Admissions Blog Posts

Liberal Arts Meets Tech: Furman’s Computer Science Edge

Last updated February 12, 2024

By Pratik Shrestha


When I think about studying computer science, the first thing that comes to mind might be coding, algorithms, and lots of math. But when you choose to study computer science at Furman University, you’re signing up for something different, something more. It’s not just about learning to code; it’s about becoming part of a community that grows together, both inside and outside the classroom. Let me share why Furman’s computer science program stands out, especially in a liberal arts setting.

A Liberal Arts Twist on Computer Science

At its heart, Furman University is a liberal arts college, and this shapes every course, including computer science. This means you don’t just learn how to program or understand the nuts and bolts of computers. You learn to think critically, solve problems creatively, and see the bigger picture. Courses are designed not only to teach technical skills but also to integrate ethical considerations, societal impacts, and the broader context of technology in our world. It’s an education that prepares you for more than just a job; it prepares you for a thoughtful, impactful career.

Beyond the Classroom

Furman takes the computer science experience outside the traditional lecture halls. As a student here, I’ve had opportunities that I know are unique to this community. For instance, attending conferences is not just encouraged; it’s often sponsored by faculty. This has allowed all computer science majors to dive into the latest in tech trends, network with professionals, and even present their work.

Starting an independent study with a professor is like getting a special key to learning. It lets you dig deep into topics you love, with help from someone who knows a lot and is excited about it too. I chose to learn more about computational finance, especially how to use machine learning to guess where the stock market will go. For this project, Dr. Syed Fahad Sultan, an associate professor, is guiding me. His knowledge and passion for the topic make this journey not just about learning, but also truly inspiring. This kind of one-on-one help is rare and really valuable, making my study experience unique and tailored just for me.

A Community That Grows Together

But what truly sets Furman apart is the sense of community within the computer science department. It’s not all about competition here; it’s about collaboration and growth. Furman Students participate in Hackathons and DataFest competitions with other universities, which are regular events that challenge us to apply our skills in team settings, solving real-world problems and learning from each other. I participated in DataFest last year, and we made it to the finals. That competition was a huge learning curve for us. We discovered a lot, especially how our liberal arts studies add a creative touch to data analysis. This blend of teamwork, competition, and creativity shapes not just our skills but how we see and solve problems.


And it’s not just about the hard work. The department organizes dinners, game nights, and so many other events that bring us together as a community. These gatherings allow us to relax, have fun, and build friendships that go beyond the classroom. It’s this sense of belonging and mutual support that I believe truly enhances our learning experience. The Computer Science Department also supports clubs such as the Data Science and Machine Learning Club, and the Engineering and Drone Club, which makes a big difference. It’s awesome to have this kind of backing, making it easier for us to explore new ideas and projects. 


Choosing Furman for computer science means choosing a program that values creativity, community, and a broader perspective. It’s a unique blend that I haven’t seen anywhere else, and I’m proud to be part of it. If you’re looking for an education that prepares you for the future in every sense, Furman’s computer science program might just be what you’re looking for.


Pratik Shrestha

Class of 2026