Computer Science Studies

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.

Learning goals:

  • The student attains knowledge of major computer science and mathematical concepts that will support the student’s goals for further study or a career in computer science or related disciplines.
  • The student develops the sufficient programming skills support the student’s goals.
  • The student develops the ability to write professional documents in a style that is relevant to the student’s goals.
  • The student develops the ability to articulate computer science concepts.

Requirements for the Majors in Computer Science. Susquehanna offers two degree programs in computer science. To earn the Bachelor of Arts degree in computer science, students successfully complete, with grades of C- or better, the equivalent of the following 54 semester hours:

semester hours


CSCI:181 Principles of Computer Science


CSCI:281 Data Structures


CSCI:282 Computer Organization


INFS:375 Database Programming


CSCI:381 Algorithms


MATH:111 Calculus I


MATH:108 Introduction to Statistics or equivalent


MATH:201 Linear Algebra


MATH:221 Discrete Structures


Twelve semester hours of computer science (CSCI) courses at the 300 level or above


Six hours chosen from 150 level or above computer science or information systems courses or other computer-related courses as approved by the computer science department head

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. To earn the Bachelor of Science degree in computer science, a student must complete the requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in computer science plus MATH:112 Calculus II, PHYS:204 and either PHYS:101 or PHYS:205. All courses must be completed with a grade of C- or higher.

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. For further information, see the majors and minors section.

Minor in Computer Science. Students who minor in computer science successfully complete, with grades of C- or better, 24 semester hours, including CSCI:181 Principles of Computer Science, CSCI:281 Data Structures, four hours of computer science courses at the 300 level or above, and 12 additional hours of computer science courses or information systems courses above the 150 level, four of which must be above the 300 level.

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 elective courses (such as Operation Research) count in only one major or minor.

Capstone. The capstone requirement may be satisfied with CSCI:472 Software Engineering Practicum, CSCI:483 Compiler Theory or CSCI:500 Senior Colloquium. Students need not fulfill the capstone requirement in their major, but they usually do. A capstone course taken as a junior does fulfill the requirement, but not as a sophomore.

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

  • 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 adviser to design an honors-quality project and begin research as a first-semester senior taking CSCI:503/INFS:502 Independent Research,
  • Complete the project during the second semester in CSCI:500 Senior Colloquium, and
  • Successfully pass an oral exam in a selection of computer science courses.