Our Curriculum

Our computer science curriculum shifts as the field evolves. At Rhodes, we pay close attention to new ideas and concepts that move rapidly to the forefront of our discipline while still placing an emphasis on fundamentals. The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) publishes guidelines for undergraduate computer science programs and make recommendations as to what should be required for a computer science degree; we strive to align ourselves with these guidelines. Furthermore, we constantly evaluate our course offerings to give our students a cutting-edge education. Our faculty also attend and present at computer science pedagogical conferences that highlight undergraduate computer science education.

How to get started

We encourage every student at Rhodes to explore taking a computer science course. No prior experience with computer science or programming is required to get started, and computer science combines well with many other disciplines.

There are a few different pathways to getting started:

For students with little or no programming experience:

If you’ve never taken a computer science course before, or maybe you’ve done a little bit of programming, the place for you to start is COMP 141: Computer Science I - Programming Fundamentals. This course will introduce you to computer science concepts and teach you how to program in Python, a powerful, real-world programming language that is also well-suited to beginners. You’ll learn how to create programs that can process data, make decisions, play games, draw pictures, and solve a variety of real-world problems. Most students at Rhodes begin with COMP 141.

For students with more programming experience:

If you’ve taken the AP Computer Science “A” exam and scored a 3 or better, or if you have significant previous programming experience, you may want to start with Computer Science 142: Object-Oriented Programming. We recommend this for students who are confident in their beginning programming abilities: if you know how to write if statements, loops, functions

Note that the AP Computer Science Principles exam does not automatically exempt you from COMP 141. If your only experience with computer science is through this exam, then please sign up for COMP 141.

For students with some prior programming experience who aren’t sure which class to take:

Talk to any computer science professor, and we can help you figure out if you should start in COMP 141 or COMP 142.

After Computer Science 141

If you took Computer Science 141 and enjoyed it, there are lots of options for continuing in computer science at Rhodes.

If you know you want to major in CS:

If you’re sure you want to major in computer science, we recommend taking Computer Science 142 immediately after Computer Science 141. If you have a second slot open in your schedule at the same time, we recommend taking COMP 172 at the same time as COMP 142, as both of these courses are prerequisites for the next logical course, COMP 241.

If you think you might want to major in CS, but you aren’t sure, or if you want to minor: In this case, we recommend you still take Computer Science 142 immediately after Computer Science 141, to help you retain as much knowledge as possible. After completing 142, you can decide if you want to complete the major, the minor, or just the computer science courses you happen to be interested in.

Next steps

Once you have completed Computer Science 141 and 142, you should think about taking Computer Science 172, followed by Computer Science 241 and Computer Science 251. Most upper-level electives require either COMP 241 or COMP 251 as a prerequisite, so we encourage students to complete those courses as soon as possible.