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Major in Computer Science (B.A.)


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Why Major in Computer Science?

Leading to a bachelor of arts degree, Clark’s computer science major is designed to help our students solve complex challenges across a range of fields. You’ll develop a sound foundation in theory and practical applications while learning how computer science can improve humanity.

Through collaborations with faculty and exciting research opportunities, you’ll apply your knowledge to pursue new innovations limited only by your imagination. From exploring ways to make purchases with our smartphones to composing music, communicating via the internet, and improving health care, you’ll use creative problem-solving skills to better our world.

Catalog Requirements for:

Why Study Computer Science at Clark University?

  • Develop a firm grounding in both theory and practical applications, as part of a program that closely follows Association for Computing Machinery/IEEE program guidelines.
  • Compete in prestigious computer science competitions and dive into original research as early as your first year.
  • Benefit from a wealth of opportunities to apply your learning in a professional setting right here on campus — such as working as a teaching or research assistant, or as technical staff for the department’s computer lab or Clark’s Office of Information Technology Services.
  • Follow in the footsteps of graduates who have embarked on a range of exciting careers — our alumni work as software engineers, systems and IT staff, research scientists, and program managers, with some holding positions at Amazon and Google.

The Computer Science Path

As a computer science major, you will learn to solve problems by looking at them from different angles, breaking them down into manageable chunks, and creating efficient solutions. As you learn to think computationally and analytically, you will tackle problems of increasing difficulty — some on your own, and others by working collaboratively in teams. And by studying in a liberal arts setting, you’ll gain a broad perspective on the implications of computer science for human well-being.

Thirteen courses are required to complete the major.

  • One year (two semesters) of calculus.
  • Two courses in the fundamentals of computer science and one in discrete mathematics introduce you to the field.
  • Four intermediate-level courses (core requirements) expose you to the principles of computer science.
  • Four courses of your choice allow you to explore applications and advanced topics of particular interest to you.

You also can arrange to take a one-on-one directed readings course with a professor on a specialized topic of your choice, or take additional computer science classes at Worcester Polytechnic Institute through the Higher Education Consortium of Central Massachusetts.

Because computer science has so many applications, it is naturally interdisciplinary. You might choose to complete a second major, a minor, or a concentration in a related area of interest. Clark’s minor in innovation and entrepreneurship is particularly relevant if you’re interested in starting a business or bringing a product to market. You might also work with a faculty member in another department on a problem of mutual interest.

Skills you will learn include:

  • To analyze problems and design algorithmic solutions
  • To write complex, well-organized programs
  • To test your results and optimize solutions
  • To write reports and instructions for computer users
  • To work collaboratively to solve problems

Outstanding Achievement in Computer Science Award

Mathematics and computer science students and faculty have access to 24 state-of-the-art computers running Linux and Windows; the Computer Science Department and its student systems administrators manage the Linux partition. Computer science students also use the lab to obtain teaching assistant (TA) hours and to participate in group projects.

In addition to the computer science laboratory, many mathematics and computer science majors work in the department’s research laboratory on projects in mathematical and computational biology. The research laboratory contains two iMac computers, one PC running Windows, and an LED screen for projecting images/presentations from these machines or personal laptop computers. The laboratory’s computers are linked by Ethernet to the general-purpose University computers and the University’s high-powered computing cluster. Learn more.

During your junior year, you might be accepted into the computer science honors program. Joining the program means you’ll work closely with a professor to create a thesis on a topic of your choice. Examples of recent honors thesis topics are:

  • Mathematical Modeling of Plasmas
  • Darkwood Forest: A Role-Playing Videogame
  • Finding a Pattern with the Revenue of Groupon Deals
  • Developing an Auto Testing System for Student Programs

Building your foundation

The Clark Experience

We structure our curriculum around Liberal Education and Effective Practice (LEEP), which connects classroom learning with action through world and workplace experiences.

Learn More
Students in Hackathon competiton celebrating


From the U.S. to Finland, Clarkies meet the challenge

Whether creating apps that provide commuters with the most carbon-neutral paths to their destination or connect victims of natural disasters with volunteers who can help, Clark computer programmers are winning prizes at hackathons at home and abroad.

Faculty and Programs in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science