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    Saint Francis University
  Sep 23, 2017
2017-2018 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog

Mathematics, Engineering & Computer Science

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Computer Science

Chair: Dr. John Harris

The Computer Science field is an exciting and rapidly changing one in which new platforms and applications regularly replace old ones. In order to prepare oneself for a career where major changes are expected as a matter of course, students should learn skills and concepts that are fundamental to the discipline. The Computer Science program at Saint Francis University emphasizes both skills and concepts that are fundamental to the discipline today and in the future as well gaining experience with platforms and applications that are widely used today.

There are three concentrations available in the Computer Science curriculum at Saint Francis University: Software Development, Information Technology and Security, and a General Concentration. The Software Development concentration deals primarily with software development and places an emphasis on programming and problem-solving skills. The Information Technology and Security concentration is designed to prepare one for a career as a System or Network administration.


Chair: Dr. John Harris

Saint Francis University has cooperative engineering programs with Clarkson University of New York, the Pennsylvania State University, and the University of Pittsburgh. The programs are designed to prepare a student with a liberal arts background for a professional career in a branch of engineering. After successfully completing three years in the pre-engineering program at Saint Francis University, the qualified student transfers to any of the three schools mentioned or to any school offering an ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology)-accredited B.S. program in engineering to complete the final two years of the program. After successful completion of one full year in an engineering program at another school, the student will receive the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Engineering from Saint Francis University. The general degree requirements for the Bachelor of Arts as specified by Saint Francis University must be satisfied. The degree of Bachelor of Science in the appropriate branch of engineering is conferred by the engineering school upon the fulfillment of all the requirements of the program at the end of the normal five-year period. The branches of engineering available for study are aerospace, agricultural, ceramic, chemical, civil, computer, electrical, engineering science, environmental, industrial, mechanical, metallurgical, mining, petroleum and natural gas, and nuclear.

Environmental Engineering

Chair: Dr. John Harris

One of the newest additions to the quality educational programs at Saint Francis University is a major in Environmental Engineering along with possible concentrations in Renewable Energies or Ecological Engineering. Environmental engineers work to protect and manage our air, water, and energy resources. They measure, quantify and analyze the environmental changes that inevitably result from human endeavors. They design strategies to remediate problems, minimize impacts, and measurably improve environmental quality. Environmental engineers focus on developing devices, techniques and solutions that can effectively address a variety of real-world environmental problems. Environmental engineers achieve their aims by the utilization and conversion of the many energy resources that surround us - the fossil fuels and the renewable energies. There is a growing awareness that the quality of life must be balanced by the conservation of these resources and the protection of the environment. Environmental engineers understand this balance and seek to harness energy resources in an environmentally-friendly manner.

The Environmental Engineering profession is expected to be the fastest growing engineering profession for many years to come. The burgeoning need for energy from traditional (e.g., fossil fuels) as well as non-tradition sources (e.g., renewable energy) will only intensify the need for environmental engineers, particularly those with specialized training in energy conversion, storage, and transmission technologies.

Ecological Engineering is the rapidly growing field that integrates the science of ecology and methods of the engineer to design sustainable ecosystems that better integrate human society with the natural environment. The application of renewable energy and material resources is central to successful Ecological Engineering approaches.

An Overview of the Major:

The Environmental Engineering curriculum at Saint Francis University prepares the student for a challenging and rewarding career through five major curricular means:

  • a vibrant General Education program, a keystone of Saint Francis University
  • a robust foundation in mathematics and the basic sciences
  • a well-founded core of engineering course work with a Renewable Energies emphasis
  • a specific sequence of specialized environmental laboratory work
  • a significant Environmental Engineering Design capstone
  • a well-founded core of environmental engineering course work with an option to branch towards two nascent fast-growing fields (Renewable Energies or Ecological Engineering)

Saint Francis University has a strong General Education program core that includes two courses each in philosophy, English, religion, history and fine arts, as well as a single course in macroeconomics, speech, language, psychology, political science and sociology. Since a major goal of engineering is to contribute to the welfare of society, students are better prepared to meet such expectations when they have a broad liberal arts education that helps the student develop an understanding of world history; political and economic systems; the ethnic, cultural, and religious diversity of the peoples of the earth, as well as provide them excellent skills in written communication and public speaking.

The Environmental Engineering curriculum is built on a solid foundation of basic mathematics and science, which are mainly taken in the first two years at the University. The course work provides the student with the breadth necessary to solve the multidisciplinary problems faced every day in the life of an Environmental Engineer. Most of the science courses include an extensive laboratory component. General chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physics, and Microbiology are some of the basic science classes. In addition students take Ordinary Differential Equations, Statistics and three semesters of Calculus to provide the mathematical underpinnings necessary to be successful and to handle the rigors of the engineering discipline.

Unique foci of Saint Francis University's program are the Renewable Energies and Ecological Engineering Concentrations. Renewable Energies students will take specialized course work in energy conversion, storage, and distribution and will have opportunities for internships and other interactions with SFU's Renewable Energy Center. Ecological Engineering students will take specialized course work concerning the sustainable application of renewable energy and material resources as well as appropriate technologies for third-world service-engineering projects.


Chair: Dr. John Harris

The program in mathematics embodies both views of mathematics: one, as the study of abstract structures and hence independent of the physical world; the other, as the cornerstone of all scientific inquiry. The program leading to a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics is designed to provide a firm foundation in general principles. There is an actuarial concentration for students who may be interested in pursuing a career as an actuary and a secondary education track for students whose main interest in mathematics is to teach mathematics at the secondary level. Two options for students interested in computer science are a major in Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science or a double major in Mathematics and Computer Science.


Career opportunities for Mathematics majors are many. The growth of automation and space science, the widespread use of computers, the increasing dependence of the actuarial, biological, computer, managerial, and social sciences on mathematics, and the modern emphasis on such topics as probability, statistics, combinatorics, and functional analysis in engineering and the physical sciences have created a demand for mathematicians. Also, the discipline and training necessary to obtain a degree in mathematics is recognized as an excellent foundation for careers that normally would not be considered mathematical like law and medicine.

Physical Sciences

Chair: Dr. John Harris

The curriculum of Physics is structured to provide an exposition of the introductory aspects of the physical sciences as well as the particulars of elementary college physics on the calculus and noncalculus levels.

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