Overview and Learning Goals


The major in computer science focuses on critical thinking and problem-solving and is designed to blend traditional core areas (theory, systems, and artificial intelligence) with emerging areas such as human-computer interaction, social and economic networks, nature-inspired computation, distributed systems, and resource-efficient algorithms.

Learning Goals

A student graduating from Bowdoin with a computer science major will:

  1. have critical thinking skills enabling the solution of problems by developing and analyzing algorithms;
  2. have a variety of skills enabling the design, implementation, debugging, and testing of complex problems using a programming language;
  3. have experience working on a large computer science project;
  4. be able to connect the use of computer science to other disciplines and have the experience of working on at least one project that does this directly;
  5. have a capstone experience with current research in computer science, including reading the literature, learning advanced material independently, and working on a research project under the supervision of a faculty member;
  6. have experience working as part of a team;
  7. be able to recognize, identify, and analyze the social and ethical issues that arise from the use of computer science techniques in society; and
  8. have experience presenting technical content in both oral and written form.

Options for Majoring or Minoring in the Department

Students may elect to major in computer science, the computer science and mathematics interdisciplinary major, or to coordinate the computer science major with digital and computational studies, education, or environmental studies. Students pursuing a coordinate or interdisciplinary major may not normally elect a second major. Non-majors may elect to minor in computer science.

Department Website

This is an excerpt from the official Bowdoin College Catalogue and Academic Handbook. View the Catalogue