Computer science is the systematic study of the organization and processing of information.

In the digital age, it is increasingly important to evaluate how we represent and transform all types of information. In the sciences, computer-based methods have greatly enhanced our ability to generate, collect, and interpret large amounts of data while simultaneously allowing us to present it in understandable ways. In the arts and humanities, computer science has provided a new medium for analysis and new modes of expression such as social media, animation, and interactive games.

As a computer science major at Oxy, you will develop skills to address and solve global and local issues. You will graduate with an understanding of the intersection of culture and technology. We offer three pathways through the major, each providing you with a rigorous technical grounding while also encouraging connections to other disciplines:

  • Computer science pathway: The traditional major
  • Mathematics pathway: The computer science major with a mathematical emphasis
  • CS + X pathway: The computer science major with a student-proposed interdisciplinary concentration

We are committed to a future where computer science is accessible to all. Are you a computer science novice? Start with our introductory course to learn basic programming skills. Do you have specialized computational interests? Take additional courses at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) through our exchange program. Oxy’s 3-2 engineering program allows you to transfer to Caltech or Columbia University after your third year to graduate with both a B.S. degree from that institution and a B.A. from Occidental.

After Oxy, our majors are well equipped to pursue graduate studies in any subfield of computer science. With computers and computation now affecting nearly every aspect of our daily lives, our students’ ability to problem solve and think critically across disciplines also prepares them to pursue careers in many  fields, including digital media, biology, political science, public health, and economics.

Read the Los Angeles Times’ spotlight of our department

Department Chairs: 
Justin Li