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Frequently Asked Questions: Computer Science

For professional areas, including such areas as business, law, or medicine. The first year national median salary of a computer science graduate is $55,000 and the first year national average salary is $56,000. Computer Science graduates who excel academically and participate in internship and research opportunities have reported first year salaries as high as $78,000.


Read more about recent graduates from the Careers site.

3. How should I prepare for the Computer Sciences program in high school? (top)

A successful Computer Science student is a person with diverse skills. Most important are problem solving skills, imagination, and creativity. Depending on particular specializations, students will make use of strong skills in organization, writing, graphical design, and communication.

In high school take calculus, computer-related classes, if offered, and a variety of science courses. It is strongly recommended that you continue taking foreign language and writing courses for as many years as possible.

4. What courses will I take as a Computer Sciences student? (top)

In your first two years, you will take courses in Foundations of Computer Science, Object-Oriented Programming (in Java, C, and C++), Computer Architecture, and Data Structures. You will also take three semesters of calculus, English composition, and four semesters of foreign language. Later in the curriculum, you will also be required to take: lab science courses, linear algebra, general education electives, and additional computer science courses.

Typical Freshman Year Coursework

Semester one:

C S 180, Programming I, 4 credit hours

MA 161 or 165, Calculus I and Analytical Geometry, 4-5 credit hours

ENGL 106, English Composition, 4 credit hours

Foreign Language, 3 or 4 credit hours

Total: 15 to 17 credit hours

Semester two:

C S 182, Foundations of Computer Science, 3 credit hours

C S 240, Programming Laboratory (in C), 3 credit hours

MA 162 or 166, Calculus II and Analytical Geometry, 4-5 credit hours

Foreign Language, 3 or 4 credit hours

General Education course, 3 credit hours (credit hours permitting)

Total: 16 to 18 credit hours

* Students must earn a minimum of 124 credit hours to graduate, which is an average of 15.5 credit hours / per semester.


Science at Purdue

By phone: 765.494.1771 or 800.804.8061
College of Science:
Department of Computer Sciences:
By email: (for advisors) (for current students)

Purdue University College of Science, 150 N. University St, West Lafayette, IN 47907 • Phone: (765) 494-1729, Fax: (765) 494-1736

Student Advising Office: (765) 494-1771, Fax: (765) 496-3015 • Science IT, (765) 494-4488

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