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Computer Science

To learn more about programs in information systems, please see the Department of Accounting and Information Systems
For updated information, see the department website at http://www.susqu.edu/compsci.

Computer science vs. information systems. Susquehanna University offers two distinct programs in computer studies, one in computer science and one in information systems. The computer science program is housed in the Department of Mathematical Sciences, while the information systems program is in the Department of Accounting and Information Systems.

The computer science program has a technical emphasis. Information systems has a business emphasis. Students interested in the foundations of computer science, a career as a computer scientist or graduate study in computer science should elect the computer science major. Those interested in computer systems analysis, business applications of the computer or a career in data management should elect information systems as their major.

Both major programs require many of the same computer-oriented courses. Students undecided about a major may take these courses before declaring a major by the end of their sophomore year. Students can also design their own majors with department guidance and approval. All programs require substantial programming and hands-on computer work.

Internships. Experiential learning is strongly recommended. This can be gained locally, in urban areas throughout the U.S. or even abroad. The university arranges some internships; students arrange others on their own. A student's interests, grades, choice of location and other individual considerations determine availability.

Off-Campus Study. The university encourages interested students to spend a year or semester in approved off-campus computer science programs. Internships abroad may be available for those with strong foreign language skills. Various arrangements have been made for students studying in Great Britain, Germany and Japan, as well as at Cornell University, University of Minnesota and elsewhere in the U.S.

Departmental Honors. These honors designations encourage and recognize outstanding academic performance. To graduate with honors in computer science or information systems, majors must:

  • have a minimum GPA of 3.5 in the department and 3.0 overall,
  • request admission to the program at the end of the junior year,
  • consult with a faculty advisor to design an honors quality project and begin research as a first semester senior taking CS:503/IS:502 Independent Research,
  • complete the project during the second semester in CS:500 Senior Colloquium, and
  • successfully pass an oral exam.

Interdisciplinary Options. Students majoring in computer science can easily complete a minor in another department. Areas such as accounting, business, biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics or a foreign language are natural choices. Highly motivated students whose interests cross traditional departmental lines may also wish to consider the Self-Designed Major option, developing an integrated program of study from courses in several departments. See the Study in Depth section for more information.

Double major/minor in computer science and information systems: Because of the large overlap in courses in the two majors, the department will approve a double major or a major/minor combination only if the student presents to the department a plan of study that sufficiently minimizes such overlap.

Double major/minor in computer science and mathematics: Because the computer science major already requires several mathematics courses, many majors pick up a mathematics major or minor relatively easily. However, it is department policy that cross-listed courses (such as Operation Research) count in only one major or minor.

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