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Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University

Computer Science

Program Offerings

Academic Division: College

Degrees Offered:
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Arts
Academic Programs: Course Offerings:

Example Career Outcomes

  • Business
  • Defense Industry
  • Graduate Study
  • Security Industry

The Department of Computer Science at Washington and Lee prepares students for their futures as leaders in computer science by teaching them the fundamental problem-solving skills and concepts of computer science and challenging them to derive innovative solutions to new problems. Our faculty also actively participate in research and scholarship, collaborating with colleagues inside and outside of Washington and Lee.

With a solid foundation in computer science, Washington and Lee students have the problem-solving skills to tackle tomorrow's challenges. Since computer science affects so many other disciplines, many students pursue computer science along with another major. Some students complement another major with computer science courses to improve their marketability after graduation.

Program Highlights

  • The Computer Science Department has faculty with a broad variety of backgrounds and research interests and a strong record of collaborative work with students. Much of this work has been recognized in the broader scholarly community, including the Library of Congress and refereed publications.
  • Class sizes are small, and students have access to two state-of-the-art laboratories for introductory and advanced courses, as well as a lab dedicated to student research projects, various robotics platforms, and a high-performance computing cluster jointly administered with W&L's Biology Department.
  • The Department offers Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, and minor degrees, allowing students to complement their study of Computer Science with a major or minor in another discipline.
  • The Department takes full advantage of W&L's new four-week intensive spring term by offering courses on emerging "hot" technologies. Current examples include iPhone Application Development and Distributed Systems (networking / security).
  • W&L Computer Science majors do not fit the stereotypical "nerd" profile; most are active in their fraternity or sorority or in varsity sports like football, track and field, and soccer.
  • Students regularly study abroad in their sophomore or junior years, at places like Oxford and the University of St Andrews.
  • The Honors program provides high-achieving Computer Science majors the opportunity to spend their senior year focused on a research project, supervised by a faculty member.
  • The University's R.E. Lee Scholars program pays Computer Science students to spend a summer working on a smaller research project under faculty supervision. Recent examples include projects in Web application testing, robot vision, and visual object recognition. Students who do not participate in the R.E. Lee summer program typically find summer internships at places like NASA and in the information technology industry.
  • Recent Computer Science majors have gone on to graduate and professional programs at institutions including the University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth Medical School, Harvard Law School, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and to high-paying jobs in industry. The proximity of W&L to the Washington DC area provides easy access to internship and employment opportunities in the defense and security industries. A 2010 Computer Science graduate reports that " "in a time where most of my friends can't find real jobs, my computer science degree led to over five different job opportunities in the last year."