Computer Science Degree

Computer Science Degree Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree

About Computer Science

Prepare for a career in a dynamic, high-demand field.

Computer science is one of the fastest growing academic disciplines today for an excellent future career pathway. Nationwide, there is strong demand for computer science experts in the government and public sectors, in corporations of all sizes, and in colleges and universities.

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science programs at PennWest California, accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET,, helps prepare our graduates for career success in the computing industry. Our students learn at least five programming languages; being fluent in so many programing languages distinguishes PennWest California graduates as excellent programmers. Students also benefit from a strong internship program and PennWest California's successful track record in job placement or graduate-level study after graduation.

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Gain a career advantage with PennWest California's emphasis on hands-on experience.

  • Our high-quality bachelor of computer science degree focuses on producing graduates who will:
  • Be successful professionals in industry and graduate school.
  • Be lifelong learners and keep current in their professional field.
  • Perform ethically and professionally in industry and society.

Advantages of this program include: gaining a comprehensive and solid understanding of computer science; learning in small classes; benefitting from individualized attention by dedicated and qualified faculty; and state-of-the-art laboratory facilities and equipment.

This bachelor's degree program in computer science can be completed full-time in four years, averaging 15 credits per semester.


Research opportunities. Computer science students can choose to participate in PennWest California's annual Strike a Spark Conference, where undergraduates are encouraged to present their research work via posters, oral sessions, creative displays and performances. Students can present research they've done by themselves or under the supervision of faculty members. PennWest California's Center for Undergraduate Research also accepts proposals to support undergraduate research. With a faculty sponsor, students can submit a proposal with a maximum funding level of $2,000 for a semester.

Professional development. Computer science students finish the bachelor's degree program with a two-semester capstone sequence, Senior Project I and Senior Project II. They learn software engineering topics and produce requirements, specifications, design, a user manual, and a test plan for a project that they fully implement and present to computer science faculty and to the program's advisory board.

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Student-to-faculty ratio at PennWest California.
Credit hours required for the bachelor's degree in  computer information systems, which can be completed in eight semesters or four years.
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Degree Benefits

PennWest California's computer science program covers a wide range of hardware and software topics. Our core languages are C, C++, Java and Assembly, but students also choose electives from a pool that contains COBOL, FORTRAN and Python. Students also benefit from comprehensive coverage of computer hardware and operating system concepts in a four-course sequence. Other program course topics include Compiler Design, Theory of Languages, Structures of Languages, and Analysis of Algorithms.  

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Graduate Outcomes

At graduation, 100% of PennWest California computer science graduates are in jobs or pursuing graduate study. The job outlook is strong: The U.S. Department of Labor predicts 17% growth in computer-related jobs through 2024, much faster than average. The most common job for computer science graduates is software developer, with a median pay in 2016 of $102,280. Among the top employers hiring PennWest California computer science graduates: Amazon, Bayer, U.S. Steel, PTC, and UPMC, among many others. 

Computer Science (B.S.)
Computer Science Degree

Top Facilities

The computer science projects lab contains reconfigurable furniture to support individual students and work groups as they plan, design, develop, test and analyze computer and electrical engineering technology-related senior-level projects. The senior project lab is equipped with Windows and Mac workstations, allowing students to implement hands-on and real-application-oriented senior projects. State-of-the-art labs offer Windows workstations with the latest programs to assist students with computer science core courses. The interactive group lab facilitates collaborative teamwork at tables and Windows workstations.

A student works in an internship at a company.

Valuable Internships

PennWest California computer science students gain hands-on experience through internships or co-ops in companies such as U.S. Steel, FedEx, PTC, Mellon Bank and other firms. For example, one of our students developed an internal transaction system for PTC during a summer internship. On campus, students also develop systems to solve real-life problems during their capstone project course. An early version of an online virtual campus tour was developed by computer science students to enable prospective students to explore the PennWest California campus. The Computer Club at PennWest California gives students the chance to share knowledge, make networking connections beyond campus, and participate in activities, speaker events and computer building programs.

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Strong Careers

Computer science graduates currently work in a range of career positions, including director of IT, programmer, web developer, clinical systems analyst, professor, software engineer and applications analyst. A sampling of employers who have hired PennWest California graduates include Advanced Acoustic Concepts, Chestnut Ridge Counseling Services, Computer Distance Learning Foundation, Datel Software Solutions, Ernst & Young, Fastenal, the FBI, GNC, Goodwill Industries of Pittsburgh, Ingersoll-Rand, Medrad, Miller's Ace Hardware, Northrop Grumman Corp, PTC, Progeny, State Farm Insurance, U.S. Steel, VigilantMinds and several universities.

