Computing Exploration

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With eight undergraduate computing majors, the computing exploration option is a great way for you to gain an overview of the computing field while you take the time to decide which major best meets your personal and professional aspirations.  

The computing exploration option provides students with the opportunity to explore seven of the college’s undergraduate computing majors—computer science, computing and information technologies, computing security, human-centered computing, new media interactive development, software engineering, and web and mobile computing. Students complete courses in computer science, computing security, and web development. They may also take additional courses in other computing majors as they decide on which major best fits their career goals and aspirations.

Plan of study

Students may stay in the exploration option for up to two semesters (one academic year). Each student has an assigned academic advisor who provides guidance on the requirements of each major, course selection, minors, and career options. All courses taken in the exploration option are accepted by the seven computing majors; all credits earned are applicable to a student’s chosen major and maintain the student’s track toward graduation.

The computing exploration option offers students the opportunity to explore the field of computing before declaring a specific major. All students in this undeclared major take a one-credit course, Computing Exploration Seminar, which provides an overview of the seven computing majors. Students learn about the course of study in each program and career opportunities in each field. Through the seminar and courses, they are introduced to the faculty, students, and laboratory facilities in each program.

While in the computing exploration option, each student will take a two-course sequence in both programming and mathematics, appropriate for all degrees. An academic advisor will consult one-on-one to ensure that each student stays on track. Students may choose a major at the end of the fall or spring semester while in the exploration program – all course work taken while in the computing exploration option will be applied to the new program of study.

Experiential Learning

Freshman Admission

For all bachelor’s degree programs, a strong performance in a college preparatory program is expected. Generally, this includes 4 years of English, 3-4 years of mathematics, 2-3 years of science, and 3 years of social studies and/or history.

Specific math and science requirements and other recommendations

  • 4 years of math including pre-calculus required in all programs except computing and information technologies, human-centered computing, and web and mobile computing, where 3 years of math are required and pre-calculus is recommended
  • All programs require chemistry or physics and strongly recommend both
  • Computing electives are recommended

