Computer science is the study of all aspects of software, and as a Clarkson computer science major, you will learn how to understand and analyze problems and think through solutions.

Clarkson's undergraduate bachelor's degree program in computer science teaches you to become a good programmer, but more importantly, you obtain a deep understanding of computer science. Allowing you to work within the rapidly changing technology industry both as an intern and graduate, Clarkson's program is unique in that professors and students have a close working relationship. The fact that the professors are leading researchers in their field makes for an education rooted in experience. In our student-run labs, you have the opportunity to be involved with projects as well as research with professors.

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Computer Science Careers

As a computer science major, you will have the opportunity to work as a software developer who designs, implements, tests and maintains computer software. You can also work as an information technology specialist who deploys and manages information technology, including computer systems, computer networks, database systems and web technologies. According to PayScale, the average computer scientist salary is over $78,000.

Clarkson has a great relationship with IBM, the leading employer of computer science graduates. Some of our best computer science majors go on to work at places like Google. Recent graduates have also been hired by cyber security firms, among other places, such as:

  • Assured Information Security
  • CACI
  • Corning Inc.
  • Epic
  • Go Aviation
  • Google, Inc.
  • Gracenote, Inc.
  • IBM
  • Inficon
  • Infosys Limited
  • Lockheed Martin
  • U.S. Air Force
  • Vermont Information Processing
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Clarkson Class of 2020 97 percent employment

Computer Science Curriculum & Academic Options

Major in Computer Science

The computer science undergraduate bachelor's degree program consists of 46 credit hours out of the total 120 credit hours. This leaves flexibility for computer science majors to choose a minor or pursue other interests while in school. Computer science majors take courses such as:

  • Business Intelligence and Data Analytics
  • Software Design and Development
  • Parallel Programming
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Advanced Programming Concepts in Java
  • Programming Languages
  • Mixed Reality
  • Operating Systems
  • Cryptography
  • Computer and Network Security
  • Quantum Information and Computation
  • Mobile Robotics and Human-Machine Interaction
  • Blockchain Technologies
Computer Science Major Curriculum

The computer science program consists of 43 credits hours in computer science, 15 credit hours in mathematics, and 12 credit hours in science. 30 credit hours are in free electives, which is enough to complete a minor or second major if you so choose.

All courses are 3 credits unless noted.


Clarkson Common Experience

The following courses are required for all students, irrespective of their program of study. These courses are offered during the fall semester, with FY100 First-Year Seminar being required of only first-year students. Both FY100 and UNIV190 are typically taken during the fall semester of the first year at Clarkson.
FY100 First-Year Seminar (1 credit)
UNIV190 The Clarkson Seminar (3 credits)


Computer Science Core Requirements

Students are required to complete the following courses:

Computer Science:

  • CS141 Introduction to Computer Science I (4 credits)
  • CS142 Introduction to Computer Science II
  • CS241 Computer Organization
  • CS242 Advanced Programming Concepts in Java 
  • CS341 Programming Languages
  • CS344 Algorithms & Data Structures
  • CS345 Automata Theory & Formal Languages 
  • CS350 Software Design & Development
  • CS444 Operating Systems
  • CS499 Professional Experience 


Professional Experience

Students are required to complete the following Professional Experience:
CS499 Professional Experience (0 credits)


Math Courses for Computer Science

Students are required to complete the following courses:

  • MA131 Calculus I
  • MA132 Calculus II
  • MA211 Foundations 
  • MA339 Applied Linear Algebra
  • or MA239 Elementary Linear Algebra 
  • STAT383 Probability & Statistics
  • or STAT381 Probability


Computer Science Core Electives

Students must complete three of the following courses:

  • CS442 Computational Complexity
  • CS443 Parallel Programming
  • CS445 Compiler Construction
  • CS447 Computer Algorithms
  • CS449 Computational Learning
  • CS451 Artificial Intelligence
  • CS452 Computer Graphics
  • CS455 Computer Networks
  • CS456 Cryptography
  • CS457 Computer & Network Security
  • CS458 Formal Methods for Program Verification 
  • CS459 Human-Computer Interaction
  • CS460 Database Systems
  • CS461 Virtual Environments: Principles & Applications
  • CS464 Computer Game Development
  • CS465 Mobile Robotics & Human-Machine Interaction

Students must complete two of the following courses:

  • COMM440 PHP/MY SQL Interactive Design 
  • COMM442 Advanced World Wide Web Interface Design 
  • COMM444 Linux Web System Administration 
  • CS442 Computational Complexity 
  • CS443 Parallel Programming 
  • CS445 Compiler Construction
  • CS447 Computer Algorithms 
  • CS449 Computational Learning 
  • CS451 Artificial Intelligence 
  • CS452 Computer Graphics
  • CS455 Computer Networks 
  • CS456 Cryptography 
  • CS457 Computer & Network Security 
  • CS458 Formal Methods for Program Verification
  • CS459 Human-Computer Interaction 
  • CS460 Database Systems 
  • CS461 Virtual Environments: Principles & Applications 
  • CS464 Computer Game Development 
  • CS465 Mobile Robotics & Human-Machine Interaction 
  • EE368 Software Engineering 
  • EE466 Computer A 
  • IS314 Database Design & Management 


Computer Science Other Electives

Science Electives:

Students must complete one two-course lecture/lab sequence in chemistry (CM) or physics (PH), plus 4 additional credits in the biology (BY), chemistry (CM), or physics (PH) subject areas.

