- Offered as:
- Graduate program
Computer science is the study of computers, including the development and analysis of programs and the computing machinery that runs them.
The WSU computer science program emphasizes software design and testing. You can broaden your studies by working with an advisor to choose courses that fulfill the degree requirements and give you specialized knowledge in other areas, such as artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction, security, networks, distributed systems, and more.
- Strengths of the program
- WSU computer science alumni have become leaders in local and worldwide companies, universities, and other computing-related areas.
- Learning labs include SGI and HP workstations for graphics and animation, PC operating systems based on Linux, PC-based networking, and microprocessor development.
- Superb computer facilities include Unix and Windows workstations with high-speed networking and 10-gigabit internet.
- Gain career strength in software engineering, operating systems, neural networks, data mining, computer graphics and animation, computer security, networking, and programming languages.
- Receive a solid technical background in math, science, and engineering.
- You can join a math, science, and engineering community residence hall at WSU Pullman—share classes with your neighbors, study together, get free tutoring, and use the hall’s computer lab.
- Requirements and sample courses
As a computer science major, you can choose to pursue a bachelor of science or bachelor of arts curriculum.
- The bachelor of science degree requires substantial basic and advanced computer science course work and is the traditional computer science degree.
- The bachelor of arts degree is designed for multidisciplinary students who wish to learn the basics of computer science and apply them to a different field. The BA requires a minor in another area, such as art, biochemistry, economics, or criminal justice, among others.
Requirements for joining the computer science program
Students may apply for certification into either the bachelor of science or bachelor of arts degree programs in computer science after completing 30 semester hours of required prerequisite courses that are listed in the WSU catalog.
Below is a sample of courses that students who are pursuing a BS in computer science are likely to take:
Program Design and Development
Advanced Data Structures
Software Engineering Principles I and II
Automata and Formal Languages
Principles of Software Design
Software Design Project I and II
Design and Analysis of Algorithms
Operating Systems and Computer Architecture
Fifteen credits of computer science option courses may be taken in such areas as communications, computer engineering, computer graphics, mathematics, networks and distributed systems, scientific computation, or software engineering.
Bachelor of arts curriculum
In addition to the 122 semester credit hours, students earning a bachelor of arts in computer science must complete a minor in another area. Students earning a bachelor of arts degree will take the following courses:
- Program Design and Development
- Data Structures
- Software Engineering Principles I and II
- Computer Architecture
- Eighteen credits of advanced computer science electives
For more information, please visit the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science website.
Note: See the WSU Catalog for degree requirements and talk with your academic advisor about planning and scheduling your courses. All students must meet requirements as outlined in the catalog in order to graduate.
- Transfer information
To certify your major in the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture, you will need to complete specific prerequisite courses. Use our list of transfer equivalencies to make sure you take the right transfer courses at your current college.
Also check out the University's transfer student guide for more information on transferring to WSU.
- Scholarships and financial aid
For computer science students
The College of Engineering and Architecture offers more than 300 scholarships a year to students in their first and second years of study. Incoming freshmen and transfer students have the opportunity to receive scholarship money from the college that will be continued by the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
For all students
A variety of state, federal, and university-sponsored programs are available to help students with educational costs. Washington State University awards millions of dollars in financial aid and scholarships to students every year based on financial need, academic merit, or a combination of the two.
Students should complete the Washington State University general scholarship application and the FAFSA to ensure their eligibility for the widest range of scholarships and need-based financial aid.
For information or to apply for financial aid and scholarships from WSU, see the Scholarships and Finances section of the WSU website.
- Suggested strengths, interests, and preparation
Good at riddles, puzzles, and problems of all descriptions
Drawn to computers and software applications
Good at mastering some of the more involved strategy games
Familiar with programming, either independently or through a school program
Aptitude for analytical thinking, such as high school math or science classes
Ability to stick with a difficult problem through its ultimate resolution
Essential for success as an undergraduate: high school mathematics through trigonometry (calculus is beneficial, but not required) and high school sciences
- Careers in computer science
The demand for computer science professionals will continue to increase in the foreseeable future. Average starting salaries are in the $50,000 range, sometimes with signing bonuses due to the high-demand market.
Hot careers for WSU computer science graduates are in software engineering, networking, and computer animation. Companies that typically hire WSU graduates include Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Alias|Wavefront, Intel, Tektronix, Boeing, and other small- and mid-sized companies that are in the computing industry or are looking for technical leadership.