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Computer Science

The BS in Computer Science, BS in Computer Information Systems, and BS in Applied Computer Graphics, with their various options, allow students to prepare for careers in diverse areas of applications of Computer Science.

The MS in Computer Science provides a strong graduate-level foundation in Computer Science while also allowing exploration in areas of interest in the discipline.

The department offers students the opportunity to earn the distinction of Honors in Computer Science, Computer Information Systems, or Applied Computer Graphics. This recognition appears on the student’s permanent transcripts and on their diploma. The Honors confers a distinction that enhances opportunities for graduate work and employment.

Faculty and Facilities

The breadth of faculty expertise is evident from the many courses offered on varied topics: operating systems, programming languages, artificial intelligence, computer architecture, digital logic design, database management, computer graphics, compiler theory, software engineering, computer networks, and data communications.

The College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology is housed in the O’Connell Technology Center. Computing facilities available to computer science majors include five general-purpose labs containing Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems, and Windows 2000 workstations. A seventh lab containing Hewlett-Packard workstations is available to members of Network for Women in Technology (NeWT). Additionally, the department has a separate computer networks laboratory, which allows students hands-on experiences in configuring and reconfiguring various types of networks, and the analysis of data obtained from network analyzers.

A variety of software tools are available, including a full complement of UNIX utilities, X windows tools, GNU software, Oracle relational database, Java development environment, AI programming libraries and shells, and software packages or programming tools that support computer-aided software engineering, graphics and animation, etc.

O’Connell utilizes several high-speed local area networks and is connected to the rest of campus via an aggregated ethernet link. Computer science students have access to several high-speed modem pools for remote access.

Student Organizations

Student chapters of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Society of Women Engineers (SWE), and the Upsilon Pi Epsilon (UPE) international honor society are active on campus. Additionally, the Chico State Linux Users’ Group (CSLUG), the Network for Women in Technology (NeWT), and the Computer Graphics Consortium (CGC) also provide opportunities for various student activities.

Cooperative Work Experience

The computer industry holds the Department in high regard in part because of its active participation in the Cooperative Work Experience Program. Students are placed with firms such as IBM, ChevronTexaco, SUN, and Hewlett-Packard, and various government laboratories. Selected students stop-out for a term and a summer (six to eight months) and work in the field and receive normal employee salary and academic credit for their valuable experience.

Career Outlook

The computer has enabled society to keep abreast of the increasing need for more and better information, opening up a wide range of computer-related jobs. Given the current expansion of science and technology, employment of trained computer scientists is expected to remain very high.


The BS in Computer Science is accredited by the Computer Science Accreditation Commission (CSAC) of the Computing Sciences Accreditation Board (CSAB).