Computer Science, B.S. (Abington)

Program Code: CMPAB_BS

Entrance to Major

Entry to the Computer Science major requires that the student has earned a C or better in the following courses: MATH 140, MATH 141, CMPSC 121, and CMPSC 122.

A 2.00 or higher cumulative grade-point average is required.

Degree Requirements

For the Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science, a minimum of 120 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Requirements for the Major 88

13 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in Requirements for the Major. This includes: 3 credits of GWS courses, 6 credits of GQ courses, and 4 credits in GN courses.

FIRST-YEAR SEMINAR: Incoming first-year students are required to complete a course with the suffix S, T, or X, or the PSU abbreviation. 

General Education

Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.

The keystone symbol Keystone/General Education Course appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.

Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)

  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits

Knowledge Domains

  • Arts (GA): 6 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 6 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits

Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)

  • Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits

University Degree Requirements

First Year Engagement

All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.

Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.

First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.

Cultures Requirement    

6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements

  • United States Cultures: 3 credits
  • International Cultures: 3 credits

Writing Across the Curriculum

3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.

Total Minimum Credits

A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.

Quality of Work

Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.

Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition

The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.

Requirements for the Major

To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn a grade of C or better in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.

Prescribed Courses
CMPSC 221Object Oriented Programming with Web-Based Applications 13
CMPSC 312Computer Organization and Architecture 13
CMPSC 430Database Design 13
CMPSC 460Principles of Programming Languages 13
CMPSC 462Data Structures 13
CMPSC 463Design and Analysis of Algorithms 13
CMPSC 469Formal Languages with Applications 13
CMPSC 470Compiler Construction 13
CMPSC 472Operating System Concepts 13
CMPSC 487WSoftware Engineering and Design 13
CMPSC 488Computer Science Project 13
ENGL 202CEffective Writing: Technical Writing Keystone/General Education Course3
MATH 220Matrices Keystone/General Education Course2
PHYS 211General Physics: Mechanics Keystone/General Education Course4
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
CMPSC 121Introduction to Programming Techniques Keystone/General Education Course3
CMPSC 122Intermediate Programming3
CMPSC 360Discrete Mathematics for Computer Science 13
MATH 140Calculus With Analytic Geometry I Keystone/General Education Course4
MATH 141Calculus with Analytic Geometry II Keystone/General Education Course4
Additional Courses
Select one of the following:3
Elementary Probability
Statistical Analysis I Keystone/General Education Course
Elementary Probability
Select 15 credits of the following (9 of which must have a CMPSC prefix):15
Assembly Language Programming
Data Structures Lab
Algorithms Lab
Object-oriented Design
Computer Network Architecture and Programming
Artificial Intelligence
Secure Programming
Introduction to Numerical Analysis I
Computer Graphics Algorithms
Applications Programming
Independent Studies
Special Topics
Introduction to Analysis I
Ordinary Differential Equations
Fourier Series and Partial Differential Equations
Introduction to Operations Research
Linear Algebra and Discrete Models I
Basic Abstract Algebra
Applied Ordinary Differential Equations
Mathematical Modeling
Introduction to Numerical Analysis I
Number Theory
Mathematical Coding Theory
Independent Studies
Special Topics
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Select 6 credits of 300-400 level courses in consultation with an academic adviser and in support of the student's interests6
Select 5 credits of 100-400 level courses5

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee’s unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.



Zafer Hatahet
Division Head, Science and Engineering
1600 Woodland Road
Abington, PA 19001


Thang Bui, Ph.D.
Program Chair
Olmsted Building, W255a
Middletown, PA 17057

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2020-21 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contain suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).

Computer Science, B.S. at Abington Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
ENGL 15 or 30H (GWS)3CAS 100 (GWS)3
MATH 140 (GQ)*‡#4MATH 141 (GQ)*‡#4
Humanities (GH)3Arts (GA)3
Social and Behavioral Science (GS)3CMPSC 121 (GQ)*#3
Health and Physical Activity (GHW)1.5PHYS 211 (GN)4
 14.5 17
Second Year
Arts (GA)3Natural Sciences (GN)2-3
Humanities (GN)3Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS)3
Natural Sciences (GN) (PHYS 212 recommended)3-4MATH 2202
CMPSC 122*#3CMPSC 31213
CMPSC 360*13CMPSC 22113
 Health and Physical Activity (GHW)1.5
 15-16 14.5-15.5
Third Year
CMPSC 46213CMPSC 43013
STAT 301, MATH 318, or STAT 3183CMPSC 46313
ENGL 202C (GWS)3CMPSC 46913
Technical Elective (Select 3 Credits)2,33Technical Elective (Select 3 Credits)2,33
Supporting Courses: Select 5 credits of 100-400 level courses in consultation with an academic adviser2,45Supporting Courses: Select 3 credits of 300-400 level courses in consultation with an academic adviser2,43
 17 15
Fourth Year
CMPSC 47013CMPSC 46013
CMPSC 47213CMPSC 48813
CMPSC 487W13Technical Elective (Select 3 Credits)2,33
Technical Elective (Select 6 Credits)2,36Supporting Courses: Select 3 credits of 300-400 level courses in consultation with an academic adviser2,43
 15 12
Total Credits 120-122

