Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

This program is designed to prepare students for employment as computer scientists in engineering, scientific, industrial, and business environments as software developers, programmers, and systems analysts. While most students will enter the job market directly upon graduation, graduate school in computer science or related areas is also an option. Selection of electives can be tailored for students pursuing this path.

The Computer Science major provides a solid foundation in the areas of systems programming, algorithm design, artificial intelligence, and engineering large software systems using state-of-the-art methodologies and programming languages.

Students should be expected to: develop a solid foundation in mathematical studies relevant to computer science; master skills in computer science; enjoy possibilities for internships and part-time employment with local companies; and become problem solvers. These goals are consistent with the goals outlined by the Association for Computing Machinery.

For the B.S. degree in Computer Science, a minimum of 120 credits is required.

Entry to Major Requirements:
Entry to the Computer Science major requires that the student has completed: MATH 140 GQ(4), MATH 141 GQ(4), CMPSC 121(3), and CMPSC 122(3). A 2.00 or higher cumulative grade-point average is required.

Career Opportunities

The Computer Science program at Penn State Harrisburg is designed to prepare a graduate for employment as a computer scientist in engineering, scientific, industrial, and business environments as a software developer, programmer, or systems analyst, and for graduate study in computer science. Studies in Computer Science focus on new and better ways of writing technical software, such as operating systems, graphical interfaces, software utilities, network protocols, and database management systems. Computer scientists are concerned with optimizing the capabilities of computer hardware and other technology. There is a strong emphasis on theory and algorithms.

Job Titles

A computer scientist can hold a number of professional positions. The following list provides some examples of positions a computer scientist might hold: Computer Programmer, Computer Engineer, Hardware Engineer, Information Systems Analyst, Software Engineer, Systems Analyst, Data Communications Analyst, Programmer-Analyst, Telecommunications Specialist, Computer Security Specialist, Computer Support Specialist, Technical Salesperson, and Teacher.

Job Outlook

Computer Science jobs are expected to be among the top three fastest growing occupations and one of the top 20 in the number of new jobs created. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for Computer Science graduates are expected to double between 2006 and 2016. This increase reflects the growth of the Internet, corporate intranets, the burgeoning of World Wide Web applications, and the increasing demand for end-user support. Over the last few years, Penn State Harrisburg Computer Science graduates have obtained positions with companies such as Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Google, Boeing, Microsoft, Intel, IBM, Oracle, General Dynamics, Northrop and Grumman, GEOS, Hershey Medical Center, Woolworth, Rite Aid, and EDS.

Professional Affiliations

Professional societies provide insight, experience, and networking in a chosen field. Students in Computer Science often become members of the Association for Computing Machinery, the world’s first educational and scientific computing society dedicated to advancing the art, science, engineering, and application of information technology. Penn State Harrisburg has a student chapter of the ACM that regularly participates in programming competitions, trips, and other local activities.


Computer Science students are encouraged to incorporate internships into their academic program. Provided in a variety of local business and government settings, internships can provide valuable hands-on experience that will benefit graduates during their job search. Previous students have completed successful internships with state government, IBM, UNISYS, and other businesses.

Integrated B.S./M.S. Program in Computer Science

The Computer Science program offers a limited number of academically superior Bachelor of Science candidates the opportunity to enroll in an integrated, continuous program of study leading to both the Bachelor of Science and the Master of Science in Computer Science. The ability to coordinate as well as concurrently pursue the two degree programs enables the student to earn the two degrees in five years.

Review the full program description in the University Bulletin.


This page is not a part of the official Penn State University Bulletin.