Modern society depends on software engineers to create and maintain the digital systems we rely on for work and pleasure. As one of the most in-demand occupations, software engineers can work anywhere in the world for innovative companies like Google, Facebook, HP and Apple.

Program Overview

Learn how to create everything–from gaming software–to mobile apps.

The Software Engineering emphasis is built on a computer science foundation of programming, database management, web development and software engineering. In the program, you’ll work with languages including Python, C, C++ and Java throughout your foundation courses. As you enter the Software Engineering core, you’ll narrow your focus in courses like Machine Learning, The “Internet of Things” and advanced Software Engineering.

You’ll also have the opportunity to acquire real-world experience through paid internships with companies like Lockheed Martin, Amazon and Northrop Grumman. Through a blend of intensive coursework and hands-on experience, you’ll gain skills in collaboration, communication and leadership that will prepare you to play a major role in developing the essential technology that modern society depends on.

A strong foundation

The Software Engineering program is built on a Computer Science foundation of programming, database management, web development and software engineering.

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

A minimum of 60 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:

CS 303Machine Learning3
CS 350Web Applications Development II3
CS 380The Internet of Things3
CS 435Mobile Development3
MATH 213Probability and Statistics3
or MATH 260 Applied Linear Algebra
And five of the following:25
CS 235
Computers Networks
CS 310
Programming Projects with X
CS 317
Genome Analysis (with laboratory)
CS 320
Programming Languages
CS 340
Computer Graphics
CS 360
System Security
CS 390
Software Entrepreneurship
CS 415
Software Engineering II
CS 450
Ethical Hacking and Malware
CS 460
Network Security
CS 499
Internship or Field Experience in Computer Science
ENG 302
Technical Writing
including no more than one of the following:3-4
MATH 151
Calculus I (GT-MA1)
MATH 200
Discrete Mathematics
MATH 213
Probability and Statistics
MATH 260
Applied Linear Algebra
MATH 380
Introduction to Cryptography
Total Credits43-44

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
CS 190 Computer Science I 3
Elective Elective or minor course 3
ENG 102 Academic Writing (GT-CO1) 3
Gen Ed Arts & Humanities 3
HWTR 100 First Year Seminar 1
MATH 141
or MATH 151
Precalculus (GT-MA1)
or Calculus I (GT-MA1)
CS 191 Computer Science II 3
CS 195 Database Management Systems 3
Elective Elective or minor course 3
Gen Ed Arts & Humanities 3
Gen Ed Social Sciences 3
Year Two
CS 280 Data Structures 3
CS 330
or CS 250
Operating Systems and Architecture
or Web Applications Development I
MATH 213
or MATH 260
Probability and Statistics
or Applied Linear Algebra
Gen Ed Natural Sciences w/lab 4
Gen Ed Social Sciences 3
COM 202 Academic Writing and Inquiry (GT-CO2) 3
CS 380
or CS 350
The Internet of Things
or Web Applications Development II
CS 412 Software Engineering 3
Elective Elective or minor course 3
Gen Ed Natural Sciences w/lab 4
Year Three
CS 250
or CS 330
Web Applications Development I
or Operating Systems and Architecture
CS 435
or CS 303
Mobile Development
or Machine Learning
CS CS elective 3
Elective Elective or minor course 3
Gen Ed Social Sciences 3
CS 350
or CS 380
Web Applications Development II
or The Internet of Things
CS 370 Systems Programming in C 3
CS Upper division CS elective 3
Elective Elective or minor course 3
Gen Ed Arts & Humanities 3
Year Four
CS 303
or CS 435
Machine Learning
or Mobile Development
CS 470 Algorithms 3
CS Upper division CS elective 3
Elective Elective or minor course 3
Elective Upper division elective or minor course 3
CS 495 Senior Project 3
CS Upper division CS elective 6
Elective Elective or minor course 3
 Total Credits121


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.



  • 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


This scholarship is provided by Stephen Watson.

Amount: $500

Selected by: Math and Computer Science Scholarship Committee


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.


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.


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.


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 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.

Teaching tomorrow’s creators

As students enter the Software Engineering core, they tighten their focus on machine learning, the “internet of things” and advanced software engineering courses.

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Department Chair

Robert A. Cohen, Ph.D.

Professor of Mathematics, Chair of the Department of Mathematics & Computer Science

Office Support Coordinator

Lainy Sorensen

Office Support Coordinator

Contact Information


Campus Location

1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231