Loyola University Chicago

Department of Computer Science

Computer Science and Other Disciplines

Computer Science is a place for everyone. Whether your interests are in the humanities, social sciences, fine arts, pre-professional programs, or science, computer science is for you.

Undecided Majors

People in all walks of life use computers intensively. We all need to deal with a wide variety of issues, such as security in the face of viruses and spyware, control of public databases, using the World Wide Web effectively and maintaining and searching for information. Introduction to Computing, Comp 150, can help you connect better, and note that Comp 150 satisfies the Quantitative Core requirement. Also, how many times have you wanted to do repetitive actions with a computer and gotten very tired of doing things manually clicking and dragging a mouse over and over? In Comp 150 you also find how simple and powerful it is to write your own Python scripts to handle repetitive computer tasks. Many who take COMP 150 wish to continue in CS with COMP 170, which introduces CS principles and design via the Java programming language, which has played a key role in transforming the Internet.

Pre-Professional Students

Of course, you need to complete the specific requirements for whatever professional school you are interested in, but professional schools are looking for more than that: they are all looking for students with considerable logical abilities, and a program with advanced programming courses helps you develop and demonstrate your abilities. Loyola Computer Science majors have gone on to medical, business, and law school. In each of these schools there are also reasons to use your specific computer science knowledge:

Medical School

Computerized equipment is everywhere, and a growing area is computerized/robotized surgery. A strong interface between medicine and computer science is essential in this new area. With all the biology, chemistry, and math requirements for premed, the bioinformatics major also fits very neatly, having requirements in all of those departments.

Business School

Information Technology is an enormous part of most the business, only growing as the and the computer industry itself occupies an important place. The BS in Information Technology is especially geared toward students interested in business.

Law School

Several important areas of the law have to do with computer science. So many old laws were not designed for them, there is much new ground there: liability, the security of information, patent issues for complex technology, etc.

Humanities and Social Sciences

Computer languages are different than English, and many computer professionals comfortable with computer languages have a harder time in the many places where English (and human language) communication skills are important. This is unfortunately evident in technical documentation. Several of our more successful students have had backgrounds in English and Humanities subjects and have been influential in the designing of documentation and in helping to clarify the design plans for real-world clients of programming projects, as well as being major developers. (Two example projects resulting from a collaboration between Loyola computer science students and a Professor of English may be found at www.anglo-saxon.net).

Background in social sciences can be helpful in non-programming aspects of the software, such as Human-Computer Interaction, which oppresses the design and evaluation of user interfaces. Again it is well-known in the computing field that making software requires attention to design and human behavior. HCI experts are employed in most business and game software companies.


Much of science is based on mathematical laws and relationships that are much too large and complex to be solved exclusively by direct mathematical means. For example, simulation plays a vital role, which is evident in mainstream examples such as weather forecasting and earthquake prediction. Scientific computing has also taken center stage with enabling technologies in cluster and grid computing, both of which are being used to push the envelope of computational and experimental biology, chemistry, physics, and integrated disciplines such as geophysics.

In Computing the Future (from The Economist) a group of scientists argues that the "concepts, tools and theorems [of computer science] have become integrated into the fabric of science itself. Indeed, computer science produces an orderly, formal framework and exploratory apparatus for other sciences." In other words, computer science is a great minor or second major for anyone pursuing a career in the sciences.