Computer science deals with the theory, design, and application of computing systems and the study of the storing and manipulation of information. The program at Pacific Lutheran University provides a broad base core of fundamental material that stresses analysis and design experiences with substantial laboratory work, including software development. In addition, students are exposed to a variety of programming languages and systems. Students can choose from a number of upper-division courses, which ensure a depth of knowledge and an understanding of current developments in the field. The Bachelor of Science degree program in computer science has been accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET.
Computer engineering is an engineering specialty that has grown out of rapidly evolving micro- and mini-computer technology. The curriculum consists of essential and advanced elements from computer science and electrical engineering, developing both hardware and software expertise. Electives permit concentration in areas such as integrated circuit design, robotics, microprocessor applications, computer design, computer security, application software development, and artificial intelligence. The Bachelor of Science degree program in computer engineering has been accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.
In keeping with the university's mission "to educate students for lives of thoughtful inquiry, service, leadership, and care—for other people, for their communities, and for the earth," there are four major objectives of the computer science and computer engineering programs.
Objective I: To provide a solid education in computer science and computer engineering in a liberal arts setting that prepares the student for graduate study or entrance into a profession in computing technology.
Objective II: To help students develop the ability and mental precision necessary to analyze, think critically, consider alternatives, and finally to be creative in computer science and computer engineering.
Objective III: To provide courses and personnel that view computer science and computer engineering as part of the human endeavor, that is, to see computer science and computer engineering in relation to more general intellectual development and to the needs of society.
Objective IV: To foster an aptitude and desire for life-long learning.
For a complete description of the CSCE objectives and outcomes visit the department website at www.cs.plu.edu.
There are several beginning-level classes designed for students with various needs:
- CSCE 115: Solve it with the Computer: Especially for students with little or no background in computer science who wish an introduction to the use of the computer for problem solving. This course also satisfies the Mathematical Reasoning requirement.
- CSCE 120: Computerized Information Systems: Especially appropriate for business majors and other students wishing an introduction to the computer and applications of software packages.
- CSCE 144: Introduction to Computer Science: For students majoring in computer science, computer engineering, mathematics, and most science majors, as well as others wishing a strong experience in computer programming.
- CSCE 270: Data Structures: This is the second course in the major. With departmental approval, students with a strong programming background may receive advanced placement into this course.
Students majoring in computer science may choose to earn either a Bachelor of Arts degree in Computer Science or a Bachelor of Science degree in either computer science or computer engineering.
The Bachelor of Arts program is the minimum preparation suitable for further professional study and is often combined with extensive study or a second major in an allied field.
The Bachelor of Science degrees are strong, scientific degrees that contain additional courses in computer science, mathematics, and science and serve both students going directly into employment on graduation and those going into graduate programs.
Students should take CSCE 144, 270 and MATH 151, 152 early in their program.
Restrictions for all three majors
- A minimum grade of C is required in all courses (including supporting courses) counted for a major.
- Only one CSCE topics course (either 400, 410, x87, x88, or x89) can be used as an elective for a major.
- For the B.A. degree, at least 12 upper-division hours must be completed at PLU.
- For the B.S. degrees, at least 16 upper-division hours must be completed at PLU.
BACHELOR OF ARTS MAJOR IN COMPUTER SCIENCE
28 semester hours in CSCE, plus 12 semester hours in mathematics
- CSCE 144, 270; 231 or 380; 499A and 499B
- The remaining hours are from computer science and computer engineering courses numbered above CSCE 319
(except CSCE 331, 345, and 449)
- Up to 4 semester hours may be substituted from MATH 242 or 356.
- Required supporting: MATH 151, 152, and 245
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE MAJOR IN COMPUTER SCIENCE
44 semester hours in CSCE, plus 30 semester hours of supporting courses in mathematics and science
- 44 semester hours of computer science must include CSCE 144, 231, 270, 320, 343, 371, 380, 499A and 499B
- 12 additional credits of approved elective courses, one of which must be from CSCE 367, 386, or 444
- Elective courses submitted for approval are to be selected from the computer science courses numbered above CSCE 319 (except 331, 345 and 449), or hours from MATH 356 not counted toward the 30 hours of required supporting courses
- The 30 hours of supporting courses in mathematics and science must include:
- MATH 151, 152, 242, 245
- A minimum of 12 semester hours of approved science courses, which includes a year’s sequence of a laboratory science. PHYS 153, 154 with 163, 164 are preferred.
- Also acceptable are any of the following three options: CHEM 115, 116; BIOL 225, 226; or one of GEOS 102-105 and GEOS 201
- Approved sciences courses are: any BIOL, except 111; any CHEM, except 104, 105, 210; any Geosciences; any Physics; CSCE 345.
- The remaining hours, if any, may be chosen from any Mathematics course numbered above 329 (except 446) or any approved science course.
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE MAJOR IN COMPUTER ENGINEERING
44 semester hours in CSCE, plus 42 semester hours of supporting courses in mathematics and science
- CSCE 131, 144, 245, 270, 345, 346, 380, 480, 499A and 499B (Fall 2012)
- CSCE 131, 144, 231, 270, 331, 345, 380, 385, 499A and 499B (Spring 2013)
- MATH 151, 152, 242, 245, 253; 331 or 356
- PHYS 153, 154, 163, 164
- CHEM 115
- At least 4 semester hours chosen from:
- PHYS 221, 240, 333, 334, 336, or CHEM 341
- 10 additional semester hours from any upper-division computer science and computer engineering courses numbered above CSCE 319 (except CSCE 449).
Restrictions on Computer Science and Electrical Engineering minors:
At least 8 upper-division semester hours must be completed at PLU.
- Minor in Computer Science
20 semester hours, including
- CSCE 144, 270
- Eight additional hours of upper-division computer science courses numbered above CSCE 319 (except CSCE 331, 345, 499A and 499B).
- Required supporting: MATH 128, 151,or equivalent
- Minor in Electrical Engineering
44 semester hours including
- CSCE 131, 144, 231, 245* (renumbered to 331* in Spring 2013), 345
- Required supporting:
- CHEM 115; MATH 151, 152, and MATH 245 or 253
- PHYS 153, 154, 163, 164
Courses offered by Semester/Term:
Fall Semester: 120, 131, 144, 245*, 270, 343, 371, 380, 386, 499A (*renumbered to 331 in Spring 2013)
Spring Semester: 120, 131, 144, 231, 270, 320, 345, 367, 385, 499B
Alternate Years: 115, 340, 412, 436, 438, 444, 446, 480, 487, 488