B.S., Computer Science Courses, Curriculum and Objectives


Course Credits
General Education Courses 41
Building a Sense of Community
UNI 100  First-Year Seminar  OR  HON 100  Honors and University Orientation
ENG 101  English Composition I  OR  HON 150  Honors Composition I
Public Speaking
Any Public Speaking Course
Mathematics and Quantitative Literacy
MAT 281  Calculus I
Health and Wellness
Any Health and Wellness Course
Technological Literacy
CSC 120  Problem Solving and Programming Constructs
Any Humanities Course
Fine Arts
Any Fine Arts Course
Natural Sciences
Select from BIO 120, BIO 125, BIO 215, CHE 101, CHE 102, EAS 104, GLG 150, PHY 101, PHY 202
Social Sciences
Any Social Sciences Course
General Education Options
  • CSC 352  Global, Economic and Social Ethical Issues in Computing
  • ENG 217  Science and Technology Writing  OR  HON 250  Honors Composition II
  • CSC 124  Computer Programming I
  • MAT 282  Calculus II
Required Major Courses 43
CSC 216  Logic and Switching Theory 3
CSC 265  Object-Oriented Programming 3
CSC 323  Assembly Language Prog. 3
CSC 328  Data Structures 3
CSC 360  Analysis of Algorithms 3
CSC 378  Computer Architecture 3
CSC 400  Operating Systems 3
CSC 455  Structures of Prog. Languages 3
CSC 460  Language Translations 3
CSC 475  Theory of Languages 3
CSC 490  Senior Project I 3
CSC 492  Senior Project II 3
CET 350  Technical Computing Using Java 3
CET 440  Computer Networking 4
Required Related Courses 9
MAT 195  Discrete Mathematics 3
MAT 341  Linear Algebra I 3
MAT 215  Statistics 3
Computer Science Electives 8
Select one course from the following:
  • CSC 322  Data Base Application Development
  • CSC 420  Artificial Intelligence
  • CSC 424  Numerical Analysis
  • CSC 485  Special Topics in Computer Science
Select two from the following:
  • CSC 304  COBOL
  • CSC 306  FORTRAN
  • CSC 308  Python
  • CSC 419  Internship
Coursework Related to Major 4
Select a second laboratory-based course 4
Free Electives 15
Total 120

Additional requirements, not counted toward the General Education requirements, include:

  • Special Experience Course (1 course required): CSC 492 Senior Project II
  • Writing-Intensive Component Courses (2 courses required): CSC 490 Senior Project I AND CSC 492 Senior Project II
  • Laboratory Course (1 course required): Natural Sciences choice satisfies this

Program Notes: A maximum of three credits can be used from Internship toward the program. Students going to graduate school should complete MAT 381 (Calculus III) and MAT 382 (Calculus IV) as free electives.

Objectives and Student Outcomes

Mission Statement


The mission of the computer science program at PennWest California is to provide students with a high quality, well rounded education that meets the needs of the Commonwealth.  This high quality program focuses on three objectives: 

  1. to produce graduates who will be successful computer scientists in industry and graduate school;
  2. to produce graduates who will remain current in their field as life long learners; and
  3. to produce graduates who will perform ethically and professionally in industry and society.
Educational Program Objectives

Our high quality program focuses on three objectives: 

  1. to produce graduates who will be successful professionals in industry and graduate school;
  2. to produce graduates who will be life-long learners and keep current in their professional field; and
  3. to produce graduates who will perform ethically and professionally in industry and society.
Student Outcomes


  1. an ability to analyze a complex computing problem and to apply principles of computing and other relevant disciplines to identify solutions.
  2. an ability to design, implement, and evaluate a computing-based solution to meet a given set of computing requirements in the context of the program's discipline.
  3. an ability to communicate effectively in a variety of professional contexts.
  4. an ability to recognize professional responsibilities and make informed judgments in computing practice based on legal and ethical principles.
  5. an ability to function effectively as a member or leader of a team engaged in activities appropriate to the program's discipline.
  6. an ability to apply computer science theory and software development fundamentals to produce computing-based solutions.
Student Enrollment and Degrees Awarded


Student Enrollment

2021: 95

2020: 111

2019: 116

2018: 127

2017: 127

2016: 111

Degrees Awarded

2021: 25

2020: 27

2019: 21

2018: 16

2017: 23

2016: 18

Computer Science Faculty

Additional Resources

Top 10 Reasons To Get A Computer Science Degree

What Can You Do With a Computer Science Degree

Hands-On Computer Science Experience At PennWest California