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Why Major in Computer Science at William & Mary?

There are two parts to this question.

First of all, why major in Computer Science anywhere? Because, quite simply, Computer Science is revolutionizing the way we live. From machine learning and artificial intelligence to the Web to cell phones to the internet of things, computing devices and the data they collect are a part of our everyday life in a way that could scarcely be imagined a generation ago. There are now more active cell phones on earth than there are people.  You can help remake the world.

And remaking the world pays well, too.  According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers Winter 2019 Salary Survey, he average starting salary for a bachelor's degree candidate in Computer Science is projected to be over $67,000 this year.  The average starting salaries for our graduates exceed this. And let’s face it: messing around with computers (and smartphones, and sensors, and RFID tags, and…) is just plain fun. 

Second, why major at William & Mary? For starters, we have a small "hands-on" undergraduate program with courses taught almost exclusively by faculty. By the time you graduate, odds are good that you will have had at least one class with almost every member of the faculty — and they will know your name! Our undergraduate curriculum is based on guidelines from the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), one of the major professional organizations for computer scientists. Our program is founded on the basics with the assumption that these will serve you well in the ever-evolving world of computer and information technology.

William & Mary computer science graduates are in demand by employers ranging in size from Fortune 500 companies to small start-up firms. Employers consistently mention the exceptional quality of our graduates and how well-rounded they are. Our program is structured so that it is possible to take advantage of Williams & Mary's commitment to the liberal arts and either double-major or minor in other departments or programs. Many of our graduates do. While some of the recent combinations are what you might expect (Computer Science/Business, Computer Science/Mathematics, Computer Science/Physics), some are perhaps unexpected (Computer Science/Classical Studies, Computer Science/Theatre, Speech, & Dance, Computer Science/Women's Studies).

If you are interested in doing research, we have a young, research-active faculty engaged in a wide variety of interesting research projects. We also have a graduate program (you might want to consider our one-year M.S. degree) and faculty routinely include undergraduates in their research projects. Many of these research projects result in Honors theses. And those of our students who choose to pursue a graduate degree gain admission into top programs around the country.

You’ll also have excellent students alongside you in Computer Science. We have an active student ACM chapter as well as the Society of Women in Computing. One of the big events of the year is the annual hackathon the ACM chapter organizes on campus.

Want to learn more about what our faculty and students are up to? Then consider reading the stories posted in our News Archive.