architecture, artificial intelligence, database and other advanced programming and theory courses.

Plus, 12 semester hours of electives from 300-level or above CS courses

(MTH 321  may be applied toward these elective hours). A maximum of 4 semester hours of CS 11x-series courses may also be applied toward these elective hours.

CS and CIS Program Notes

Computer Science and Computer Information Systems majors must take MTH 335  to satisfy the statistics requirement (unless they are dual majors and their other major already includes a course that satisfies this requirement).

CS 341  has significant prerequisites and is most appropriate for Computer Science majors. Computer Science majors can chose either CS 238  or CS 341 .

Internship/Field Experience:

A student may wish to arrange an off-campus experience with a business, industry, service agency, high school, governmental office, or another appropriate organization. The course credit for an internship depends on the length and the actual learning situation. Students work with the academic adviser to determine the credit. Many of the supervising organizations pay a salary, although this is not necessary. We believe that this is a valuable learning experience for an individual during the junior or senior year. At most only one internship can count for an elective.

Graduation Requirements:

All prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of C- or higher before subsequent courses can be taken. A student who earns a grade lower than C- in three courses in the major prior to registering for the Capstone course (MTH 601 or CS 601) will be identified as not making progress in the major. (Exceptions will be made for students who take a medical or personal leave for the semester). Students who are not making progress in the major will not be allowed to register for the capstone course, a requirement for completion of the major.

Transient Credit Policy:

Students who use transient credit (that is, transfer credit from another college or university) to satisfy course requirements in Westminster’s computer science or computer information systems majors (including any concentrations in the programs) may NOT get transient credit for more than four semester hours of computer science/computer information systems courses outside of Westminster College that are 200 level or above.

These restrictions hold for any external course whether it is a traditional classroom style or online.

All-College Honors:

The All-College Honors Research Project will replace the capstone requirement for students majoring in computer science or computer information systems, if successfully completed. Students do not need to register for both Honors Research and the capstone course in the computer science or computer information systems programs.