Computer Science Major: Liberal Arts Track

The Computer Science (liberal arts track) program supports the mission of the University by providing a flexible curriculum focusing on the advanced practices of computer science grounded in a strong liberal arts core curriculum. Students have the flexibility to choose a wider range of elective courses, which can also allow them to pursue a variety of minors or even double majors (such as the Computer Science / Mathematics double major). Students may obtain a concentration in Computer Engineering or Software Engineering.

The Program Educational Objectives (PEOs) are broad statements that describe what alumni do within a few years following graduation. The Computer Science (liberal arts track) Program is committed to our alumni who, within a few years of their graduation, are expected to:

  1. Be employed in fields of computer science.
  2. Continue the process of life-long learning through formal and informal education.
  3. Communicate effectively.
  4. Practice professional ethics with social responsibility.

The program emphasizes the complete development of computing-based solutions. Students learn how to gather requirements, design, develop, test, deploy, and maintain software using rigorous computing practices. They are taught how to leverage technology to create flexible and scalable applications and to address the challenges that arise during the development process. Also, the program exposes students to a range of other disciplines, such as the physical sciences, social sciences, languages and literature, and the arts, so they gain a broad understanding of the computer science environment.

Fairfield’s computer science curriculum encompasses a truly unique combination of experiences:

  • Experiential Hands-On Learning: A unique curriculum guarantees computer science students the equivalent of 20 months of real-world experience through a sophomore year service-learning initiative, a junior year entrepreneurial experience, and an industry-based senior capstone project. 
  • Cross-Disciplinary Engineering Exposure: As part of the School of Engineering, computer science students have access to other engineering disciplines and engineering-heavy industries, which expands career opportunities exponentially.
  • Student Mentoring: By volunteering as high school mentors, students learn valuable management skills, they become comfortable explaining highly technical concepts simply and clearly, and they experience the satisfaction of sharing their knowledge to help others.
  • Liberal Arts Core: A strong foundation in the liberal arts encourages engineers to think critically, design imaginatively, communicate clearly and collaborate productively. 
  • Academic/Research Activities and Internship: Companies from a variety of domains, such as The Weather Company (visualization), Servo-Robot (artificial intelligence and user interface design), Federal Aviation Administration (software engineering and data mining), Saugatuck Energy (artificial intelligence) have an on-campus presence and provide computer science students opportunities to interact with industry leaders.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science: Liberal Arts Track

121 credits 

Core Curriculum

Computer science majors follow the Engineering Core Curriculum with the following prescribed courses:

Area I: Mathematics and Natural Sciences
MA 0145Calculus I for Chemistry, Engineering, and Physics Majors4
or MA 0171 Calculus I
MA 0146Calculus II for Chemistry, Engineering, and Physics Majors4
or MA 0172 Calculus II
MA 0231Discrete Mathematics3
Select one elective in science with lab (any level)4
Select one additional elective in science (any level)3
Area II: History and Social/Behavioral Sciences
Select one 100-level history course3
Select one 200- or 300-level history course3
EC 0011Introduction to Microeconomics (recommended; or another Social/Behavioral Science elective)3
Select one additional social science elective3
Area III: Philosophy and Religious Studies
PH 0101Introduction to Philosophy3
Select one 200-level philosophy course3
RS 0101Exploring Religion (Shell)3
Select one 200-level religious studies course3
Select one additional elective course in Applied Ethics, Philosophy, or Religious Studies3
Area IV: English and Visual and Performing Arts
EN 0011Texts and Contexts I: Writing as Craft and Inquiry3
EN 0012Texts and Contexts II: Writing About Literature3
Select one 100-level English course 13
Select one history-focused course in Visual and Performing Arts3
Select EG 0130 or one additional course in Visual and Performing Arts3
Area V: Modern and Classical Languages
Select two courses at the Intermediate level of Modern and Classical Languages6
Free Electives
Select four elective courses 212
Total Credits78

Major Requirements

For a 43-credit major in computer science, students complete the following:

