Purdue University - Department of Computer Science - FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do with a degree in CS?

Aren't all of the CS jobs being outsourced?

Do you have an honors program?

What classes will I have to take?

What happens if I decide to switch majors?

How do I apply to the program?

How can I test out of CS courses?

My question isn't listed here. Who do I ask?

Can I visit the department?

What can I do with a degree in CS?
You can do tons of different things. CS is applicable to almost every industry out there — from fashion to medicine. Visit the careers page for more information.

Aren't all of the CS jobs being outsourced?
We hear this one a lot. No, they're not. Not at all. In fact, the U.S. workforce will add almost a million new jobs in computing over the next eight years. There are likely to be more computing jobs in the U.S. than there are qualified people to fill them. This is because these jobs require creativity, problem solving, collaboration, and more that cannot be done by just anyone.

Do you have an honors program?
Yes, we do. It is a very selective program designed to give students of very high academic abilities and ambition additional opportunities to excel. On the Honors page, you'll find more information about the departmental program. In addition to the departmental honors program, you may also qualify to participate in the College of Science Honors Program and/or the University Honors Program (UHP).

What classes will I have to take?
Your coursework will be approximately one-third science and math courses, one-third general education courses, and one-third CS courses. You meet with an advisor in the department regularly, and together you will decide what courses best match your skills and interests.

What happens if I decide to switch majors?
We don't think you will want to leave a major as exciting as CS, but if you do, you will be in good shape. Since all freshmen have to take math and science courses, the College of Science is actually a good place to begin. Our academic advisors are professionals. Their goal is to make sure that you have a successful experience at Purdue and they will help you in whatever you need to make that happen.

How do I apply to the program?
Apply to the Admissions Office. Please select Computer Science as your program of choice.

How can I test out of CS courses?
We do not offer test out exams, but we offer students the opportunity to attempt a proficiency exam(s) for some of our CS core courses where they feel they may already proficient.  We refer to the exams as proficiency exams because these are not credit bearing exams.  If a student were to take one of the exams and pass, they would not receive credit for the class.  Rather the student would receive the necessary prerequisite(s) to bypass that course to be able to take the next course in sequence.  Students who pass a proficiency exam will need to make up the credit that they miss from not taking the course by taking an extra CS track course beyond the track that they select to pursue.  Incoming students wanting more information about the proficiency exams and how to sign up should speak with their assigned academic advisor about their intentions once they have been assigned to their advisor.

My question isn't listed here. Who do I ask?
We will find the best person to answer your question. E-mail it to undergrad-info@cs.purdue.edu.

Can I visit the department?
Absolutely! Schedule your tour here: https://apply.purdue.edu/portal/CSDailyTour

Last Updated: Sep 12, 2018 2:47 PM

Department of Computer Science, 305 N. University Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907

Phone:(765) 494-6010 • Fax: (765) 494-0739

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