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Computer Science
Phone: (209) 946-2355
Location: John T. Chambers Technology Center

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Science

Majors Offered

Computer Science

Concentrations Offered

Software Development
Networking and Computer Security
Graphics and Simulation

Computer Science Program (BS) Objectives

Through their careers in computing or a related profession, Pacific graduates are expected to demonstrate the following within a few years of earning their Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Computer Science:

  • Graduates employ design skills and technical knowledge that contributes to building or utilizing computing systems in a variety of professional careers.
  • Graduates work effectively in team environments, utilize communication skills, and grow and adapt to a world of evolving technology.

Transfer Students

Community college students can transfer to the School of Engineering and Computer Science at any point in their academic program. It is important that each student contact the appropriate Department at Pacific as early as possible and arrange for faculty assistance in planning his or her transfer.

The School of Engineering and Computer Science makes every effort to accommodate the needs of transfer students. Faculty offer advice on programs of study prior to coming to the University and then match student backgrounds with program requirements. Students are encouraged to complete introductory math and science courses prior to entering the program. An introductory object-oriented programming course (C++ or Java) is beneficial for students planning to major in computer science. Check with your program in advance.


No more than four units of Cooperative Education (ENGR 181) or Internship (COMP 187) may be applied towards the bachelor of science with a major in computer science.

Bachelor of Science Major in Computer Science

Students must complete a minimum of 120 units with a Pacific cumulative and major/program grade point average of 2.0 in order to earn the bachelor of science with a major in computer science.

I. General Education Requirements

PACS 001What is a Good Society4
PACS 002Topical Seminar on a Good Society4
PACS 003What is an Ethical Life?3

Note: 1) Pacific Seminars cannot be taken for Pass/No Credit. 2) Transfer students with 28 or more transfer units complete 2 additional General Education elective courses from below in place of taking PACS 001 and PACS 002.

One course from each subdivision below:

Social and Behavioral Sciences
Two courses from the following:
Arts and Humanities
One course from the following categories:


 Note: 1) Only one course can come from each subcategory (A, B, or C) within each category. 2) No more than 2 courses from a single department may be applied to meet the breadth program requirements, with the exception of certain 1-unit GE IIC courses.

II. Diversity Requirement

Students must complete one diversity course (3-4 units)
ENGR 030Engineering Ethics and Society3

Note: 1) Transfer students with 28 units or more transfer units prior to fall 2011 are encouraged but not required to complete a designated diversity course prior to graduation. 2) Diversity course may also be used to meet general education and/or major/minor requirements.

III. Fundamental Skills

Students must demonstrate competence in:

Quantitative analysis

Note: 1) Fundamental skills must be satisfied prior to enrolling in upper division courses.

IV. Major Requirements

Mathematics and Science
Minimum 30 units that must include a minimum of 15 units in mathematics. COMP 047, COMP 147 and ECPE 127 count as mathematics units.
COMP 147Computing Theory4
Select one of the following:4
Discrete Math for Computer Science
Discrete and Combinatorial Mathematics
Select one of the following:3-4
Random Signals
Introduction to Statistics and Probability
Probability with Applications to Statistics
Select one of the following:4
Introduction to Finite Mathematics and Calculus
Calculus I
Two laboratory science courses which can be any General Education Category IIIA course or BENG 558
Additional mathematics and science courses. Mathematics courses must be MATH 049 or MATH 053 or above. Science courses may be any General Education Category IIIA course, BENG 53, or BENG 55. Other science courses may be used with approval of academic advisor.4-6
Computer Science Core
COMP 051Introduction to Computer Science4
COMP 053Data Structures4
COMP 055Application Development4
COMP 141Programming Languages4
COMP 157Design and Analysis of Algorithms4
COMP 173Operating Systems4
COMP 195CS Senior Project4
ECPE 071Digital Design3
ECPE 170Computer Systems and Networks4
ENGR 010Dean's Seminar1
ENGR 025Professional Practice Seminar1

V. Area of Concentration and Computer Science Electives

17 units

Students complete their degree with 17 additional units of upper division computer science courses, beyond the core courses. These courses must include the specified courses in a selected concentration and other courses approved by the advisor. Areas of concentration are selected by students to allow them to specialize in an area appropriate for their post-graduation plans.

Networking and Computer Security Concentration

Career options: Systems administrator, security specialist, network administrator, network appliance developer

COMP 127Web Applications4
COMP 175System Administration and Security3
COMP 177Computer Networking4
COMP 178Computer Network Security3
Electives selected with advisor3

Software Development Concentration

Career options: Application developer, software engineer, software architect, quality assurance

COMP 129Software Engineering4
COMP 135Human-Computer Interface Design3
COMP 137Parallel Computing3
COMP 163Database Management Systems4
Electives selected with advisor3

Graphics and Simulation Concentration

Career options: Game engine developer, simulation developer, training system developer, scientific application developer, games/animation tools developer, graphics/multimedia application developer

COMP 151Artificial Intelligence3
COMP 153Computer Graphics3
COMP 155Computer Simulation4
COMP 159Computer Game Technologies4
Electives selected with advisor3

Computer Science Courses

COMP 025. Computers and Information Processing. 4 Units.

