The field of Computer Science encompasses the hardware, software and theory that underlie digital technology, along with applications built upon it. Study of Computer Science prepares students for careers in Software Engineering, Data Science, Cybersecurity and Information Technology, as well as for Master’s and Ph.D programs.
About The Program
The Department of Computer Science is committed to providing students with a program that includes the basic fundamentals of the field and allows students the flexibility to pursue in depth many of the diverse areas into which computer science is expanding. This is accomplished by providing both instruction in the theoretical principles and experience with a diverse collection of modern hardware and software technologies. The faculty and students of the department cooperatively carry out research in the areas of web technologies, bioinformatics, networking, machine learning, combinatorial algorithms and mobile computing.
The computing facilities at Hope College give the student an opportunity to obtain a rich variety of experiences. The Department of Computer Science supports a laboratory with a network of workstations, which facilitate work with Microsoft Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. These systems provide a window-based user interface, high-resolution graphics, a parallel processing environment and high-speed computation. They are located in a general student laboratory, a research laboratory and a unique laboratory-classroom combination. This laboratory-classroom contains professional-grade laptops and is used for all computer science classes to incorporate hands-on laboratory experiences. In addition, the departmental facilities provide access to many other types of computing: tablet PCs, handheld computers and mobile phones. The departmental network is also accessible from residence halls via direct network connection and throughout campus via wireless access. Many personal computers are available for use by students and faculty and are located throughout the campus in dorms and labs.
Please consult the Department of Engineering about the Engineering major with a Computer Concentration .
Many courses in the department have prerequisites listed. A grade of C- or better is required in such courses for the prerequisite to be fulfilled. If a grade below C- has been received, the course requiring the prerequisite may not be taken without permission of the instructor and the chairperson of the department.
The department offers major programs that emphasize problem solving and communication skills and allow students the flexibility to design programs suitable for their interests and goals. Each student’s major program, designed by the student and a departmental advisor, includes a core of computer science courses, a strong component of courses in some field to which computer science can be applied and a senior capstone project involving research or software development under the supervision of a member of the Hope College faculty. By following an appropriate major program, students may prepare themselves for graduate study in computer science or careers involving applications programming, systems programming, systems and network analysis, computer graphics, web technology, bioinformatics, mobile computing, teaching, software engineering, data science and cybersecurity.