Computer Science Department

Over the course of three decades, the computer science department at Washington and Lee has built a curriculum that provides outstanding computer science education in a liberal arts setting.  We offer students courses in all of the major areas of computing, as well as opportunities to participate in several ongoing research programs sponsored by our faculty.

Beginning students take a two-semester introductory programming sequence course in the Python language, where they become proficient in problem solving and developing software using the latest and most advanced programming techniques.  They then take courses in software development with Java, computer organization (assembly language and C programming), programming language design, and algorithm analysis.  Electives in many areas are then available.  You can enter the honors program and write a senior thesis if you qualify.

Research areas included robotics, web applications, digital humanities, and genetic programming.  The department also has strong interdisciplinary ties to such areas as neuroscience, engineering, mathematics, business administration, and digital humanities.

Faculty sponsor student research with summer internships, and you can also find summer opportunities at other universities, in government, or in the private sector.  Some graduates have been admitted to some of the top graduate schools in the country.  Other graduates use our aggressive career office and strong alumni network to find permanent employment in government or the private sector.

Students have majored in computer science and also majored in almost any other subject here.  Many students have another science major, such as biology or physics; some have a second major in our commerce school, and a few have a second major in a subject like philosophy, classics, or theater.  Students can also have a minor in a subject that offers one, where you take approximately one half of the courses required for  a major.  In all cases, we encourage our majors to pursue a broad sampling of subjects in the liberal arts, which we believe is the best way to get a true education.

We have a collegial and fun-loving group of students in the program at any given time, and our record of attracting women and students of underrepresented groups to the major is unsurpassed.  Our majors, like other students, are involved outside the classroom in many extracurricular clubs, organizations, and athletic teams.

In short, if you want a first-rate computer science education at a first-rate liberal arts college, you should check out the computer science department at Washington and Lee.  Please feel free to contact the department chair, Professor Ken Lambert at, if you have any questions.

Computer Science Department Blog

Thursday, March 22, 2018

CS Major Nora Devlin ’19 reflects on her experiences at W&L

“Attending W&L has made me more conscious of societal issues and more confident in my own opinions and beliefs.”   Junior Nora Devlin shares how being a part of the Washington & Lee community has shaped her views and given her a stronger personal identity.  Click on the link below to learn more about Nora… […]

Monday, March 19, 2018

CS Major Collin Glatz ’20 will participate in the GAE Program

Collin Glatz, a sophomore at W&L and a double major in German and Computer Science, has plans to participate in the German American Exchange Internship Program (GAE) over summer 2018.  The GAE program helps American students secure three-month long business internships in Germany. While there, they can work on their language skills while also gaining […]

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

CS Minor Beck Gillenhaal ’18 is NCAA Postgraduate Winner!

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) released its fall 2017 postgraduate scholarship winners and senior men’s soccer player Gillen Beck (Blacksburg, Va. / Blacksburg) was among the 58 Division I, II and III student-athletes that were recognized.  Read the full story about Beck’s success here:    

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

2018 Phi Beta Kappa Initiates from the Computer Science Department

Congratulations to the following CSCI students will be initiated into PBK this year.  The 2018 Phi Beta Kappa ceremony will take place at Lee Chapel on Sunday, March 18th. Truth Iyiewuare ’18 Tommy Thetford ’18 Hammad Ahmad ’19    

Monday, February 05, 2018

Spotlight on Seniors: Lex McGriff ’18 and Sima Sharma ’18

As they prepare for graduation and the future, Lex McGriff and Sima Sharma share their W&L experiences and student successes. Lex McGriff, a Computer Science and Sociology double major shares her leadership experiences as the vice president of the Student Association for Black Unity (SABU) and vice president of Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK).  Lex also talks […]