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

Program Notes:

  1. General Education & Entrance to Major Requirements (55 credits)
    1. English (9 credits)
      1. ENGL 15 or ENGL 30H (GWS)
      2. ENGL 202C (GWS)
      3. CAS 100 (GWS)
    2. Mathematics (10 credits)
      1. MATH 140 (GS)
      2. MATH 141 (GS)
      3. MATH 220 (GS)
    3. Computer Science (6 credits)
      1. CMPSC 121 (GQ)
      2. CMPSC 122
    4. Natural Sciences
      1. PHYS 211 (GN)
      2. Additional 5 credits of any courses with a GN suffix (PHYS 212 recommended)
    5. Arts
      1. 6 credits of any courses with a GA suffix
    6. Humanities
      1. 6 credits of any courses with a GH suffix
    7. Social & Behavioral Sciences
      1. 6 credits of any courses with a GS suffix
    8. Health & Physical Activities
      1. 3 credits of any courses with a GHW suffix
  1. Core Requirements (65 credits)
    1. Required Computer Science Courses - Students must earn a 2.5 or higher-grade point average in the Required Computer Science Courses (36 credits):
      1. CMPSC 221
      2. CMPSC 312
      3. CMPSC 360
      4. CMPSC 430
      5. CMPSC 460
      6. CMPSC 462
      7. CMPSC 463
      8. CMPSC 469
      9. CMPSC 470
      10. CMPSC 472
      11. CMPSC 487W
      12. CMPSC 488
    2. Required Mathematics Courses - Select one course from the following (3 credits):
      1. STAT 301
      2. STAT 318
      3. MATH 318
  1. Technical Requirements (15 credits)
    1. Select at least 15 credits from the following. Other courses are to be chosen in consultation with the advisor and with program approval. At least 9 of these technical elective credits must be from courses with a CMPSC prefix.
      1. CMPSC 313
      2. CMPSC 412
      3. CMPSC 413
      4. CMPSC 414
      5. CMPSC 421
      6. CMPSC 426
      7. CMPSC 428
      8. CMPSC 438
      9. CMPSC 441
      10. CMPSC 444
      11. CMPSC 455
      12. CMPSC 457
      13. CMPSC 475
      14. CMPSC 496
      15. CMPSC 497
      16. MATH 401
      17. MATH 411
      18. MATH 412
      19. MATH 425
      20. MATH 430
      21. MATH 435
      22. MATH 449
      23. MATH 450
      24. MATH 455
      25. MATH 465
      26. MATH 468
      27. MATH 485
      28. MATH 496
      29. MATH 497
  1. Additional Electives / Supporting Courses (11 credits)
    1. 6 credits from courses at 300-400 level and 5 credits from courses at 100-400 level are to be chosen in consultation with the advisor and with program approval.

Career Paths

Computer Science jobs are expected to be among the top three fastest growing occupations and one of the top 20 in the number of new jobs created. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for Computer Science graduates are projected to grow 12 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Computer Science students are encouraged to incorporate internships into their academic program. Internships can provide valuable hands-on experience that will benefit graduates during their job search. Previous students have completed successful internships with state government, IBM, UNISYS, and other businesses.


This program is designed to prepare students for employment as computer scientists in engineering, scientific, industrial, and business environments as software developers, programmers, and systems analysts. Over the last few years, Penn State Harrisburg Computer Science graduates have obtained positions with companies such as Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Google, Boeing, Microsoft, Intel, IBM, Oracle, General Dynamics, Northrop and Grumman, GEOS, Hershey Medical Center, Woolworth, Rite Aid, and EDS.

Opportunities for Graduate Studies

The program provides a sound background for students who plan to pursue graduate studies in computer science, including Penn State's Master of Science in Computer Science program. Selection of electives can be tailored for students pursuing this path.


Professional Resources



1600 Woodland Road
Abington, PA 19001


Olmsted Building, W255
Middletown, PA 17057