Computer Science, B.S. (Capital)

Program Code: COMP_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

Integrated B.S. in Computer Science and M.S. in Computer Science

Available at the following campuses: Harrisburg

Requirements for the Integrated B.S. in Computer Science and M.S. in Computer Science can be found in the Graduate Bulletin.

Program Learning Objectives

  1. Know Programming Language Paradigms: Demonstrate proficiency by expressing algorithms clearly and correctly in a variety of programming languages.
  2. Know Algorithmic Problem Solving and Analysis: Formulate and solve problems using appropriate data structures and algorithmic techniques; analyze the efficiency and correctness of the algorithms.
  3. Use Software Engineering Skills: Demonstrate the ability to design and implement large software systems through a strong foundation in the software development lifecycle, effective communication, and team work.
  4. Know Computer Hardware and Operating Systems: Analyze the effects of computer hardware and operating systems design on the efficiency and correctness of software systems.
  5. Know Theoretical Foundations of Computer Science: Demonstrate an understanding of the theoretical foundations of computer science and explain and use them effectively.

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.

READ SENATE POLICY 32-00: ADVISING POLICY

Harrisburg

Thang Bui, Ph.D.
Program Chair
Olmsted Building, W255a
Middletown, PA 17057
717-948-6088
flv@psu.edu

Abington

Zafer Hatahet
Division Head, Science and Engineering
1600 Woodland Road
Abington, PA 19001
215-881-7560
zuh11@psu.edu

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 Harrisburg 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
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ENGL 15 or 30H3CAS 1003
MATH 140*#†4MATH 141*#†4
General Education Course3General Education Course3
General Education Course3CMPSC 121*#3
General Education Course (GHW)1.5PHYS 2114
 14.5 17
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
General Education Course3General Education Course2-3
General Education Course3General Education Course3
General Education Course3-4MATH 2202
CMPSC 122*#3CMPSC 2213
Supporting Course, 100-400 level course in consultation with adviser3ENGL 202C3
 General Education Course (GHW)1.5
 15-16 14.5-15.5
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CMPSC 312*3CMPSC 4303
STAT 301, MATH 318, or STAT 3183CMPSC 4623
CMPSC 3603CMPSC 4693
Additional Computer Science/Math Course3Additional Computer Science/Math Course3
Supporting Courses, 300-400 level course in consultation with adviser3Supporting Courses, 300-400 level course in consultation with adviser3
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CMPSC 4633CMPSC 4603
CMPSC 4723CMPSC 4703
CMPSC 487W3CMPSC 4883
Additional Computer Science/Math Course6Additional Computer Science/Math Course3
 Supporting Course, 100-400 level course in consultation with adviser2-3
 15 14-15
Total Credits 120-123

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:

Technical Electives

  • CMPSC 313 - Assembly Language Programming (3)
  • CMPSC 412 - Data Structures Lab (1.5)
  • CMPSC 413 - Algorithms Lab (1.5)
  • CMPSC 428 - Introductory ADA and Program Design (3)
  • CMPSC 438 - Computer Network Architecture and Programming (3)
  • CMPSC 441 - Artificial Intelligence (3)
  • CMPSC 444 - Secure Programming (3)
  • CMPSC 455 - Introduction to Numerical Analysis I (3)
  • CMPSC 457 - Computer Graphics Algorithms I (3)
  • CMPSC 475 - Applications Programming (3)
  • CMPSC 496 - Independent Studies (1-18)
  • CMPSC 497 - Special Topics (1-9)
  • MATH 401 - Introduction to Analysis I (3)
  • MATH 411 - Ordinary Differential Equations (3)
  • MATH 412 - Fourier Series and Partial Differential Equations (3)
  • MATH 425 - Introduction to Operations Research (3)
  • MATH 430 - Linear Algebra and Discrete Models I (3)
  • MATH 435 - Basic Abstract Algebra (3)
  • MATH 445 - Mathematical Statistics and Applications (3)
  • MATH 449 - Applied Ordinary Differential Equations (3)
  • MATH 450 - Mathematical Modeling (3)
  • MATH 455 - Introduction to Numerical Analysis I (3)
  • MATH 465 - Number Theory (3)
  • MATH 468 - Mathematical Coding Theory (3)
  • MATH 496 - Independent Studies (1-18)
  • MATH 497 - Special Topics (1-9)

