Computer Science

Why Should I Take Computer Science Courses at Edmonds Community College?

Because you have a driving need to create excellent computer programs. Good programmers can also make very good money. Edmonds Community College Computer Science courses are designed to teach both theoretical programming concepts and practical programming skills, along with the methods of programming development required by software companies. Employers and universities know that Edmonds CC Computer Science courses teach what they want their employees and students to know.

Where Do I Start?

Decide on Your Goals. Do You Want To:

  • Transfer to a four-year college or university?
  • Get employed as soon as possible?
  • Get an AA, AS or AAS-T degree and transfer?
  • Pursue a certificate?
  • Update your skills?

Once you've decided, we can help you get into the right classes. If you are not clear on what your goals are, or need more information, feel free to talk with any Computer Science faculty member.

Which Class Should I Start With?

Programming Courses:

Please keep in mind that strong math skills are needed in most programming courses. If you have the prerequisite background skills (beginning college algebra or equivalent) and are interested in learning about computer programming or interested in satisfying the AA or AS Degree Transfer Math/Science requirements, we recommend: CS 115 - Introduction to Programming using Visual Basic.Net.

Non-Programming Courses:

  • If you want to understand more about computers, computer science, computer programming, and even the broader computer industry, we recommend: CS 101 - Computing Concepts.
  • If you want to learn more about computer animation concepts, we recommend: CS 102 - Introduction to Computer Animation.
  • If you want to learn to install and use Linux, we recommend: CS 125 - Introduction to Linux and Unix.
  • If you want to learn more about Windows, take: CS 120 - Introduction to Windows.

What Degrees Are Offered?

Edmonds Community College currently offers two transfer degrees appropriate for Computer Science and Computer Engineering majors: the Associate of Arts and the Associate of Science Track II degrees. See the college catalog for details on these degrees.

Speak with a faculty member in the Computer Science department as early as possible to determine which is right for you.

What Certificates Are Offered?

The college offers four certificates and four short, work-ready certificates of completion. See the college catalog for details on these programs.

When Are Courses Offered?

When courses are offered is planned on a yearly basis. Although this can change due to conditions such as enrollment, the projected annual schedule is available to view tentative course availability.

Can I Get Free Software?

Yes! Students registered in Computer Science courses at Edmonds Community College are eligible to use certain software packages under the department's license agreement with Microsoft™. Please check with the department for details.

How Easy Is it to Transfer?

If a transferring student has a good GPA, especially in Computer Science and Mathematics, most Computer Science departments at universities and colleges in Washington state and beyond are very eager to accept Edmonds CC graduates.

It is important to note that students need to be accepted both by the college and by the department. It is also important to speak to an advisor and to contact the transfer college and department as early as possible to find out specific college and departmental requirements. It never hurts to contact more than one college.

What Languages Are Offered?

The Computer Science department offers courses in C, C++, C#, Java, Perl and Visual Basic.

Should I Take the C++ or Java Sequence of Courses?

The answer to this depends on what you plan to do afterwards. If you are looking to quickly get a job programming, it depends on the language your possible employer uses most. Quite often this is C++. If you plan on transferring to a four-year college or university, again, it depends on the language that institution uses as its primary language. More often than not, this will be Java. Many students find great advantage in learning both languages. In any case, it is best to talk to a departmental advisor before deciding.

C++/Java comparison chart

Can I Take CS& 131 and CS& 141 at the Same Time?

Although it is possible, it is not recommended to take both courses at the same time, although many students eventually take both C++ and Java classes.

If you cannot decide which language to learn first, please speak with a Computer Science faculty member for advice.

What Is UNIX?

UNIX is a widely used multiplatform, multitasking, multiuser operating system. LINUX is a free, open-source version of UNIX. Many businesses, universities and individuals use UNIX as an alternative to, or sometimes in conjunction with, Microsoft Windows.

Where Can I Find out More About the Game Development Program?

The Computer Game Development Certificate is vocationally approved by the state of Washington, and is one of the first of its kind in the country. The certificate is designed for people who want to gain basic skills that will help them in the development of software for computer graphics, multimedia and games, and for employment in the electronic entertainment industry.

The certificate emphasizes programming and software development skills, but includes some basic English composition, art, and 3D modeling courses. There are also now new advanced electives such as game physics, 3D terrain modeling, and game AI (artificial intelligence).

The certificate can be completed either on campus or in an online format, although it is highly recommended that the initial course be taken on campus.

If you have further questions, ask any faculty in the Computer Science department or email

What Do I Do if I Still Have More Questions?

If you have general questions about registration or careers in Computer Science, contact the college advising office at 425.640.1458.

If you have specific questions about computer science courses or degree/certificate programs, contact any computer science instructor or our program assistant at