Computer Science Major (BS)

The BS in Computer Science program supports the mission of the University by providing a curriculum focusing on the most advanced practices of computer science through continued assessment by employers, alumni, faculty and students. The BS in Computer Science program is preparing for accreditation by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET. 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 BS in Computer Science program is committed to our alumni who, within a few years of their graduation, are expected to:

  1. Apply their in-depth understanding in areas of computer science and engineering to solve problems in a modern technological society as productive computer scientists or engineers and/or enter and succeed in a graduate program.
  2. Function effectively, both individually and within multi-disciplinary teams.
  3. Continue as lifelong learner to develop their computing and engineering abilities, problem-solving skills, and aptitude for innovation.
  4. Practice professional ethics with social and cyber responsibility through service in the framework of a global technical community.

Student Outcomes:

  1. Analyze a complex computing problem and to apply principles of computing and other relevant disciplines to identify solutions.
  2. 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. Communicate effectively in a variety of professional contexts.
  4. Recognize professional responsibilities and make informed judgments in computing practice based on legal and ethical principles.
  5. Function effectively as a member or leader of a team engaged in activities appropriate to the program’s discipline.
  6. Apply computer science theory and software development fundamentals to produce computing-based solutions.

The program emphasizes the complete process of developing 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, economics, and business so they gain an understanding of the real world scenarios that make up the computer science environment. Theoretical courses are supported by rigorous laboratory tasks.

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

127 credits

Major Requirements

For a major in Computer Science, students complete the following:

Foundation Courses
CPEG 2245
2245L
Digital Design I
and Digital Design I Lab
4
CPSC 1101Introduction to Computing (placement based)3
or ENGR 1031 Fundamentals of Engineering
CPSC 1131Fundamentals of Programming3
CPSC 2231
2231L
Programming Workshop
and Programming Workshop Lab
4
CPSC 2232
2232L
Data Structures
and Data Structures Lab
4
MATH 1141Calculus I for Chemistry, Engineering, and Physics Majors 14
MATH 1142Calculus II for Chemistry, Engineering, and Physics Majors 14
MATH 2231Discrete Mathematics3
Select two natural science electives with labs 18
Select two elective courses in Mathematics 26
Depth Courses
CPEG 3346Computer Systems Architecture3
CPSC 2250LComputer Science Sophomore Clinic1
CPSC 2304Web Development3
CPSC 3333Introduction to Cybersecurity3
CPSC 3343Design and Analysis of Algorithms3
CPSC 3351LComputer Science Junior Clinic I1
CPSC 3352LComputer Science Junior Clinic II1
CPSC 3354Theory of Programming Languages3
ENGR 4961Senior Design Project I3
ENGR 4962Senior Design Project II3
SWEG 3301Software Engineering Methods3
SWEG 3302Software Design Methods3
Select five major elective courses in computer science and engineering 315
Total Credits88

In addition to Magis Core, foundation, and depth courses, students must complete two general electives (6 credits) for the BS in Computer Science Major.

Concentrations

Concentrations in Software Engineering and Computer Engineering are available to students majoring in Computer Science. These concentrations build on required courses in the program and require students to complete additional credits.

Computer Engineering Concentration

CPEG 2245
2245L
Digital Design I
and Digital Design I Lab
4
CPEG 3346Computer Systems Architecture3
Select two courses from the following:6-7
Digital Electronics Design II
Biomedical Signal Processing
Computer Networks
Network Security
Biomedical Imaging
Embedded Microcontrollers
and Embedded Microcontrollers Lab
Total Credits13-14

Software Engineering Concentration

SWEG 3301
CPSC 3351L
Software Engineering Methods
and Computer Science Junior Clinic I
4
SWEG 3302
CPSC 3352L
Software Design Methods
and Computer Science Junior Clinic II
4
SWEG 4320Software Testing and Maintenance3
SWEG 4321Software Project Management3
or SWEG 4312 Agile Software Engineering
Total Credits14

Magis Core Relationship to the Computer Science Major

In addition to the engineering-specific major requirements, students are required to fulfill the University’s Magis Core requirements. The following table relates the Magis Core requirements to the BS in Computer Science major.

