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Computer Science

Major / Minor Requirements

Carthage offers a major and minor in computer science, as well as a concentration and minor in game development. Students develop problem-solving skills that can be applied across many disciplines and build a firm foundation of knowledge and experience in software development, computer architecture, and theoretical computer science. The major prepares students for successful careers in the computer industry or for graduate studies in computer science.

Current students: You should follow the official College Catalog from the year you entered Carthage and work with your advisors and the department chair to ensure all requirements are met.

Computer Science Major

This major requires 48 credits:

Required courses — take all:

  • CSC 1810 Principles of Computer Science I (4 credits)
  • CSC 1820 Principles of Computer Science II (4 credits)
  • CSC 2560 Data Structures and Algorithms (4 credits)
  • CSC 3510 Computer Organization (4 credits)
  • CSC 4350 Software Design and Development (4 credits)
  • CSC 4730 Operating Systems (4 credits)
  • MTH 1240 Discrete Structures (4 credits)
  • CSC 4000 Senior Seminar (4 credits)
  • CSC 4990 Senior Thesis Completion (0 credits)

Take four of the following courses for a total of 16 credits:

  • CSC 2710 Game Development I (4 credits)
  • CSC 2720 Game Development II (4 credits)
  • CSC 2730 Game Development III (4 credits)
  • CSC 2810 Database Design and Management (4 credits)
  • CSC 2910 Object-Oriented Programming (4 credits)
  • CSC 3210 Computing Paradigms (4 credits)
  • CSC 3530 Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Modeling (4 credits)
  • CSC 3600 Network Programming (4 credits)
  • CSC 3750 Algorithms (4 credits)
  • CSC 3770 Computer Graphics (4 credits)
  • CSC 3810 Foundations of Computer Science (4 credits)
  • CSC 400T Topics in Computer Science (1-4 credits)
  • CSC 4500 Independent Study (2-4 credits)
  • CSC 4650 Computer Architecture (4 credits)
  • CSC 4900 Research in Computer Science (1-4 credits)

Game Development Concentration for Computer Science Majors

The game development concentration follows the existing computer science major requirements, however, three of four electives are in the game development sequence of CSC 2710, CSC 2720, and CSC 2730. No more than three game development courses may be counted toward a computer science major. A student in the concentration is required to do a capstone related to game development. A computer science major is prohibited from also earning the game development minor.

Computer Science Minor

Required courses — take all:

  • CSC 1810 Principles of Computer Science I (4 credits)
  • CSC 1820 Principles of Computer Science II (4 credits)
  • MTH 1240 Discrete Structures (4 credits)

Electives — TAKE THREE

In addition to the required courses, students seeking a minor in computer science must take three additional computer science courses numbered above 2000. 

Game Development Minor

Graduate School Preparation

A student majoring in computer science and planning to attend graduate school should take additional mathematics courses such as Calculus I, Calculus II, and Linear Algebra, and consider minoring in mathematics.

Current students, remember: You should follow the official College Catalog from the year you entered Carthage and work with your advisors and the department chair to ensure all requirements are met.

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2021), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit The Aspire Center.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. More than 90% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Computer science students watch Prof. Mark Mahoney’s recorded lecturers in their free time, so he can nearby “when they do their real learning,” he says. He has company: Physics professor Brant Carlson’s quantum mechanics video playlist has been viewed more than 170,000 times. 

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • Carthage has ranked as a top Fulbright producer for four of the past five years. Read about Carthage Fulbright winners.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors, and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from marketing to neuroscience, nursing to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from $25,000 up to full tuition. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about Intellectual Foundations.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 130 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked in the Top 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …