Computer science

Advancing knowledge from diverse and rigorous courses.


Computing for Social Good

As a Quaker institution, Earlham has a long, deep history with peacemaking and a wide range of projects for social good. The Computing for Social Good concentration builds on this tradition, helping students to integrate their passions for computer science, technology, and making a positive contribution to the world. Students participate in “for good” projects that are sustainable and benefit both the community and the students. In addition, students learn ways to identify and develop ethical “for good” projects that address community-identified needs, rely on that community’s knowledge, experience and expertise, are sustainable, and make use of appropriate technology. Student projects in this space range from contributing to large scale open source software used for disaster management to developing applications supporting local non-profits. 

Game Design

The Computer Game Design program at Earlham is constructed to allow students to dive right into building complete projects from early on, using a wide range of tools, including tools used in the professional world. Students build a broad base of skills centered in software engineering and user experience that prepares them for careers in computer game development and beyond.

Systems Administrator

Our digital world depends on a myriad of complex interactions between a wide variety of engineered systems and software stacks; these encompass everything from your handset, your office’s servers, the large data farms operated by social media companies, and the internet that connects all of them and us. Earlham’s concentration in systems engineering and administration provides students with real-world, hands-on opportunities to learn how to design, build, and support these complex systems. Our student System Administrators group is responsible for the care and feeding of the department’s compute and storage servers, clusters, and network fabrics. These resources are used by faculty across the College’s science division for teaching and research. Students also have the opportunity to work on purpose-built compute gear for domain scientists to use in field work, e.g. for near-Earth surveying and DNA extraction projects.



Daily communication, from Zoom or WhatsApp to securely logging into a banking website, relies on robust digital security and privacy. Earlham’s concentration in Cybersecurity provides students with hands-on opportunities to learn how secure systems are built and maintained. Our curriculum includes a foundation in the mathematics and cipher systems that underlie all of the security infrastructure in-use today across a broad range of technologies. By giving students the opportunity to manage systems they develop first-hand experience with the many ways cyberthreats present themselves and what can be done to defend against them. 

Read more about the computer science major and minor on the Earlham website