Tier I: Orientation

English
ENGL 1001Introduction to Rhetoric and Composition3
History
Select one HIST 1000-level course3
Mathematics
MATH 1141Calculus I for Chemistry, Engineering, and Physics Majors4
Modern or Classical Language
Select one language course based on placement 1
Philosophy
PHIL 1101Introduction to Philosophy3
Religious Studies
Select one RLST 1000-level course3
Modern/Classical Language or Mathematics
MATH 1142Calculus II for Chemistry, Engineering, and Physics Majors4
Total Credits20

Tier II: Exploration

Behavioral and Social Sciences
Select two courses from the following fields:6
Communication
Economics
Politics
Psychology (except PSYC 1610)
Sociology and Anthropology (except ANTH 1200 and ANTH 1210)
History, Philosophy, Religious Studies
Select two 2000- or 3000-level courses from two different disciplines6
Literature
Select one course from the following fields:3
Classics
English
Modern Languages and Literatures
Natural Sciences
Select two natural science courses with lab 28
Visual and Performing Arts
Select one 1000-level course from the following fields in Visual and Performing Arts:3
Art History and Visual Culture
Film, Television, and Media Arts
Music
Studio Art
Theatre
Total Credits26

A typical four-year full-time 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
FallCredits
CPSC 1101
Introduction to Computing (placement based)
or Fundamentals of Engineering
3
MATH 1141 Calculus I for Chemistry, Engineering, and Physics Majors 4
Modern/Classical Language Orientation Tier 5 3
Natural Sciences Exploration Tier 9 4
 Credits14
Spring
CPSC 1131 Fundamentals of Programming 3
ENGL 1001 Introduction to Rhetoric and Composition 3
MATH 1142 Calculus II for Chemistry, Engineering, and Physics Majors 4
PHIL 1101 Introduction to Philosophy 3
Natural Sciences Exploration Tier 9 4
 Credits17
Second Year
Fall
CPSC 2231 Programming Workshop 3
CPSC 2231L Programming Workshop Lab 1
CPSC 2250L Computer Science Sophomore Clinic 1
CPSC 2304 Web Development 3
MATH 2231 Discrete Mathematics 3
Math Elective 3-4
Religious Studies Orientation Tier 1 3
 Credits17-18
Spring
CPEG 2245 Digital Design I 3
CPEG 2245L Digital Design I Lab 1
CPSC 2232 Data Structures 3
CPSC 2232L Data Structures Lab 1
History Orientation Tier 1 3
Literature Exploration Tier 7 3
Math Elective 3-4
 Credits17-18
Third Year
Fall
CPEG 3346 Computer Systems Architecture 3
CPSC 3343 Design and Analysis of Algorithms 3
CPSC 3351L Computer Science Junior Clinic I 1
SWEG 3301 Software Engineering Methods 3
History or Philosophy or Religious Studies Exploration Tier 2 3
History or Philosophy or Religious Studies Exploration Tier 2 3
 Credits16
Spring
CPSC 3333 Introduction to Cybersecurity 3
CPSC 3352L Computer Science Junior Clinic II 1
CPSC 3354 Theory of Programming Languages 3
SWEG 3302 Software Design Methods 3
Behavioral and Social Sciences Exploration Tier 3 3
Visual and Performing Arts Exploration Tier 6 3
 Credits16
Fourth Year
Fall
ENGR 4961 Senior Design Project I 3
Behavioral and Social Sciences Exploration Tier 3 3
Major Elective 4 3
Major Elective 4 3
General Elective 8 3
 Credits15
Spring
ENGR 4962 Senior Design Project II 3
Major Elective 4 3
Major Elective 4 3
Major Elective 4 3
General Elective 8 3
 Credits15
 Total Credits127