Knowledge Area/University Course Electives:

Students will have at least 18 credit hours available to use toward Knowledge Area and/or University Course electives to satisfy the Clarkson Common Experience requirements.

Free Electives:

Students majoring in computer science will have approximately 30 credit hours available to use toward courses of their choice.

*Up to 12 credit hours of advanced (300- or 400-level) coursework in aerospace studies or military science may count toward graduation requirements. Aerospace studies or military science credits at the 100 and 200 levels do not count toward the required 120 hours. Other restrictions may apply; check with the department for details.

Relevant Minors

The Department of Computer Science also offers a minor in Computer Science, which is open to a vast majority of students at Clarkson. Computer Science majors have the opportunity to explore minors that will complement the computer science bachelor's degree. View our recommendations below or learn more about all of Clarkson's minors, concentrations and professional advising tracks.

All Clarkson Minors, Concentrations and Tracks

Computational Science Minor

The minor in Computational Science is available to students in any major. The minor allows students to develop an expertise in Computational Science while pursuing a conventional major, which provides the context wherein they apply their computational skills. 

To complete the minor the student must achieve a grade-point average of at least 2.00 in courses totaling at least 21 credits.

All courses are 3 credits unless noted.


Computational Science Minor Core I

Students are required to complete the following course:

  • MA377 Numerical Methods

Students must complete two of the following courses:

  • MA232 Elementary Differential Equations
  • MA239/MA339 Elementary Linear Algebra/Applied Linear Algebra
  • STAT282/STAT383 General Statistics/Probability and Statistics

Application area electives to make a total of 21 credits* 

*Application area electives are computational courses in departments other than Mathematics, typically drawn from the student’s major. The current list of approved courses is maintained by the Mathematics Department.   

Computer Science Minor

The minor in computer science is designed to provide you with a solid and coherent introduction to computer science. The requirements are in two areas. The first area gives you a strong foundation in programming, basic software engineering principles and the design, analysis and implementation of data structures and algorithms. The second area consists of electives that allow you to explore various areas of computer science or specialize in one of these areas. The majority of the electives must be upper-level courses. A total of seven courses are required for the minor.

The minor in computer science is not open to students majoring in computer science or software engineering. Students must also achieve a GPA of 2.0 in the courses below.

All courses are 3 credits unless noted.


Computer Science Minor Core Requirements

Students are required to complete the following courses:*

  • CS141 Introduction to Computer Science I (4 credits)
  • CS142 Introduction to Computer Science II
  • MA211 Foundations
  • CS344 Algorithms and Data Structures


Computer Science Minor Electives

Students must complete the following courses:**

  • Computer Science (CS) 200-level or above 3-credit course
  • Computer Science (CS) 300-level or above 3-credit course
  • Computer Science (CS) 400-level or above 3-credit course


Course Substitutions

*Some course substitutions are possible. A list of acceptable substitutions is maintained by the department and updated annually. Currently, the allowed substitutions are EE261 for CS141, EE363 for CS142, EE360 for CS241 and MA346 for MA21l.

**Certain courses cannot be used to satisfy the electives. A list of all exclusions is available from the department and updated annually. The current list includes all courses titled Directed Study, Computer Science Clinic, or Undergraduate Research.

Information Technology Minor

The Information Technology minor consists of a total of 21 credit hours. Students will take courses related to problem solving and programming, computer systems, database administration, computer networks, and web technologies.

The minor is available to all students in any degree program.

All courses are 3 credits unless noted.


Information Technology Minor Core I

Students are required to complete the following courses:

  • CS141 Introduction to Computer Science I (4 credits)
  • or EE261 Introduction to Programming and Software Design
  • CS142 Introduction to Computer Science II
  • or EE361 Fundamentals of Software Engineering


Information Technology Minor Core II

Students must complete the following courses:

Computer Systems

  • CS241 Computer Organization
  • or EE360 Microprocessors

Database Administration

  • IS314 Database Design & Management*


Information Technology Minor Core III

Students must complete the following courses:

Web Technologies**

  • COMM442
  • COMM444

Computer Networks

  • EE407/CS455 Computer Networks


*For School of Business Majors for whom IS314 is not a required course, IS211 may be used to fulfill this requirement.