This introductory information technology course focuses on computer architecture, networking, internet technologies and the integration of productivity software. Lectures, readings, hands-on projects and lab assignments give a variety of learning experiences. Specific topics include computer architecture, digital data, networking, file management, spreadsheets, database systems and presentation applications. Students are exposed to JavaScript and Visual Basic scripting. Particular emphasis is placed on HTML programming and creating an interactive student website for homework and lab linking throughout the semester. Prerequisite: Fundamental Math Skills requirement. (GE3B)

COMP 041. Great Ideas in Computing. 4 Units.

This course is a broad introduction to the field of computing. The concepts that are the foundation of computing are presented and placed in historical context. Discussion topics include the ways of thinking and working that make computing effective, and the future of the field. Example topics include number representation, architecture of computing systems, intelligent computing systems, and the use of computing in art and games. Prerequisite: Fundamental Math Skills requirement. (GE3C)

COMP 047. Discrete Math for Computer Science. 4 Units.

This course is designed to develop skills in deductive reasoning and to apply concepts of discrete mathematics to computer science. Topics include logic, deductive reasoning, mathematical induction, set theory, functions, recurrence relations, combinatorics and probability, graphs, trees, and Boolean Algebra. Prerequisite: Fundamental Math Skills requirement. (Spring, every year). (GE3B)

COMP 051. Introduction to Computer Science. 4 Units.

The course emphasizes program design and problem solving techniques that use a high-level programming language. The course introduces basic concepts such as assignment, control flow, iteration, and basic data structures in addition to a supervised lab. Prerequisite: Fundamental Math Skills requirement. (GE3B)

COMP 053. Data Structures. 4 Units.

The course continues the development of program design and problem solving techniques. Topics include development of fundamental data structures and their associated algorithms as well as array-based algorithms, recursion, lists, generics, dynamic memory, binary trees, and associative structures. Prerequisite: COMP 051 with a "C-" or better.

COMP 055. Application Development. 4 Units.

This course develops the skills and techniques required for the creation of contemporary software applications. Contemporary software applications are complex systems that involve the interaction of multiple subsystems that require teams of developers working together for extended periods of time. Topics include teamwork and communication skills, current development methodologies, analysis and design documentation and the use of libraries. This course is intended to prepare students to transition to upper division courses. Prerequisites: Completion of all Fundamental Skills and COMP 053 with a "C-" or better. (Fall, every year).

COMP 093. Special Topics. 3 or 4 Units.

COMP 127. Web Applications. 4 Units.

The World-Wide Web consists of client-server applications operating over the Internet. This course introduces the skills and techniques for designing and developing web applications. Topics include: client-server architectures, web servers and web browsers, server-side programming, client-side programming, form processing, state management and multimedia. Prerequisites: Completion of all Fundamental Skills and COMP 053 with a "C-" or better or permission of instructor. (Fall, even years).

COMP 129. Software Engineering. 4 Units.

Students gain practical experience in dealing with medium to large scale software systems. Students learn how current analysis and design methodologies are used to develop the abstractions necessary to understand large systems. Students also learn how such methodologies and abstractions are used to communicate with coworkers and clients about the analysis and design. Because communication is an essential skill in large system development, students are expected to produce documents and presentations of professional quality and depth. Prerequisites: Completion of all Fundamental Skills and COMP 055 with a "C-" or better. (Spring, odd years).

COMP 135. Human-Computer Interface Design. 3 Units.

Human-Computer Interface (HCI) Design focuses on the relationship between humans and computers or other physical devices. This course helps students develop an understanding of the common problems in designing these interfaces and presents a set of design techniques to ensure that designs are both useful and useable. Prerequisite: Completion of all Fundamental Skills. Junior standing. (Spring, odd years).

COMP 137. Parallel Computing. 3 Units.

Parallel computing is a science which solves a large problem by giving small parts of the problem to many computers to solve and then combining the solutions for the parts into a solution for the problem. This course introduces architectures and implementation techniques to support parallel computation. Students are expected to design and implement an original parallel application as a term project. Prerequisite: Completion of all Fundamental Skills and COMP 053 with a "C-" or better. (Spring, even years).

COMP 141. Programming Languages. 4 Units.

