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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
Senior Project

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’ll be well prepared for graduate school and the workforce when you graduate.

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.

All About Algorithms

The major in computer science 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. The Computer Organization course 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. The electives are designed to provide exposure to some of the areas of computer science not presented in the required sequence and to introduce students to the research interests of the individual faculty members.

The minor in Computer Science is designed for students who want to supplement their major area of specialization with a strong set of computer skills that might be useful in their major. The minor is less mathematically demanding than the major.

Graduate School and Beyone

Graduates of the Mathematics & Computer Science department distinguish themselves by acceptance into some of the finest graduate programs in the country, including:

  • Brandeis
  • Cornell
  • Harvard
  • Johns Hopkins
  • Michigan
  • North Carolina State
  • SUNY at Stony Brook
  • U. of California at Berkeley
  • U. of Maryland
  • U. of Michigan
  • U. of Pennsylvania
  • U. of Texas at Austin
  • U. of Virginia
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute
  • Washington at St. Louis

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

Jamal Bourne, sophomore Computer Science major from Reisterstown and Abby Gonzalez, sophomore Computer Science major from Baltimore, present their Summer 2020 Research Project under the guidance of Paul Paul Lin, assistant professor of Computer Science.

Distinctive Courses

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 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. Projects and theses will be presented in class.

Special Opportunities

You can major or minor in Computer Science, double major in Mathematics & Computer Science, or pursue a Computer Science major with an Education minor.

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. 

Student interacting with child at the Boys and Girls Club in Westminster.

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.

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.