Whether you dream of designing a toothbrush with Bluetooth functionality or of developing the next big database-driven web application, we offer the courses you need to make your vision a reality. The computer science program’s curriculum offers six different strands of elective classes that allow you to hone skills in your area of interest.
Students benefit not only from a robust STEM community on campus, but also from close proximity to Seattle and other Pacific Northwest technology centers, allowing for ongoing connections with companies like Microsoft and Battelle.
Freshmen contribute code to open source projects, and seniors work on projects that positively impact the community. With a curriculum that emphasizes professionalism and ethical practices, students who graduate from our program are prepared to be not only technically proficient coders, but also contributors to society as thoughtful citizens.
We offer five different degrees in computing, ranging from highly technical options such as the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science or Bachelor of Science in Engineering with a concentration in Computer Engineering, to the Bachelor of Science in Information Systems offered jointly with the School of Business, or the mission-oriented Master of Arts in Cinema, Religion, and Worldview with a concentration in Web and Interactive Media.
The Computer Science curriculum is organized into strands designed to provide students technical expertise in a wide range of modern computing fields. These strands include:
- Applied Computer Science
- Web and Information Management
- Computational Science and Intelligent Systems
- Programming Methods and Tools
- Theoretical Computer Science, and
- Computer Architecture and Organization
Walla Walla University Computer Science majors are encouraged to develop their professional skills both inside and outside of the classroom. Whether through computer-related employment, community service, or extra-curricular activities, students have many opportunities to develop the leadership and technical skills that will help them succeed in the job market. Below are just a few of these opportunities
- On-campus Employment:
- Teaching Assistants and Graders for Computer Science classes
- Systems Administrators for the student-run Computer Science lab
- Student workers for the campus Information Technology department
- Technical positions with the Associated Students of Walla Walla University
- Internships coordination and support starting in the Freshman year
- Participation and/or leadership in the student-led WWU chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) club
- Yearly Microsoft Employee sponsored Hack-a-thon event
- Community-service and/or industry focused senior capstone projects.
Just about every industry in our modern economy needs computer scientists. Our graduates don't just become software developers writing applications for large companies. They also become freelance web developers who create intuitive websites, data scientists who sift through vast amounts of data to help businesses or government entities make better decisions, support personnel who maintain the large networks of computers that make up the “cloud,” researchers who develop new algorithms for safer medical imaging, or even professors who teach others how to make computers do all of these exciting things.
How to choose a quality computer science program
(and how the WWU Department of Computer Science measures up)
Our program features a strong core of practical and theoretical classes and room to explore electives in various strands including: applied computer science (IT focused), web and information management, computational science and intelligent systems, programming methods and tools, theoretical computer science, and computer architecture and organization. These offerings are competitive with major university computer science programs.
Updated computing facilities
Students in our program have access to an interactive flip-top desk classroom, in which students work right along with the professor on their own computers. Our students also have exclusive access to an exclusive with dual monitors and collaborative work spaces.
Cloud computing infrastructure
Our program’s private cloud computing infrastructure enables students to have their own virtual machines and access to modern cloud computing software.
Instruction from full-time faculty
Our students enjoy small class sizes from qualified, caring, Christian full-time faculty members instead of from graduate students or adjuncts. Faculty bring experience from diverse backgrounds including: embedded system design and instrumentation; web development in healthcare and education industries, scalable database research, software development, and technology management.
Every senior completes a real-world capstone project for industry and/or community organizations. Recent examples include: campground reservation API for Sunrise Systems campground automation, web services project for Adventist Health, mobile application development for the Bible in Living Sound, and student test scores visualization for the College Place School District. Our students work with real clients to develop solutions to real problems.
Current issues addressed
Computing topics such as artificial intelligence and professional ethics are embedded in the curriculum and covered from a Christian world-view.
Students in our growing cohort, currently at 78 majors, lead the Computer Science Club is a local chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) professional organization. They put on release parties, game nights, walk-throughs for new technologies. Our faculty also plan and host quarterly social activities such as board game nights, computer trivia games, and picnics.
Beginning with a first-year professional development class, our program emphasizes career preparation.
Proximity to tech hubs
Our program is situated near two major tech hubs in the nation: Seattle, Washington, and Portland, Oregon. Alumni and friends from nearby companies such as Microsoft and Google interact regularly with WWU students and plan an annual day-long hackathon event.