Topics in evaluation, design, and development of programming languages. Topics include type systems, variables and scope, functions, parameter passing, data hiding and abstractions, recursion, memory allocation, grammars and parsing, compilers architecture, programming paradigms, and comparison of programming languages and environments. Prerequisites: Completion of Fundamental Skills and COMP 053 with a "C-" or better. (Spring, every year).

COMP 147. Computing Theory. 4 Units.

Students study automata, formal languages and computability. Topics include finite state automata, regular languages, pushdown automata, context-free languages, Turing machines; decidability, reducibility, and time complexity that includes NP-completeness, intractability. Prerequisites: Completion of all Fundamental Skills; COMP 047 or ECPE 071 or MATH 074 with a "C-" or better. (Fall, every year).

COMP 151. Artificial Intelligence. 3 Units.

Students study fundamental concepts, techniques and tools used in Artificial Intelligence. Topics include knowledge representation, search techniques, machine learning and problem solving strategies. Also listed as ECPE 151. Prerequisites: Completion of all Fundamental Skills and COMP 053 with a “C-“ or better. (Fall, odd years).

COMP 153. Computer Graphics. 3 Units.

An introduction to two and three dimensional computer graphics. Basic representations and mathematical concepts, object modeling, viewing, lighting and shading. Programming using OpenGL and other computer graphics applications. Also listed as ECPE 153. Prerequisites: Completion of all Fundamental Skills and COMP 053 with a "C-" or better. (Fall, every year).

COMP 155. Computer Simulation. 4 Units.

This course explores digital simulation, in which a model of a system is executed on a computer. The course focuses on modeling methodologies, mathematical techniques for implementing models, and statistical techniques for analyzing the results of simulations. Students develop simulations use both simulation development toolkits and general-purpose programming languages. Also listed as EMGT 155. Prerequisites: Completion of all Fundamental Skills; MATH 037 or MATH 039; MATH 045 or MATH 051, COMP 051 or ENGR 019 with a "C-" or better. (Fall, even years).

COMP 157. Design and Analysis of Algorithms. 4 Units.

Topics for this course include complexity analysis, algorithms for searching, sorting, pattern matching, combinatorial problems, optimization problems, backtracking, algorithms related to number theory, graph algorithms, and the limitations of algorithm power. Prerequisites: Completion of all Fundamental Skills; COMP 047 or MATH 074; COMP 053; MATH 045 or MATH 051 with a "C-" or better. (Fall, every year).

COMP 159. Computer Game Technologies. 4 Units.

This course surveys the technologies and processes used for modern video game development. Course topics include software engineering, media creation and management, hardware interfaces, user interaction, 3D mathematics and common algorithms and data structures to support graphics, physics and artificial intelligence. Prerequisite: Completion of all Fundamental Skills and COMP 055 with a "C-" or better. (Fall, odd years).

COMP 163. Database Management Systems. 4 Units.

A database management system (DBMS) is a computer application designed for the efficient and effective storage, access and update of large volumes of data. This course look at such systems from two perspectives. The user-center perspective focuses on how a DBMS is used to build support for a data intensive application. This perspective includes examination of common data models, query languages and design techniques. The system implementation perspective focuses on the policies, algorithms and data structures used to design and implement a DBMS. Prerequisites: Completion of all Fundamental Skills and COMP 053 with a "C-" or better. Corequisite: COMP 047 or MATH 074. (Spring, even years).

COMP 173. Operating Systems. 4 Units.

Students are introduced to the fundamental concepts of modern operating systems. Topics include an overview of the computer hardware that supports the operating system, process management, threads, and CPU scheduling. Students also study process synchronization that uses primitive and high-level languages, virtual memory management, file systems, system protection, and distributed systems. Prerequisites: Completion of all Fundamental Skills; COMP 053 and ECPE 170 with a "C-" or better or permission of instructor. (Fall, every year).

COMP 175. System Administration and Security. 3 Units.

Students are introduced to an operating system from an administrator's standpoint. Topics include installation is considered with the proper allocation of disk resources, maintaining the operating system and various subsystems, security issues that include server hardening, host firewalls and network security issues. Students also study account administration in a networked environment, change management and intrusion detection. Prerequisites: Completion of all fundamental skills and familiarity with console-based operating systems commands. Junior standing. (Fall, every year).

COMP 177. Computer Networking. 4 Units.

Topics examined in this course include computer networks and the internet, LAN and WAN architectures, and packet switched networks and routing. Students learn about the 7-layer OSI model and internet protocol stack, socket programming and client/server systems, wireless and security. The course includes a laboratory. Also listed as ECPE 177. Prerequisites: Completion of all Fundamental Skills; COMP 053 and ECPE 170 with a "C-" or better. Junior or Senior standing. (Fall, every year).

COMP 178. Computer Network Security. 3 Units.

