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Computer scientists are in high demand in mobile, big data, electronics, automotive and digital companies worldwide. In fact, most modern companies depend on computer scientists to keep their companies safe from cybercrime and to solve database infrastructure issues.

Program Overview

Become a leader in digital discovery and analysis.

At Western Colorado University, the Computer Science program focuses on software development, information security and data science. You’ll have the opportunity to learn fundamental concepts, languages, tools and techniques in the new, state-of-the-art Paul M. Rady School of Computer Science & Engineering at the heart of Western’s campus. This experience will prepare you with the skills and expertise you’ll need to thrive in a career in software development, systems engineering or information technology. Each track within the Computer Science program is built on a core of programming in current languages such as Python, C++ and Java, while focusing on skills such as database management, GUI design, web development and software engineering.

To put your knowledge to practice, you’ll execute difficult projects in software development, learn state-of-the-art security methods and become proficient with leading industry hardware and software systems. You can get hands-on experience in competitive internships with Fortune 500 companies and work on original research projects developing facial recognition software, machine learning and more.

An in-demand career path

The growing demand for high-tech professionals is driven by a broad and expanding need for computer specializations in software engineering, artificial intelligence, big data applications and the “internet of things.”

Program Requirements

At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

Program Requirements

All standard majors require a minor in a second discipline or a second major.

A minimum of 42 credits is required, including the 30-credit Computer Science Core:

Computer Science Core
CS 190Computer Science I3
CS 191Computer Science II3
CS 195Database Management Systems3
CS 250Web Applications Development I3
CS 280Data Structures3
CS 330Operating Systems and Architecture3
CS 370Systems Programming in C3
CS 412Software Engineering3
CS 470Algorithms3
CS 495Senior Project3
Total Credits30

And the following:

MATH 140College Algebra (GT-MA1)3
or MATH 141 Precalculus (GT-MA1)
or MATH 151 Calculus I (GT-MA1)
Three of the following:9
CS 220
Data Analytics
CS 303
Machine Learning
CS 310
Programming Projects with X
CS 317
Genome Analysis (with laboratory)
CS 320
Programming Languages
CS 340
Computer Graphics
CS 350
Web Applications Development II
CS 360
System Security
CS 380
The Internet of Things
CS 390
Software Entrepreneurship
CS 415
Software Engineering II
CS 435
Mobile Development
CS 450
Ethical Hacking and Malware
CS 460
Network Security
CS 499
Internship or Field Experience in Computer Science
MATH 380
Introduction to Cryptography
Total Credits12

Capstone Course Requirement

The following course fulfills the capstone course requirement in the Computer Science Major: CS 495 SENIOR PROJECT.

Graduation Requirements

Undergraduate programs require a minimum of 120 semester credits for graduation.  Of those 120 credits, 40 credits must be in upper-division courses (those marked 300 and above).  Fifteen of these 40 upper-division credits must be earned in courses that are part of the standard or comprehensive major program being pursued.

Students are expected to review all graduation requirements, which can be found in the Western Undergraduate Catalog: Graduation Requirements.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
CS 190Computer Science I3
Elective Elective or minor course
ENG 102Academic Writing (GT-CO1)3
Gen Ed Arts & Humanities3
HWTR 100First Year Seminar1
MATH 140
or MATH 141
or MATH 151
College Algebra (GT-MA1)
or Precalculus (GT-MA1)
or Calculus I (GT-MA1)
3
Credits13
Spring
CS 191Computer Science II3
CS 195Database Management Systems3
Elective Elective or minor course3
Gen Ed Arts & Humanities3
Gen Ed Social Sciences3
Credits15
Year Two
Fall
CS 280Data Structures3
CS 330
or CS 250
Operating Systems and Architecture
or Web Applications Development I
3
Elective Elective or minor course3
Gen Ed Natural Sciences w/lab4
Gen Ed Social Sciences3
Credits16
Spring
COM 202Academic Writing and Inquiry (GT-CO2)3
CS 412Software Engineering3
Elective Elective or minor course6
Gen Ed Natural Sciences w/lab4
Credits16
Year Three
Fall
CS 250
or CS 330
Web Applications Development I
or Operating Systems and Architecture
3
Elective Elective or minor course6
Elective Upper division elective or minor course3
Gen Ed Social Sciences3
Credits15
Spring
CS 370Systems Programming in C3
CS Upper division CS elective3
Elective Elective or minor course3
Elective Upper division elective or minor course3
Gen Ed Arts & Humanities3
Credits15
Year Four
Fall
CS 470Algorithms3
CS Upper division CS elective3
Elective Elective or minor course6
Elective Upper division elective or minor course3
Credits15
Spring
CS 495Senior Project3
CS Upper division CS elective6
Elective Elective or minor course3
Elective Upper division elective or minor course3
Credits15
Total Credits120

Spotlight

Computer Science

Zenda Olson

Student

“At Western I’m learning what I truly want to study, how to manage my money and how to manage myself."

Computer Science

Ryan Ivis

Alumni

“Western did a fantastic job of preparing me for my career."

