"Computing enables new kinds of cross-cultural encounters. At the same time, the problems addressed by computing are contingent on place and culture. Off-campus Studies can help Computer Science students reflect on the role of computing in their own lives and the effects it has on others." - Janet Davis, Associate Professor and Microsoft Chair of Computer Science

Off-Campus Studies can help Computer Science students…

  • Gain awareness of the major discipline from a different scholarly tradition
  • Prepare for an increasingly diverse and international workplace
  • Appreciate the role of computing in other cultures and economies

How does a semester or year of OCS help students in Computer Science prepare for graduate school or various career opportunities? 

  • Off-campus studies expands the student’s breadth within the discipline by offering a range of courses that Whitman College cannot offer on a regular basis.

As a general rule of thumb, the Computer Science faculty recommend the following for students who wish to study off campus.

  • Students should have completed CS 220 Discrete Mathematics & Functional Programming and CS 270 Data Structures before studying abroad.  CS 220 Discrete Mathematics & Functional Programming is a fall course while CS 270 Data Structures is offered every semester.
  • Students who study abroad in the spring should take CS 210 Computer Systems Fundamentals by their fourth semester.

Which requirements can Computer Science majors fulfill while off campus?

  • Required courses for the major and/or elective major credit, with the approval of the major adviser
  • General Studies Distribution credit
  • General degree credit

Major Credit Limitations

  • The maximum number of credits that can be applied to the Computer Scicence major from off campus studies (including AP credit, IB credit and credits from other U.S. institutions) is 10 credits with the approval of your major adviser.
  • Business courses typically cannot be transferred to Whitman because they are vocational in nature and not considered liberal arts.

Minor Credit Limitations

  • A minimum of three-fifths of the specific course and credit requirements for the minor must be completed in the on-campus program of the college.

What are the types of OCS programs recommended by the Computer Science faculty?

  • Programs for students from U.S. institutions with courses taught by local professors in a foreign country
  • Direct enrollment in a foreign university where computer science courses are available

Which Partner Programs are recommended by the Computer Science faculty?

Computer Science majors who wish to study off campus do not necessarily need to study computer science while they are away.  Those who choose to study computer science abroad may want to consider the following programs recommended by the Computer Science faculty.  Alternatively, students who can complete their computer science credits at Whitman may choose from among the college’s numerous Partner Programs worldwide that offer cultural or linguistic immersion in another country.

  • AIT-Budapest (Aquincum Institute of Technology) (Hungary)
  • DIS Copenhagen (Denmark)
  • IES: University College London (UCL) (England)
  • IFSA-Butler: University of Melbourne (Australia)

Students interested in Off-Campus Studies should attend an OCS First Step meeting in the fall of their second year, discuss their interests with their major adviser, and schedule an appointment with an OCS adviser.