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Computer Science

Hospitals. Schools. The military. Netflix. Amazon. Facebook. What do they have in common? They all employ computer scientists. Whatever your passion — whatever kind of work you want to do with your life and wherever you want to do it — a degree in Computer Science from McDaniel can help get you there.

Degree Types
Major , Minor
Complementary Programs
Distinctive Requirements

computer science server lab

Computer science is the study of problem solving using algorithms. It encompasses a variety of topics, some of which overlap with disciplines of mathematics, logic, linguistics, philosophy, and engineering.

True to the liberal arts tradition of the college, the computer science program emphasizes fundamental aspects of the discipline that develop critical thinking. It provides a solid foundation for graduate studies or a career in software development.

In addition to our Mac and PC labs in Lewis Hall of Science, the Computer Science Server Lab will give you the opportunity to take charge on server administrative tasks, experiment with computer networks, and create unique capstone projects.

We’re not exaggerating. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 58% of all new jobs in STEM fields are in computer science. And with multiple major and minor options at McDaniel, you can customize your degree to suit any career field. Flexible research and internship possibilities, paired with foundational courses and specialized electives, will prepare you for graduate school studies or success in the workforce when you graduate.

McDaniel Computer Science graduates have gone into careers in health care, nonprofits, government, private companies, and more.

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of new STEM field jobs are in computer science.

Distinctive Courses

The Computer Science program is designed to present students with the concept of an algorithm on four different levels:

  • The Discrete Mathematics course provides a mathematical foundation for the study of this concept.
  • The notion of algorithm first appears in The Art of Programming course, where algorithms are expressed in a language understandable by computers.
  • Computer Organization addresses the way programs are internally processed by the machines.
  • The Data Structures and Algorithms courses advance from programs in a specific programming language to a more general paradigm of a language-independent algorithm on abstract data structures.

The Theory of Computation course concludes the required sequence with a general discussion of what an abstract computing device is and what classes of problems can and cannot be solved algorithmically.

CSC 1106 - The Art of Programming

An introduction to the use of algorithms for problem solving. The course will focus on finding algorithmic solutions for a given problem and expressing these solutions in a programming language. This course includes a laboratory.

CSC 2209 - Computer Organization

Introduction to interaction between software and hardware levels in modern computers. Possible topics include Moore’s law, von Neumann architecture, data representation, error correction, digital circuits, CPU design, memory, input/output, file systems, data compression, operating systems, virtual machines, and programming tools.

CSC 3314 - Theory of Computation

This course studies the abstract models of machines and languages recognized by them, and introduces the concept of computability. This course not only serves as the theoretical foundation of computer science, but also has wide application to programming languages linguistics, natural language processing, compiler design, and software design. Topics include finite automata and regular languages, pushdown automata and context-free grammars, grammar transformations and normal forms, Turing machines and computable functions, and unsolvable problems including the halting problem.

CSC 4494 - Senior Project

A study of software development models, requirements specification, and GUI design. Student will propose, design, implement, test, and document a substantial application or write a thesis containing original work in theoretical computer science.

Special Opportunities

Students sitting at classroom desks during Estimathon.

Computer Science – Mathematics Dual Major

Two birds, one stone. McDaniel makes it easy and efficient to double major in Mathematics and Computer Science. 

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Computer Science Major with Education Minor

Thinking about teaching someday? A minor in Education is a great place to start. 

The McDaniel Commitment in Action

The McDaniel Commitment—a series of opportunities guaranteed to all students—provides enhanced mentoring and coaching, and ensures every undergraduate student completes at least two meaningful experiential learning opportunities.

Computer Science Internships

As part of the Computer Science major, we guarantee an internship opportunity to provide you with work experience and a gateway to a future career.

Career Opportunities and Networking

Frequently our graduates return to discuss career opportunities in mathematics and computer science at annual Career Nights.

  • Mathematician, Pentagon
  • Systems engineer, EDS
  • Cartographer, Defense Mapping Agency
  • Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Senior programmer/analyst, Sentient HealthCare
  • NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD
  • Vice President, Dean Witter Reynolds
  • Chief, Computer Science Division, Department of Defense (NSA)
  • Senior Computer Programmer, National Geographic Society
  • Senior Accountant, Homewood Hospital Center
  • Programming Analyst, Datatel Corporation

My Career: Where Will The Hill Lead You?

With the one-on-one guidance of your faculty mentors and advisors, you’ll focus on the practical knowledge and career skills that will prepare you to succeed in a professional environment. And as you build your step-by-step plan for life after the Hill, you’ll have everything you need to become who you’ve always wanted to be.

Explore the Center for Experience and Opportunity
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Practical applications Machine learning research prepares Computer Science majors for competitive careers Student-Faculty Summer Research Program

During research on ASL and object recognition with Computer Science and Mathematics professors Ting Zhang and Paul Lin, six Computer Science majors used machine learning techniques to create computer models that work in ways similar to the human mind.

McDaniel College Computer Science student Shelton Wilson

Computer Science student among winners in national cybersecurity competition

Shelton Wilson's strong sense of logic and puzzle solving skills paid off when the senior Computer Science major was one of only 100 finalists among 13,000 contenders to solve nearly 300 cybersecurity challenges and win a $22,000 Cyber FastTrack scholarship.