Computer Science

Lindsey Possehl

Alumni

"A 2015 graduate, Lindsey Possehl double majored in Mathematics and Computer Science, which led to her current role as a data scientist for Ruffalo Noel Levitz."

Computer Science

Kendric Evans

Alumni

"At Western, you really have the opportunity to work closely with the faculty, which helped me gain a very real depth and breadth of knowledge in my field."

Computer Science

Kate Robinson

Alumni

“A liberal arts degree is so valuable....but really the most important thing Western did for me was give me an environment where I was able to succeed.”

Careers

Career preparation starts your first year at Western and is the primary focus of every degree.

Visit Career Services in Library 120 or online to discover your interests, define your goals, and land the career of your dreams.

The data below is automatically collected by Burning Glass Technologies, a firm that sources job market data and provides analytics. The statistics illustrate general trends in U.S. careers, but do not precisely represent every job and salary.

Scholarships

Eligibility

  • Students majoring in Computer Information Science
  • Completed a minimum of 12 credit hours at Western, 3 of which can be applied toward their majors
  • Must have minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Plan on enrolling in at least nine credits

Description

This scholarship is provided by Stephen Watson.

Amount: $500

Selected by: Math and Computer Science Scholarship Committee

Application:

Contact the Mathematics & Computer Science Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2015 | Hurst Hall 128

Alumni Association Future Alumni Scholarship

The Alumni Association Scholarship is a one-time scholarship of $1,000 and is applicable for the student’s junior or senior year at Western.

Any child or grandchild of an alumni is eligible to receive the Future Alumni Scholarship.

  • This is a one-time non-renewable scholarship of $1,000.
  • Only one Future Alumni Scholarship will be awarded per academic year.
  • GPA must be 3.2 or above (college).

Due date has been extended to April 15 for 2021. An Alumni selection committee, appointed by the Alumni Advisory Board, will review applicants and select awardee by June 1.

Apply

Alumni Legacy Scholarship

The Alumni Legacy Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western (incoming freshman or new transfer students are eligible).

Do you have a son or daughter looking at college? Have they considered attending Western? As an alumni, your son, daughter and/or grandchildren are eligible for certain benefits distributed through this scholarship, as follows:

  • This is a one-time scholarship of $1,000.
  • Nominee must be an incoming freshman or new transfer.
  • The cost of orientation is reduced by half (a $45 value).
  • The admission application fee is waived (a $30 value).
  • GPA must be 2.5 or above (high school or college of transfer).

The applicant must fill out the application form found here (click). Application forms are accepted year-round. If the applicant meets the GPA guidelines, the scholarship will be awarded.

Apply

Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

The Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western. This scholarship is not available to midyear transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.

Are you an alumni or employee of Western and know a prospective (or incoming) student who would be a great fit at Western? A recommendation from alumni and employees can support any new student and provide them a $500 scholarship their first year. (Western employees may not recommend a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits).

  • Any Western alumni/employee may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship (distributed $250 per semester).
  • The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
  • The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student, attending Western for the first time.

The applicant must fill out the application form found here. The nominating alumni/employee must fill out the application form and submit the required documents by June 1. The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.

Description

The Western Presidential Honors Scholarships, established by the Jack and Marilyn MacAllister Foundation shall be an elite class of scholarships awarded to Western’s highest achieving and most deserving students, celebrating the ideals of academic excellence and service to the campus and community. Recipients of the Scholarships will be members of the Western Colorado University Honors Program.

There are eight Presidential Honors Scholarships of $2500 each. Each year two new Presidential Honors Scholarships will be awarded to two incoming freshmen.

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student’s GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at western.edu/cost to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.

Get Involved

Make your education a life changing experience.

A college education is so much more than just taking classes. Expand your community and network, while gaining hands-on experience in your field.

  • Independent Projects: Students have worked on projects such as facial recognition software, a gesture-controlled quadcopter, machine learning, Android apps, an online guided tour, commercial websites, and self-guiding vehicles.
  • Information Technology Services: Many computer science students work for the Western IT Department, keeping student and university computers and networks running smoothly.
  • Internships: Students have gotten internships with Lockheed Martin, Amazon, Raytheon, Dell, Northrop Grumman and other companies large and small. Computer science internships pay well and very often lead directly to a permanent job.

Understanding the “internet of things”

Computer Science plays an increasingly critical role as technology becomes integral to everyone and everything. As a Computer Scientist, you can be an architect of the foundation upon which we build our future.

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Department Chair

Jeremy Muskat, Ph.D.

Chair of the Department of Mathematics & Computer Science

Office Support Coordinator

Lainy Sorensen

Office Support Coordinator

Campus Location

1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231

Take the Next Step

Apply to Western

Apply to Western

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Visit Western

The best way to find out what makes Western such a special place is to experience it for yourself. Our student-led tours give you an insider’s perspective on everything from academics to student life.

Alumni Community

Alumni Community

We keep the Mountaineer spirit going strong within our alumni community. Whether getting together with friends at an annual event, making a donation or mentoring a student, graduates continue to play an important role in the Western community.