Computer Science


In 1967, Randolph-Macon was one of the nation's first small, liberal arts colleges to establish a Computer Science Department. Dr. Richard E. Grove, the department's founder, properly saw that Computer Science could be both effectively and appropriately presented within a full liberal arts curriculum. The department still holds fundamentally to Dr. Grove's vision in its presentation of a modern Computer Science curriculum. In doing so, it is dedicated to excellence in teaching, fundamental preparation of students, and involvement of students in research.

Our Curriculum

Computer Science includes the study of computers, algorithms developed for them, programs, and the structures and techniques for the effective management of complex systems of software and data. A firm understanding of the issues that are central to the discipline requires a combination of first hand experience and rigorous consideration of theoretical principles.

The computer science curriculum is intended to provide this combination through the early exposure to programming and problem-solving settings and the careful introduction of general principles of computing once experience has made the students ready for such generalization.

Our curriculum recognizes that computer science, as a discipline of study, is application-neutral but acknowledges that applications form much of the basis for research in the field. Consequently, students are taught the foundations of computer science in major courses without special emphasis on either business or scientific/ engineering applications. Those students who wish to direct their studies toward a specific application area may do so, however, by electing to take associated courses offered by this and other departments at the college.


  • The program of study is built around a core of courses that follow nationally recognized standards.
  • All faculty members view their primary task as undergraduate education.
  • Small class sizes facilitate interaction among students and faculty.
  • A friendly environment invites the asking of questions and the seeking of help, when needed.
  • State of the art computer facilities are available that are always accessible.
  • A campus network allows campus-wide and Internet access from the dorm rooms.
  • Classes are offered across a broad-range of the computer science discipline.
  • Students gain experience through the completion of a capstone project.
  • Topics classes can be designed around interests shared by the student and a faculty member.
  • Students may participate in faculty research projects, perhaps earning recognition in the form of conference presentations and publications.
  • Internships can be tailored to a student's career goals.