Computational Sciences

Professor William Harris (Chair);

Associate Professor Danny Thorne (Coordinator)

Contact the Department

Department of Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science
Georgetown College
400 East College Street
Georgetown, KY 40324

Department Site


Computational Science is an interdisciplinary major combining mathematics, computer science and natural sciences to study the universe through modeling and simulation. It represents a way of doing science that is complementary to theory and experiment. Students completing this major will be highly marketable to graduate schools, industry and research laboratories.


The various disciplines represented within the Department of Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science are united by their reliance upon:

methods for discovering and demonstrating patterns, and for constructing structures that exhibit, unify and illuminate these patterns;

application of these structures to model a wide variety of phenomena in mathematics and the sciences;

precise language as a means to express patterns and describe structures.


Accordingly, graduates of the Math/Physics/Computer Science department will:

demonstrate knowledge of basic content appropriate to the chosen major;

communicate precisely and effectively on quantitative matters;

perform basic modeling and interpret the results in terms of the phenomena being modeled;

read quantitative material, interpret correctly what has been read, and apply it correctly.



(B.S. degree) A total of fifty-five to fifty-eight hours is required. All students must take the computer science and mathematics cores, one of the science cores, and the research experience.

Computer Science Core: (12 hours)

CSC 115, 215, 304, plus one of MAT/CSC 327, CSC 337

Mathematics Core: (15 hours)

MAT 125, 225, 301, 343, plus one of MAT 310, 331

Science Core: (13-17 hours)

Choose either a biology, chemistry, or physics core.

Biology Core: (15 hours)

Students should choose one of the following groups of courses.

Genetics/Bioinformatics emphasis: BIO 111, 212, 335, MAT 111

Ecology/Environmental Science emphasis: BIO 111, 314, 330, MAT 111

Physiology emphasis: BIO 111, 212, 305, 305L, MAT 111

Other emphases may be constructed in consultation with the program


Chemistry Core: (13-16 hours)

Students should choose one of the following groups of courses.

Physical Chemistry emphasis: CHE 111, 112, 113, 331, PHY 111

Computational Chemistry emphasis: CHE 111, 112, 113, 201, 202, 421

Other emphases may be constructed in consultation with the program


Physics Core: (17 hours)

PHY 211, 212, 241, MAT 325, plus one of PHY 313 or 319

Electives: (12 hours)

Students should choose twelve hours from the following list of courses. The elective courses recommended (even possible) will depend in large part on the student’s choice of science core, and should be made in consultation with the program coordinator. Up to six hours of special topics and/or independent study courses may be approved to serve as electives.

BIO 300, 306, 306L, 311, 316, 320, 335*, 337, 413

CHE 201*, 202*, 305, 309, 331*, 332, 333, 337, 339, 341, 421*

CSC 327*, 337*, 405, 430, 435,

MAT 310*, 325, 331*, 332, 345, 431

PHY 313*, 319*, 401


(*if not selected as a Core course)

Research Experience: (3 hours)

CPS 450 Seminar in Computational Sciences or equivalent summer research/intern experience (must be approved by the program coordinator).


Interdisciplinary Minor

Twenty-four semester hours required. Students must complete the Core courses, either the math or computer science emphasis, and the research experience. Students majoring in mathematics or computer science may not choose this minor.


Required Core Courses: (12 hours)

MAT 125, 343; CSC 115, 215

Computer Science Emphasis: (9 hours)

MAT 301, CSC 304, plus three hours from MAT/CSC 327, CSC 337

Mathematics Emphasis: (9 hours)

MAT 225, plus six hours from MAT 301, 310, 325, 331, 332, 345,

Research Experience: (3 hours)

CPS 450 or equivalent summer research/intern experience (must be approved by the program coordinator). The capstone experience should be related to subject matter in the student’s major; this minor will almost certainly be useful only to students whose major is in the natural or social sciences.


