Computer Science | Natural Science Division | Seaver College | Pepperdine University

Computer Science

Seaver, Nat Science, Academics, Com Science - Computers

Our computer science/mathematics program provides a diverse curriculum that exposes students to the theory and application of computer science.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science/Mathematics 

Our computer science/mathematics curriculum is based on three themes -- abstraction, integration, and languages and paradigms. A combination of in-class instruction, internships, and a capstone course in software design prepares students for careers in computing or for graduate school.

Minor in Computer Science

The minor in computer science is a popular option for students in business, economics, and science because it teaches computational skills important in these and other disciplines.

Our Program

Philosophy of Our Curriculum

The curriculum is based on three themes—abstraction, integration, and languages and paradigms.

Abstraction is based on the concept of layers in which the details of one layer of abstraction are hidden from layers at a higher level. A computer scientist uses abstraction as a thinking tool to understand a system, to model a problem, and to master complexity. The ability to abstract cannot be acquired in a single course, but must be developed over several years. Consequently, all courses in the curriculum emphasize the abstraction process, not only as a framework to understand the discipline but also as a tool to solve problems.

The curriculum focuses on how well the courses are integrated as opposed to how many courses it has to offer. There are two aspects of integration in the curriculum—integration between courses and the integration of theory and practice. Both aspects of integration are important. Without integration between courses the curriculum becomes simply a collection of unrelated facts with no unity based on fundamental principles. The integration of theory and practice not only serves to reinforce the students' understanding of abstract concepts but also provides them with insight and appreciation of the practical solutions at hand.

Languages and Paradigms
Because of the continued evolution of programming languages and paradigms we would do our students a disservice by emphasizing only one programming language or paradigm throughout the curriculum. Students should be multilingual and should experience multiple paradigms in their undergraduate careers. Our curriculum seeks to strike the proper balance between breadth and depth. Too much breadth will not equip students with the detailed skills necessary to solve realistic problems. Too much depth in one language or paradigm will give students a narrow vision that makes it difficult to consider multiple approaches to a problem.

The curriculum emphasizes in-depth proficiency the first two years and more breadth the last two years. The balance is achieved by choosing one programming language for the first three semesters and another closely related language for the second semester of the second year. Courses in the third and fourth years introduce other programming paradigms based on different languages.

The language choice for the first two years is driven by both pedagogical and practical industry concerns. Pedagogical concerns are important during the first two years, because this is when students begin to form algorithmic thinking patterns and develop problem-solving skills. The criteria are that the programming environment should be simple to learn yet powerful enough to illustrate fundamental concepts of computing. Skill in a practical language is necessary for students to be well equipped for their post graduate careers. The languages for the third and fourth years are chosen for the variety of programming paradigms on which they are based.

Our Curriculum Guide

This document describes the curriculum for the major in Computer Science/Mathematics.

Read the curriculum guide

Student Testimonials

Beyond Classes

Natural Science Division Seminar Series

Our Division hosts a seminar series for our undergraduate majors and minors, as well as the greater Pepperdine community.

Visit our seminar calendar

Marine Biology at Pepperdine University

Seaver offers a range of courses in marine biology. Because of our Malibu location, we are within five minutes of a variety of marine habitats in the Pacific Ocean, including rocky intertidal and lagoon sites. Laboratory facilities include marine aquaria, and equipment for physiological, ecological, and molecular research on marine organisms.

Learn more about marine biology at Pepperdine

Recommended International Study

The experiences of a summer of study and travel overseas provide an essential dimension of a liberal arts education that can be obtained in no other way. For students in the Natural Science Division, we often recommend summer study abroad experiences for scheduling reasons.

Our international programs are designed to provide any student, regardless of major, the opportunity to study, live, and travel overseas without interrupting other studies or postponing a career. This offers students a unique opportunity to gain both an academic and a personal understanding of other cultures, institutions, and languages. Learn more and check out the Summer Special Interest Programs, such as the 2014 Fiji Medical and Service Mission trip.

Visit International Programs

Math Tutoring

The math department offers free tutoring for MATH 103, 104, 140, 141, 150, 151, and 250. Tutoring sessions are held Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings in RAC 138 from 7:00p.m. to 9:00p.m.

Visit our Math Tutoring page 

Secondary Teaching Credential

Students who plan to teach science in secondary schools should complete the requirements for the bachelor of arts degree and a California Teaching Credential.

Learn more about our teaching credential program


Seaver's Dr. Karen Martin is the executive director of Grunion.Org. Learn more about her work and research, explore the website, and join the group of scientists, community members, environmental organizations, surfers, and beach workers dedicated to a better understanding of the habits and habitats of beach-spawning grunion, Leuresthes tenuis.

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