The computer science undergraduate major at Penn State has two phases. The first phase includes structured programming languages; the concepts of modern computer science; and efficient, productive programming. The second phase then moves to data structures, programming languages, and computer systems in detail. Course work involves computer applications and the polishing of programming skills.
The baccalaureate program in computer science provides a fundamental education to prepare students for positions in industry, government, education, or commerce or to pursue graduate study. The computer science curriculum is organized with two goals in mind. First, upon graduation, a student must be prepared to meet immediate demands in solving computational problems. Second, a student must have sufficient understanding of basic principles and concepts in computer science to avoid technological obsolescence in the rapidly changing computer environment. This program is intended to produce computer science professionals and not merely technicians with some training in computer programming. Success requires a strong aptitude in mathematics.
Computer science is a rapidly evolving discipline. Graduates are employed by all sectors of industry, government, and academic institutions. Their work may involve the design of software for computer systems, the analysis and design of algorithms, or the use of computers for various applications. They also may work on research and development of new computer systems, study their reliability and fault tolerance, evaluate their performance, investigate computer communication requirements, or work on artificial intelligence and robotics.