This course is an examination of the pervasive security threats related to the Internet, data communications and networking. Topics include TCP/IP protocols, authentication, encryption, malware, cybercrime, and social engineering. Emphasis is on computer and network attack methods, their detection, prevention and analysis, and the integration of the tools and techniques employed in this effort. Includes lab. Prerequisites: Completion of all Fundamental Skills and ECPE 170 or COMP 175 with a “C-“ or better. (Spring, every year).

COMP 187. Internship in Computer Science. 1-4 Units.

This internship course offers cooperative employment in a professional computer science environment. The internship requires satisfactory completion of the work assignment and written reports. Prerequisites: Completion of all Fundamental Skills; COMP 055 and ENGR 025 with a "C-" or better. Grading is Pass/No Credit only.

COMP 191. Independent Study. 1-4 Units.

Students create student-initiated projects that cover topics not available in regularly scheduled courses. A written proposal that outlines the project and norms for evaluation must be approved by the department chairperson.

COMP 195. CS Senior Project. 4 Units.

In this course, students synthesize their cumulative computer science knowledge through the development of a computer application. Students will establish design objectives and criteria, analyze solution alternatives and evaluate design performance. Students will then implement, test and evaluate the system. Results will include analysis and design documents, the implemented system, test reports and a presentation and demonstration of the project. Prerequisites: Completion of all Fundamental Skills, Senior Standing, COMP 055 with a “C-“ or better.

COMP 197. Undergraduate Research. 1-4 Units.

Students conduct supervised research that contributes to current active topics in Computer Science. Topics may be selected by the student, related to faculty research, or provided by industrial sponsors. Permission of Undergraduate Research Coordinator.

Students who complete the Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Computer Science will have acquired:

  1. An ability to analyze a proposed computing application and to define and document the computing requirements appropriate for a solution to the application.
  2. An ability to design computing systems of varying complexity, to evaluate the designs in terms of specified requirements, and to understand the design tradeoffs.
  3. An ability to develop computing systems of varying complexity in accordance with specified designs and to evaluate the systems in terms of specified requirements.
  4. An ability to apply elements of mathematics, computer science theory, development methodologies and other foundational knowledge as appropriate in the development of computing applications.
  5. An ability to select and effectively use appropriate tools and techniques to support all stages of application development.
  6. An ability to engage in self-learning and an understanding of the necessity for continuous learning.
  7. An ability to function effectively in team projects.
  8. An ability to apply good communication skills in a variety of media.
  9. An understanding of their professional, ethical and social responsibilities and an ability to analyze the impact of computing on individuals, organizations and society.

Computer Science Faculty

Michael Doherty, Associate Professor and Chair of Computer Science, 1998, BS Electrical Engineering, University of Florida, 1983; MS Computer Science, University of Rhode Island, 1992; PhD Computer Science, University of Colorado at Boulder, 1998. Computer animation, simulation, video game technology, database management systems, programming languages, computer science education.

Michael L. Canniff, Lecturer, 2003, BS Computer Science, University of Minnesota, 1985; MS Computer Science, Syracuse University, 1990.

Cathy Carlson, Visiting Assistant Professor of Computer Science, 2008, BS, University of the Pacific, 2004; MBA, University of the Pacific, 2005. Business application training and implementation; lead tracking, generation and analytic software; website design.

Daniel Cliburn, Professor of Computer Science, 2006, BS Computer Science and Mathematics, Illinois College, 1997; MS Computer Science, University of Kansas, 1999; PhD Computer Science, University of Kansas, 2001. Computer graphics, video game design, virtual reality, computer science education.

Jinzhu Gao, Associate Professor of Computer Science, 2008, BS Computer Science and Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 1995; MS Mechanical Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 1998; PhD Computer and Information Science, Ohio State University, 2004. Scientific visualization, computer graphics, large scale data management, data analysis and visualization, data-intensive computing, remote visualization, Web-based applications.

Emma Hayes, Associate Professor of Computer Science, 2007, BS Computer Science, University of Southern California, 2003; PhD Computer Science, University of Southern California, 2007. Artificial Intelligence, multi-agent systems, machine learning, agent-based simulation, computer science education.

Osvaldo Jimenez, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, 2013, BS Computer Science, Stanford University, 2002; MA Learning, Design, & Technology, Stanford University, 2003; PhD Learning Sciences & Technology Design, Stanford University, 2013. Educational games, video game development, software engineering, human-computer interaction, computer science education.

Chadi El Kari, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, 2014, BS Computer Engineering, Université Saint Joseph 2002; MS Computer Science and Engineering, University of Connecticut, 2005; PhD Computer Science and Engineering, University of Connecticut, 2011. Distributed Systems, Cloud Computing, Cryptography, Combinatorial Optimization.