Learning Outcomes

The Principia College Computer Science Department prepares students to take their place in a quickly changing world by giving them a balanced preparation in our learning outcomes:


Our students will develop computer programs and systems characterized by good design: elegance, simplicity, clear structure, flexibility, efficiency, usability, maintainability, and durability. Good design should be evident to both end users and other developers.

Problem Solving

Our students will accurately assess problems and think about them creatively, conceptually, critically, insightfully, analytically, and metaphysically. This will lead them to create and apply appropriate and efficient algorithms and mathematical models, and integrate what is already known with what is subsequently learned to create a solution.

Application of Technical Knowledge

Our students will understand a sufficiently comprehensive, foundational body of knowledge—so that missing pieces can be derived, acquired, or revealed—and apply it properly. This body of knowledge consists primarily of computer science topics such as programming, computer hardware and software organization, operating systems, database management, and networking, but it also includes elements of information systems and software engineering. Our students will apply this knowledge by determining the relationships among these technical topics and then merging them with knowledge of particular industries.

Effective Communication

Our students will convey and receive information and ideas accurately, consistently, and efficiently in oral, visual, and written form, formally and informally across a diversity of audiences and organizational levels. Good communication necessitates honesty and effective listening.

Teamwork and Collaboration

Our students will work within diverse groups of people toward common goals by expressing effective communication, resourcefulness, confidence, and humility, while respecting and valuing the contributions of others. Effective team contributors fairly assess the work of teammates and value assessments from them as well.

Our students will comprehend the qualities of both a true leader and a true follower, and develop the moral courage to lead with authority, thereby bringing out the best in others. It has been said that managers are appointed, but leaders are chosen by those who follow. Every role provides opportunities to be a spiritual leader, a thought leader, and an ethical leader, whether in business, politics, or any organization.

Ability to Learn 

Our students will develop the desire and ability to continuously learn and improve their knowledge, attitudes, and methods in both individual and group settings. They will display accurate self-assessment, wise self-correction, and a growing mastery of their field.


Our students will recognize ethical issues, identify needed actions, and demonstrate the moral courage to implement them. They will embody integrity, avoid deception, respect intellectual property rights, and keep the public interest in mind. The ethics of this field require that professionals strictly honor the confidential information of employers and clients. Our students will understand and follow generally accepted codes of conduct such as the ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct and the ACM/IEEE Software Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Practice.


Our students will always hold themselves responsible for depth of knowledge and excellence of action. Those who best demonstrate professionalism are seen by others to hold a very high standard in quality of thought. They take responsibility, meet obligations, are accountable, pay attention to details, and are dependable and consistent, whether the activity is large or small. They maintain a balanced perspective and understand the consequences of choices, respect other individuals, and maintain the honor of the profession.