Foundation Courses
CS 0101Introduction to Computing3
CS 0131Fundamentals of Programming3
CS 0231Programming Workshop3
CS 0232Data Structures3
CR 0245
Digital Design I
and Digital Design I Lab
Computing and Software Depth
CS 0343Design and Analysis of Algorithms3
CS 0354Theory of Programming Languages3
SW 0300Software Engineering Methods3
SW 0301Software Design Methods3
SW 0304Web Development3
Select four major elective courses 412
Total Credits43

Computer Science and Software Engineering Electives

Possible electives may include:

Clinic Experiences
CS 0250LComputer Science Sophomore Clinic1
CS 0350LComputer Science Junior Clinic I1
CS 0351LComputer Science Junior Clinic II1
Database Concepts
SW 0355Database Management Systems3
SW 0505Advanced Database Concepts3
SW 0508Data Warehouse Systems3
Data Science and Analytics
CS 0355Artificial Intelligence3
SW 0461Pattern Recognition3
SW 0518Data Mining and Business Intelligence3
SW 0521Information Visualization3
Computer Engineering
CR 0246Digital Electronics Design II3
CR 0325Computer Graphics3
CR 0346Computer System Architecture3
CS 0333Introduction to Cybersecurity3
EE 0346
Embedded Microcontrollers
and Microcontroller Lab
Information Security
SW 0530Introduction to Information Security3
SW 0531Applications and Data Security3
SW 0599Information Security Measures and Countermeasures3
Network Administration
SW 0314Network Concepts3
SW 0596Network Routing and Switching3
Programming and Web Technology
CS 0331Operating Systems3
CS 0343Design and Analysis of Algorithms3
SW 0304Web Development3
SW 0305Mobile Application Development3
SW 0312Agile Software Engineering3
SW 0320Software Testing and Maintenance3
SW 0321Software Project Management3
SW 0409Advanced Programming in Java3
SW 0410Enterprise Java3
SW 0512Web Development II with ASP.NET3

A typical, full-time, four-year plan of study appears below. Some variation may be possible. Students should always discuss their individual plan of study with their advisor prior to registering for courses. 

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
CS 0101
Introduction to Computing (placement based)
or Fundamentals of Engineering I
EN 0011 Texts and Contexts I: Writing as Craft and Inquiry 3
MA 0171
Calculus I
or Calculus I for Chemistry, Engineering, and Physics Majors
PH 0101 Introduction to Philosophy 1 3
Intermediate Language 1 11 3
CS 0131 Fundamentals of Programming 3
EN 0012 Texts and Contexts II: Writing About Literature 3
MA 0172
Calculus II
or Calculus II for Chemistry, Engineering, and Physics Majors
RS 0101 Exploring Religion (Shell) 1 3
Intermediate Language 2 11 3
Second Year
CS 0231
Programming Workshop
and Programming Workshop PLG
HI 0100 Origins of the Modern World Since 1500 3
MA 0231 Discrete Mathematics 3
SW 0304 Web Development (and PLG) 3
Science Elective with lab (any level) 7 4
CR 0245 Digital Design I 3
CR 0245L Digital Design I Lab 1
CS 0232
Data Structures
and Data Structures PLG
Core Philosophy 200-level 1 3
Core Social Sciences course 3 3
General Elective 1 5 3
Third Year
CS 0343 Design and Analysis of Algorithms 3
SW 0300 Software Engineering Methods (and PLG) 3
Science Elective without lab (any level) 8 3
Core Visual/Performing Arts 1 9 3
Core English 100 level Literature course 1 3
SW 0301 Software Design Methods (+ PLG) 3
CS 0354 Theory of Programming Languages 3
Core History 200 level 1 3
Core Visual/Performing Arts History 2 6 3
Core Religious Studies 200-level 3
Fourth Year
General Elective 2 5 3
Major Elective 1 4 3
Major Elective 2 4 3
Core RS, PH or Ethics Option 10 3
Core Social Sciences course 3 3
Major Elective 3 4 3
Major Elective 4 4 3
General Elective 3 5 3
General Elective 4 5 3
 Total Credits121