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, parallel computing, machine learning, security and privacy, human-computer interaction, and software engineering.  The department also has strong interdisciplinary ties to such areas as data science, neuroscience, biology, chemistry, earth and environmental geoscience,  mathematics, 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

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

After Graduation: Jackson Jacobs, Class of 2024

Jackson Jacobs, a recent graduate of W&L, double majored in Computer Science and Politics.  He is employed as a Software Engineer at RVO Health– a joint venture between Red Ventures and Optum, part of UnitedHealth Group. Jackson is featured in this Columns article, which focuses on how his educational background shaped his current professional journey. …

Friday, June 7, 2024

2024 Computer Science Degrees, Scholarships, Prizes and Awards

Congratulations to the Class of 2024 Computer Science Majors and Minors for their outstanding achievements!   Their accomplishments, along with the accomplishments of certain CS undergraduates  are listed here, as they appear in the Commencement Bulletin. 2024 Graduates: Majors: Timileyin John Adekola – Bachelor of Science Giorgio Louis Antonacci- Bachelor of Arts Mohammed Danish Bokhari- Bachelor of …

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Katie Yurechko ’24 is 2024 ODK Leader of the Year in academics and research

Another well deserved achievement for Katie! Yurechko, who double majors in computer science and philosophy and minors in poverty and human capability studies,  has been named the 2024 Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) Leader of the Year in academics and research. The Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) Leader of the Year in academics and research recognizes individuals …

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Danish Bokari ’24, Lakpa Sherpa ’25 and Mohamed Soliman ’27 are winners at the SOLVE 2024 Hackathon!

The first ever W&L SOLVE Hackathon was held in the IQ Center, May 12-13, 2024. A hackathon is an event where individuals or teams come together to collaboratively work on solving problems or creating innovative projects within a limited time frame.  The SOLVE 2024 event was an interdisciplinary student-focused gathering for any undergraduate student from …

Friday, May 17, 2024

Katie Yurechko ’24, co-authors a paper about TikTok and Algospeak

W&L senior CS major Katie Yurechko ’24 co-authored a paper titled “You Can (Not) Say What you Want: Using Algospeak to Contest and Evade Algorithmic Content Moderation on TikTok,”.  Katie collaborated with Ella Steen, a student at Gordon College, and Daniel Klug, a systems scientist at Carnegie Mellon University.  The paper was recently featured online …

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