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 Sara Sprenkle at, if you have any questions.

Computer Science Department Blog

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

2021 Computer Science Degrees, Scholarships, Prizes and Awards

Congratulations to the Class of 2021 Computer Science Majors and Minors for their outstanding achievements! They are listed here, as they appear in the Commencement Bulletin. 2021 Graduates: TEMITOPE ELIZABETH ADEYANJU – Bachelor of Science, cum laude KUSH ATTAL – Bachelor of Science, Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude JEFFREY MICHAEL BRADLEY – Bachelor of …

Monday, May 24, 2021

CS minors, Katie Cones and Callie Garst inducted into ODK

Alpha Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society, welcomed initiates at Washington and Lee University’s annual Founders Day/ODK Convocation on Jan. 19, 2021, at 5 p.m. Because of COVID-19, the convocation was held in a virtual format.  CS minors, Katie Cones and Callie Garst, both class of 2021, were among the inductees. …

Monday, April 19, 2021

Highlighting CS Professor, Cody Watson’s publication

Cody Watson, an assistant professor of W&L Computer Science Department, has published a paper in the International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) .  ICSE is the top conference in software engineering. Learn more about Prof. Watson’s paper — “On Learning Meaningful Assert Statements for Unit Test Cases” here. The post Highlighting CS Professor, Cody Watson’s publication first appeared on W&L Computer Science Blog.

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