2023-2024 College Catalog

Computer Science, Bachelor of Science

Department Chair:

Howard Lichtman


Howard Lichtman, Weian Wang, Romas James Hada


Computer Science

Cyber-Security Track


Computer Science


An understanding of computers, as well as the world in which they are being used, is essential in the technologically and culturally complex world of the 21st century. As computers have become valuable tools in nearly every field, it is important that those involved in their development and use understand not only the technology but also the human needs they can serve and the greater implications for society. The study of computers within the framework of a liberal arts and sciences education can provide this understanding. In addition, students majoring in other disciplines will find a knowledge of computers useful in their future careers—whether they plan to become educators or scientists, artists or economists. And working with computers can strengthen logic and problem-solving skills that will prove valuable in both their personal and professional lives.

The major in Computer Science has been completely reimagined to prepare students for the modern computing world they will experience after graduation. What is your interest in the computer field? The Computer Science major at Hartwick College will prepare you to do more than you may have thought possible. It is for the student who wants to work on the cutting edge in developing the software necessary to run the computers of tomorrow, but also for the student that is looking to become a cyber-security professional or anything in-between. Students develop proficiency through the hands-on approach utilized by the faculty of the Computer Science department. Liberal arts is what we stand behind and students will develop a broad and deep understanding of computer security, operating systems, computer architecture, programming languages, and database concepts just to name a few areas. Electives are chosen from exciting topics such as PC systems, computer ethics, parallel processing, artificial intelligence, microprocessors, mobile development, and optimization techniques. As a small department, the faculty members have the ability to quickly create new topics courses to meet current student interests.

The Computer Science major culminates with a required senior project that involves independent study in a selected area related to the focus of a student’s major and future career plans. Courses in the humanities and social and behavioral sciences complement study in the Computer Science program. Students graduate understanding not only computers, but people, and how people and machines can work together to solve problems. Majors are encouraged to do internships that provide experience in the application of theoretical knowledge to real-life situations. The Computer Science department has internship co-op programs with several large businesses in the area to ensure that students get the experience they need to succeed. (While strongly recommended by the department, internships are not counted as one of the courses required for the major or minor.)

The Computer Science department offers students the option of completing a Cyber-Security track in the Computer Science major. By completing the major with some additional conditions met, students can set a focus to their studies that will help to prepare them for the exciting field of computer security. Unlike a traditional list of additional courses that students must take, this track allows students to approach the existing courses in the major with a mind towards the security field, while the requirements for the CompTIA Security+ certification and a security-based thesis project provide students with the skills and experience necessary to move into the security field after graduation.

To enhance the study of computer science at Hartwick, students in the major have access to the CISC Resource Center, affectionately known as the Clubhouse, which contains powerful servers loaded with lots of RAM, SSD hard drives, fast graphics cards, and the latest operating systems and software. The Resource Center is used for upper level class work and advanced development projects, as well as a place for Computer Science students to socialize or have a quiet place to work.

Interested in the three-year degree option at Hartwick College? The major in Computer Science can be completed in three years for students looking to reduce the overall cost of their education, or seeking to graduate as quickly as possible. The courses in the major have been structured to allow students the freedom to choose between the compressed three-year or the more traditional four-year option. Incoming students should plan to discuss their choice with their department advisor to ensure that all requirements are met for each semester.

Some Hartwick graduates with a major in Computer Science have gone on to do graduate study in their fields before beginning their careers. Others have begun work immediately in a variety of industries and businesses, in careers such as systems analysis, applications programming, computer security, database management, and project management.

Violation of the College Computer Use and Abuse Policy or misuse of College or Departmental computing resources can result in disciplinary action, including, but not limited to, dismissal from the major.