Computer Science Department

Over the course of three decades, the computer science department at Washington and Lee has built a curriculum that provides outstanding computer science education in a liberal arts setting.  We offer students courses in all of the major areas of computing, as well as opportunities to participate in several ongoing research programs sponsored by our faculty.

Beginning students take a two-semester introductory programming sequence course in the Python language, where they become proficient in problem solving and developing software using the latest and most advanced programming techniques.  They then take courses in software development with Java, computer organization (assembly language and C programming), programming language design, and algorithm analysis.  Electives in many areas are then available.  You can enter the honors program and write a senior thesis if you qualify.

Research areas included robotics, web applications, digital humanities, and genetic programming.  The department also has strong interdisciplinary ties to such areas as neuroscience, engineering, mathematics, business administration, and digital humanities.

Faculty sponsor student research with summer internships, and you can also find summer opportunities at other universities, in government, or in the private sector.  Some graduates have been admitted to some of the top graduate schools in the country.  Other graduates use our aggressive career office and strong alumni network to find permanent employment in government or the private sector.

Students have majored in computer science and also majored in almost any other subject here.  Many students have another science major, such as biology or physics; some have a second major in our commerce school, and a few have a second major in a subject like philosophy, classics, or theater.  Students can also have a minor in a subject that offers one, where you take approximately one half of the courses required for  a major.  In all cases, we encourage our majors to pursue a broad sampling of subjects in the liberal arts, which we believe is the best way to get a true education.

We have a collegial and fun-loving group of students in the program at any given time, and our record of attracting women and students of underrepresented groups to the major is unsurpassed.  Our majors, like other students, are involved outside the classroom in many extracurricular clubs, organizations, and athletic teams.

In short, if you want a first-rate computer science education at a first-rate liberal arts college, you should check out the computer science department at Washington and Lee.  Please feel free to contact the department chair, Professor Ken Lambert at, if you have any questions.

Computer Science Department Blog

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

CSCI major, Laurie Jones ’21, shares her W&L experiences

Laurie Jones, a double major (Computer Science and Physics & Engineering), is also an accomplished member of the university’s golf team.  Click on the link to learn more about Laurie’s W&L experience.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Spotlight on CSCI senior major George Barker ’20

George, a double major in both computer science and chemistry, worked this past summer with Professor Sprenkle to develop a web application that specializes in tutoring students in the basics of general chemistry. Click the link to learn more about George and his achievements!  

Friday, May 24, 2019

CS major athletic accolades!

Senior Cooper Baird , (Fort Worth, Texas/Fort Worth Country Day) was one of three W&L athletes  honored  at The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) 2019 NCAA Division III men’s outdoor track and field ceremony.  The ceremony was held in New Orleans on Sunday, May 19th.   Cooper recorded the third-fastest …

Friday, May 24, 2019

2019 Degrees, Scholarships, Prizes and Awards for CS Students

Congratulations to the following Computer Science students for their outstanding achievements! 2019 Graduates: HAMMAD AHMAD (’19) – Honors in Computer Science, Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude and The Computer Science Award COOPER BROCK BAIRD (’19) – Bachelor of Science ALEXANDER KARL CANTRELL (’19) – Bachelor of Arts EMILY SHILLINGTON CARDEN (’19) – Bachelor of …

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Some Pics from CSCI 335 at Spring Fest 2019

CSCI335: Software Engineering through Web Applications showed off their projects–the Ancient Graffiti Project and ChemTutor–at Spring Fest on May 17.  

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