208. Science Careers Seminar. (2 hours) An interdisciplinary seminar in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines that will introduce students interested in scientific research to an array of professions and professionals in these fields. This introduction will emphasize comprehension and analysis of published scientific research and provide students with the opportunity to meet the science professional who produced the work. Prerequisites: One science or mathematics course for majors, sophomore or junior standing, and approval of the instructor.                                                                 Fall


450. Seminar in Computational Sciences. (3 hours) The culmination of the student’s computational sciences studies. Students will complete a semester-long computational project involving the study of a question from their applied science emphasis or major.          As needed

Click to See Career Options


  • Systems
  • Scientific Applications
  • Business Applications: Intelligence, Warehousing, Information Delivery, Maintenance
  • Project Management
  • Computer vendors
  • Software and computer companies
  • Any large organization including: Banks, retail chains, manufacturers, universities, and government agencies
  • Management consulting firms
  • Contract and temporary employers
  • Research laboratories
Gain relevant experience through internships or co-ops. Develop an attention to detail and a flair for creativity. Learn to work well with a team and to meet deadlines. Supplement computer degree with courses in business, science, or engineering. Stay current on programming languages. Earn a master’s degree for upper level positions. Seek the Certified Computing Professional designation by completing a series of exams and experiential requirements.


  • Analysis
  • Design
  • Support
  • Quality Assurance
  • Specialty Systems: Database, Client-Server, Expert
  • Banks and financial institutions
  • Insurance companies
  • Consulting firms
  • Manufacturers
  • Local, state, and federal government
  • Computer companies
  • Research institutions
Develop strong interpersonal skills. Learn to communicate effectively with technical and non-technical colleagues. Gain programming experience. Many analysts begin their careers as programmers. Become an effective problem solver. Take business courses. Earn an M.B.A. degree for advanced positions. Plan to continually educate self on new computer languages and technology.


  • Installation and Maintenance
  • Administration
  • Variety of organizations and industries
Work in university computer labs. Develop good communication skills and an interest in helping others. Gain knowledge in a variety of computer areas including minor programming, software, and hardware. Stay abreast of the latest technology and software. Earn certifications in networking and computer security.


  • Programming
  • Software Design
  • Systems Analysis
  • Hardware Production
  • Web Page Design
  • Network access points
  • Backbone operators
  • Online service providers
  • Internet service providers
  • Computer/equipment vendors
  • Internet-related companies including: Browsers, Search engines, Website design services
  • Large businesses
Gain experience as a webmaster through part-time jobs, internships, or volunteering to design web pages for student organizations. Learn web-related programming languages. Take graphic design courses to develop creativity. Learn to communicate and work well with others in a team by participating in group projects or student organizations. Earn a master’s degree in computer science for advanced opportunities in programming, analysis, or hardware/software design.


  • System Installation
  • System Implementation
  • Training
  • Consulting firms
  • Self-employed
Obtain a strong technical knowledge of computers, a background in business management, and experience as a systems analyst. Learn various programming languages and operating systems. Develop exceptional analytical and interpersonal skills.


  • Teaching
  • Instructional Technology
  • Public and private schools, K-12
  • Colleges and universities
Certification required for public school teaching. Earn a doctoral degree in computer science for post-secondary teaching. Earn a graduate degree in information technology or a related field for instructional technology. Develop a research specialty for university teaching. Gain experience working with other students through tutoring or positions in computer labs.


  • Customer/Product Support
  • Technical Writing
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Software/hardware manufacturers
  • Retail stores
  • Software vendors
Develop excellent communication skills and an interest in helping customers solve problems. Work in university computer labs. Supplement curriculum with technical writing courses to develop skills. Seek related work experiences.

General Information

  • Complete informational interviews with current computer science professionals to help establish career goals.
  • Having related experience is critical to most employers that hire computer science majors. Obtain an internship, co-op, or part-time job in a relevant area to increase employability.
  • Obtain vendor specific certifications or networking certifications to gain a competitive edge.
  • Develop strong interpersonal, communication, and other “soft skills.” Learn to work well on a team.
  • Programming and consulting may go hand-in-hand. Many occupations in these areas have responsibilities that overlap.

Helpful Links

Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
(2005) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA /ADEA Employer

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