Computer science is the study of information and computation as expressed in natural systems including biological processes, economic systems, social networks, and the physical universe, through the development of artificial systems such as digital devices and computer software. Computer scientists practice in diverse fields such as medicine, bioinformatics, arts and entertainment, gaming, economics, cognitive science, and software engineering.
LMU Computer Science offers a B.S. degree program in Computer Science, an undergraduate minor program in Computer Science, and an M.S. degree program in Computer Science. Students are well-prepared for both industry careers and graduate study though a constructivist, practice-before-theory educational approach, and a collaborative, welcoming culture.
The B.S. degree program in Computer Science consists of classroom and laboratory experiences in the core areas of algorithms and data structures, software engineering and development, the theory of computation, operating systems, programming languages and translation, computer graphics and interaction design, distributed systems and network programming, and the organization and design of microprocessor-based computer systems. Students can go deeper into elective areas including but not limited to, game design and development, security, human factors and ethics, data science, and machine learning.
The program is detailed in our Computer Science 4-Year Curriculum Worksheet.
Loyola Marymount University's Master of Science program in Computer Science provides both theoretical knowledge and practical applications in a variety of areas including software architecture, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and networking. With our flexible program, students have the option to pursue tracks geared toward career advancement in industry or preparation for further graduate study at Ph.D.-granting institutions.
The program features evening classes that make studies possible for both full-time professionals and full-time students. We enjoy working with collaborators both inside and outside of the university to offer interdisciplinary courses and research opportunities including Business and Finance, Biology, Psychology, Animation, and Engineering. Class sizes are small, with faculty interaction and attention the rule, not the exception.
The Computer Science program at Loyola Marymount University seeks to be a recognized venue for excellent baccalaureate education in computing through a solid curricular foundation in computation, integration of interdisciplinary studies, emphasis in communication skills, collaboration with industry, and service to professional societies and the community.
Upon completion of the Computer Science major, students will:
- be prepared for a successful industry career
- be prepared for graduate study
- have acquired a foundation for future learning and service in line with the overall mission of the University
Preparation for a successful industry career is accomplished through:
- a curriculum based on the principles and values of the open source culture, which emphasizes the rights and integrity of both authors and users of software;
- exposure to a wide variety of programming languages and computing platforms (including robots, mobile devices, and game consoles);
- the completion of apprenticeship and capstone based courses;
- a practice-before-theory approach that better instills an understanding of how computation theory directly applies to real-world systems demanding correctness, efficiency, reliability, and maintainability; and
- an understanding of the importance of computing as a vehicle for creativity and as a foundation for a wide variety of careers reaching far beyond traditional software industry.
Preparation for graduate study is accomplished through:
- a broad exposure to the core computer science curriculum;
- opportunities to do undergraduate research;
- a development of mathematical maturity obtained not only from supporting courses in mathematics but in several computing courses as well;
- oral presentations in capstone courses; and
- completion of self-directed projects, demanding a significant level of upstream requirements analysis, constructing, testing, and documentation.
A foundation for future learning and service is acquired through:
- the development of teamwork and communication skills gained from frequent participation in collaborative projects in which ideas are freely shared and multiple talents are respected;
- opportunities for undergraduate research and the dissemination of this research through poster and paper presentations at both university-sponsored events and academic and professional conferences;
- the strong university core curriculum which augments a technical education with courses in the arts, humanities, and communication; and
- discussions of the ethical implications that arise from the collaborative nature of the computing disciplines, and their impact on society, in fostering an attitude of service in any future endeavors; and
- encouragement to become involved in local and national professional technical societies.
The LMU Computer Science graduate will be able to:
- Communicate the purpose and technical details of a software system
- Work effectively as a team member
- Apply the right language or tool for a given computing task
- Design, implement, test, and evaluate software components and systems
Communication of functional and technical details of a software system is assessed through an evaluation of contributions to READMEs, wikis, and other project documentation, as well as papers and oral presentations.
Effective work as a team member is assessed through an evaluation of contributions to group projects and peer evaluation of participation.
Application of proper languages and tooling is assessed through evaluation of upper-division and capstone projects, in which the student makes design choices from conception to project delivery.
Skills in design, development, test, and evaluation of software is assessed thorough an evaluation of student portfolios according to a rubric that checks, among other things, that the development process:
- results in correct, efficient, readable, and maintainable code;
- results in usable and accessible code; and
- is conducted in an ethical manner, in which the rights of software authors and users are respected, attribution is given when deriving work, and no persons or groups
- are locked out of participation unless required by applicable civil laws.