From your favorite cell phone app to online registration for a college visit, software is the engine that runs much of the world we live in. The Computer Science (CS) major leads to a rewarding career in software development, and is one of the top tech jobs for women. The broad focus of study involves the understanding and design of computers and computational processes. The program puts special emphasis on the design and development of software ranging from interactive websites to business applications to games.
Why Computer Science?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects growth rates between 11% and 27% in software and web development occupations from 2014 through 2024, making graduates in demand. Our Computer Science major is also attracting students eager to make a difference in the world through humanitarian computing. Participation in Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software allows students to make a difference in the world, while contributing to real-world projects such as GNOME Accessibility tools. Students also enjoy opportunities to participate in hackfests, CEO lunches, and alumni panel events.
What Will You Study?
The Computer Science major is designed around the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) curricula guidelines and prepares you to work as a software engineer. ACM is the world's largest educational and scientific computing society. Your focus of study will involve the understanding and design of computational processes and software applications. You will gain experience with programming languages including Python, Java, and C/C++ as well as learning about databases, parallel computing, software engineering, and more. The curriculum concentrates on the theoretical aspects of the design of computer systems, while also developing communication and critical thinking skills through a strong liberal arts curriculum.
Recent graduates have been hired by Financial Partners Inc., CIGNA, United Healthcare, United Technologies, Mass Mutual, Liberty Mutual, and more. Others attend graduate school, including a graduate who was awarded a $30,000 annual stipend to study at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Alumni of the program have worked on President Obama's first campaign website, coded underwater autonomous robots, served as project manager for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, worked as senior software engineer for General Dynamics Information Technology, worked as a developer for MassMutual, and worked as a programmer/analyst for United Bank of Scotland. Read more about computing opportunities for women in The National Center for Women in Computing, U.S. News and World Report, and the DotDiva program.
Clubs & Organizations
Computer Science students are active in: Alpha Lambda Delta (First-year honor society), Association for Computing Machinery, Entrepreneurship Club, and Hackathons. Many of our students also participate in varsity and intramural sports, special interest groups, and student government.
Computer Science faculty have a combination of excellent academic credentials and extensive backgrounds in computer-related industries. Computer Science faculty are interested in student learning and promote student learning via out-of-class learning opportunities such as independent studies and research. In recent years, faculty members have obtained over $1.3 million in National Science Foundation funding to study student participation in Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software. As part of research efforts, students have worked directly with software professionals as well as presenting research results at conferences.
Unique Learning Opportunities
Internships and Field Work
You'll have hands-on experiences, including lab work with interesting applications and multimedia programs. Independent study projects have included the creation of a Western New England mobile app, a prototype for a course registration system for the University, a graphics project involving animation and themes from Toy Story, and the creation of an interactive chat room that is now being used on campus and in dormitory networks. Our students have interned at companies such as Epic, Health New England, MassMutual Financial Group, Pegasys Systems and Technologies, Photronics, Inc., Rediker Software, Inc., and Waterton Associates.
Study Abroad: Become a Global Citizen
Today’s workforce needs professionals who see the big picture. The College of Arts and Sciences will help you to become a student of world cultures and histories as they relate to your studies while making valuable contributions in your explorations. Whether you participate in a faculty-led summer seminar course or spend a semester at an international university, the experience will broaden your horizons and help you compete in the global landscape.