Computer Science, B.S. at Commonwealth Campuses

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
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ENGL 15 or 30H3CAS 1003
MATH 140*#†4MATH 141*#†4
General Education Course3General Education Course3
General Education Course3CMPSC 121*#3
General Education Course (GHW)1.5PHYS 2114
 14.5 17
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
General Education Course3General Education Course2-3
General Education Course3General Education Course3
General Education Course3-4MATH 2202
CMPSC 122*#3CMPSC 2213
Supporting Course, 100-400 level course in consultation with adviser3ENGL 202C3
 General Education Course (GHW)1.5
 15-16 14.5-15.5
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CMPSC 312*3CMPSC 4303
STAT 301, MATH 318, or STAT 3183CMPSC 4623
CMPSC 3603CMPSC 4693
Additional Computer Science/Math Course3Additional Computer Science/Math Course3
Supporting Courses, 300-400 level course in consultation with adviser3Supporting Courses, 300-400 level course in consultation with adviser3
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CMPSC 4633CMPSC 4603
CMPSC 4723CMPSC 4703
CMPSC 487W3CMPSC 4883
Additional Computer Science/Math Course6Additional Computer Science/Math Course3
 Supporting Course, 100-400 level course in consultation with adviser2-3
 15 14-15
Total Credits 120-123

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

Technical Electives

  • CMPSC 313 - Assembly Language Programming (3)
  • CMPSC 412 - Data Structures Lab (1.5)
  • CMPSC 413 - Algorithms Lab (1.5)
  • CMPSC 428 - Introductory ADA and Program Design (3)
  • CMPSC 438 - Computer Network Architecture and Programming (3)
  • CMPSC 441 - Artificial Intelligence (3)
  • CMPSC 444 - Secure Programming (3)
  • CMPSC 455 - Introduction to Numerical Analysis I (3)
  • CMPSC 457 - Computer Graphics Algorithms I (3)
  • CMPSC 475 - Applications Programming (3)
  • CMPSC 496 - Independent Studies (1-18)
  • CMPSC 497 - Special Topics (1-9)
  • MATH 401 - Introduction to Analysis I (3)
  • MATH 411 - Ordinary Differential Equations (3)
  • MATH 412 - Fourier Series and Partial Differential Equations (3)
  • MATH 425 - Introduction to Operations Research (3)
  • MATH 430 - Linear Algebra and Discrete Models I (3)
  • MATH 435 - Basic Abstract Algebra (3)
  • MATH 445 - Mathematical Statistics and Applications (3)
  • MATH 449 - Applied Ordinary Differential Equations (3)
  • MATH 450 - Mathematical Modeling (3)
  • MATH 455 - Introduction to Numerical Analysis I (3)
  • MATH 465 - Number Theory (3)
  • MATH 468 - Mathematical Coding Theory (3)
  • MATH 496 - Independent Studies (1-18)
  • MATH 497 - Special Topics (1-9)

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.

Careers

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.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OPPORTUNITIES FOR GRADUATE STUDIES

Professional Resources

Contact

Harrisburg

SCHOOL OF SCIENCE, ENGINEERING, AND TECHNOLOGY
Olmsted Building, W255
Middletown, PA 17057
717-948-6081
jmb84@psu.edu

https://harrisburg.psu.edu/science-engineering-technology/computer-science-and-mathematics/bachelor-science-computer-science

Abington

DIVISION OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING
1600 Woodland Road
Abington, PA 19001
215-881-7560
zuh11@psu.edu

https://abington.psu.edu/academics