**These courses are yet to be determined. Check back for updates or contact your advisor!

Robotics Minor

The minor in Robotics is designed to provide students with a solid and coherent introduction to the field and consists of two parts: four required core courses (9 credit hours) to give students a strong, working foundation in the associated technology and three elective courses (9 credit hours) that allow students to explore various sub-areas within the field or specialize more deeply in one area. 


What is Robotics?

Robotics is an interdisciplinary field that involves the application of mechanical engineering, electrical, computer and software engineering, and computer science knowledge for the design, construction and operation of automated machines that can take the place of humans in dangerous environments or manufacturing processes, or resemble humans in appearance, behavior, and/or cognition. 

Commercial and industrial robots are now in widespread use performing jobs more cheaply or with greater accuracy and reliability than humans, or that are too dirty, dangerous or dull to be suitable for humans, e.g., in manufacturing, assembly and packing, transport, earth and space exploration, surgery, weaponry, laboratory research, and the mass production of consumer and industrial goods. 


Robotics Core Courses

To graduate with a minor in Robotics, students must earn an average GPA of 2.0 in six courses (18 credit hours).

  • MA339 - Applied Linear Algebra (3 credits) OR MA330 - Advanced Engineering Mathematics (3 credits)
  • EE455 - Introduction to Mobile Robotics (3 credits)
  • EE456 - Introduction to Robot Manipulators (3 credits)
  • MP414 - Applied Robotics or equivalent robotics project experience (0 credits)


Robotics Elective Courses

With elective courses, some course substitutions are possible - a list of acceptable substitutions will be maintained by the Coulter School of Engineering in conjunction with the Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering department, the Electrical and Computer Engineering department, and the Computer Science department and updated annually. 

Electrical and Computer Engineering

  • EE260 - Embedded Systems
  • EE401 - Digital Signal Processing
  • EE408 - Software Design For Visual Environments
  • EE446 - Instrumentation
  • EE450 - Control Systems
  • EE451 - Digital Control
  • EE452 - Optimization Techniques in Engineering
  • EE465 - Computer Graphics
  • EE506 - Image Processing and Computer Vision
  • EE652 - Computer Vision

Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering

  • ME385 - Design of Electromechanical Systems
  • ME443 - Optimal Engineering
  • ME444 - Computer Aided Engineering
  • ME450 - Control Systems

Computer Science

  • CS449 - Computational Learning
  • CS451 - Artificial Intelligence
  • CS452 - Computer Graphics
  • CS459 - Human-Computer Interaction
  • CS461 - Mixed Reality
  • CS465 - Mobile Robotics/Human-Robot Interaction
  • CS652 - Computer Vision
Statistics Minor

The minor in Statistics is open to all students except those majoring in Mathematics, Applied Mathematics and Statistics, or Data Science. To complete the minor the student must achieve at least a 2.0 grade-point average in courses totaling at least 21 credits.

At least one-fourth of the credit hours required must be completed at Clarkson, unless an exception is approved by the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences.

All courses are 3 credits unless noted.


Statistics Minor Core I

Students must complete one course from the following areas:


  • MA181 Basic Calculus
  • or MA131 Calculus I
  • or Equivalent

Linear Algebra

  • MA239 Elementary Linear Algebra
  • or MA339 Applied Linear Algebra
  • or Equivalent


Statistics Minor Core II

Students must complete the following course areas:

Introductory Statistics

  • STAT282 Probability and Statistics
  • or STAT383 Probability and Statistics
  • or Equivalent

Statistics or Projects

Students must take at least 12 additional credits from statistics courses or projects including at least two statistics courses or projects from departments other than Mathematics.


Internships & Co-ops

The vast majority of Clarkson computer science majors get an internship or co-op while they are at Clarkson. In fact, 86 percent of the students who have graduated in the past three years obtained internships while at Clarkson. Almost all of the companies that hire computer science students also have co-ops and internships available for you. That means there is a good likelihood that you can turn your internship into a career. 

The internship and co-op opportunities you can pursue exist at companies such as:

  • Amazon
  • Anderson Consulting
  • AOL
  • APPLIX Corp.
  • Catholic University of America
  • CBSI
  • General Electric
  • George Mason University
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Microsoft
  • Mozilla
  • National Security Agency
  • Sandia National Lab
  • Syracuse Research Corp.
  • U.S. Air Force
  • VMWare

Research Opportunities

All computer science professors are actively involved in research and have students work with them. As a computer science major, you will have the opportunity to pursue research in areas such as cyber security, computer networks, quantum computing, computational complexity, artificial intelligence, formal software verification, computer vision, computer graphics and others.

Our Computer Science Research Areas & Expertise

Explore Computer Science

Human-Computer Interaction Year-end Projects
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