Explore salary and career information for Computing Exploration 

Curriculum for Computing Exploration

Computing exploration, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
Project-based Calculus I
This is the first in a two-course sequence intended for students majoring in mathematics, science, or engineering. It emphasizes the understanding of concepts, and using them to solve physical problems. The course covers functions, limits, continuity, the derivative, rules of differentiation, applications of the derivative, Riemann sums, definite integrals, and indefinite integrals.
Project-based Calculus II
This is the second in a two-course sequence intended for students majoring in mathematics, science, or engineering. It emphasizes the understanding of concepts, and using them to solve physical problems. The course covers techniques of integration including integration by parts, partial fractions, improper integrals, applications of integration, representing functions by infinite series, convergence and divergence of series, parametric curves, and polar coordinates.
Computer Science I
This course serves as an introduction to computational thinking using a problem-centered approach. Specific topics covered include: expression of algorithms in pseudo code and a programming language; functional and imperative programming techniques; control structures; problem solving using recursion; basic searching and sorting; elementary data structures such as lists, trees, and graphs; and correctness, testing and debugging. Assignments (both in class and for homework) requiring a pseudo code solution and an implementation are an integral part of the course. An end-of-term project is also required.
Computer Science II
This course delves further into problem solving by continuing the discussion of data structure use and design, but now from an object-oriented perspective. Key topics include more information on tree and graph structures, nested data structures, objects, classes, inheritance, interfaces, object-oriented collection class libraries for abstract data types (e.g. stacks, queues, maps, and trees), and static vs. dynamic data types. Concepts of object-oriented design are a large part of the course. Software qualities related to object orientation, namely cohesion, minimal coupling, modifiability, and extensibility, are all introduced in this course, as well as a few elementary object-oriented design patterns. Input and output streams, graphical user interfaces, and exception handling are covered. Students will also be introduced to a modern integrated software development environment (IDE). Programming projects will be required.
Fundamentals of Computing Security
An introduction to the fundamental issues, concepts and tools common to all areas of computing security. Topics include identifying attackers and their motivations. Essential techniques will be introduced covering the areas of anti-virus, monitoring, virtual machines, account control, and access rights management. Various security models will be investigated. Concept areas such as confidentiality, integrity, availability and privacy will be studied.
Web and Mobile I
This course provides students with an introduction to internet and web technologies, and to development on Macintosh/UNIX computer platforms. Topics include HTML and CSS, CSS3 features, digital images, web page design and website publishing. Emphasis is placed on fundamentals, concepts and standards. Additional topics include the user experience, mobile design issues, and copyright/intellectual property considerations. Exercises and projects are required.
Computing Exploration Seminar
A one credit-hour course for the Computing Exploration students, including an overview of the computing disciplines and an introduction to seven computing and informatics academic programs: Computer Science, Computing and Information Technologies, Computing Security, Human-Centered Computing, New Media Interactive Development, Software Engineering, Web and Mobile Computing, as well as a few other computing programs outside the college. Curricula requirements of the seven programs and career opportunities in the computing fields are discussed. Potential employers discuss job opportunities. Introductions to the faculty, students, and laboratory facilities of the seven programs are provided. Cooperative education, study abroad, and innovation fellowship program opportunities available to the students are explored.
Discrete Math for Computing
This course introduces students to ideas and techniques from discrete mathematics that are widely used in Computer Science. Students will learn about the fundamentals of propositional and predicate calculus, set theory, relations, recursive structures and counting. This course will help increase students’ mathematical sophistication and their ability to handle abstract problems.
Year One
The Year One class serves as an interdisciplinary catalyst for first-year students to access campus resources, services and opportunities that promote self-knowledge, personal success, leadership development, social responsibility and life academic skills awareness and application. Year One is also designed to challenge and encourage first-year students to get to know one another, build relationships and help them become an integral part of the campus community.
Writing Seminar
This First Year Writing Intensive course is designed to develop first-year students’ proficiency in analytical writing, rhetorical reading, and critical thinking by focusing on particular uses of narrative. Students will read, understand, and interpret a variety of texts representing different cultural perspectives and/or academic disciplines. Increasingly, scholars, artists, public figures and other professionals recognize the value of using stories across genres to inform analytical practice. Students will gain informed practice in using narrative in different disciplines, and become aware of storytelling as one among a number of rhetorical strategies for inquiry. Students will be expected to give presentations as well as write papers both in response to the reading material and in services of their own independent arguments.
Choose one of the following:
   LAS Perspective 1 (ethical)
   LAS Perspective 2 (artistic)
   LAS Perspective 3 (global)
   LAS Perspective 4 (social)
Choose one of the following:
   Personal Software Engineering
This is a project-based course to enhance individual, technical engineering knowledge and skills as preparation for upper-division team-based coursework. Topics include adapting to new languages, tools and technologies; developing and analyzing models as a prelude to implementation; software construction concepts (proper documentation, implementing to standards etc.); unit and integration testing; component-level estimation; and software engineering professionalism.
   New Media Design Digital Survey I
This project-based course is an investigation of the computer as an illustrative, imaging, and graphical generation tool. It develops foundational design skills in raster and vector image creation, editing, compositing, layout and visual design for online production. Emphasis will be on the application of visual design organization methods and principles for electronic media. Students will create and edit images, graphics, layouts and typography to form effective design solutions for online delivery.
   Introduction to Routing and Switching
This course provides an introduction to wired network infrastructures, topologies, technologies, and the protocols required for effective end-to-end communication. Basic security concepts for TCP/IP based technologies are introduced. Networking layers 1, 2, and 3 are examined in-depth using the International Standards Organization’s Open Systems Interconnection and TCP/IP models as reference. Course topics focus on the TCP/IP protocol suite, the Ethernet LAN protocol, switching technology, and routed and routing protocols common in TCP/IP networks. The lab assignments mirror the lecture content , providing an experiential learning component for each topic covered.
Wellness Education*
Total Semester Credit Hours

Please see General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirements for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two different Wellness courses.

Admission Requirements

Freshman Admission

For all bachelor’s degree programs, a strong performance in a college preparatory program is expected. Generally, this includes 4 years of English, 3-4 years of mathematics, 2-3 years of science, and 3 years of social studies and/or history.

Specific math and science requirements and other recommendations

  • 4 years of math including pre-calculus required
  • Requires chemistry or physics and strongly recommends both.
  • Computing electives are recommended

Learn about admissions, cost, and financial aid