Life of a Gettysburg Computer Science Major

Are you considering computer science as a potential major in college? Here’s my day to day routine and overview of the department and courses to help you decide!

            Life as a computer science major has its ups and downs, but overall, I adore the major that I picked. I truly am interested in coding and problem solving, and the computer science department at Gettysburg College has many courses to help develop these skills. The first two main core classes are CS111 and CS112, which help to develop fundamental coding skills in Java, as well as overarching structures and algorithms used in most coding languages. Moving on to CS216, which in my opinion is the hardest course of the major so far, you learn the major data structures that help with storing and structuring data in memory and the tradeoffs that each one has. This class in particular was super beneficial in my learning journey, as I hadn’t known much about these structures and we use them a lot in 300 level courses. The other two core classes are CS201 and CS301, which I have only taken the former so far, and you learn the more algorithmic side to computer science, mainly creating proofs and solving equations.

            Transitioning to the electives, there are a bunch of options, but only a few are offered each semester. This makes it hard towards the later years of college, as I have already taken half of the offered electives for the semester, so I sometimes end up in a class that I am not thrilled about but need to take something to complete the major.

            The department has four main professors, with a few adjunct professors as well. Since the department is so small, I think this lends to the small selection of electives each semester.

Professors in the CS department are always willing to help their students and truly want the best for each and every student! Since this major is work-intensive, many professors have office hours a few days a week and some even have them every weekday. Also, the department hires PLAs to help students if they feel more comfortable going to a peer. I have been a PLA for four semesters now, and it is a super rewarding position that helps solidify things I have learned in the past through helping others.

Overall, being a computer science major is such a fun experience for me! I love that I get to do what I am interested in, and it’s lucky to know that after I graduate there are many job opportunities for those within the major.

Please leave a comment if you have any questions about the computer science major at Gettysburg College and thank you for reading!